I’m so happy to be a part of the blog tour for THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO, and to bring you a guest post by the author, F.C. Yee! See below for information about the book and author, and for the guest post!
About the Book:
Title: THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO
Author: F.C. Yee
Pub. Date: August 8, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie Lo’s every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged.
Her only guide to the demonic chaos breaking out around her is Quentin Sun, a beguiling, maddening new transfer student from overseas. Quentin assures Genie she is strong enough to fight these monsters, for she unknowingly harbors an inner power that can level the very gates of Heaven.
Genie will have to dig deep within herself to summon the otherworldly strength that Quentin keeps talking about. But as she does, she finds the secret of her true nature is entwined with his, in a way she could never have imagined…
About the author:
F. C. Yee grew up in New Jersey and went to school in New England, but has called the San Francisco Bay Area home ever since he beat a friend at a board game and shouted “That’s how we do it in NorCal, baby!” Outside of writing, he practices capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial arts, and has a day job mostly involving spreadsheets.
5 winners will receive Genie Lo prize packs—complete with a finished copy of the book and a special Genie Lo horoscope (that doubles as a bookmark!), US Only.
Here’s the guest post by F.C. Yee!
I get asked a lot about the folklore that inspired this book. Gods, demons, and magic make for an exciting mythological backdrop. However, it’s interesting and worthwhile to discuss the context around the source material I drew on.
Around the 600s CE, in the Tang Dynasty of China, there was a historical figure named Xuanzang, a Buddhist monk who became renowned for his travels to India. 900 years later, during the Ming Dynasty, a novelist named Wu Cheng’en wrote one of the four great classics of Chinese literature, JOURNEY TO THE WEST, which consolidated folklore, gods and demons into a fictionalized version of Xuanzang’s pilgrimage. It is this work that became famous and influenced media across the ages since the 1500s, and what gave me a canon to draw from for THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO.
It doesn’t exactly fit with the image one thinks of when considering mythology, or at least it didn’t to me at first glance. During Wu Cheng’en’s time, there were already literary circles, publishing houses, and markets for fiction. It just happens to be that his novel is so old, beloved, and widespread that there’s a sense of ‘legend’ and ‘myth’ about it by now, so those words sometimes come up rather than ‘novel’ or ‘book.’
I would horrify any serious scholar by saying this, and I make no guarantee that I have every single fact perfectly correct, but to give a rough sense of the time scale and literary development, imagine if Homer was a contemporary of Shakespeare and wrote the Iliad as a work of fiction meant to be printed and read rather than an epic poem. That’s kind of like Journey to the West. It incorporates existing gods and folklore, but it did so in a context that was probably more modern than we give it credit for, than I gave it credit for before I started my research.
So how did it influence me? You could say that all I did really did was write a current-day fanfiction of that work. I riffed on a classic. I went where many, many people had gone before. The themes of struggle and improving oneself for the better in Journey to the West are so well-explored already that I just narrowed an instance of them down to what I hope is a very specific and entertaining scenario.
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