Join us this month as we dig into The Imperial Alchemist and ask author A.H. Wang questions about her process, her characters, the plot, and everything in between. Did you miss part one? Check it out here. How did you go about researching this book?
The research came from a combination of a few different sources: my travels over the past 13 years, history books, documentaries, several museums, and also a little online research. I think growing up with a dad who loves history and Chinese art/calligraphy also helped!
With The Imperial Alchemist, the idea was to interweave as much historical facts with fiction as possible. Whilst I did take many narrative liberties with the book, I didn’t want to make it clear what was real and what was not for the reader. Some of the stories I have loved most are the ones that were so convincing, they left me wondering if perhaps they were based on true stories, and part of the enjoyment of those stories was the fact that they prompted me to start researching to separate facts from fiction.
Hsu Fu’s green eyes was actually something that had no historical basis, but was also feasible because he came from the State of Qi, which was near the northern border of China that frequently came in contact with other ethnic groups (as explained by Sarah in The Imperial Alchemist).Are you a Tomb Raider gamer?
I’m not a gamer, but I do love the Tomb Raider movies, as well as the Indiana Jones series. I would love to see The Imperial Alchemist as a game! I think there are a few different games out there that were inspired by the epic novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which is also mentioned in The Imperial Alchemist.
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