Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Book Tour Stop/Giveaway; Prince of Blue Flowers


Discover the new book from author Ryu Zhong, Prince of Blue Flowers and remember to enter the tour wide giveaway to get a chance to win from the author a $25 Amazon or BN Gift Card. The tour is sponsored by Goddess Fish Promotions and you can find all the tour stops HERE.

Talking with Ryu Zhong:

What group did you hang out with in high school?

For the first few high school years, I hung out in the company of books, mostly. It was only after half of my term had passed that I allowed myself to venture beyond study. I joined a student theatre that was doing comedy. At the time, we did contemporary sketches of satire and typical stand-up material. Shortly after, our troupe shifted toward absurdist comedy influenced by Monty Python.

The people I was fortunate to hang out with were talented, bright, and slightly insane. At the same time, I think they were—and most of them are—saner than everyone around them. Truth be told, for some of them, it is because they now live in the ward. But most of our troupe is doing great, still making fun of the absurdity that surrounds us.

What are you passionate about these days?

These days of social media and ‘creative’ AI, my passion for amateur creativity and human curiosity only grows.

It’s increasingly harder for each new generation to grow, not through owning things of status or through thousands of likes. Social media shortcuts our attention spans and sense of hierarchy to a small number of ‘stars’ who perform so well that it seems unreachable for an amateur. Amateurs, being lovers of their craft, need the craft to love them back. Yet the only love they get via social media is rubber-stamped ‘likes’ and ‘retweets.’

It’s increasingly harder to see the world as a place full of unknowns, full of mystery that awaits discovery. The internet has all the information in the world, and novel AI brings that information as a ready-made answer, robbing people of the wonder of adventure. Knowledge isn’t a land full of dragons anymore. It’s an online wholesale store with home delivery.

So, my passion is in doing everything I can to change that.

If you had to make your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?

I’d spend more time building a bigger network of beta readers. I was blessed to have a small number of them, and they helped not only in the development and then in the adaptation but also in spreading the word and finding opportunities for me to grow beyond writing the novel itself.

E-book or print? And why?

E-book AND print! I have a Kindle (obviously), which holds not only my digital library but also a lot of works my friends send me. I take it everywhere I go on business travel and on the beach; I put it on my nightstand to accompany my dreams. It’s so convenient to read an E-book that I forget the fact I’m reading. The pages are flipped with a gentle touch—sometimes, I feel that I flip them just by thinking about it. Reading an E-book, I’m reading the text itself.

Print books are a very different thing. A print book asks for attention and care. Every page turned is a piece of a book’s life that becomes past. When I read a print book, it becomes a study of letters, words, and sentences. There’s a distance between me and the book, and from that distance, I see things that are invisible with Kindle’s digital ink. I partner with the writer and enjoy not only reading the book, but also its writing.

What is your favorite scene in this book?

My favorite scene in ‘Prince of Blue Flowers’ is one of a fight with a honey badger. It’s a rare scene where it’s not the cunning that brings the victory home but friendship, trust, camaraderie, and a huge wasp hive. As one old proverb says, you are always welcome to bring a cactus to a fistfight.

Prince of Blue Flowers

by Ryu Zhong

GENRE: Fantasy, Adventure


Young boy Hatsukoi leaves his village to become a monk, only to find monastic life incredibly boring. With a new-found name and a new-found friend, Hatsukoi travels the countryside and plays tricks at the expense of corrupt, irate, greedy, and ignorant people. Nobles of all ranks—from petty governors to crown princes—fall victim to the boy’s wit and cunning.


As his tricks evolve from childhood frolics to elaborate cons, Hatsukoi grows as well. He learns not only the craft of his trade, but also its higher purpose.


Join Hatsukoi’s journey, laugh at his exploits, and learn with him.


Book in the Stores

Excerpt Three:


Governor Tu Fang was the first to notice Hatsukoi, who was lying on the roof of the well with his head hanging down.


“What are you doing there?” he asked.


Hatsukoi shrugged his shoulders. “I’m looking to see if the well has a bottom.”


Tu Fang frowned at the boy’s response. Why would someone need to look for the bottom of a well? It sounded very suspicious to him.


“Well, get down!” he barked.


“No,” Hatsukoi answered.


“Get down by your own will, or my hunters will shoot you with their arrows.”


Hatsukoi slowly climbed down. Tu Fang waved to one of his hunters, who immediately grabbed the boy by the scruff of his neck.


“Ai! What are you doing?!” yelled Hatsukoi, struggling, but the hunter held him tightly.


“Tell me at once,” demanded Tu Fang, “what is in this well, and then perhaps I’ll let you go.”


Hatsukoi trembled like bamboo in a strong wind. He began, “I have seen—”


“What did you see?” Tu Fang interrupted impatiently.


“I saw a thief hide his bounty here.”


“Bounty?” Tu Fang exchanged glances with his brother.


It must be said that unselfish people rarely went on to become governors. Tu Fang was no exception. He thought only of ways to feed his insatiable greed. And Tu Liwei, being his half-brother, was a pea from the same pod. So, at that moment, the brothers came up with the same thought.


And Hatsukoi was counting on it.


“A whole bag filled with all kinds of stuff,” he said confidently. “Gold, jewels, pearls… If you look from the roof, you can see how it glitters at the bottom.”


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


‘Ryū’ means ‘dragon’ in Japanese, and ‘Zhong’ can be translated from Chinese as ‘flute’. This amalgam of languages represents the fusion of cultures that characterises the writings of Ryū Zhong.


In their books, Ryū Zhong explore challenges that humanity might face as our technology gets more and more complicated to the level where it becomes magic. Such a shift would force people to look towards religion and reinterpret realities that today, we call fairy tales.


Ryū Zhong were lucky to be born and grow in Asia. Now they live in Amsterdam, study Dutch, and adapt their writings to English.


Links — website for the book series — Ryu’s personal blog  — Instagram — Twitter

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I enjoyed the excerpt the book sounds like an excellent read.

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