Eric Cheung has always enjoyed writing on his spare time, even more than television or video games. After seeing too many novels follow the same routine of a sappy romance, he decided to write stories based on action, exploration, and the wonders of life. In addition, he strives to create stories with more relevance to modern Asian cultures.
What makes Kings of Fortune different from other novels?
When I wrote Kings of Fortune, I mainly wrote everything according to how I imagined the scenes. This led me to focus on action-oriented scenes and realistic dialogue between characters. I wanted the scenes to flow with exciting fight sequences, and to have the reader chase the sentences trying to follow the action. The dialogue, which I'm quite fond of, is meant to be realistic, quirky, funny, and less cliche than most stories seem to be. I wanted their body language during conversations to play a huge role as well. I guess in a quick summary, I wanted Kings of Fortune to feel like an anime in novel form.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Kings of Fortune is about Leon Zylo, a man who has little going on in his life, following the same routine day after day taking everything he has for granted. Then, he is contracted by a band of bounty hunters to be killed. He becomes one of them, and is forced to kill others in order to get his life back. Gradually, he learns to live his life to the fullest, appreciating everything he has, and uncovers the secret of why he was contracted to begin with.
Leon's role is meant to represent a lot of our lives in society nowadays. We work, go home, and don't see much else in the future aside from more work. In fact, his dilemma was spawned from my own aching pains of needing to work a monotonous job, instead of something I actually enjoy doing.
Honestly, the story initially came to me in a ridiculously vivid dream. The scene where he is contracted by the hunter, Kitsune, was actually my dream, where I am contracted. The dream was so horribly memorable that I didn't even have to write it down after I woke up, I clearly remember everything. The dream wasn't as sophisticated as the novel of course, but for a dream it was very elaborate. I was contracted, and needed to find ways to live. Somehow I learned that becoming a bounty hunter made the contract void, and it involved killing a cat or something weird and satanic. I left that stuff out of the novel. After writing the story, everything just became so much more, and I'm quite proud of it.
Leon Zylo lives a monotonous life following the same routine day after day. Then, he dies. Astonishingly, he awakes to find himself reborn as a bounty hunter with superhuman strength and speed. Alongside fellow rambunctious hunters, Leon Zylo must kill bounties for a chance to resurrect and be a normal person again. Maybe, he'll even discover why he was murdered in the first place.