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Tien Chuk Temple - Chinatown Nights


Tien Chuk Temple Courtyard.


It's strange how, with writing, certain totems come to capture a spirit you wish to bring to a novel or screenplay. With Chinatown Nights, one of the images that has been with me since the 1990s is this old photograph of Tien Chuk Temple Courtyard, which a friend, Tommy Chen, sent me years ago (he also gave me a wonderful miniature Chinese Buddhist prayer scroll, which I still have).

There is something about the photograph, perhaps the formality of the pose combined with the shadows and the giant paper lantern, that is extraordinarily intriguing to me.

The photo captures the shadowy darkness the novel has always had, and even though there is no hint of technology about it, for me it is as if electrical sparks are about to explode across the image - perhaps because that is the energy I have always wanted for the book: the eruption and disruption of the technological revolution of the early 20th Century - and of now.

(This post is from my Facebook page for my novel-in-progress, Chinatown Nights.

Please also see my Kickstarter campaign for the novel - watch the video and, if you can, please con
tribute. Thank you.)

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