The hugely anticipated second novel by the author of the best-selling adventure thriller The Schumann Frequency. Set in 19th Century China The First Boxer is a ripping yarn of power, lust, victory and time-travel.
The Second Opium War has begun...
Christopher Ride: A Publishing Success Story
Christopher Ride began writing in 1992, completing his first manuscript 10 years later. Rejected by publishers, he persevered in improving his writing. He rented an empty house with only a table, chair, computer, printer and Persian rug where he spent his time writing after work and on weekends. Three years later the completed manuscript of The Schumann Frequency was rejected by almost every publisher once again, this time on the basis that there was no market for his genre. In 2007, Ride reluctantly decided to self-publish investing in an editor, graphic designer, publicist and distributor. His goal: to sell 10,000 copies. The Schumann Frequency reached number 18 on the Bookscan bestseller charts and sold more than the 10,000 copies he was aiming for. The success of The Schumann Frequency scored Ride a literary agent, a two-book European contract and he was signed by Random House Australia in 2008 on a multiple book contract.
Christopher Ride is:
Well travelled: The son of an Australian diplomat Christopher lived on six different continents, went to 13 different schools, and has witnessed first-hand three military coups, one earthquake (7.75 on the Richter scale) and a war with Idi Amin in Uganda.
A University drop out: Kicked out of the University of Texas for poor grades before returning to Australia with no money or prospects.
A successful business man: Ride began working at IBM in 1985 as a computer engineer working night shift, before moving onto a fledgling IT company called Interactive in 1992. Seven years later, he became the Managing Director and major shareholder. Today, Interactive has grown to become one of Australia's most respected and successful IT services companies, employing over 220 people.
The First Boxer
Random House Australia
Author: Christopher Ride
Where did the idea for the book come from?
Christopher Ride: My Dad was an Australian born in Hong Kong, so I've spent a lot of time in China over the years. But what really sparked my creative process was a visiting Beijing in 2005, and seeing the Forbidden City for the first time. I was overwhelmed by the beauty, majesty and sheer grandeur of the palace and its incredible history; that I knew I just had to write about what took place there. The Forbidden City is the largest and most beautiful palace complex in the world, all built for one Emperor, who had 3000 concubines and 3000 eunuchs to care for him. It was said to be the centre of the universe and that the emperor was the Son of Heaven. You are never going to get better material than that!
What tips do you have for dedicated writers, like yourself?
Christopher Ride: I have three tips for any aspiring writers. 1/ try and write something every day. Being a good writer requires training. And like an athlete needs to train, so does a writer. And the more you write, the better you get, and the longer you can stay at the keyboard. 2/ Be prepared to take criticism. Everyone has an opinion, and what you write will not always be loved by everyone - and you just can't take that to heart. As writers, we want honest feedback about the things we do. Embrace people's criticism and learn from it, never let it get you down. 3/ See every life-experience as an opportunity to learn, so you can write about it later. When someone yells at you, watch and learn. When you see people arguing, pay attention. When you feel afraid or alone. When you win. When you are in love. When you look into an innocent child's eyes; make mental notes about exactly what you are seeing and feeling, every emotion. Those experiences are there for you to draw on.
How is The First Boxer different to The Schumann Frequency?
Christopher Ride: The First Boxer is more historically based than the Schumann Frequency. I was able to marry the storyline up to actual historical events, which I was really pleased with. You still get a fast-paced adventure novel, but at the same time you get to learn about the Chinese Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellion and the amazing characters on both sides of the conflict. All the historical characters in the First Boxer are actual people, like Empress Ci Xi; one of the most intelligent and powerful women in history, who ruled China for more than forty years. And Lord Elgin, the arrogant and self-serving commander of the British Forces. Imagine being able to travel back in time, knowing what the future would bring, and using that very knowledge to change the course of history. And of course, both books have my troubled hero, Wilson Dowling. A character I really like writing about.
Where you surprised at the success of The Schumann Frequency?
Christopher Ride: I always hoped that The Schumann Frequency would do well and that people would like it, but I have to confess I was shocked by the incredible reviews and the feedback I received. It has been just fantastic! It's even published overseas in lots of different languages. I often think to myself; how great is this! An Australian writer with an Australian hero, who writes about really powerful women, can sell his books everywhere! Let's face it; everyone likes reading about powerful women and Hugh Jackman-like heroes. It's the way the world is meant to be!