About F. Lit Yu – Chinese Martial Arts Fiction Author
I can still remember, when I was a kid growing up in New York in the eighties, I would forgo Saturday morning cartoons so I could spend my weekly TV allowance on the good stuff, on channel 5 at 3PM. They were 1970’s kung fu movies, with poor acting, ballet-like fight sequences, but great English dubs that made no sense at all. I still remember the Toad in The Five Deadly Venoms, the traitor Ma Fu Yi in The Five Shaolin Masters, and all the vivid characters that spoke out of synch but were good at every weapon you could ever imagine (including one guy who carried around a bench that he sat on for tea, and used to bash people’s heads with).
The Martial Arts epic genre was a recurring theme in my life at the time. My parents and my sister loved to read wuxia novels, and the dinner conversation often revolved around people sealing each other’s meridian points, or delivering chi in a blood transfusion, or swordsmen wiping out each other’s families for revenge. The plot was a lot more intense than Charlie’s Angels, I thought at the time.
I’ve studied martial arts for many years since the first moment I fell in love with the old kung fu movies. I was a martial arts junkie; ready to learn anything I could get my hands on, and ultimately never became good in any one system. Being a junkie is never good for actual combat, because the body does not know how to react if not trained in one particular system. But looking back, it paved the way for me to write about many different styles and disciplines, and as my beer belly grew with each baseball game on TV, I became one of the few couch potatoes skilled in six different weapons.
As a teenager, I was attracted to the art of war, and I often hid in the high school cafeteria studying military classics and the I Ching. It was a decent break from reading The Great Gatsby, though I did wonder at times why Jay Gatsby didn’t approach his dilemma with a better strategy. I spent my days studying battle formations used in ancient China, but never once entertained the idea of joining the military, or applying for West Point for that matter. I went to film school instead.
I graduated from New York University majoring in film and television but ended up working in a bank. The Snow Wolf saga began after eight years in the financial services industry.