The Big Idea: Julia Vee and Ken Bebelle

You start with an old idea, and from this old idea, you can create something new. So Julia Vee and Ken Bebelle learned, as they looked to legends from their heritage for the new novel Ebony Gate.


When we started writing what would become Ebony Gate, we took inspiration from Asian myth, using foo lions, hungry ghosts, and death gods instead of the standard fare of vampires and fae that already populated our shelves. In particular, we focused on Lóng, the Chinese dragon. Chinese dragons date back to the I Ching, but their appeal is timeless. Post-Ming dynasty Chinese texts tell of nine sons of the Great Dragon Father, each with individual strengths and powers. These dragon sons were powerful gods, capable of controlling the weather and water. We wanted to carry these old myths forward into a modern setting.

We imagined an entire civilization of people descended from these Nine Sons of the Dragon, what their culture and rules would be like. Each family’s identity is based on their Hoard, a trove of artifacts and precious gems, soaked in dragon magic, granting them wealth and power. They model their lives after their dragon gods and call themselves Lóng Jiārén, dragon family. Lóng Jiārén live like apex predators…

Source: The Big Idea: Julia Vee and Ken Bebelle

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