About The Legends of New Shaolin
After yet another fight with his father, 15-year-old Nic Thorne runs away from home. He survives a battle with yaoguai--Chinese demons--and sets off in search of answers from his Kung Fu master, only to fall into a deadly trap. On the verge of death, an ancient spirit warns him of a treacherous path ahead but grants him a chance to avenge his master’s murder.
Nic awakens in the presence of a monk with information about his teacher. Following his single lead, he steps into a world long believed to exist only in myths. There, on the Island of Penglai, home of the Eight Immortals, Nic reluctantly settles down at New Shaolin, an academy for the most gifted magical warriors. His impatience and stubbornness drives him to depart on a solo journey to catch his master’s killers.
But, is Nic prepared for the what lies ahead? Can he recover the Treasure of Penglai before the yaoguai unleashes its deadly powers and brings war to the Islands?
We, Tim Hartmann and Sissi Liu, conceived of the characters and the world of New Shaolin out of our common interest in YA fantasy. Our collaboration marries our love of comic books, anime, and fantasy.
Tim: After a successful career in technology management and finance, I decided to leave the corporate world to focus on my lifelong pursuit of martial arts. In 2007, I founded the award-winning Wu Dao Kung Fu and Tai Chi in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I continue to train the next generation of martial artists.
Sissi: I am a cleantech executive and entrepreneur with experience in business management, marketing, and venture investing. Throughout my career, I have been known for my passion for enabling climate change relevant, technology-based solutions. Outside of my professional life, I am an aspiring yogi with the hopes of deepening my practice by one day studying in Mysore, India. I hold a Master's degree from Harvard University and a B.A. from Wellesley College.
The Legends of New Shaolin: The Treasure of Penglai is the first of a series of volumes. In the book, we weave together elements of martial arts, fantasy, Chinese culture, folklore, and history.
We live in Belmont, Massachusetts with our son. In our spare time, you can find us hiking, sailing, rock climbing or skiing.
The Origins of The Legends
A Personal Note From Tim:
Growing up, I was always an avid comic and fantasy fan. I was also constantly writing stories. I imagined traveling to a far away land and training with legendary warriors, breaking free of reality, only to return with unimaginable powers years later.
Although I didn't end up traveling to a mythical land to train, I did dive into martial arts. Inspired by my training under great masters from China, and around the world, I began reading Chinese and Japanese literature, history, and mythology. To my delight, I found that Chinese mythology traces back thousands of years and is full of shape-changing creatures and powerful magic, which spurred my imagination to new heights.
Fast forward to 5 years ago, in order to teach martial ethics to my young Kung Fu students, I started creating short stories. I incorporated legendary heroes, horrifying monsters, and ancient dragons into these stories. Soon, the world of New Shaolin began to take shape with its distinctive landscape, creatures, and a cast of memorable personalities. It is this process that has driven the creation and evolution of the world of Penglai.
Now, I invite you to join Nic on the journey to Penglai where many adventures await.