The Early Days
Xiong Yaohua [Hung Yiu-Wah], better known by his pen name Gu Long (1937-1985), is the most popular martial arts novelist in Taiwan. Originated from Jiangxi but born in Hong Kong, his family settled in Taiwan when he was 13.
During his early years he lived in Ruifang, an ancient suburban town of Tai-pei, and attended a prestigious university. He would always have a book with him at school, but they were only leisure books.
He particularly favoured European and American novels, from which he adopted the Western writing style, thus securing a foundation for his martial arts novels.
After graduation, many students entered the academic field, except Gu Long. Even in his juvenile years he was quite a rebellious individual who did not feel the hurry to seek employment.
Instead he returned to his small town to write manuscripts, living a quiet life just like Tao Yuanming [Han poet]. In fact, he did not seek employment straight after graduation, not because he was lazy, but because he devoted all his time and energy to his life's target: writing literature.
Gu Long began to write novels at the young age of 11, 12, and received his first manuscript royalty at age 19. The main subject of his novels and literary prose was love, but he was unable to make a name of himself until his friends encouraged him to write martial arts novels.
The love relationships in those novels were strikingly true to life, maybe an effect from his many years of writing love stories.