Those of us that live in Vancouver commonly joke that this is a city where everyone comes from somewhere else. While the earliest Chinese were poverty-stricken peasants, some of the newer arrivals fly here in first class or even in their own private jets. And because Vancouver regularly places among the best cities in the world to live, the characters that reside here -- living, dead, or something else entirely -- are diverse and complex.
While the worldview here is definitely Western, there is a strong Chinese influence. Since the 1960s, Canada has been a preferred place for Chinese to immigrate to. Schools are top-notch, healthcare affordable, homes a fraction of high-end Asian dwellings… not to mention breathable, non-polluted air. There are now so many Chinese that some give Vancouver the nickname “Hongcouver.”
It’s made for a diverse country, and in addition to money, education and culture is a completely different outlook on reality. For most Chinese, the world is not simply black and white, living and dead, good and evil. Gods, demons, angels, other spirits, ancestors and more cohabit this world with us.
There are no rules to their behavior. Some can directly affect the lives of the living; some can’t – or won’t. Some can transform their appearances; some only wish they could. Some are kind, some are not. Some are capricious; others are on a mission. Some are solid, some you can stick your hand through... and for some, you can do both, depending on their moods.
In this world, there are no absolutes, no rules.
Oh, and one more thing. In these books I use the umbrella term “spooks” to refer to all of these otherworldly beings. I’m bestowing spectral characteristics of good or evil. The word does not refer to spies, nor is it used as a pejorative.