Often when I am asked about my new novel, ‘The Headmaster’s Wager’, I am asked about my memories of my late grandfather. This does not surprise me. After all, I have written a book in which the protagonist, Percival Chen, shares many characteristics with my grandfather. Percival is the headmaster of an English school in wartime Vietnam, as was my grandfather. Percival lives most of his adult life in Vietnam but is ethnically Chinese, and this is crucial to his sense of identity. In addition to being a successful educator and entrepreneur, he is a gambler, drinker, and womanizer. All of these qualities in Percival are inspired by my grandfather. I choose that word carefully – inspired. The book is a work of fiction, and is not ‘based upon’ my grandfather’s life. It does not memorialize him or recount his actions or memories. Instead, it picks up on a thread of his life, and an era he experienced.