Zhou Meihen has some familiarity with officialdom. He was a deputy secretary-general in the city government of Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, in the mid-1990s. He said friends still in that world have helped him write about it.
"As a writer, you should dare to delve into rarely touched sides (of anti-corruption campaigns). Otherwise, you lose the trust of your readers and audience," Zhou said.
According to Zhou, there are various reasons for the corruption of an official, weakness of character, lures in an official career, traps set by other people, etc. "But actually, the ultimate reason is the unchecked development of human greed, with the power being not supervised effectively," he says.
"I've never considered corrupt officials as demons. They are human. I try to explore their inner conflicts after they fall from high positions," Zhou told Beijing News.