In 1991, on a charter flight from Chiang Mai, Thailand to Pagan, Burma, I began to formulate a mystery, jotting descriptions of my travel companions in a spiral notebook. When the man I had chosen as my fictitious murder victim died on the last day of the trip, I knew I had to write this book. He was in his eighties; he might have died of natural causes, but what if he was murdered? What if someone from his past, say, when he was stationed in Burma during the British occupation, came back to avenge a stolen gemstone or some drugs? Or maybe he was involved in the kidnapping of an important American, known to be a member of the CIA. These speculations started a nine-year process of travel and research that grew into my novel, BURMESE JADE.