Lawrence DrakenLawrence Draken

About This Week’s Guest Lawrence Draken

Lawrence Draken is an author and small business owner.

Her latest book, “The Year of the Rabid Dragon” is a medical-thriller based in Beijing, China, centered around a virus that is spread through the civilian population of China’s capitol.

Draken lived and worked in Beijing for nearly five years, first doing research in high energy physics, then working on a strategy and engineering team with a German auto company.

While living and working in China, Draken was struck by the distance between the headlines of what people hear on the news about China, and the picture of China she formed living there and interacting in the daily drama of the city.

Writing became a way for her to share the bigger picture of how China works as a country with people who aren’t able to live overseas themselves.

Her book is as much a study on the culture and mindset of China as it is a medical thriller.

“In Germany people value their individual rights highly (as they do in the US; In China the ‘Group’ forms the functional core and you first do what the authorities tell you and when you do that you will have your individual freedom.”

Her tips on becoming more culturally competent are:

  1. Leave your home country; if you can, take a sabatical year or two. Get yourself confronted with different situations that you don’t understand (and learn from them).
  2. If/when you come in contact with someone new, try not to pass judgement but try to learn first about what is going on.
  3. Be open to the experience that you might undergo and realize that what you possibly expected to happen or be, might not be what you will experience.

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