HK Magazine: How did the idea of “For Goodness Sake“ come about? James A. Clapp: There was an incident back in 2000, which was just like the movie opening of “The World of Suzie Wong.” I got on the Star Ferry at Tsim Sha Tsui; I’m not making this up, but I saw a Chinese girl with a ponytail dangling tantalizingly, just like Nancy Kwan (who played Suzie Wong), sitting six rows in front of me. I became very curious. I wanted to see the girl’s face, but it just happened that there was a big guy in front of me who blocked my view. In the end, all I could glimpse was her ponytail. HK: Your character Podesta is also a professor. How autographical is your story? JC: An old friend of mine kept referring to me as Podesta. But, Podesta is not me—he is younger with a full head of hair! That said, I have to say that he is more me than anyone else. HK: Are you planning to make “For Goodness Sake” into a film? JC: The book is written cinematographically. I wrote it in the first person because I really want it to be made into a movie eventually. I used to do script writing. If it’s made into a film, I’d like it to stand out. In writing the story, I saw something new of Hong Kong. HK: What is your relationship with this city? JC: I first came here in the 80s. I fell in love with Hong Kong and it is a city I returned to many times. Though I’m an urbanite and have written nine books about cities, there is something about Hong Kong that gets under my skin and can’t be explained. But then, the longer you are in a city, the infatuation wears off and certain realities begin to sink in. As my character Podesta says, “You can love a city. Just don’t expect it to love you back.” HK: Had you actually seen the face of the ponytailed girl on the ferry back in 2000, would the book still have been written? JC: That’s a very interesting question. I’ve never thought of it. Maybe not.