Jin Yong is a pseudonym or pen name that Louis Cha chose to write under. The reason he chose this specific moniker is because when you combine the two Chinese characters Jin and Yong, you get the last character of his real name. He was born Cha Leung Yung (surname is Cha) or Louis Cha in Hangzhou. He first worked as faculty in first Chunking and then Dongwu University. He then started what would be a career in newspapers while moonlighting in the film industry. He started writing fiction, which was first published in a serialized format in newspapers (similar to the situation how European & American writers published in the 1800s). Shortly afterwards started a newspaper, Ming Pao Daily News, which became highly successful (its success was
helped with the fact that Jin Yong started publishing his fiction only in Ming Pao). He then started racking up accolades and acclaim until retiring. But even after retirement, he is still raking in the money from the runaway success of his writings. He has been especially popular recently because of the recently lifted ban on his writings in China (due to typical Communist paranoia about the implications of his choice of title for one of his novel series.)
He is considered by most, if not all, to be the best Wuxia writer out there. Since he has also vowed not to write any more novel series, this is indeed a great loss to the genre. However, he has spent the last decade or so revising and editing his existent works. In some cases, the revisions have been major. Most of his works is only available in Asian languages. There have been a few attempts at professionally translated English editions but there have been mixed results. Fans have started translations on their own but the works are long and numerous.
A nice thing to note about Jin Yong is that he is very scholarly and his type of Wuxia fiction can also be labeled as historical fiction. His stories blend history with fiction with great believability and depth. He has a vast knowledge of Chinese history and culture, which he uses to great effect in his works. One notable hobby he has is the game of Go.He slips in many references to it as it is also one of the four arts the ancient (or modern) Chinese scholar should know (the rest are: calligraphy, painting and music). He is also obviously very skilled in the use of the Chinese language, often choosing to use a more archaic turn of phrase to promote the sense of being in the long gone past in his stories. His works are worthy of study and in fact, there are scholars who devote their time to studying and researching his works (it is called Jin Yong Studies or Jinology).
1. The Book and the Sword (書劍恩仇錄) (first published on The New Evening Post in 1955) 2. Sword Stained with Royal Blood (碧血劍) (first published on Hong Kong Commercial Daily in 1956) 3. The Legend of the Condor Heroes (射鵰英雄傳) (first published on Hong Kong Commercial Daily in 1957) 4. Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain (雪山飛狐) (first installment appeared on the first issue of Ming Pao in 1959) 5. The Return of the Condor Heroes (神鵰俠侶) (1959) 6. Other Tales of the Flying Fox (飛狐外傳) (1960) 7. Swordswoman Riding West on White Horse (白馬嘯西風) (first published on Ming Pao in 1961) 8. Blade-dance of the Two Lovers (鴛鴦刀) (first published on Ming Pao in 1961) 9. Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre (倚天屠龍記) (first published on Ming Pao in 1961) 10. A Deadly Secret (連城訣) (first published on Southeast Asia Weekly 《東南亞周刊》in 1963) 11. Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (天龍八部) (1963) 12. Ode to Gallantry (俠客行) (1965) 13. The Smiling Proud Wanderer (笑傲江湖) (first published on Ming Pao in 1967) 14. The Deer and the Cauldron (鹿鼎記) (1969–1972) 15. Sword of the Yue Maiden (越女劍) (1970)