This is my first guest blog post, so thanks for having me! Considering the date and the setting of my next release, I’d like to reflect a little bit on my experiences with Japan.
Today is March 12, just one day and exactly four years after a devastating earthquake struck East Japan and caused an even more disastrous tsunami that lay entire towns to waste. It’s always said that everyone remembers what they were doing on days like 9/11. I certainly do. I also remember what I was doing on 3/11. Do you?
For me, 3/11/11 was just a few months after I’d first been to Japan, and my host family lived near the epicenter. On the morning of that fateful day, I was woken by a phone call from my mom, who said, “Turn on the TV! There’s been an earthquake in Sendai!”
At first I thought it was no big deal, because earthquakes happened all the time, but… damn. Everybody probably remembers the pictures and videos of houses being swept away. I was glued to either the TV, news tickers, or the radio all day. I sent emails to people I knew in the area, but it took days for anything to get through. It was a scary time. I remember thinking I was lucky for not being there, since I’d already decided to attend school in Sendai, but I wasn’t going to start for a few months. At the same time, though, it sucked being so far away.
I’ve transferred some of that conflict unto the main character of my upcoming release In Memory of Us (out 3/31 with Loose Id) Kite’s a half-American, half-Japanese 21yo who’s struggling with his cultural identity and who just happened to be visiting family in America when the tsunami hit his Japanese hometown.
The story starts two years later when he’s back in Japan for his sister’s wedding and he tries to reconnect with his former best friend (and teenage crush) who’s been changed by the traumatic events.
It’s been four years since the tsunami for us. It’s been nearly three years since I saw the destruction site but it’s left a deep impression on me. I can only hope that I can do the gravity of the situation some justice.
Currently, I’m living in Germany, and I enjoy being back. If only because it means I’m that much closer to Euro Pride Con! Honestly, how could I not go when it’s in my country? It’ll be my first convention of this sort, and I’m super excited–and terrified! But if you see me there, I’d love to chat!
Author Bio: Ana is a writer of m/m romance and erotica. Her interest in hot guy-on-guy action was first sparked by reading scandalous Japanese mangas. A dirty secret she couldn’t resist. In a long bout of insanity – also known as her life — she decided to learn the language and escape to the land of sushi, sumo, and yaoi.
She’s since moved back to Europe to be with the love of her life – delicious European chocolate.
Now she resides in the sunny part of Germany where she fills her days chasing her dreams and writing about men in complicated relationships. Her family believes she’s writing “erotic manga stories.” She’s pleased they got the erotic part right, at least.