Love, Life and Hiroshima

July 12, 2012

Love, Life and Hiroshima by LaVerne Clark

Jenna Thomas stormed into my head the moment I started thinking of a premise to a superhero-themed novella. Why superhero? I’d heard of a submission call that excited me like nothing else had in a long time. Rushing to my computer, I swept aside the current WIP I’d been labouring over and let the words pour out on the new. Pretty soon, I had my first pivotal scene; how my heroine came by her abilities; the setting – and then I hit a brick wall. Jenna dug her toes in and point-blank refused to be cast as a superhero. No matter how much I tried to manipulate her, or how much pleading and whining was involved, I couldn’t get her to budge. There was no way on earth she was going to be flying around saving people left, right and centre. Jenna shunned the limelight, preferring to keep her distance from the general public as much as humanly possible.    Laverne2

“Fine then,” I finally snapped, throwing my hands up in surrender. “Show me who you really are then and why I should write your story.” As I sat at my computer sulking over the fact I wasn’t going to be writing a fantastic superhero story after all, she revealed her story to me and I was captivated.

Jenna’s family originated from Hiroshima, Japan. They’d lived quiet, ordinary lives until that fateful day of August 6th 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped over their city, changing everyone’s lives forever. After the initial horror had passed, it became apparent a new one was on the horizon – radiation poisoning – and Jenna’s family fled to New Zealand. Trekking halfway around the world, they thought they’d escaped the repercussions of the war – but the radiation from the fall-out had affected them after all. It sank deep into their molecular structure and changed their DNA forever.

For most of the family, it presented itself as cancer, killing them off one by one. But for a select few, it brought strange abilities instead. For a long time, Jenna was sure she’d been dealt the dud-hand – and then she met Nick – and for the first time, she thought she might have had it wrong.

Although the horror of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were well before my time and in a different part of the world, I remember seeing the black and white photos described in a scene of Affinity as a young girl and they haunted me. I didn’t know how much until I met Jenna, and I could see them in my mind’s eye as clearly as the first time I gazed at them in shocked fascination.

But along with those feelings of distress and sorrow, I experienced equal ones of awe and inspiration. Amongst the awful photos were occasional ones of hope and beauty. The people of Japan affected by this terrible event were undoubtedly angry at what had been done to them, but I never saw hatred in their eyes. Maybe it was because they were sick of the fighting – or more likely they were just too devastated. Whatever it was, it affected me personally and Jenna’s story is a result of that long-ago memory.

Maybe we can’t all have special abilities like Jenna does, but what we do all have at our core is the ability to empathize and care for one another. We have the capacity to forgive atrocities and get on with life – and that to me is an incredible ability worthy of any superhero, don’t you think? J


Like the heroines in my stories, I married my own gorgeous hero and have been blessed with a school-aged son and a toddler-aged daughter. I’m passionately involved with the charitable organization, “Greyhounds as Pets” after falling in love and adopting my own ex-racing greyhound, and became the Area Coordinator for my region. Perhaps, in the back of my mind was the old adage of owners looking like their dogs, but sadly, my legs don’t seem to have got any longer and my waist hasn’t shrunk to minuscule proportions, but on a good note, at least my nose isn’t any longer! I’m a member of Romance Writers of New Zealand and live in the beautiful coastal town of Nelson at the top of the South Island, the sun capital of the country.

BLURB: Affinity

In the wrong hands, Jenna Thomas’s legacy could be a curse—in her mind it already is.

As a child, a routine x-ray awakened an abnormality in Jenna’s DNA giving her the ability to “call” creatures and take on their attributes. Labeled a freak since then, Jenna’s learned to keep everyone at a distance. But all that changes the day she saves a young boy from drowning, and the story goes viral.

Nick Hawke, an off-duty policeman, witnesses part of the drama. Captivated by Jenna’s exotic beauty, he decides to investigate, not sure what to believe. Jenna puts his cynicism to the test—even as the attraction between them grows.

As word of her extraordinary rescue spreads, a dangerous man who will stop at nothing to control Jenna’s abilities draws near. With her feelings for Nick putting him in danger too, can Jenna risk everything to protect them both?

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0 thoughts on “Love, Life and Hiroshima

      1. I so agree! Like to think my heroine in CHERISH THE KNIGHT is such a heroine–and if I ever finish it LOL–my current historical WIP has a Druid heroine w/ special powers.

      1. Thanks, LaVerne. Don’t want to mislead you. My heroine in CTK is strong, a healer, and “special” in a way I can’t reveal w/o giving away the story, but she doesn’t have special “powers” as such. My WIP Druid heroine does, though. As I said, if I ever have the time to finish it! LOL

  1. Excellent post, LaVerne. As you know I devoured your AFFINITY. The premise behind it raised more questions in my mind, and I love when that happens. I’m glad you opened your mind to what Jenna had to tell you instead of insisting on writing her to fit a preconceived idea.

    1. Thanks so much Vonnie. I’m so glad you enjoyed Affinity. I always feel nervous when a writer I admire is reading my work! 🙂 I’m planning a series on this premise as we speak. Hopefully you’ll be seeing Jenna and NIck again one day 🙂

  2. Hi LaVerne and Nancy – I found the paranormal aspect of this story to be really well planned, and I thought the way Jenna came by her powers was very innovative. Well done.

    1. Hi Lynne – and thanks! I had so much fun planning and writing this story. I’m looking forward to revisiting this world after I complete my current WIP. Thank you so much for reading Affinity – even if I was a little daunted once I saw on Goodreads that you were! 😉

  3. Laverne, I always love your posts – you write in such an spirited and personal way. It’s great that you let the characters and stories find you too. Affinity is more believable due to this I think.

    I look forward to more stories in this series and I’m holding you to your promise to come to Japan and see Hiroshima (and me) 😀

    1. Hi Kelly! Glad you liked the post – and I’ve every intention of visiting! I can’t wait! 🙂 It would be great research for other stories in this series wouldn’t it? 😉

  4. What a wonderful way to be inspired LaVerne. Now the tragedy of course, but your memory and Jenna’s stubbornness to have her true story told. Congrats on your release and thank you for the cup o’candy! Now if I can win the book…

    1. Oooo – I LOVE the American word, ‘Candy’! So glad you enjoyed your cup o’candy Calisa 🙂 I’m drinking a cup of coffee out my mug the replica of yours right now. Thanks for your continued support. Its been said before, but its so true – Roses rock! 🙂

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