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About the author:
TRACELESS is the latest release by Joanne Clancy. She is currently working on her seventeenth book.
What inspired you to write your book?
I saw footage of the earthquake that struck Japan in March 2011. The devastating images stuck in my mind, and I began to formulate a story about the lives of different characters who were unwittingly brought together by the earthquake.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Kerry Darcy’s life, as she knew it, ended just before three o’ clock on Friday, the eleventh of March 2011.
The Great East Japan earthquake was one of the most powerful earthquakes that the modern world had ever known. The earthquake battered coastal communities with waves of up to forty metres tall. It triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the Japanese coast and the aftershock could be felt as far away as Russia, the west coast of America and even in the Antarctic where the tsunami destroyed icebergs that were the same size as Manhattan Island.
It killed more than fifteen thousand people and injured over twenty six thousand. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history and was the fifth largest earthquake ever measured, causing the entire planet to shift on its axis by up to twenty five centimetres. The energy released on the earth’s surface was equivalent to more than one thousand five hundred times that of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
Saoirse Darcy, a young student, had studied tsunamis in geography at school and recognised the telltale signs of the receding ocean and frothing bubbles. She warned the others on the beach about the impending killer wave and they were evacuated to safety just in time, before the tsunami struck its deadly blow, wreaking havoc on so many unsuspecting lives.
Giant forces that had been building up deep in the Earth for hundreds of years were explosively released on that fateful day in March, shaking the ground violently and unleashing a series of killer waves that raced across the Pacific Ocean at the speed of a jet airliner. Hours later, deadly waves radiating from the earthquake zone slammed into the coastline of Pacific countries; snatching people out to sea, drowning others in their homes or on beaches, and demolishing property from Japan to America and beyond.
Along a stretch of coastline equivalent to the distance from London to Edinburgh, a tower of water reaching up to twelve metres tall burst over reinforced sea barriers, destroying sixteen towns and ninety-five thousand buildings. It travelled six miles inland, in some areas, before dragging millions of homes, possessions and vehicles back into the open sea.
The earthquake had the largest duration of faulting ever observed, lasting between eight and ten minutes; the most devastating minutes of Kerry Darcy’s life. Kerry could hear the screaming and crying of the people all around her. Everyone was clinging to whatever piece of debris they could find, watching the waves spread out in vast tentacles as it reached further and further in all directions.
The killer wave had taken its fateful hold on time and place. It had ruptured the present, warped the future, replaced order with confusion, confidence with trepidation and control with powerlessness. Lives were ended for some, changed forever for others and a most significant chain of events was about to unfold with catastrophic results.