I almost forgot I had this little gem tucked away! Back when I first starting writing these books, even I got confused about who was married to whom and where everyone sat on the family tree. My books are epics, and the names are all Japanese, so I figured others would need just as much guidance to Sanaa’s world as I do.
Now, I’m horrible with genealogy, and I actually learned a lot while making this tree. I finally know what it means to be a “2nd cousin, once removed” and I got a chance to really dive into Japanese names and use them for this family. I didn’t know how to build a tree though so I opened a free account on ancestry.com and worked on my tree there! Authors, that is a great untapped resource for writing.
I started with Mark Sakai and slowly built outward based on what I knew of him and his family. There are a lot of little tidbits here that are worth their weight in gold for prequels. Take a look at Mark’s mother, Chiharu, and her sister (his aunt), Emi. They were both Sakai, but Mark is born of the older sister and that’s how he managed to be head of the family. The younger sister, Emi, obviously got the shaft here, and her vitriol over the situation leeched down to her daughter, Nobu, Mark’s cousin. Nobu would do just about anything to see Mark Sakai destroyed, and we get our first whiff of that deceit in RELEASED. Too bad that means hard times for Sanaa.
The Sakai Family Tree (Click to enlarge)