CJ Marsicano was interviewed for this article back in October; the article itself was published in the Hazleton Standard-Speaker today. Below is the article itself in case the link expires.
Author draws on love of Japanese culture
BY JILL WHALEN (STAFF WRITER)
Published: December 2, 2012
A Hazleton man’s first novel tells the story of a Japanese teenager and her experiences in and out of the music scene.
To write “Resonant Blue,” C.J. Marsicano drew on his love of Japanese music and culture.
“The book takes place mostly in 1983-84, and is written from the viewpoint of a 16-year-old Japanese girl named Reina Kawamura,” Marsicano said, summarizing the novel. “Reina is the middle child of a well-adjusted family. A few years earlier, Reina and her family spent some time in San Francisco where she quickly became enamored of the punk rock scene there to the point where she learned how to play guitar from her older brother, who passed one of his own guitars down to her.”
When she auditions for a teenage cover band and one of the other members tells her she is “too young, too punk, and too female to be in a real rock and roll band,” Reina decides to form her own band with three friends, he said. The book details the friends’ experiences and touches on Reina’s backstory in California.
Marsicano, an area musician, music blogger and online radio host, said fragments of the story came from a novel he began writing a few years ago. He pulled the best pieces – including the character of Reina – shelved the rest and began writing again.
“Another huge inspiration for the book was the popular music of Japan itself, both of today and of the period when the book takes place,” he said.
“The book’s title is borrowed from a song of the same name by the veteran J-pop girl group Morning Musume, and the idea of Japanese teenage girls picking up instruments and forming rock bands is not an unusual occurrence there, as the existence and growing popularity of bands like Shonen Knife, Whiteberry, Zone, and SCANDAL – amongst many others – proves.”
He wrote the first draft of the book in a month, and after finishing a second draft, Marsicano turned to the Internet. He launched a crowdfunding campaign, and received enough support to cover the cost of printing 50 hardcover copies, pay an artist to design the cover, and hire a professional to format the digital edition of the book.
Marsicano also started his own book label, TGML Press, to handle the book’s release.
“TGML Press exists to release music-inspired fiction and music-related non-fiction. I am cognizant of the fact that technology has changed the way most people consume books. Technology has also made it unnecessary to deal with printers who might not want to print less than a thousand books, only to have 900 of them sit and rot in a garage or storage shed somewhere. Anybody who wants a hard copy can get one, otherwise any title we release won’t be any farther than their favorite e-reader,” he said.
“Resonant Blue” is available at Portanova’s Music and Chaskin Jewelers, both in Hazleton. To purchase the book online, visit www. resonantblue.com or tgml press.com.
To read more of Marsicano’s writings, visit his music blog, The Groove Music Life, at www.thegrovemusiclife .com. His radio show, “Groove Music Life Radio,” www.radio.thegroovemusic life.com, airs on ROK Out Radio from Scranton at 9 p.m. Fridays.
He plays guitar in ByPolar, recorded an album of electronic dance music in 2002, and performed with area bands like Fallacy, Bigg Trouble and Foxfire.