Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Gathering Of Tweets

I started up a Twitter account under my name back in November 2009. I then proceeded to ignore it for the next 8+ years (along the way, I did create an account for The Spectraland Saga, which, as you know, eventually morphed into the Joel Suzuki series).
A couple of months ago, though, I decided to dust off the Brian Tashima account and use it to broadcast the silly and mostly nerdy thoughts that occasionally pass through my mind. No promotional tweets about Joel or my band or anything else, just bits of random nonsense that you may or may not get a chuckle out of, depending on your interests. Here's a sampling of what I've been putting out there:

January 24
I've seen all kinds of methods for generating your Star Wars name, but I think the best one is to just spell your name backwards. Me: Nairb Amihsat

January 25
For fans of the "Death Note" manga/anime: I would never want to find, much less use, an actual Death Note. I would, however, more than welcome a "Minor Inconvenience Note."

March 24
I wish they would produce a new episode of @MagiciansSYFY every week until the end of time.

March 25
Using Sakura in Fire Emblem Warriors feels almost like cheating. #buttonmashing

So if you like that sort of thing, feel free to follow me at @briantashima (I know, such a creative handle). If you also want the more promotional and informational stuff about Joel Suzuki and Second Player Score, you can follow them at @joel_suzuki and @SecondPlayrScor (our drummer, Kyle, handles the latter account).

P.S. Totally unrelated, but check out this video for some creepy sounds! Apparently this is what was being broadcast on 96.7 FM in Portland on 10/26/17. Precursor to Halloween, perhaps?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

AWP 18

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure and privilege of participating as a panelist (how's that for alliteration?) at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs' 18th annual conference in beautiful Tampa, Florida.
I had been invited by Melissa Hart, author of Avenging the Owl (a great book, highly recommended), to be part of a panel on Disability in Children's Literature. Melissa herself couldn't be there, but I still had two awesome panel-mates: Naseem Jamnia* and Rachel DeWoskin.**

The panel itself went really well. I estimate we had around 40-50 people in attendance - great for a Saturday afternoon panel - and there were lots of good questions at the end. Naseem was our moderator and she did a fantastic job. Rachel and I both read a little from our books and then we all took turns fielding questions that Melissa had prepared in advance as well as some others that we had come up with earlier in the day.

As for the rest of the conference, I had an amazing time. Listening to other authors and publishing industry people talk about writing and related subjects all day long was like being the proverbial kid in a candy store. There was even a panel about writers who are also musicians! The days flew by and I met a lot of terrific people. Overall, the experience was both energizing and inspirational. Next year's conference will be right in my backyard (Portland, OR, to be precise) so I can't wait!

*Naseem is currently shopping her manuscripts around, but in the meantime, you should check out her terrific writing skills here.

**Rachel has a number of books out, one of which I read cover-to-cover on the way to Tampa, and another that I read cover-to-cover on the way back. I couldn't put either of them down. Do yourself a favor and check out her catalog.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Joel Suzuki: A Historical Recap

As long-time readers of this blog know, there have been a number of posts in the past that talk about how the Joel Suzuki series got started and how it's evolved into what it is today. If you've just recently discovered Joel and/or this blog, I'd like to provide you with this handy roundup of Joel-related posts so that you don't have to go digging through or binge-reading nearly six years' worth of posts - although you're certainly welcome to do that if you wish!
Old-timey B&W photo
Okay, so the Joel Suzuki series was originally known as the Spectraland Saga. Here's a five-part series of posts from 2015 and 2016 that talks about the series' origin story (apparently there were supposed to be more parts, but I never got around to writing them):

The Spectraland Saga: Origin Story, Part One
The Spectraland Saga: Origin Story, Part Two
The Spectraland Saga: Origin Story, Part Three
The Spectraland Saga: Origin Story, Part Four
The Spectraland Saga: Origin Story, Part Five

Also, the series was originally going to be seven books. Here's an important post that explains the reasoning behind that decision:

Why Are There Going To Be Seven Books?

Here are some posts that contain little factoids and trivia about the series:

Happy New Year and Spectraland Saga Factoids
Secret of the Songshell Factoids
Spectraland Q&A

A couple of popular posts showed some examples of which actors might be cast in a Joel Suzuki movie adaptation:

Secret of the Songshell: Celeb Comps
Casting Call

And finally, here's the post that explains how the Spectraland Saga morphed into the Joel Suzuki series, and how it expanded from seven to eleven books (now called "Volumes"):

And Now, The Big Announcement!

So there you have it - a historical recap of Joel's journey to date. If you haven't read the series yet, you might want to start with the first six chapters of Volume One because they are now available for FREE, simply by signing up here!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

No Pants, No Heroes, No Problem!

As mentioned in the last Statii Update, my band's second album Nobody's Hero has been re-released by Portland's own No Pants Records. We're proud to be on the roster of a local, homegrown label that is dedicated to supporting independent artists.
In case you didn't know, Nobody's Hero is a concept album that tells the story of a warrior who is granted magical powers by an evil spirit. At first, he tries to use them to perform good deeds, but eventually he succumbs to temptation and ends up destroying the world. It's a bit darker and more sword-and-sorcery-ish than the Joel Suzuki series (think Beowulf or Dragonslayer).

And now, to celebrate its re-release (and to give our fans something else cool to enjoy), we've unleashed a piece of flash fiction that fleshes out the story a bit more, with mini-chapters based on each song. It was co-written by me and the other members of the band, and it even features audiobook-style narration by Tryston Blyth of Neue Regel Radio (his accent is fantastic and a perfect match for the story).

It's freely available to check out on the Second Player Score website - just go here. Then after you've read and listened, let us know what you think!