Monday, September 30, 2013

Alex Cavanaugh Visits: The Storm Has Arrived

In case you hadn't heard, Alex J. Cavanaugh's third book, CassaStorm, made its debut this month. He joins us today to share about his journey. 

Welcome back to Write Now, Alex! Congratulations on your latest release, CassaStorm! This is the third book in the trilogy, after CassaStar and CassaFire. What inspired you to write this series? Did you intend for it to be a trilogy? 

Hey Karen! Glad to be back. The original version of CassaStar was written when I was a teen, inspired by Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, and other science fiction shows and movies. I rewrote it and intended for it to be the only book. My fans (and publisher) had other ideas. They inspired me to write the other books. Or maybe the word is persuaded? Close enough! 

Close enough, lol, yes! You are also a musician – does your music inspire your writing? Or vice versa?

I’ve been a musician for almost forty years. It does indeed inspire my writing. I think music is a powerful tool for visualizing and feeling the emotional impact of a scene. Often ideas come to me while I am playing and if I play that piece a few times in a row, the idea is etched in my mind. 

It is interesting how other parts of our lives influence our writing, isn't it? What is the best writing advice you’ve received to date? 

It’s not really advice, but it made a huge difference in the way I wrote. It took me a year and a half to write CassaStar, but only four-five months each to complete the next two books, and that includes revisions. What made the difference was signing up for NaNoWriMo. I don’t like to lose, so having a daily word count goal motivated me to write faster. I needed that, as I am basically a lazy writer. 

I'd say that's a great tip, whether officially considered advice or not! :) Are there any books by Alex C. on the horizon for 2014 and beyond? 

I’m still undecided as to whether I’ll continue writing or not. I do have an outline for another space opera, but I am so busy playing guitar in a band that I just don’t have time to write anymore. But who knows what will happen next year!

I hope you continue to write if you can work it into your schedule. Your readers will miss you! Thanks so much for stopping by. It's always great to have you here. Wishing you all the best with your books! 

Thanks, Karen!

By Alex J Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy… 

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…
“CassaStorM is a touching and mesmerizing space opera full of action and emotion with strong characters and a cosmic mystery.”
– Edi’s Book Lighhouse

“…mesmerizing story of survival, personal sacrifice, tolerance, and compassion. It’s a rare jewel that successfully utilizes both character and plot to tell a story of such immense scope and intimate passion…” - Nancy S. Thompson, author of The Mistaken

"An exciting, nail-biting read which sweeps the reader off on adventures in another galaxy."
- Nicua Shamira, Terraverum

Find CassaStorm

Book trailer 

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife. 

Find Alex:


Did you ever participate in NaNoWriMo? Do you have any questions for Alex?

Happy reading and writing,



  1. Always good to get to know Alex a bit better. Great interview, although I can't image Alex is actually lazy about anything.

  2. Thank you, Karen!

    Rhonda, trust me - I can be lazy.

  3. I've never signed up for a NaNo, but I lurk there sometimes and feed off the energy of the writers. Very inspiring! Congratulations to you, Alex!

  4. Wow, my image of Alex as a super-productive writer and blogger sure don't fit with him saying he's a lazy writer. I don't think he gives himself enough credit. Anyway, I always enjoy getting to know authors a little bit through interviews like this. Thanks Karen and Alex. Wishing Alex all the best with CassaStorm, as well as his other endeavors!

  5. Scots Lass,
    Thank you! I must admit, Alex makes it easy! :-)

    It is great to get to know him better, I agree! I cannot imagine a lazy Alex either! :-)

    Thanks for stopping by! It's wonderful to have you stop by!

    I've never done NaNo either. I keep telling myself I'll do it one of these years! :-)

    I think you are right, maybe he doesn't give himself enough credit. :-) He's a great example and support to all of us! :-)

    Happy writing,

  6. The power that music has to influence creativity. A great post Alex, especially since I have the same experience when I play guitar. Thanks for hosting Karen!

  7. Music is a huge influence. I've really enjoyed participating in Samantha Redstreake Geary's Tree of Life etc. where we write inspired by a track of music. Definitely inspiring.
    You lazy? Surely you jest. Or self-deprecate...
    Tina @ Life is Good

  8. Elizabeth, there is a lot of energy with NaNo.

    Ruth, thanks. I try not to let the lazy show.

    Maurice, you play? I didn't know that!

    Tina, no, I'm serious!

  9. Great interview! As a musician and a music-lover for myself, I totally agree that that gives a story an added dimension when you think about it in the context of a song.

  10. Loved the interview, Karen. Good stuff. Okay, I have to ask...when can we see the band preform? How 'bout a audio clip only? Come on, Alex!

  11. "In case you hadn't heard" teehee!

    I may have to do NaNo this year, 'cause I seem to be a little lazy myself ...

  12. What kinda music do you play, Alex?

  13. Julie, exactly!

    Mina, can't record what we play because we perform only covers of Christian songs. Somewhere I do have a recording of just me, but it's old. I'm much better now.

    Holly, you understand!

    Carol, I play Christian contemporary with the band and rock and metal on my own.

  14. Always cool to read about the man behind the (ninja) curtain!

  15. Great interview.
    Alex are you familiar W/ the band Demon Hunter?

  16. Congrats again, Alex!
    I can't imagine you as lazy. But having a goal does help.

  17. Maurice,
    Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the interview. Alex makes a great guest!

    It really is hard to think of Alex being lazy, isn't it? Matter of fact, I am pretty sure he gets a few extra hours in the day - more than the rest of us! lol

    Thanks so much! It is amazing what music can do, isn't it?

    Thanks so much! Glad you liked it. That's a great idea - would love to see a clip of Alex and his band playing. Maybe we should start a petition...:)

    Always good to see you. Am thinking I need to do NaNo too. Guess we've 30 days to decide! :)

    Now there's a good question! Glad Alex filled us in on that one! :)

    I agree! He seems to be everywhere, doesn't he? And not lazy at all!

    Thanks for coming by. Glad you enjoyed the interview!

    Me either! You're right, goals are a big help! Thanks for stopping over!

    Happy writing,

  18. Hi Karen! What a great, folksy interview! Alex sounds like a really nice person. And so talented! Writing vs. a space opera? Now there's a choice for you.

    I wrote down the NoNaWriMo, I have never heard of it. I think I'll investigate.
    Best of luck on the book sales!

  19. You should just quit fooling yourself. You wouldn't have an outline if you were going to quit. :P

  20. David, yes I am! Have one of their discs.

    Ceil, it's great for giving your writing a kick in the butt.

    Andrew, but when will I have time to begin?

  21. Great interview. The NaNoWriMo advice is so true. I skipped it last year, but I'll probably jump in again this year. It's great for forcing stream-of-consciousness writing which always generates so much great stuff.

  22. Ceil,
    It's always great to have Alex visit. He's a great guest and wonderful friend. Let me know if you decide to do NaNo! :)

    Guess we'll see, right? Maybe Alex will save it for when he retires!

    Thank you! Don't think I'll jump into NaNo this year, but maybe I'll see you there next year!

    Happy writing,

  23. Fantastic interview! I do hope there's another book brewing in Alex. He's a great writer.

  24. Keith,
    Thanks a bunch! Alex is a great one to interview!

    Thank you! I agree, he is a great writer! And a wonderful support to the rest of us!

    Happy writing,

  25. Nice interview, Alex and Karen. So Alex, you like started playing the guitar when you were like 2? 3?

  26. A very good interview. I know just what Alex means about being influenced by music -- even if nothing is playing while I'm writing, I can hear some famous pieces in my head (usually classical) when I write particular scenes. It gives my words a certain rhythm.

  27. Lisa, if I continue writing, I'm considering it this year.

    Thanks, Christine.

    Joylene, no, I was in my forties when I picked it up!

    Helena, it does.

  28. Good interview! Alex, I'm really enjoying your book!

  29. I'm always still impressed that Alex is so talented in two artistic areas. I wish I had some musical talent.

  30. How did Alex make me crave NaNo? Ninjas are tricky like that ;D

    Nice interview you two!!

  31. Sherry, glad you are enjoying it!

    Susan, I bet you do - you were a teacher after all. That's creative.

    Ella, yes we are!

  32. Joylene,
    Thanks! You know Alex, he's a wonderful guest! Yes, I was wondering the same thing about the age, lol.

    Thank you! Alex makes an interview easy! I know what you mean about the music. I listen carefully to the music even in films, wondering about the writer's inspiration for them.

    Thanks a bunch! He's a great writer!

    Me too! I'd love to say that I was a musician and a writer. :)

    Thank you! Alex is a great guest! I know, I'm wanting to get going with the WIP. Maybe NaNo is the way to go!

    Happy writing,

  33. I hope you do find that time to write again, Alex.
    Great interview, Karen.

  34. Fun interview! And best of luck to Alex, wherever his talents take him!

  35. Best of luck to Alex and thank you for doing this interview, Karen. Always a treat to get to know an author better. My husband is a huge sci fi fan, so I'll forward this interview to him.

    I've never signed up for NaNoWriMo, but I keep hearing it gets one's behind in gear. ;-) Good to know.

    Be well and enjoy your week!

  36. Lynda,
    I hope he does too! Thanks a bunch! :)

    Thank you, Alex is a fun guest! :) Best wishes on your book too!

    Your husband just might like Alex's books, then! Glad you enjoyed the interview. :) Yes, someday maybe I'll see you in the NaNo trenches, then, maybe? lol

    Happy writing,

  37. I didn't know Maurice played guitar either - it's interesting to see what pops up in comments, as well as in the post! Although I'm not a musician (other than singing, humming, and tap dancing), I know that music can definitely boost creativity and energy in a project.

  38. Four to five months to write the next two books each, is super fast Alex. I hope you will keep writing. And also playing the guitar.

  39. Alex a lazy writer... yet he took about 5 months to write book two and the same for book three? Something doesn't add up...
    That means Alex writes super quickly when he really gets into it?? Something like that?
    Great interview!

  40. Janette, thank you! Hope he enjoys them.

    Tyrean, it is interesting what's revealed in comments.

    Rachna, fast for me!

    Michelle, maybe that's it...

  41. Tyrean,
    Had to laugh at your musical talents. That's me minus the tap dancing. I can play a little piano, although I didn't go too far with lessons as a kid. My mom said I would regret quitting. She was right. I think maybe Alex should let us hear some of his music - maybe we could convince him to put it on YouTube? :)

    I thought so too, but then I am kind of a slow writer sometimes, lol. I am sure he will continue to inspire us no matter what!

    I'm thinking time passes differently for our talented friend Alex, perhaps? lol He is an inspiration, that's for sure!

    Happy writing,

  42. Hi Karen. Great interview.

    Congrats Alex.


  43. Now I know what's wrong with me! I never mind losing. I will even throw games to make people happy. I doubt I ever change, guess I'll leave the 4 month book schedules to the Ninja master!

  44. Nas,
    Thank you! Alex is a fun guest! :)

    Now that's a good way to look at it! Maybe we should get Alex to coach us through NaNo. Like he has nothing else to :)

    Happy writing,

  45. There's just something about NaNo, isn't there? I'm typically not competitive, but against myself-yeah buddy. I may actually enter this year.

    I hope you release a CD or something, Alex!

  46. What an excellent interview! I always enjoy visiting Alex's blog. I have never done NaNo- but have often thought about it. I can see how it would really help the ideas get onto paper! Awesome job, Alex. :)

  47. I hope Alex continues to write.

    Five months is awesome. I'd like to do NaNo one day.

  48. That was a good interview, Karen. Thanks so much for sharing. Susan

  49. I know what you mean about Nanowrimo. I'm like that with goals, too. Maybe you should write a rock space opera that you also compose music for an all that. Maybe a bit over-ambitious, but I know the Ninja can do it all! I really am going to read these books some day. Soon.

  50. WC,
    Let us know if you jump in this year. Will cheer you on! At the very least, maybe Alex will put something on YouTube. :)

    Thanks so much! Alex's blog always has great info and fun stuff going on, doesn't it? :)

    Me too! Someday maybe we'll bump into each other among the NaNo ranks. :)

    Thanks so much. Alex is a wonderful guest!

    Shell Flower,
    Hey, now there's a good idea! I'm thinking Alex could pull it off!

    Happy writing,

  51. Hi Karen and Alex - what a great read .. and the storm has arrived hasn't it. Wonderful that a story written as a teen makes its debut into the world decades later, to be followed relatively easily by two more to complete this series ... I just feel there might be more. Yet - so pleased you're enjoying playing in the band -must be very creative and expressive ...

    Cheers to you both - a happy read - inspiring too as Nano is coming up ... Hilary

  52. This sounds like a book my son would love. Which makes me happy because I love when they read good literature that pulls them in.

    You're so gracious to host so many here, Karen. One day, it will be our turn to do it for you. Waving!

  53. Yay for the Ninja Captain! His book is epic.

  54. Elizabeth, want to play a game?

    Words, maybe someday.

    Jess and Medeia, you should try it,

    Shell, just a tad ambitious!

    Hilary, I try.

    Rhonda, thank you! I wrote books I would've enjoyed when I was younger.

  55. I often allow music to help me work through creative difficulties, but unfortunately I don't play an instrument. Oh to be multi-talented like Alex. :)

  56. Hilary,
    I think Alex's journey is inspirational for sure, and glad he's done well with it! Somehow I think there might be more too. You never know! :)

    I hope your sons get a chance to read Alex's books. Happy to host him, as I will be for you when your book comes out. :) Waving back!

    I second that "Yay"! Wishing him all the best! :)

    Music really can lend comfort and inspiration, can't it? I know, Alex is so talented!

    Happy weekend,

  57. Heyya amigo! And Captain! Great interview. Alex, I really hope you find another story (and time) inside you. And another, and another, and another! (You have a lot of gifts. I'm glad you're using them.)

    But music is in all of us in one way or another. I wish you luck with that, pal. “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” -Victor Hugo
    ― Victor Hugo

  58. It's always interesting to see what motivates/inspires writers. Congrats on your new release, Alex!

  59. Robyn,
    How can you go wrong with an interview with Alex? I agree, Alex is multi talented, and I hope he finds the right balance for himself. Love the quote. Thanks for sharing, amigo! :) Hugs!

    It is, isn't it? We're a diverse group! :)


  60. Toinette, I actually play several instruments, but guitar best.

    Robyn, if I can find time to write, I do have another book idea.

    Thanks, Susan.

    Thank you again, Karen!

  61. Congrats to you, Alex! I love it that you are both a writer and a musician. The Lord entrusted you with mighty gifts!


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