Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Alex Cavanaugh Answers My Question...

How's that for a title?

It's not often that one can ask the Alex J. Cavanaugh (it's strange to use his last name, because it isn't needed... everyone knows who Alex is), a personal question and get an answer. Alex is an enigma, so anytime we can get an inside peek through his ninja exterior, it's a momentous occasion.

Here was my question:

What was your lowest point in your writing journey and how did you overcome it?

Alex's answer:

This might surprise you, but after completing CassaFire, I went through a period where I had no ideas and no inclination to write. My publisher began requesting a third book, and I just had nothing in me. I wasn’t sure anything would come to me, but I decided not to stress over it. Little by little, ideas began to hit, spurred by some great science fiction movies and shows. (I believe John Carter was one of those.) I started working on an outline and soon was writing the final book. It also helped that during that time other areas of my life were prospering, which kept things in perspective.

Thanks, Alex, for sharing that with us. It's comforting to know that even ninjas have down moments. ;) 

Now it's time to celebrate CASSASTORM's release!!!!! 

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

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm: 

Book Trailer: 

A little more about our ninja captain (and where you can find him): 

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.


Sooooo excited for you, Alex, and all of your success! You do so much for this community and it's a neat thing to watch and see so many people support you. :) Any other news? It feels like it's been a while since I've had an update from some of you--I'd love to know what's going on. 

Red. Head. Out. :D 

Monday, September 9, 2013

TWO Awesome Topics in ONE post:

Remember this time last year when there was a mysterious fest that ended up being the blogfest of all blogfests? How we all surprised Alex and launched the Cheers Cavanaugh Blogfest?


That was fun...

Oh wait... (I think I hear Madman Mark saying something. What's that? Oh? We're doing it again? Except this time there's going to be a NEW person who's roasted? Sweeeet.)

The hosts:

Mark "Madman" Koopmans

Alex "Clone me a" Cavanaugh

Morg "the Borg" Shamy  (Really, Mark? That's my nickname?)

Stephen "Wormhole" Tremp

David "Don't Mess with the" King

Here's the catch:

YOU get to vote. For the next seven days, you can vote in my comments (or any of the host's) who you think should be the face for CheersFest 2013. (They will have a blogfest just for them!) This should be someone who is a constant presence, is positive, possesses integrity, is involved in the online community, is supportive of others and is a major force in the blogging community.

The Roastee will be announced at least three weeks out (Fest will take place DECEMBER 9th) Linky list will be posted later for the roasting posting. ;)

I'm excited for this. I think it's a neat thing to be able to give back to those people in the community who do so much to uplift and support. I can think of a dozen people right now I'd love to highlight. So go vote!


And next...

I'm SO excited to have Lisa Cresswell here today. She is one of my FAVORITE writer friends and extremely talented. She's here to talk about her newly released book, HUSH PUPPY (Which I've read and LOVED). Here she is:

Hi everyone!

I’m so excited Morgan’s letting me guest blog today about my new young adult novel, Hush Puppy.  She and I met at a 2010 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators retreat in Ashton, Idaho, and she was one of the first people to ever read Hush Puppy. Our little critique group branded itself the Wildcats and kept in touch ever since. Morgan is a brilliant writer and I feel lucky to know her.  Just a bit about the book to orient you~

Corrine Lamb is a studious black girl living in a rural North Carolina town with her grandmother because her mama can’t seem to stick around long enough to raise her. Corrine wishes more than anything to go to college so she can travel the world and get away from her small town life.  She meets and falls in love with Jamie the summer before her senior year.

Jamie is a white boy who’s dropped off to stay with his redneck dad until his mom can find a new job. Jamie loves to read and keeps a notebook which he fills with poems, lists of books and journal entries. His dad insists he try out for football and pushes him to play. He’s good at football, but he’d rather just be left alone with a book. He asks Corrine to keep his notebook hidden for the summer to avoid complications with his dad finding out. The two become secret friends.

When Jamie is involved in the accidental death a wealthy white girl and is terrified his abusive father will kill him if the cops don’t. Corrine devises a plan to report the body found while leaving Jamie out of it, but rumors start that Corrine murdered the girl and her life becomes a living hell when even Jamie seems to abandon her.

The characters in Hush Puppy are absolutely based on people I knew growing up in North Carolina in the 1980’s. Jamie is based, in part, on a boyfriend I had when I was fifteen. I was crazy about him, but he was terribly, utterly flawed. That was a real heartbreaker to realize the person I thought was the bees knees is really just a human being, and maybe not even a very good human being at that. But I made Jamie better than that guy. I made him my ideal boyfriend, but with a huge flaw, because we all have flaws. 

A lot of Corrine is based on me at that age. I had the map with the push pins in the places I wanted to
Isn't Lisa beautiful?
go. I was the world traveler wanna-be. I still am. I think a lot of teenagers can identify with that, of wanting to grow up and do something special with your life.  Everybody’s “special” is a little different, but it doesn’t mean we don’t want something more for ourselves.

I do want to point out that none of these characters is based 100% on any one person I knew, but they do represent the gambit of experiences I had growing up in North Carolina. I didn’t necessarily set out to write a book about race, but you can’t write a story about black and white kids and not have it come up.  That wouldn’t be true to life if I ignored that.  But I wrote it more to explore that issue of falling in love with the “wrong” person, or who society says is the wrong person, and how you can be hurt or saved by that person. Shakespeare made it tragic, but I prefer to be more optimistic.

I had a lot of fun writing about the people and places I grew up.  I even made a pin board, just for fun. You can see it here: http://pinterest.com/peach83352/hush-puppy/ and if you’re interested in reading Hush Puppy, hop on over to my website for links www.lisatcresswell.com  

Thanks Red. Head. Wildcat!


Thanks, Lisa! I hope you guys will all go check out Lisa's work. She is wonderful. Also, don't forget to DROP A VOTE (!) who you think should be the official face for CheersFest 2013!

Red. Head. Out. :D

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

IWSG: Battling Demons and Relief

(As always, thank you, Alex, for being the head of this awesome group)

Have you ever had these thoughts?

Why try?

What’s the point when nothing positive is happening?

I work and work and work, and all I get is slammed in the face. I thought I had talent, but I must be wrong. I’m delusional. Why am I doing this again? Everyone around me is making it happen, having success, but I seem to be the only person who struggles. Maybe I’m not cut out for this. Maybe I’m not strong enough.

Am I that awful?

But do you also have thoughts like this?

know I can do this.

So many little things have happened in life that tells me I’m supposed to do this. Look how far I’ve come since I first started. I’ve grown leaps and bounds! It really is the people who stick with it and keep trying who make it. I do have that extra something it takes to create magic. It doesn’t matter what’s happening with anyone else, I know my work has worth.

I’m not completely horrible.


I think for the most part, I’ve come to accept the demons inside my head—mostly because I’ve learned it’s normal as a writer. I’ve learned to ride the wave… there are awesome “up” moments (that last fleetingly) before the long waves of hard work set in. And that’s what it comes down to.

Doing the work.

Simple as that. :)

No, I’m not where I want to be yet, but I also know that the only reason I’ve learned what I’ve learned and accomplished the things I’ve accomplished so far is because I’ve WORKED. I wish it were as easy as dreaming… as having enough passion to just will things to happen. But at the same time I don’t because it wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying in the end. It’s a twisted thing, living inside the writer’s mind. ;)

Now this is the part where I usually say we can't let these dark thoughts eat us up. How they're so easy to give in to, and dwelling on the negative only paralyzes us and stifles our creativity. But I'm still kind of in a funk, so I'm going to skip that part and share with you something that quickly reminds me what is really important. 

This is a song sung by my brother, Clayton, and accompanied by my other brother, Marshall, and his friend Steve. There's something about this song that makes me forget all the trivial things in life and makes me really zone in on what's most important. Few songs do that, but this does. I hope you enjoy. 


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