Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Author Interview: Alex Cavanaugh

Click for my Favorite Character Blogfest entry.

Yay! Today we have an author interview with Alex Cavanaugh, author of CassaStar and CassaFire.
Book trailer:
You can go to You Gotta Read Videos and vote for Alex's book trailer.
Writing Questions:

What’s your favorite genre to read/write?
I enjoy reading fantasy, science fiction, and some thriller, but I enjoy writing science fiction best.

How do you “get in the zone” when writing? Do you listen to music? Look through art? Something else?
Music! I put on some really heavy tunes and get into groove.

What’s your favorite part of being a writer?

I get to create adventures I want to read but no one has written yet.

What’s your least favorite part?
Promotions. I hate having to assert myself to promote my books.

Are you a pantser or plotter, or a mix?

Avid outliner! If I didn’t create an outline I’d have no idea where I was going. Might end up in Tibet…

Best thinking activity? (e.g. washing dishes, folding clothes, driving)

Playing my guitar. It’s peaceful and my mind can wander. Sometimes it even comes back…

How do you go about choosing names, locations etc?
I brainstorm unusual but simple alien names and then match them to characters. The whole process takes about thirty minutes. Deep, I know!

How long did you work on CassaStar and CassaFire?
CassaStar took about two years to complete but I finished revisions and everything for CassaFire in seven months.

What is your favorite moment, scene or line from the story?
There are several scenes in CassaFire where Byron and Athee banter back and forth. Probably my favorite scene involves an explosion and what that event reveals about the characters.

Non Writing Questions:

Most of us write part time. How do you spend your time when you aren’t writing?

I watch a lot of movies and TV. Yeah, I’m a junkie! I practice playing my guitar every night and I’m always jamming tunes. I’m also a computer game nerd. Want to play Orcs Must Die with me?

Current favorite song?
“The Barrier” by a band called 3. Really! Not Three – 3.

by Alex J. Cavanaugh

CassaStar was just the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities.

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

Available February 28, 2012

Science fiction - space opera/adventure
Print ISBN 978-0-9827139-4-5, $15.95, 6x9 Trade paperback, 240 pages
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9, $4.99, EBook available in all formats

CassaFire is the sequel to Cavanaugh’s first book, CassaStar, an Amazon Top Ten Best Seller:

“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

You can visit the author’s site at

B&N -


  1. I enjoyed the interview.
    "Sometimes it even comes back..." (LOL!)

  2. Thanks again, Charity!

    Glad I could amuse you, Marta.

    1. No, thank you Alex. You really are the amazing Ninja Captain. I don't know how you do it all and still come comment on all of our blogs. Thanks for the great example!

  3. Yay for having gorgeous and most amazing Capn Ninja here - what a fun interview! I hope he never pants things cos he may end up in outer Mongolia and where would his ninjas be!??! Oh dear! Take care

  4. Great review Alex! I'm glad for your success.

  5. Great Interview! It's good to learn more about Alex. Thanks, Charity, for hosting him.

  6. Great interview! I'm a plotter too. And considering your adventures take place in space, it might not be good to end up in Tibet. ;)

  7. Love the interview! Made me chuckle a couple of times. Especially the part about Tibet :D

    Thanks for hosting him, Charity!


  8. Great interview! I hate promoting too. Why can't books sell themselves? lol

  9. Great interview! For some reason I thought you were a pantser. Thank you, Alex and Charity!

  10. Alex watches a lot of movies? Who knew? : )
    Great interview! You're so amazing, Alex. Your comments on my blog make my day.

  11. Kitty, no pantsing, I promise!

    Cherie, that would be a serious wrong turn in Albuquerque.

    Nicole, I wish they would.

    Emily, big surprise, I know!

    Thanks everyone!

  12. Thanks for stopping by everyone! Don't forget to go and vote for Alex's book trailer on You Gotta Read Videos.

  13. Great interview Alex! My best friend's husband is an avid gamer. I'll have to ask him about Orcs Must Die. :)

  14. Wonderful interview. Tibet might not be so bad, you never know. :)

  15. Whoa! Great interview. This not only sells the book but also the author.

  16. I had a chuckle at your least favourite part of writing book: promotions. But you are so good at it! :)

  17. Thanks for a wonderful interview. Alex is a great writer and a great person, He honoured me by writing a piece on the back of my book. I'm sure CassaFire will also be a great hit.


  18. Johanna, I bet he's played it!

    Cate, Eddie Murphy went there in The Golden Child.

    Huntress - crap, did I do that?

    Lynda, it doesn't feel like it.

    Yvonne, it was my honor!

  19. I'm bit of both pantser and plotter. I always start with the end scene in my head though. You write to music, too?
    Like Marta, I liked "sometimes it comes back!" :-)

    I'm in awe of you, Alex. You cram so much into one day. You must have found a way to freeze it for a few hours so as to make 28 hour days! Ever read John D. MacDonald's THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH, AND EVERYTHING? They made the lack-luster TIMECLOCKERS out of it. May success always be yours, Roland

  20. Nice interview Charity and Alex.

    I can get lost in music. When I played the guitar daily, I meant to only play for half hour or an hour tops. *Snort, Always ended up a couple of hours or more. Like free-falling. I don't know that my brain has ever found it's way back, lol! my mind is always playing a song, if that makes sense.

    I can't wait to read Cassafire. It's next on my list. I've had to be disciplined because I love Sci-fi and I had a couple of books ahead of it. I dare not open it or I know I'll get lost in the story.


  21. great interview! loved reading more about the man behind the blog =)

  22. I see how fans can light a fire under one's buns! I'm one of those weird people who are distracted by music while writing, but 3 sounds great anyway, though I only listened to Numbers. I envy your gaming skills. I really have to avoid the computer games or I'll never get off them. Must curb my nerdness ;) I can't wait for your release date, Alex. It'll be a huge success.

    Thank you, Charity, for hosting such a great guest.

  23. Just one time I want a guy to answer his thinking time is folding the laundry or doing the dishes. Playing guitar sounds like too much fun when your brain is at work.

  24. Roland, I do know notes and have created some of my own riffs. Not good ones, just my own. And I've never read the book, but wasn't that an old 60's movie of the same name?

    Sia, well I hope you get lost in it! And I didn't know you played guitar. You rockin' chick you!

    Angela - no! Be the nerdness!

    Susan, you know what I'm thinking when folding the laundry? Nothing! Brain is off at that point.

    Thanks again, Charity.

  25. Um, I think Alex forgot Chick Lit on his list of favorite genres to read. Yeeeahh, Sci-Fi Chick Lit, for sure.

    This was a fun & fast paced interview -- thanks, Charity & Alex!

  26. Alex is awesome! All the best with the release of CassaFire! May it take off and follow its Star!

  27. Loved the interview! "I might end up in Tibet" - love that. That's how I've come to feel about outlines and character profiles. I may not have a full point by point outline but I have to have at least a partial map, or I end up off in space.

  28. Nicki, you make me laugh!

    Karen, I like that - can I use it?

    Tyrean, space would be all right, just not Tibet.

  29. I've got to read these! I'm seeing them pop up all over the internet. Adding it to my to-buy list now... Great interview!

  30. The release of Cassafire is almost here! Woot!

  31. Awesome interview. It was great learning more about Alex.

  32. Great interview! :)

    But Tibet could be interesting. LOL. I don't like jumping into anything without at least a rough outline beforehand--I always feel lost without it.

  33. Mary - I know!

    Golden, I know of no other way to write.


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