Friday, October 18, 2013


Science Fiction has always been a love of mine. I love the adventure of new worlds and people. My guest is Amazon Bestseller, Alex Cavanaugh, and he's written a sci-fi trilogy which has given me hours of pleasure. His latest, CassaStorm, in my opinion, is his best. His characters are well drawn and the story has emotional depth and I like the touch of darkness and danger of the story. Well worth the read. Recently, I had a chance to chat a bit with Alex.

I don’t think it’s a secret that I grew up in a household with seven brothers. We all had great imaginations and fun stories to create and act out. I know that spinning adventures where my brothers were heroes who saved the day and against all odds was a favorite. 
  • I imagine the exploits of an intrepid fighter pilot would be a great adventure—especially in a place far removed from the restrictions of the world you lived in—not to mention being out of the reach of parental restrictions. Was this something that drew you, as a teen, to this world of Byron's? 
Hey, doesn't that sound enticing to you? I've never been the adventurous sortI have this thing about safetybut the idea of flying a space fighter in my imagination was awesome. There were a lot of adventures with Byronand Bassathat I created. And out there, anything could happen.
It was very enticing to the teen me. I wouldn't say no to such an adventure now, Alex, providing I was safe. 
  • Are you surprised with how your fighter pilot has grown and changed?
I could see beyond the end of CassaStar to a time when he’d meet Athee, but not the growth he experienced over three books. 
  • What would you say was the biggest change you've seen in Byron?
His biggest change was in his willingness to trust and really care about others. Byron liked to do things solo and he didn't want to admit he needed anyone. [Another change was Byron] also lost the edge to his temper. 
  • What do you like and respect about Byron?
What I admire is his ability to command and take control of a situation. He fights for what is right and works harder than anyone. 
  • I like how your latest story explores the roots of the races inhabiting your world. There are a lot of frontiers yet to explore in this world you've created. You mentioned you’re working on another space opera idea. Is it set in this same world?
I have an outline for another space opera – whether I’ll ever write it is another story! (So many things happening in my life right now.) It’s not set in the Cassan universe though. It would be a whole new world, with new races, new planets, new wars…

I’m ready and willing to read it. Not that I’m exerting any pressure or anything, lol! 
  • You've come a long way from the teen that once wrote a story of a fighter pilot set in a galaxy far from ours. As you look back, what was the biggest surprise that occurred while you were writing this series?
Biggest surprise? That I was actually writing a series! I never planned three books.

Within the stories though, the biggest surprise was the character of Piten in the third book. He was such a minor character; he originally didn't even have a name. A suggestion from a critique partner (who saw the outline before I wrote the book) led to character who played a pivotal role in the ending. 
I loved Pitten, especially his interaction with Byron's son (another favorite character). Actually, I'd love to see a story set around his people—just sayin'. :-)
  • If you could choose the music theme for CassaStorm, what would it be? What song would you use?
The theme music would be Daft Punk’s Recognizer from the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. I’m not much for soundtracks, but my wife loves that one, so I heard it a lot when writing. The ominous feel, along with the rise in tempo, echo the tone of CassaStorm.

Tron has a great soundtrack. I like several from LegacyEnd Of The Line and the Recognizer are favorites of mine. I can see Recognizer as the theme for CassaStorm. 
  • Speaking of music. You once told me that you play music every evening as a way to relax after the stresses of the day. So how did this move from an escape and relaxation to a band?
I've been a musician most of my life, but always wanted to try guitar. After several years of practicing, I was asked to join a band through church. It’s been very rewarding! 
  • I know you play rock, but is your band a Christian rock band or does the band play music at local venues for entertainment? Give me a couple of songs that your band really likes to play? 
We play at Christian venues and churches, and sometimes for the youth. We’ll play Christian standards like God of Wonders (by Third Day) and Nothing is Impossible (by Planetshakers.) Sometimes we’ll play secular music by bands such as U2. We do all covers, so we haven’t recorded anything yet. 
  • You’re a very creative person—you design graphics and do web design, you write, you play music. All parts of a creative mind. Do these creative endeavors feed each other or are they something you have to juggle—shut the door on one to let the other have the spotlight. 
I definitely think they feed each other. I can practice my guitar and be inspired with a scene that will fit into one of my manuscripts. I believe people who are creative in one area are creative in others, even if they haven’t discovered it yet. 
  • Any words of hard earned wisdom you’d like to share?
If you’re just starting on this journey, prepare for an amazing ride. It will take you places you never imagined and some that might scare you. Embrace it all. Become the author and the person you were meant to be.

  • Alex, it's always a pleasure to chat with you! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us today.


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…EXCERPT



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.

You can find Alex: 


~Sia McKye~ said...

Alex, it's a pleasure to feature you on the other side of Over Coffee.

I've very much enjoyed your Cassan Series and loved CassaStorm.

Thanks for taking the time to stop in for a chat--I enjoyed learning more about you. :-)

Anonymous said...

Excellent interview both to Alex and Sia. Interesting to read about different aspects of your writing Alex. I do hope this other book gets to the published stage.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Great interview. So glad Piten got a role in CassaStorm. I really liked him as a character.

And I loved learning about Alex's music. I know that's his passion.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sia, thank YOU! Your thoughts on CassaStorm were really special.

Yvonne, we'll see!

Natalie, I really liked Piten as well.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I always enjoy reading interviews with Alex because he's so upbeat and positive.

Love the way your creativity isn't limited to writing.

Laura Marcella said...

Great interview, Sia and Alex. I liked learning more about Alex's creativity. Good luck on that new outline, Alex!

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Mark Koopmans said...


Great interview and love that you had *that* rare guitar pic instead of the Alexatar thing of his:)

PS: Dude, this one is for you:

"God of wonders beyond our galaxy
You are holy, holy
The universe declares your majesty
You are holy, holy."

Write on, my friend, write on. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elizabeth, thanks - the world is negative enough without me adding to it.

Mark, probably why I enjoy playing that song so much!

L.G. Smith said...

Glad you decided to let your imagination take you on an adventure, Alex! And congrats again on the entire trilogy. :)

Kat Sheridan said...

You had my heart at the word "Tron". I am SUCH a geek! And these books sound exactly like something I would devour. It's been awhile since I got immersed in a space opera and I suddenly realize that's exactly what I'm in the mood for! Are these available as audio books? Any chance they will be? Because I have a hubs who loves this kind of book as well but only does audio (dyslexia makes it too hard for him to read). Anyway, can't wait to read these!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Fabulous interview. Great work, both of you!

Alex, I didn't realize you worked in the graphics biz! We're sameys! Only not, you know, just sort of...

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

OutSTanding interview!!

I can believe you sold a passel of books with this post.

Checked out the Tron soundtrack. Now I must have it!

Again, great interview!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kat, thank you! Sorry, only print and eBooks. Maybe you can read to him? I have one fan that does that with her husband.

Cathy, the same, yet different.

Carol, I hope so! said...

I still have a thing for Byron. I'm just waiting for Athee to travel to another galaxy.

Thanks for the fun interview, Sia and Alex.


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Alex amazes me with his multiple talents. I hope he writes that next series.

Cate Masters said...

Always great to learn more about Alex and his characters.

Chris Fries said...

Great interview! You got Alex to share a lot of insightful CassaVerse info.

And while "Nothing is Impossible" is good, I particularly enjoy "God of Wonders" and Third Day. Much more soulful. :) In our worship team, we're doing a lot of Jesus Culture lately ("Rooftops" is one I especially like) and I really like the dynamics in "Victor's Crown" (Darlene Zschech).

Much success with CassaStorm!!!!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Sia, you asked insightful questions. And Alex, congrats on surviving seven brothers! And on such high sales! I love the TRON soundtrack, too. :-)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wonderful interview! I loved reading about Alex's imaginative adventures as a teen, with 7 older brothers (I actually didn't know that part), and about his character's growth.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wonderful interview! I loved reading about Alex's imaginative adventures as a teen, with 7 older brothers (I actually didn't know that part), and about his character's growth.

Beverly Fox said...

What a great, GREAT interview, Sia! Your enthusiasm for Alex's work makes this interview stand out as one of the best I've read.

And thanks for sharing your journey with us, Alex!

Empty Nest Insider said...

Great interview Alex and Sia! It was fun learning more about your creative process!


M Pax said...

I love adventure. Exploration and discovery are great elements to a story. Happy weekend, Alex and Sia!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I like the music you choose. I love new-age sounding instrumentals.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Great interview with Alex, Sia. I like the character Byron a lot. I didn't know that you had seven brothers, Alex.

Tara Tyler said...

always interested to discover more about alex! great interview!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Great interview, you two. I never get tired of learning more about our noble captain. I would also love to fly to some distant planet ... in my dreams. LOL. Real flying even from here to Vancouver has my heart racing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Robyn, in ten years, Bassan will be available...

Susan, we'll see!

Chris, I need to suggest those.

Roland and Tyrean, fortunately I just had one brother. Amazed Sia survived seven!

Beverly, she did good, didn't she?

Rachna, just one!

Julie Flanders said...

Always great to read more from Alex. Love the choice of soundtrack for CassaStorm, that's perfect.

Sherry Ellis said...

It's nice to see a protagonist grow and change throughout a series. It seems that Alex's has done just that.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Yvonne--I'd love to see this next one too. :-)

Natalie--I love seeing author's passions whether they be music, or other creative endeavors.

ALEX--I believe in giving praise where praise is due. You write good stories.

ROBIN--We won't mention that to Athee.:-)

SUSAN--Very talented. :-)

ELIZABETH--I also appreciate an optimistic and positive viewpoint.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Tyrean--I'm actually the one with the 7 brothers, not Alex. I was one of a litter of 9, lolol!

Yolanda Renee said...

Alex, Sia - such a great interview. Did I hear correctly another book in outline! Ha! The reluctant writer is not so reluctant - love it!

7 brothers, Sia - OMG and I barely survived 3! LOL

Mason Canyon said...

Alex and Sia, an enjoyable interview. It's fun to learn more about my favorite authors. Alex, you are definitely a talented and amazing person. Wishing you much success in any and all endeavors you undertake.

Thoughts in Progress

Michelle Wallace said...

Great interview Alex and Sia!
Outline for another story? I wonder if it will be another novel or the short story Alex has made reference to... I suppose we'll have to wait and see...
Maybe it will feature a guitar-playing character...?
Once again, congrats on the trilogy Alex!

Nick Wilford said...

Write that next book, Alex! I'd love to see what else you have up your sleeve. You built a great world with the Cassa trilogy.

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic interview! I bet since writing a trilogy surprised you, Alex, there might be another story or two just sitting in there waiting to come to life. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Julie, that's good to know.

Yolanda, still very reluctant though...

Mason, thank you!

Michelle, it's a full novel - although no guitar playing.

Thanks, Nick. We'll see!

Christine, it might need CPR...

~Sia McKye~ said...

Mark--that is a great song and yes, I noticed the part about 'beyond our galaxy' and smiled. I happen to like that picture too.

Cathy--thank you. I wanted to touch on another aspect of Alex. He indulged me. :-)

CD--thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview. :-)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Chris--I liked seeing how the story and Byron evolved from the mind of a young writer to how he was portrayed by a writer who had matured and yet keep the spirit of the original.

I do love God of Wonders--beautiful song of praise. One of my all time favorites is He Is Jehovah

and while many have sang it and done a beautiful job, I truly love the live version by Ernie Haase and the Signature Sound Quartet. I can't help but feel good when I listen. Such energy and praise.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Beverly--thank you! I don't do generic interviews and my interviews tend to be rather long. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :-) I enjoyed putting it together.

S.K. Anthony said...

It's so great to learn more about Alex. Loved his words of wisdom :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia .. I hadn't realised you had 7 brothers!! I knew you had a large family .. but seven of them! Fun ...

Love the interview with Alex and the wise words he imparts at the end ..
"If you’re just starting on this journey, prepare for an amazing ride. It will take you places you never imagined and some that might scare you. Embrace it all. Become the author and the person you were meant to be."

Particularly that last sentence ..

Cheers to you both - enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Karen Walker said...

What a fabulous interview, you two.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sk and Hilary, thank you. Glad I came up with something intelligent!

Jo said...

You already know I loved your books Alex. Like Kia, I do hope you write more after such a promising beginning. We are avidly awaiting your creations.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Great interview, Sia and Alex! Love the Recognizer music, too.

Mary Montague Sikes

Anonymous said...

That song is dramatic. I love it.

It was great learning more about Alex. I hope he writes more space operas.

Kirsten said...

And I thought I had every track on the Tron soundtrack ... thanks for sharing one that I don't have yet. :)
Very interesting interview, and the best part? I see that Alex is brewing up another story.

Carrie Butler said...

Oo, you should do Trading My Sorrows by Third Day, too! People can't sit still during that song. :)

Great to learn more about you, Alex!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thank you, Jo.

Medeia, that's why I liked it.

Kirsten, we'll see!

Will look it up, Carrie.

Liz Fichera said...

OMG, is that a pic of Alex??? I think that's the first I've seen.

Love that you play in a band, Alex! I think Christian rock bands are creating some of the best music out there right now.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Liz, it's an incognito silhouette. The Ninja high command and their scientists states anything clearer could cause untold damage to the universe as we know it. That's serious stuff you know.

There is some phenomenal musicians out there. :-)

JJ said...

Sia: I love your Blog, and we have many mutual followers. I am now your latest.

Liza said...

Best interview with Alex yet! And I love the music selection.

~Sia McKye~ said...

JJ--Thank you. I've worked hard to make it an inviting place. :-)

Liza--I'm glad you think so.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Liz, thanks! They have gotten better over the years and can compete with any secular music.

Thanks, Liza!

Thanks again, Sia. And we don't want to damage the universe...

Toinette Thomas said...

This is a great interview. I love the interaction and the depth...and I loved the questions.It makes you feel a little sad to think some of these idea will remain only ideas, since there will probably not be anymore in Alex's series.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Sia! Great interview!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Toinette, sorry - it will be the last one.