Friday, March 9, 2012


My guest today, is Sci-fi author, Alex Cavanaugh. I'm glad to have him visiting again, Over Coffee (psst don't tell anyone, but Alex is a favorite of mine).

Alex wasn't a blogger, nor did he have a online presence, until his first novel, CassaStar, was soon to be published. He literally went from unknown to what he is today, intrepid blogger, the host of various blogfests, and now has well over a thousand followers. Pretty amazing, isn't it? However, to achieve this calls for a lot of time. I think he mentioned his time went from fifteen minutes a day to two, sometimes three hours a day, online. That's a lot of hard work. His life changed drastically once he sold his first novel.

How, I wondered, did all that change his life? He tells us a bit about it.

Life used to be simple. I worked. I watched movies and played games. I jammed on my guitar. I volunteered at my church and spent quality time with my wife. My life wasn’t adventurous but I liked it.

And then, I found that old manuscript.

I’d enjoyed writing when I was a teen and thought it might be fun to tackle a rewrite of this story. The plot was crappy, but the characters were strong. So I spent the next couple years rewriting it and then submitting it. After many rejections, I landed a small publisher, and a release date was set.

I was told to “get my butt online,” which I did. And through blogging I met some really amazing people. They were encouraging and supportive and saw me through the release of CassaStar. I was excited and having fun.

What happened next sent me into a panic. Fans began to ask about the next book. So did my publisher. Next book? I’d never planned on more than one. You mean I had to go through the process again?

Yes, it did. And life wasn’t so simple anymore.
It has taken some serious adjustments and time management skills to make it all come together. My game playing time took the hit first, and over the past few months. I’ve seen far fewer movies. I do still play my guitar, as it’s my way of relaxing, but the jam sessions are shorter. Even time with my wife decreased. (Fortunately, she’s very understanding.)

What takes up a lot of my time now is promoting and networking. I’m blessed I can blog from work while performing my duties and during down times. I’m also on Twitter and a couple other sites. But on a busy day that can take six hours. That doesn’t count the time it takes to compose blog posts either. Or do guest posts or interviews. And since I run the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and I’m an A to Z Challenge co-host, those take time as well. Toss in the promotional requirements from my publisher, and some days it’s just insane.

Safe to say, I never planned on all of this. And I’m supposed to be working on the third book!

I won’t be able to keep up the pace forever, but there are a few things that make it worthwhile right now. Such as the amazing friends I have made online. I draw energy from their enthusiasm and triumphs. They are also the most supportive bunch of people I’ve ever met. I would’ve given up ages ago if it wasn’t for my blogger buddies.

And I would’ve given up without the support of my wife. Some days we don’t spend a lot of time together. But when we do, I make sure it is quality time. We never miss dinner together, either. That often becomes our time to talk. She’s just amazed at what I’ve accomplished so far with my books and my blog, though. And you know every guy wants to impress his wife! I also promised her a killer vacation in the next couple months, which scored one for the Ninja!

So, for any writer who is seeking publication, just be ready for the changes. (And be ready to write another book!) Know that life won’t be so simple anymore. But you know what? It will be better! 

  • Visit the author’s site and leave a comment during his book tour for a chance to win CassaFire, CassaStar, and a CassaFire tote bag and mug!



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. Excerpt

All Byron wanted was his privacy...

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

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. Currently the author lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

You can visit the author’s site at
Book trailer available at