25 April 2022

Alex J. Cavanaugh's CassaDark

Today I have a very special guest, the Ninja Captain himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh! He's here to talk about his new book, CassaDark, and what brought him back to writing a book in the Cassa Universe. 

Why Return to the Cassa Universe?

Why add to a trilogy that is complete, successful, and at a good stopping point? That’s a very good question! Because I did write a fourth book. Let’s look at some of the reasons why I went this route.

My last novel was Dragon of the Stars, and I had no ideas for another Dragon book. Sure, I’d created a short story for a fan covering a span of time after Dragon ended. There could be more adventures, but in terms of stakes, what more could I throw at the main character, Aden? What he sacrificed at the end of that story was just short of death, so I couldn’t envision piling more on the poor guy.

Byron, the main character in the first three Cassa books, was getting too old. Even with Cassans living to a hundred and twenty, the next jump forward in time (since I seem to like going twenty years ahead with each book) would’ve placed him close to eighty. I did not want to write Cassa: The Geriatric Years. It would be like watching Harrison Ford play Indiana Jones today. Painful. I couldn’t continue with my main guy.

I didn’t have the urge—or any ideas for—a new story line. Series are easy because once the first book is done, the world is established, and the next books just expand on that. I’d already stretched with Dragon. Nothing new struck me as enough to start a book set in another world.

Well then, what about Byron’s son, Bassan? What happened to the young man who saved the galaxy in the third book? That’s a lot for a ten-year-old to carry. Where would he be now as an adult? And that’s when the wheels started turning…

Now, normally returning to a series is easy. The world is established. The characters are established. Just create the adventure and let everything fall into place. Right! Except I’d not written a full length novel in over five years. Cranking out words—tough to do when you’re as rusty as heck. Took me two years just to get the first draft together. Way longer than for any other book.

I think familiarity is what carried me through to the end. Even though Bassan is much older, I still knew him, still knew the world he inhabited. And I’d missed certain aspects. There is no telepathy or teleportation in Dragon. Those elements might sound convenient, but they don’t always work as advertised, so it added a level of challenge to the story.

Ultimately, I’m really pleased with the result! Bassan isn’t Byron, but he holds his own. I think readers will relate to his insecurities. He’s an average guy, with some unusual talents, just trying to find his place in the world.

Aren’t we all?

Alex J. Cavanaugh works in web design and graphics, and he plays guitar in a Christian band. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is known as Ninja Captain Alex and he’s the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.





By Alex J. Cavanaugh

His world is unraveling…

Bassan’s father is stepping down from command. His best friend almost dies when Bassan freezes. Now, he’s being sent across the galaxy to speak at an important conference. Despite saving the eleven races years ago, he’s paralyzed by fear and doubt. Could things get any worse?

Once there, new acquaintance Zendar convinces Bassan to visit his planet for a humanitarian mission. Bassan’s special connection to ancient technology is the key to saving Zendar’s people. One problem though—it’s a prisoner planet.

On Ugar, he discovers things aren’t so straightforward. As each secret reveals itself, the situation grows more desperate. If he can’t find the right answers, he might die along with Zendar’s people. Can Bassan summon the courage to be a hero again?

Science fiction - Adventure (FIC028010) / Space Opera (FIC028030) / Space Exploration (FIC028130) Print ISBN 9781939844842 $16.95 / eBook ISBN 9781939844859 $4.99


iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/book/x/id1574189874

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0982FL3SH

Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940164947033

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/Search?Query=9781939844859

Scribed – https://www.scribd.com/search?query=9781939844859&language=0

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58461762-cassadark

06 April 2022

No Ideas!

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

What am I insecure about this month? The fact that I have no idea what to write about! I've been in a rut for a long time and feeling very burnt out when it comes to writing. I've had little snippets of ideas here and there, like my subplot idea last month, but I haven't been doing any actual writing. 

I wish I was writing, but I don't really see this as a bad thing. I clearly needed the break from it, and I've been exhausted for a long time due to other things. It's not really something I want to force until it feels right. It's definitely frustrating that it's been so long since I've really written anything, but if I have absolutely no desire to do it, then it's ok to take a break.

I know I'm defnitely not done with writing forever. I don't know if I need to change my routine, wait until the inspiration strikes on its own, or maybe I just need a really long vacation (I haven't had more than 3 days off work since last September). Work definitely leaves me feeling exhausted, but I know that's not the only reason I can't motivate myself to write. So, for now, I'm just going to let things be and wait for those ideas to come naturally.