In addition to writing your space opera series, you're also the founder of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Can you tell us a little about its goal and how writers can find the group online?
The purpose of the IWSG is to give writers one day a month when they can expose their insecurities and receive encouragement. Members can also post something supportive or positive that would benefit other writers. The group has really grown since its inception two years ago and it’s been a blessing to many. We post the first Wednesday of every month and writers can sign up here
You've got a popular blog, Alex J. Cavanaugh, where you don't strictly cover writing-related posts. Instead, you cover other things that inspire you. How did you decide on this blogging model and what do you think resonated with your blog readers?
When I began, I had no idea what I was doing. I found my groove when I began focusing on what I enjoy - movies, music, science fiction, geek stuff, etc. Once I began to grow, I realized I could really draw attention to others through guest posts and features. The Ninja News emerged, and now people come to find out what is happening in the blogging world. I also try to keep things positive and fun. I know it’s not the usual blog for an author, but it works for me!
You're known for being a very supportive blogger, visiting and commenting on a number of blogs each day. How do you do it, and can you give tips to other writers for reaching out online?
Clones and lots of them!
But the biggest thing is to get involved with the blogging community. Make connections and support others. Maybe you can’t visit as many as I do a day, but everyone can block out thirty minutes and visit fifteen-twenty blogs.
What authors have inspired and influenced your writing?
I began writing after reading Terry Brooks’ original Shannara trilogy. There were science fiction influences as well, such as Bradbury and Heinlein. Preston and Child and Timothy Zahn also inspire me, as I like the fast pace of their books and hope mine move just as quickly.
What are some of your biggest challenges in writing a novel, and how do you approach them?
I approach with caution…
My biggest challenge is coming up with solid ideas. I envy writers who have hundreds of ideas. I need a solid idea and detailed outline before I can even begin writing. That process alone can take as long as writing and revising!
Can you tell us a little about your upcoming release?
CassaStorm jumps ahead twenty years and now Byron is the commander of the Cassan base on the planet of Tgren. He and Athee have a son and the story is told from all three points of view.
A storm gathers across the galaxy…
Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. 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, shaking Bassan to the core and 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 be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…
Where can we find you and your books online?
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, his third book, CassaStorm, will be released September 17, 2013.