Monday, November 25, 2013

Author Spotlight: Alex J. Cavanaugh

Please welcome Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh! It is an honor to have him over here. I interviewed Alex and we discuss a little bit everything.
How did you become the Ninja Captain?
I’m not sure who gave me the title of Ninja, but I believe it was Old Kitty who dubbed me the Captain.

Where do you buy your clones?
I purchased my clone machine from ClonesRUs.

What's your philosophy on writing?
Write the story you would most like to read.

Plotter or pantser?
Plotter! If I didn’t outline first, my stories would wander into the desert and never return…

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Movies, television shows, and music. Whatever sparks an idea.

How has writing a trilogy changed your life?
It’s led me to a whole world of friends I wouldn’t have otherwise – like you.

Where did Insecure Writer’s Support originate?
From a comment made by my critique partner, Rusty Webb. I told him he needed an insecure writer’s support group and a light bulb went off. What if there was such a group?

How has the online writing community helped you toward publication?
The list of how they haven’t helped would be much shorter! They showed me what to expect and how to handle the changes. And they’ve been so supportive. I wouldn’t have written another book after CassaStar if not for online support and encouragement.
What have you learned from the online writing community?
Never give up, never surrender! Oh wait, that’s Galaxy Quest. Perseverance is important though. You just can’t give up or lose faith.

What's your best writing advice you've received?
Make use of critique partners. Mine are amazing and have helped shape my writing. Plus they are hilarious!

Advice for unpublished authors.
Consider all possibilities – self-publishing, publishers, and agents. You never know which route will be the best for you.

Random Questions
Coffee or Tea? Neither – water or energy drink, please.
Vanilla or Chocolate? Chocolate! Can I have a cookie?
Favorite Film? The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Favorite Book? Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Favorite Book Genre? Science fiction/fantasy.
Favorite Song? Natural Science by Rush.
Thank you, Alex!


  1. I swear, Galaxy Quest should be a require course in school.

  2. Yay for the Captain Ninja in all his transparent underpants glory!! Totally agree about Galaxy Quest - and it's battle cry "never give up never surrender" - totally applies to how one should face writerly obstacles! Take care

  3. Clones R Us-good one! And I like my beta readers to have a strong sense of humor too.

  4. Even with all those clones you can't build a teleporter?

  5. Galaxy Quest should be everybody's motto!

  6. I have been living... never give up, never surrender for so many years. great chat and questions, thanks for being.

    1. sorry... out there in the world. it sort of sounded like i was a little man-crushing at the end. ha, i think that made it worse.

  7. Kitty, you always make me smile!

    Pat, you would think the clones would get their act together and build one!

    Jeremy, I know what you meant...

  8. Fun interview. I always like a little inside glimpse from those we write with. Well done and a blessed holiday to the both of you.

  9. Hi, Alex & Livia,

    It is true that the support of friends is invaluable.

  10. Great interview! It's always nice to learn more about the Captain. Good to know about ClonesRUs. I need to make a trip there. Thanks to both of you for sharing! :)

  11. Wonder if there is a branch of ClonesRUs in UK! Fun intereview :)

  12. Karen and Suzanne, you'll have to Google it for the location nearest you...

  13. Hi Alex and Livia!
    Short and sweet!
    No coffee or tea? Or Milo? Or hot chocolate? So Alex, what do you drink when it's mid-winter and the cold penetrates to the bone?

  14. Fun interview, Alex and Livia!
    I contacted ClonesRUs and their customer service department told me I didn't qualify to purchase the clone machine, apparently you have to be a cool Ninja for that. So, you'll have to make some clones for me, Alex. :P

    Perseverance and make use of CP's- Very true & great advice!

  15. Good answer, especially for #2.
    Thanks, Livia and Alex.

  16. It was fun learning more about Alex! It was interesting finding out about the origin of the IWSG! Thanks Livia and Alex! Julie

  17. Michelle, I do drink hot chocolate once and a while, but I'm so warm-natured, I don't get that cold.

    SK, just mail yourself to me and I'll run you through the clone machine!

  18. Interesting to learn how the IWSG came about. Great interview and I'm glad Mini Alex showed up here too, it's always good to see him.

  19. Now I want to watch Galaxy Quest again. Luv that movie! :) Happy Monday to you, Alex and Livia.

  20. Wonderful interview and fantastic advice. Galaxy Quest has given us such wisdom! :)

  21. I love interviews with lots of questions that tell something about the person behind the writing persona. Ninjas can be so secretive.

  22. Cookies? Did someone say cookies? Alex, did you hog all the cookies. First the candy and now cookies. You and me are gonna have to have a conversation on sharing...mmph.

    As I was telling another blogger, we really do have a great group of writers in this group and they do, indeed, have some very encouraging people in this group. They give you tissues when you need it and let you take a couple of gulps of air and then help you up to continue on the road. If they know you well they are willing to give you a good boot to get you going. As writers we need people like that. We also need honest opinions on our work. so we can be better. Writers don't blow sunshine and butterflies (that's for a mom to do, honey).

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

  23. ClonesRUs…I knew it! A non-clone could not do all that Alex does. Not possible.

    It's always fun getting to know our blogging buddies better. Thanks for the interview, guys!

  24. Great interview, you two! Nothing like a chat with the good Captain to brighten the day. :)

  25. Great questions. Always fun to learn more about amazing people like Alex. Thanks Livia :)

  26. I was smiling and going really? Really? more than once during this interview (WHO did come up with the Ninja name... now I'm curious :)

    Thanks for sharing, A-Cav and nice one, Livia ;)

  27. Susan, we wouldn't be Ninjas otherwise...

    Sia, the writers here online are just awesome and no butterflies!

    Mark, I would have to go WAY back to find that one...

  28. Great philosophy on writing! Whenever I feel I'm getting lost and wonder what to write next, I pull that out and remember who I'm really doing this for: Me :)
    Cool interview!

  29. Short and sweet yet chock full of good stuff! Thanks as always for sharing of yourself.
    Tina @ Life is Good

  30. A very peppy fun interview! Lots of fun. Enjoyed my visit with the both of you.

  31. Great advice, Alex. Always good to learn more about you. :)

  32. Never give, never surrender is important lesson for us all.

  33. Alex talks from experience and the heart. Great interview.

  34. How fun! And highfive for fellow LOTR lover.

    Love how the IWSG was formed. Now it's legendary!! :D

  35. Great interview, I always had a feeling that our Ninja Captain had clones and drank only energy drinks ;)

  36. I totally agree that writing the book you want to read is the way to go. Excellent interview. Nice to know where the Ninja Captain gets his clones :)

  37. Great interview! I'm gleaning all the wisdom I can from fellow authors, as I dive back into revisions...