This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

#IWSG : Alex Cavanaugh's Blog Tour

       I'm off the hook today--besides, me?  Insecurities?  Hah!  Well, never mind about that.  Instead I'm hosting everybody's blog friend--the great Alex J Cavanaugh.   It's all yours, Captain.

Thanks for hosting me today, Lee!

I started the IWSG for writers, but insecurities aren’t exclusive to us. Everyone possesses doubts and fears, including our characters. So rather than discuss my insecurities (which I already did today on my own blog) I’m going to share those of my main characters.

A talented young man, he decided to veer from his family’s political heritage and pursued a science career instead. Despite his intelligence and achievements, Mevine questions his personal value. He is also awkward, overeager, and lacking certain social skills. This strikes yet another blow to his self worth. Eager to please, he longs for a friend and someone who will believe in him. (A girlfriend someday would be nice as well!)

A skilled pilot from an affluent family, she is confident and comfortable with herself. However, Athee has suffered loss, including both parents and her only aunt. She fears losing the ones she loves. This fear drives her to extreme measures; even resorting to irrational behavior to protect those close to her heart. (Oh yeah, she does something really crazy in CassaFire!)

The returning hero - a solitary pilot of exceptional talent, especially in his ability to perform multiple teleportation jumps. Byron never trusted anyone until he met Bassa, and unfortunately he lost his navigator and friend during the war. While he has matured and grown over the years, the pilot still keeps others at a distance, claiming a need for privacy. Byron fears another terrible loss as much as he fears connecting on a personal level.

With those insecurities, can you envision how the characters come together in the story?

And sorry, Mevine. No girlfriend for you - yet!

What’s your main character’s insecurity? Anything similar to what plagues Mevine, Athee, or Byron? And what do YOU think will happen to these characters in CassaFire? Might be a little messy...

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!

by Alex J. Cavanaugh

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. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

Available now!
Science fiction - space opera/adventure
Print ISBN 978-0-9827139-4-5, $15.95, 6x9 Trade paperback, 240 pages
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9, $4.99, available in all formats

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

You can visit the author’s site at Alex J Cavanaugh

CassaFire is available from the following:


Be sure to visit the other blogs participating in the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

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  1. Great way to do an interview. I love these characters and their insecurities make them who they are.

  2. Oh, great post on the insecurities of your characters. Gives us a good insight into them.

    I think my current main characters insecurity is acceptance.

  3. An insecure lot, makes them more human like...
    I hope it isn't too messy or tragic, I detest sad endings, such stories tend to pry on my mind for a long time.
    nice to know a little more of them.

  4. What a teaser about Althee doing something crazy. I look forward to finding out what she does.

  5. Hello Arlee, hello Mr Ninja! Awwwww poor Mevine! No wonder he drinks to excess (I'm guessing he does cos last interview with him - me and him were sharing our third bottle of vino..! LOL!).

    Take care

  6. Brinda, glad I could hook you with that.

    Kitty, that is why!

    Thanks again, Lee.

  7. Characters with issues make for good stories. Well done, Alex.

  8. This stuff sounds so interesting Alex, I'd definitely love to read your book. Insecurities is what makes a good character at the end of the day. I mean how many of us in life don't at least have some kind of insecurities? That kind of thing keeps books realistic.

  9. I'm deliberately skimming over the comments in case of spoilers - I've not long started reading it :)

    My MC's biggest insecurity is guilt. He feels that he is responsible for the deaths of a family on the outskirts of his village, and he uses that guilt to push himself away from any positions of authority or trust.

  10. I think these characters are awesome and their insecurities are so relatable that they will go straight to a reader's heart.

    I had a character who became rather cold in order to live up to his family's exacting expectations.

  11. Thanks, Rusty!

    Thank you, Yeamie.

    Jamie, guilt is a powerful motivator.

    Thanks, Melissa.

  12. Wow you're quicker than the speed of light. Yesterday in London today at LA. As usual a most enteraining post Alex.


  13. I like this multi-dimensional cast of characters. I did notice, too, that there are a couple single males in the crew. Not that I tend to notice these things.

    Thanks, Alex and Arlee.

  14. The characters certainly sound rich and textured.

  15. Hi, Lee, Hi Alex,

    Love all the tension! Without it, books would be soooo boring.

    My mc is one large throbbing nerve. The poor kid is abused by his dad, and his girlfriend and best friend are ex-lovers.... Insecure enough?

    All the best ALEX!


    I really like the way you handled this interview....

    I am starting to think about my posts for A-Z... I hope to have a few done by the end of March, so I don't go INSANE writing them the day before like last year.

    Have a great day...

  16. I find it cool how you can pin point the insecurities of your characters! Very neat!
    I think my main characters insecurity for my current WIP is self image.

  17. My MC had a fear of commitment and it took an attempt on his life by a beautiful female assassin to set him straight. This was part of his character arc that took half a book for him to learn the hard way.

  18. My MC, Clara, is afraid of losing those she loves, and she's having some doubts about her abilities as a sword master. Her mentor/friend Stelia is afraid that Clara is losing her ability to make good decisions in the heat of battle due to her doubts . . .and personally, she's afraid that she'll have to be the one to defeat Sihrqayya (villainess). And don't worry there are some men in the book too . . . but I don't get into their heads as much.

  19. I think Byron will open up a bit. He needs a friend he can talk with and feel safe.

  20. Yvonne, Ninjas move fast.

    Robyn, no, not you!

    Holly, he sounds sad, doesn't he?

    Tyrean, there is a lot of room in a man's head though...

    Thanks, guys!

  21. Thanks Captain Alex for taking the helm for me. It's like having the day off--yeah, right! But it did help.


  22. What a neat look into your characters, Alex!

  23. Hello Lee! Nice to meet you, and thank you for hosting Alex on his tour.

    Alex, this is very cool that you've broken down your characters' insecurities. You really rock, Alex! I want to read both your books.

  24. Lee, no worries on being scarce. Hope your challenges are only just challenging enough.

    Take care,

  25. Good stuff about those characters of yours :) Good to see a female in the picture.

  26. Poor Mevine! Hopefully soon he can conquer those insecurities, stop by the Tiki Hut and find a hot chick by the beach. ;-) It is so cool learning more about the characters and background. Have an awesome day, Lee and Alex!

  27. Lee, you had a little less to do!

    Tracy, that's funny!!

    Thanks everyone.

  28. Thanks for featuring Alex and his characters, Lee.

    I can definitely see where some sparks might occur, and that could be a good thing for Byron and Athee. That depends if Mevine is thrown into the mix. In the future, we may have more of these disaffected adults who missed out on something growing up (parental guidance?). They will be searching for a connection to confirm their own humanity.

    I'll be getting to know these three soon. I ordered both books.

  29. Hi Alex and Lee!

    I think we all are concerned about losing those closest to us. The more we lose, the harder it is for some to open up to receive...or they do the opposite and cling tightly to what (or who) is left.

    Your characters sound wonderful! They are on my TBR list!! I'll get there. I promise :D

    Thanks to you both for a great interview!

  30. Thanks for this sneak preview into your characters - certainly a fascinating bunch!

  31. Awesome post. I love these sneak peeks into your characters' minds!

  32. DG, thank you!!!

    Jen, very true - and thanks!

  33. I've enjoyed getting to know more about your characters, Alex. I think it does make a difference to show their strengths and insecurities.

    My central characters in my mystery series are insecure about their partnership for many reasons.

  34. Hi Lee and Alex,

    I love hearing more about your characters and their flaws! I think this makes for an intriguing triangle ;D Sounds great!

  35. Man - stick that lot in a bag and shake them up and I bet you get some good sparks!

    I know Byron's fear of loss. It cuts deep and can make you very guarded

    Interesting insites

  36. Another great post!
    Thank you Alex and Arlee Bird.

    That is a mouth-watering way to write about your main characters.

    As I do not want to spoil I write nothing about Athee, Mevine and Byron.

    I hope they all will return in book three.

  37. well, I think Lee deserves the day off - he puts the rest of us to shame. And Alex, SUCH a great way to release our own (perceived) failings.. endears your characters even more
    both of you rock

  38. Maryann, thanks!

    Ella, just not a love triangle.

    Laura, and that made him all the more interesting to write.

    Edi, because you already KNOW...

    Thank you, Youngblood.

  39. I'm loving your characters in CassaFire! Mevine is a great addition. I'm still in the early stages of the book - but it's fantastic!!! :)

  40. I'm really looking forward to reading this, Alex. Waving at Lee.

  41. Lynda, maybe in the third book...

    Jemi, wow! Thanks, glad you are enjoying it.

    Mary, hope you like it.

  42. Hey Lee! Hey Alex! Great to see Alex here today. I enjoyed reading about your characters insecurities. It made me think about my characters. I see some things I need to bring out more in one of my characters in a new book I've started.

    Poor Mevine. He has to be hankering for love, Alex. :-) *waving*

  43. The best characters are the ones with insecurities and flaws.

  44. I think this is a great way to look at and develop characters. Thanks, Alex and Lee, for sharing this today!

  45. Poor Mevine :( Alex, you gotta get over this no girlfriends thing for the sake of your characters :)

    Awesome character development there. So much can go into an overal plot and still satisfy character plots.

    Can't wait to read the new book.

    Thanks for hosting Lee.


  46. Robyn, honored I could help.

    Donna, he'll be all right.

    Thanks again, Lee!

  47. These characters are very intriguing ;) Love this! Very detailed and captivating.

  48. The more I read about these characters the more I need to get my hands on this book. And is it okay to say that Mevine reminds me a bit of Joker from Mass Effect?

  49. I am looking forward to reading how Byron engages Athee in any type of relationship! I bet he gets stomped on by Athee!

  50. Aw, poor Mevine! No girlfriend? That's not fair! :)

    Great post as usual, Alex.

  51. Loved reading about the characters-independent and interesting! Their insecurities make me like them right away. Hmm. Could it be I recognize some of them?

  52. Sarah, it is!

    CM, he definitely gets challenged...

    Talli, he's open for suggestions!

    Thanks again, Lee!

  53. Great insight into your characters! I think it's important to know your character's insecurities. I need to sit down and run through this with my WIP characters. I know my MC fears that he isn't good enough to run his community now that the only remaining adult is dead. He doesn't want to be in charge, doesn't want everyone looking up to him.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  54. I like that despite everything, your characters are down to earth! Great tie-in with the IWSG! Julie

  55. Shannon, knowing the fears really helps.

    Thanks, Julie.

    Thanks again, Lee!


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