Monday, December 16, 2013

Science Fiction Guitars and The Hobbit Movie Review! Plus What Works Online Marketing Symposium, CassaStorm News, Tis More Blessed Giveaway, and Ninja News

‘Twas the last post before Christmas Eve and it threatened to explode…

Science Fiction Guitars!

Yes, you read that right! I found an article on Blastr with some AWESOME science fiction guitars. Prepare to drool…

Movie Review

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The journey continues as the party travels through Mirkwood and finally reaches Lonely Mountain.
As with LOTR, there is no saggy middle here. This instalment is a roller coaster ride, with the party encountering orcs, spiders, wood elves, men, and finally, Smaug. The best scenes include escaping the elves in barrels (also the funniest) and the encounter with Smaug, which is just stunning. We meet some new characters and are reunited with Legolas.
Jackson weaves in many things that will eventually lead to LOTR sixty years later, including a whole subplot with Gandolf that reveals the real evil behind what is happening.
And (warning/spoiler) the ending is a BIG cliffhanger! My wife literally cried out NO! when it ended.
Highly recommended!

There were also several previews – Nolan’s Interstellar, Edge of Tomorrow, 300: Rise of an Empire, and Godzilla.
While watching them, I realized that the Internet is a big negative sometimes. Online, we knew it was the teaser for Godzilla. But sitting in that theater, there was no clue until the end. People who hadn’t seen it online got the full impact, the big Wow, it’s Godzilla!! It’s a shame the Internet has ruined the surprise for us now.
That said, seeing that teaser on the big screen was SO much better than online!

Special CassaStorm Update

Last spring, Kimberly Gabriel at Art of Infiltration asked if her middle school classes could interview me. It was a lot of fun, and we just did it again for her current classes with CassaStorm. The students’ questions were really thoughtful and genuine, and I tried to respond in kind. This is the email I got from Kimberly:

They LOVED your interview. They said you seemed very genuine. Both of my classes said they "felt like they knew you" after reading your answers. We had a great discussion about your answer regarding themes and symbolism in books and whether authors deliberately create them. We also talked quite a bit about reading outside of your genre.

I can't thank you enough for answering their questions!! They also loved the bookmarks! Thank you for those too!

My writers really liked your advice to write what you want to read too.

Kimberly

Thanks again, Kimberly!

Tis More Blessed

Hosted by Milo James Fowler at In Media Res! Check out his site for other participants.

It’s every Friday in December, but I am being a rebel and participating today.

I’m giving away a physical copy of CassaStorm, along with some swag. (If you live outside the USA, you win all three of my books in eBook.) Comment to win.

Open through December 20!

Ninja News

The Fussy Librarian featured CassaStorm on Sunday in their recommendation email. If you haven’t signed up for their service yet, visit their website.

LG Keltner is celebrating two years of blogging by hosting the Endings Blogfest on January 9 – see her site for details.

Susan Oloier’s Haunted comes out December 17 – congratulations, Susan!

Michael Abayomi’s The Morning Star, a prelude to Guardians and The Lost Paradise, is available at Amazon now. Congratulations, Michael!

The second book in Jack Lewis Baillot’s series is out – Abolished Impracticality. Congratulations, Jack!












Ali Cross revealed the cover for her upcoming book, Blood Crown.

Can’t wait to read it, Ali!





What Works – Online Marketing Symposium

The first ever "Online Marketing Symposium" Monday, January 20, 2014. A blogfest with information you can use!

Hosted by Arlee Bird, Yolanda Renee, Jeremy Hawkins, and Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Do you ever wonder why some books become bestsellers while others can barely be given away? Why some businesses succeed and others fail? How does a blog post or a YouTube video manage to go viral? Is it a matter of luck or is there some magic formula for success?

Well, now maybe we can latch on to some of the secrets and tricks that make success happen or what we might want to avoid. We want you to tell us your stories of success (or not so successful) as we present a blogging event that will help us learn.

On event day you tell us about a marketing idea that you've used and what worked or didn't work. Your post could describe a campaign that succeeded in a big or small way or one that failed drastically. Tell us about a business campaign, an organizational event, a fundraiser – anything where a bit of promotion was necessary!

The What Works.. Marketing Symposium is not limited to authors but also to anyone in a business that has a promotional aspect – online or otherwise!

It's possible the blogging community can help you make that next project a viral success or that next book a best seller!

Join our first ever Online Marketing Symposium – sign up below!



Want one of those guitars? Did you see The Hobbit? Want to win a book? And what marketing tip can you offer…?

My last post this year will be for Mark Koopman’s Fifty States of Pray on Christmas Eve. Mini-Alex might even be part of the celebrations…

214 comments:

1 – 200 of 214   Newer›   Newest»
Carolyn Brown said...

Love the guitars! They look great!

Just signed up for the discussion about "What Works and What Doesn't." Good idea to help out others.

Am I the first to comment?
Wow, if I am that will be a first!

Carolyn Brown said...

Wow, I was the first! Can't believe it!

Shah Wharton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shah Wharton said...

I've tried everything, and none of it has worked yet, Lol! Oh well, I'll hop around and see what worked for everyone else.

Plese count this as my entry for all three of your books in eBook!! :)

Hobbit! Sounds incredible and I am yet to see it. Very excited !!

shahwharton.com

Shah Wharton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonnee Crawford said...

Great post, Alex! Those guitars look absolutely amazing... if only I was awesome enough to know how to play.

I'm a little keen to see the new Hobbit movie, among a few other movies that are out and I haven't gotten around to just yet. Thanks for reviewing it, I'm looking forward to it!

Have a Merry Christmas :)

rolandclarke.com said...

Great guitars even if I'm all thumbs. Being disabled will have to wait to see 'The Hobbit' on Blue-ray. So until January 20th - signed up - I will be hoping release of my crime novel works out, so I have a positive experience to relate... unlike my failed films.

Yolanda Renee said...

The Hobbit sounds like fun, thanks for the review. And love the fancy guitars - wish I'd kept up with my lessons.

It will be a fun blog hop - looking forward to it!

Congrats on the positive influence and response with the kids! That really rocks!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Those are some cool guitars!

That spider scene in the Hobbit movie sounds scary. Not sure my family will be wild about the cliffhanger, though.

Nice of you to interview with the middle schoolers!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex .. aren't the guitars great - fun! Smaug - it's on here and I hope to get there .. your review sounds as though it's a good one.

The Marketing Symposium in January .. also good ..

So many books out, fests on et al ...

Good luck to one and all as Christmas preparations close in .. cheers Hilary

Robyn Campbell said...

Those guitars are so cool! Oh man. I have to see the Hobbit. I've been so excited about that movie!
Fifty States of Pray. WOWOW. We need that, pal.

CONGRADS SUSAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love her!!!

Merry Christmas Alex!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Love the guitars! Sorry about what's going on with my blog posts this morning - I didn't delete your comment. I had to keep reposting my post because it kept saying it wasn't successful??

My Meddling Mind said...

I have not seen the Hobbit, but those guitars are awesome. Godzilla is a must see for me, for sure. I am a big fan of the monster.

Madison:)

Clarissa Draper said...

Those guitars are amazing. I don't play and I still want one. Can't wait to check out the seminar for tips.

Heather Musk said...

I'm very excited to see the new Hobbit film, it's going to be a post-Christmas day treat for my husband and I. What a great way to get over the madness of the children.

Jemi Fraser said...

Looking forward to the Hobbit - even with the cliffhanger!! :)

LOVE the Millenium Falcon guitar!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Carolyn, you were the first! Thanks for signing up.

Shah, bet you'll find something that works. And counted!

Roland, hope the book is a big success.

Yolanda, the interview with them was fun.

Robyn, yes we do need it!

Keith, that's all right. Funny, it showed up four times I think.

Pat Hatt said...

Interesting blogfest indeed. Have to think about that one. The first guitar is the best, seems way more well designed. Awesome with the class book interview and fyi blogger has a hate on for you today, or just me, never showed up in my blogroll.

Juliana Haygert said...

Oh, those so awesome looking guitars!

I can't wait to watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ...

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Those are some neat guitars.

I loved the second Hobbit movie.

Rusty Carl said...

I'd love a great SF guitar. I'd probably play again if I had one. Watch out Yngvie - I'm back.

Well, I'm not. But I might be if I had one of those.

Missed the Hobbit. Will try to see it later this week. I'm such a disappointment to myself.

Sarah Foster said...

Tardis guitar?? Awesome! I finally got around to watching the first Hobbit, so hopefully I'll head out to the theater to see the second.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for all the info. The Marketing Tour sounds like a great idea. I'll give some thought to participating, although I'm rather new at the whole marketing thing. Looking forward to seeing what everyone has to say.

Have a great week!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

How great to be interviewed by a classroom of kids! It sounds like they had a blast, and I bet they'll remember long into the future how they got to ask questions of a real writer, someone who took the time to answer them. Well done, Alex! :)

Jo said...

Love those guitars, I would like the Star Trek one please.

Would love to see The Hobbit, will have to wait for it sadly.

I already have all three of your books on my Kindle, thanks. Actually I just won books from Yolanda Renee and was thrilled.

Kimberly said...

I could not believe that's where they ended the movie either! I sat there, waiting, just in case they were messing with us. But no. I thought it was a great movie!

Gossip_Grl said...

Very cool looking guitars! I would love to see the Hobbit, but it will have to wait until it comes to the Redbox.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Those guitars are awesome! It amazes me how creative some people are. :)
The blog hop sounds great! I don't think I have any helpful tips, this is not my strong suit, but I look forward to reading other peoples' posts!

A Beer For The Shower said...

At first I was like psssh, sci-fi guitars, I bet they look lame. Then I saw the Tardis one. Okay, I kinda want it. A lot.

Also, I'm really looking forward to seeing the new Hobbit movie. However, I'm not looking forward to the ending. My wife, having never read the Hobbit, will probably be complaining about that cliffhanger the whoooole ride home asking "What happens? What happens?"

Karen Walker said...

Those guitars are so cool. Haven't seen the movie. I want to read the books first - someday. Merry Christmas, Alex - enjoy this holiday season.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pat, I didn't show up? Bummer.

Rusty, you NEED a guitar!

Karen, I bet you'd have something great to contribute.

Jo, thanks. And I would want a Star Trek one!

Kimberly, it was the ultimate cliffhanger.

Rachel, I bet you do.

Brandon and Bryan, don't tell her!

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

The alien guitar is my favorite. Glad to hear the movie was good, I'm anxious to see Luke Evans - he's one of my favs.

Christine Rains said...

Awesome guitars! You know, I promised myself I'd cut down on the blogfests next year, but this is one I don't want to miss. What an excellent idea! I've signed up. It's my blogfest for January. My movie for the weekend was Man of Steel. I liked the guy that played Superman, but I didn't like Lois at all. And Zod, meh. I want Lex!

Donna K. Weaver said...

We're excited to see The Hobbit 2. Maybe after Christmas.

Today goats totally rock. Hmmm...I wonder what my youngest son would choose.

That blogfest sounds excellent! It falls on a day I will be traveling so I will have to catch up on it later.

Julie Flanders said...

Those guitars are so cool! And the symposium sounds fantastic, what a great idea. I know I need all the marketing help I can get.

M. J. Joachim said...

Those guitars are awesome! Merry Christmas, Alex and I'm glad your interview was such a success with the kids!

Old Kitty said...

Capn Ninja!! I am GREEN - about to explode and spew GREEN - with envy!! You saw the Hobbit before me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaargh! LOL!

Oh wow - I can't wait! Am so excited I'm wetting myself! *grits teeth and bites fingernails...*

Off I go to find a bucket. Ahem.

Take care
x

J.L. Campbell said...

I like the guitars, especially the first one. Not sure what to make of the third one though.

Love the cover on Haunted & Blood Crown.

All signed up for the Symposium.

Catherine Stine said...

Ah, talking to kids in schools is so much fun!!!! I did a lot of it but not in the last year. I should get back to it. And those guitars are very cool!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Christine, you've been so successful - glad you're on board.

Kitty, go see it soon!

Catherine, I really enjoyed it.

Chris Fries said...

Cool guitars! I've also seen some amazing Star Trek guitars around -- shaped like the communicator badge, shaped like the Enterprise, and shaped like a phaser.

Haven't seen The Hobbit yet, but this week or next. Glad your review was great -- I've actually seen some that are less-than-favorable. But I love The Hobbit and LOTR so I know I'll love this one, too.

And I loved the response from the middle school and their teacher -- that was awesome of you to do, Alex! Very cool -- I know you made an impact and may have planted seeds for some future writers there. :)

I haven't signed up for the symposium. I don't have anything to market (yet). Plus, I'm not sure about the presenters -- do you think it just might be some sort of a scam by a bunch of online hucksters only interested in taking my money???

;^)

OK -- just kidding. I know it will be filled with a ton of very useful information, and while I have little to offer presenter-wise, I will definitely be making the rounds as an eager reader. :)

And I'm loving the holiday freebie-fest Milo started! (And now in for a chance to win a signed, personally-delivered copy of CassaStorm! Bring your guitar -- we can jam when you come to drop the book off.)

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Love the guitars! I can imagine you having them.

Charles Gramlich said...

Very cool about talking to those students. I love the alien/predator guitar myself.

M.J. Fifield said...

Those guitars were awesome. I know a few guitar-playing sci-fi fans that would go crazy for those.

And I was kind of ho-hum on the Hobbit movie, but I loved the scenes with Smaug.

mooderino said...

The hobbit movies are very impressive but still feel 3 of them is a bit much.

mood

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I'm off to see Smaug now. That Doctor Who guitar will have David learning how to play one! :-)

Heather M. Gardner said...

Holy ALIEN guitar! That rocks. In more than one way.

Thanks for sharing all the good news about these new releases.

I saw your book in the F.L. email! So cool!

Cheers, Alex! Another great year.
Heather

farawayeyes said...

Explode is right, there's a whole lot if information here.

Jennifer Lane said...

Wow, I love those guitars, especially the Aliens one. The Star Wars one is pretty sweet, too.

I'm not into The Hobbit though I did see the time-travel rom-com About Time at the dollar theater this weekend. It was pretty good.

My marketing strategies are not too sound so I have a lot to learn from that blog hop!

D.G. Hudson said...

I can never get enough of The Hobbit or LOTRs. That first alien guitar is very interesting. I'd like to see what the back looks like.

I'll lurk on the edges re promotion; good luck with that blogfest in January (usually a slow month). I'm sure it will help many of us.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Alex, to you and your family.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Chris, funny! You should sign up. I'm sure you've seen stuff around here that doesn't work, from a reader's viewpoint. Knew you'd dig the guitars. Need to track down those Star Trek ones!

Roland, enjoy, and I bet David will track it down...

Heather, glad you saw my book!

Jennifer, you can share what didn't work.

DG, the cast could just sit around and I'd still watch it.

Brian Miller said...

woot on the note back from the class....that is awesome...inspiring the next gen! all about it...

that millenium falcon guitar rocks!

and cant wait to see desolation....waiting on my son to feel better after being sick so we can go see it together...

Bob R Milne said...

Wow, that Falcon guitar is just amazing!

Cherie Reich said...

Wow! Love the Alien guitar!

I'm going to see The Hobbit this Friday. :)

Sarah Ahiers said...

LOVE those guitars! And i don't get to see Smaug until this coming weekend

Botanist said...

Turning the Millennium Falcon into a guitar was truly inspired, but the "Alien" one is still my favorite.

Hoping to see The Hobbit soon.

Laura Marcella said...

I always liked the barrel escape scene in The Hobbit book! Can't wait to see how it unfolds in the movie. :)

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Hobbits... argh! I have heard so many good things, but I promised I would miss them in the show and wait for the DVD/BLU-Rays. I am sticking to my guns, we want to see the boxing movie with Dinero and Stallone... yes I know. Need a mental ride, for a few days.

Oh my... must have that Alien guitar just the coolness. The others are neato, but that first one.

Great covers, I am such a fan of creative people...

Whatever works, will work... there are so many great directions and people with great ideas.

Have a great day to you and everyone.

Jeremy

Robin said...

With regard to those guitars... I am constantly amazed at how creative people can be. They are works of art in addition to making music!

Haven't seen The Hobbit yet. And no marketing stories of failure or success immediately come to mind. I need to think on that one...

Also looking forward to the 50 States of Pray!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Glad the interview went so well Alex. Might try to see the hobbit sequel at the movies this time. Those guitar look ready to rock and maybe even do some time travel. Happy Holidays.

River Fairchild said...

I don't even play the guitar but I SO WANT that Alien guitar! Must have it...

*wipes up the drool on Alex's page*

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Brian, sorry he's been sick. Nice of you to wait.

Laura, it's hilarious.

Jeremy, no way I could wait!

Robin, yes they are.

River, I feel so soggy...

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

That's a great idea for a symposium. I'd gladly take any of those very cool guitars.

xoRobyn

ilima said...

Ooh. I'll be reading those tips during the marketing symposium for sure. Such a great idea. Those guitars rock! Ba-dum-chh. And I thought the barrel scene was awesome, too. I think our whole theater yelled out NO! at the end, haha.

I really liked the trailers for Interstellar and Edge of Tomorrow on the big screen. I've been listening to the song from the Edge trailer all weekend to write to. I can't ever resist a Tom Cruise sci-fi. :)

Susan Oloier said...

I HAVE to show my older son the guitars when he gets home from school. He's a natural musician with a bend toward eccentric guitars.
I want to join the blog fest, but don't think I have anything to add. I'll think on it today.
BTW...thanks so much for the shout-out!

Patsy said...

I'm not at all musical, but I still want one of those guitars.

Tony Laplume said...

The Millennium Falcon as a guitar? What a piece of junk!

Decadent Kane said...

I can't wait to go see the next part of the Hobbit. I want to take my girls.

Have a great Monday!
~Decadent

Anne O'Leary said...

That's some high end art on some of those guitars. The Hubby would love the first one and if I wasn't broke, it would make a nice Christmas present for him. Excepting I'd have to buy him a new guitar elsewise he's miss one of hiss and the jigg would be up.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Great looking guitars! The symposium promises to be a wonderful learning experience.

Julie

David List said...

Those are some awesome guitars! Particularly the HR Giger one up top!

It's occurred to me that I should maybe keep my opinion of Hobbit: DoS to myself, because my opinion is an unpopular one. The Hobbit is my favorite book of all time. And so my question is, if Peter Jackson is such a big fan of the source material, WHY'D HE REWRITE IT?
I loved the effects and visuals and action... And that's all I'll say about that :)

I'd like to see your interview! Have you considered posting it here?

The Fussy Librarian actually recommended your book to me! Congratulations on that!

Also, I hadn't seen anything from Michael's blog in a while. I'm heading there next!

And umm... I might have a thing or two to offer as far as marketing / promoting, come January 20th. For better or worse ;)
I better go ahead and start preparing for that one.

Looking forward to Fifty States of Pray.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Great that you did the special interview for Kimberly's class. That's something the children will not forget.

Like the blue guitar!

Mary Montague Sikes

Em-Musing said...

Great looking gee-tars. I haven't seen The Hobbit, but with your review, I may just. Re: Marketing. There's a book that's considered the bible when it comes to marketing, it's called, Positioning, by Reece and Trout. I don't care what the product or book is, anyone can benefit from reading that.

Leovi said...

Yes, these guitars are pure fantasy! Genial!

VikLit said...

I love those guitars. I can't decide which one I love the most!

Sean McLachlan said...

When I watched "Metallica: Through the Never" I noticed Kirk Hammett had Bela Lugosi from the film White Zombie on one guitar and Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster on the other. Yet another reason to love that guy!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Love the guitars, especially the Tardis.
Can't wait to see Smaug but I'm waiting for my daughter to get home from college.
Sounds like an interesting symposium.

Sandra Almazan said...

My heroine from Lyon's Legacy would like a guitar with a double helix pattern, please.

The marketing symposium is a great idea! I may have to double-post that day and participate.

Carrie Butler said...

Whoa! Those guitars are pretty cool.

Congratulations to LG, Susan, Michael, Jack, and Ali!

And Merry Christmas, Captain! :)

Christine Monson said...

Those guitars are crazy sick. REDRUM. This one made me chuckle a bit.

Haven't seen The Hobbit 2. Yet. I've heard nothing but great things about it. I've been known to yell out at the end of a book or movie. I hate and love cliffhangers. Books work me up more than movies though, because I can throw them across the room or hug them while I weep.

Milo James Fowler said...

Ooooh...a Millennium Falcon guitar? Too cool. Thanks for joining the #Tismoreblessed throng, Alex!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Neat guitars, especially the Falcon. And I loved Desolation of Smaug!

Jay Noel said...

I'm loving the Doctor Who guitar!

And I'm pretty behind on my movie watching. Still haven't even seen The Hobbit yet, which I plan on doing over my week long vacation next week.

My son's English teacher wants me to come into the classroom for an interview. I might need some tips from you.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ilima, the one for Edge of Tomorrow is haunting.

Susan, he will dig them! And you are welcome.

Tony - funny!

Anne, we tend to notice when a guitar goes missing...

David, join us! I know they changed a lot in the movie, but I think part of that came from the studio wanting three movies again, and Jackson had to come up with something. And I might post that interview...

Leigh, thanks for the suggestion.

Sean, those were cool guitars, weren't they?

Sandra, please do!

Merry Christmas, Carrie!

Christine, there were so many guitars I could've posted...

Milo, thanks for hosting it!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Awesome that you found those guitars. Wouldn't be surprised if you found a way to put them into a story.

Glad you loved The Hobbit movie. I can't wait to see it though I'll probably have to wait to rent it.

And sounds like an awesome blog hop. I'm looking forward to learning from it since I've never tried to market anything.

Andrew Leon said...

But how do the guitars sound? That's the real question.

We went to see Frozen. No one in my family wants to see DoS after the fiasco of the 1st movie. I'll get around to at some point, but, as I told my creative writing students, I'm not quite up to ambivalent about it, yet.

Gail said...

You have helped so many people with your words.

Happy Holidays.

Laura said...

Oh man, I cannot wait to see The Hobbit, it sounds awesome! I re-watched the first one the other day, but I'm not sure when I'll get to see the next one. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long!

Crystal Collier said...

That Doctor Who guitar got me. Too awesome.

I'm totally stoked for the symposium. What an amazing hop! I'm all in.

DAVID WALSTON said...

TOO MUCH AWESOME!
Not only a TARDIS, but the Millennium Falcon that lights up! You outdid yourself on the geek scale.
Thanks for the Hobbit review. I have had a busy time, and probably won't get to see it till after the holidays.

Misha Gericke said...

Awesome guitars!

My marketing tip for the year: Google Plus... Google Plus... Google Plus. :-P

Suzanne Furness said...

I haven't managed to see The Hobbit yet but looking forward to it! Those guitars look awesome!

Melissa Bradley said...

Wow, it has been a long time since I've been here. Hope you haven't forgotten me. :)

Those guitars absolutely rock and I very nearly ruined my keyboard with drool. So much great news all around. Man, I have missed being here. I promise not to stay away so long again.

Melissa Bradley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lexa Cain said...

I loved the guitars, especially the Alien one although The Thing is close behind ... and the Millennium Falcon. Aw heck, they were all awesome!

Your interview with the kids sounds great. I didn't realize MG kids knew about symbolism and themes and things like that. (They could teach some book reviewers a thing or two.)

Congrats to LG, Susan, Michael, Ali, and Jack!

Marketing. It's like the boogey monster. :P

Livia Peterson said...

I saw The Hobbit last weekend and I was disappointed. It could've been better.

The marketing blogfest sounds cool. I think I may participate in it. I wonder if I could tell how I promote my blog, but I don't know if that would work.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jay, best tip I can offer is just be honest with them. They really appreciate that.

Natalie, I'll work on a rock star story for you.

Andrew, the one I'd be concerned about is the Falcon. Looks like it would be difficult to play as well.

Gail, thank you!

Crystal, glad you're on board!

David, at least I'm good at something!

Misha, please post how to use it...

Melissa, I would never forget you!!

Lexa, you should've seen their questions! I really had to use my brain.

Livia, sounds like that would work to me.

Cathrina Constantine said...

The guitars are awesome! I'll have to save those pic's to show to my son.(He plays) My personal fave is the starship. I'm so glad to hear you liked the Hobbit Movie. I've been hearing bad reviews and we plan on seeing it next week. Congrats to all the book releases.

Maurice Mitchell said...

That alien guitar is great, but I'm sure the Doctor Who guitar is David's favorite. ;)

Pk Hrezo said...

I'm comment #100! :)

Cool guitars! I had to skim thru your Hobbit review so I didn't get any spoilers. I cant wait.

Love the comments from the class. That's the coolest!

Sarah Allen said...

Ahhhh, GOTTA go see Hobbit!! Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug) is one of my all-time favorite actors ever in the history of ever.

Sarah Allen
(From Sarah, With Joy)

jamieayres.com said...

Wow, those guitars are AWESOME! My 13yo would love to have the Star Wars or Dr. Who one! I'm so bummed I didn't have time to see The Hobbit movie this past weekend, but am hoping to sometime in the next week :-)

Nicole said...

Definitely drooling over those guitars! Crazy talent there!

Rhonda Albom said...

I love the Online Marketing Symposium idea. Brilliant. As for the Hobbit, my daughter saw it the day it opened here and love it too. Me, I will wait for the video. The last guitar was my favorite.

M Pax said...

I'd love to see the Hobbit, but had to spring for a new hard drive instead :(

Sounds like a great blogfest, but with an ailing PC I'll have to refrain. The netbook here just limps me along and I'd be online all day.

Suze said...

A Millennium Falcon guitar!

Lynda R Young said...

The Millennium Falcon guitar wins in my books, but the Predator and Dr Who come a close second.

I'm looking forward to seeing the next Hobbit... just to see Smaug. He is the real star ;)

J E Oneil said...

The Alien guitar is pretty badass. I'd get one.

The only way to avoid spoilers is to not go online ever. I, however, look up endings on Wikipedia all. the. time.

Mark Koopmans said...

I think it's awesome you went into the classroom and now I think it's hilarious that there are a couple dozen small people who know what you look like :)

Gonna bribe them with that Tardis guitar :)

All signed up for numerous marketing tips and see you on Christmas Eve (looking forward to the appearance of Mini-Santa Alex??? :)

The Happy Whisk said...

Love Doctor Who, not so much the guitar though. Neat idea though, but just doesn't fully work as well as a Doctor Who cake. Some of those are pretty darn neat.

Patricia Lynne said...

I want the Tardis guitar! =D

cleemckenzie said...

Those guitars look as if they could play themselves. They are amazing. Great to be a part of the What Works Symposium. Just signed up.

Here's to tons of success on the Mark Koopman's Fifty States of Pray.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cathrina, ignore the bad reviews and go enjoy!

Maurice, it is!

PK, yes you are!

Rhonda, I really like that one as well.

Mary, sorry about that!

Lynda, he was in the movie, that's for sure.

JE, sneaky!

Mark, actually there isn't! It was all done online...

Lee, glad you did!

E.J. Wesley said...

Okay, I NEED that Falcon guitar!

Good to hear the Hobbit Pt. 2 was a success. (My brother and his wife also shouted "Noooo!" when it ended as well. LOL I plan on watching it this coming weekend… I'll have my popcorn ready to throw. :)

All signed up for the symposium! Not sure if I can add more than some of the names already signed up, but I'm looking forward to learning from everyone.

Tonja said...

The marketing thing sounds great. I can't wait to see The Hobbit. Have a great Christmas.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Sweet guitars!!! I don't play, but if I did, I would go for the Millennium Falcon.
I'm looking forward to the 50 States of Pray, and I'm going to have to figure out how to read all the awesome books that are coming out.
BTW, I signed up for the marketing hop, although I don't know that I have any advice to give.
Oh, and I wish, wish, wish I could go see The Hobbit right now, but . . . my family coerced me into waiting until New Year's Eve - two whole weeks away. :( Somehow I'll make it until then . . . maybe.
oh, and I don't need a copy of CassaStorm, because we have one wrapped under the tree (something else I've been waiting for . . . again, thanks to my family's plans). I think they are trying to teach me patience.

L.G. Keltner said...

Thanks for advertising my blogfest! You rock! Also, I would love to own any of those guitars. I can't play guitar, but I've always wanted to learn.

Kimberly Gabriel said...

I hope we can do this again next year too Alex! It was such a wonderful experience for them! BTW - we had a few extra bookmarks we sent to our sister school - an underprivileged school in Chicago. For the holidays, we put together gifts for them and donated books. We inserted CassaStar bookmarks in some of the books. The kids were very excited about it!

klahanie said...

I would love one of those guitars. I'm great at air guitar. No strings attached.

Not seen The Hobbit. Of course, where I live, I might as well be in the movie.

That is well neat you got interviewed by Kimberly's middle school classes. What a nice email.

Links duly noted. I'm sure you will have a fulfilling time with Mark's Fifty States of Pray.

Gary

Arlee Bird said...

I think many people get intimidated by the concept of marketing or think it doesn't apply to them. We all use it and are exposed to it to some extent every day. I'll be doing a couple of posts that will hopefully encourage more people to tell us about "What Works..."

Thanks, Alex!

Lee
Tossing It Out

Sharon Himsl said...

Guitars are great! Think I'll watch this marketing discussion from afar. Not sure I can contribute much. Have so much to learn. Can't wait to see the Hobbit.Shells–Tales–Sails

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

EJ, I bet you can add a lot.

Tonja, you as well! Good to hear from you.

Tyrean, I bet you have a lot to offer. And a copy of my book awaits you under the tree? That is awesome - thank you!

LG, you're welcome.

Kimberly, thank you!! I appreciate that. Sorry I wasn't able to post this until today.

Gary - bad pun! But funny.

Lee, after Christmas we will see more.

Sharon, I bet you could.

Kirsten said...

Thanks for another info packed post! Those guitars are amazing. :)
I'll definitely be tuning in for the marketing symposium, but mostly just to read and learn (and comment of course!) since my marketing experience is really limited. I'm looking forward to it though!

Jack said...

My mum yelled no too when she saw The Hobbit ending cliff hanger. I was glad they did it. I'm not ready to see bad things happen to certain characters.

Star Wars and TARDIS guitars! Those are so cool!!

Thank you for mentioning my book!

Spacerguy said...

The Aliens guitar looks like a deadly piece of artwork. Giveaways always work.

SC Author said...

YES!!! I was waiting for your review on this movie!!! I'm watching it tomorrow, I can't wait XDDDD

Kristy Marie Feltenberger Gillespie said...

I'd love to win some books! :)

Tina said...

I don't know if I ever told you, but I used to play guitar. Started when I was in middle school, got my first real guitar of my own and not a school rental for my 16th birthday. Now I have a fused wrist and literally can't play anymore. However, The Transporter has taken over the family legacy and plays a mean electric.
Holy exploding posts, Ninja-man!
Too tired to respond to anything except WOW, are the reviews from my blogging buddies all over the map about the latest Hobbit...
Tina @ Life is Good

Tina said...

Completely forgot my point about the whole guitar thing...I really, really want a Tardis guitar. Even if I can't play it. Coolest guitar EVER.
Tina @ Life is Good

Helena said...

How really rewarding it must feel to be interviewed by middle school kids! They're so enthusiastic and genuine at that age. You've got a new generation of fans!

Helena said...

Oh, and I'd also love to win a copy of CassaStorm.

S.K. Anthony said...

Awesome guitars!

That sounds like such fun to be interviewed by the kids, and even better that they were left with that feeling of knowing you. Really cool.

I cannot wait to watch this new Hobbit movie, and I'm even more excited now after reading your review…except for the cliffhanger part… but still! lol

Donna Hole said...

Can't wait to see The Hobbit! And that first guitar was my favorite :)

......dhole

Shannon Lawrence said...

Very sweet about the class! Kids are so smart and so earnest. And Oh Em Gee...the Alien guitar is spectacular! So awesome!

The Warrior Muse

Denise Covey said...

Great about the class interview. Hopefully many reluctant readers were turned onto books.
Marketing is quite a problem, but answers will be found.

Rachel Morgan said...

We watched THE HOBBIT a few days ago and I had a similar reaction to your wife at the end. That was definitely one major cliffhanger! I thought Smaug was REALLY well done. He was scarier than I expected.
And I love Ali Cross's cover for BLOOD CROWN :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kristen, hope it helps you!

Jack, I think a lot of people yelled!

Spacerguy, they do.

SC, go enjoy!

Tina, sorry you can't play, but cool your son has taken it up. And I really want The Thing guitar. Would look awesome on my wall...

Helena, I hope so!

Rachel, they nailed Smaug.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I like the science fiction guitars. And your advice to writers to write what they want to read is spot on. This will help us write books that readers will love to read.

Shell Flower said...

Those guitars are cool. Can't wait to see the second Hobbit movie, either. And a very cute email about your interview. I am all for writing what you want to read. Have a wonderful Christmas! Blessings on you and your family :)

Brinda said...

That Alien guitar is awesome!!

Elsie Amata said...

I'm looking forward to seeing LOTR when my son comes home from college. I always enjoy the dwarfs.

Those guitars are awesome!

J. A. Bennett said...

Oh my goodness, I don't even play guitar and I want them all! Gimme! Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rachna, that's how I've always written.

Shell, same to you!

Elsie, then you will really enjoy the barrel scene!

JA, Merry Christmas to you!

Michelle Wallace said...

I love those guitars... funky!
And not sure if I have anything to contribute to the Symposium, but I'll be following the posts, reading up on all the good advice, the do's and don'ts... there'll be lots to read and learn...

Julie Luek said...

I love the guitars! There was one hanging in our church for awhile that someone had painted a mountain scene on. I loved the idea of it being a canvas.

Beverly Fox said...

I CAN'T WAIT to see the desolation of smaug- I have no doubt it will be just as amazing as the first (which was pretty effing amazing!).

Congrats on wowing Kimberly's class, I'm not surprised they loved you so much.

I would LOVE a physical copy of CassaStorm (since I don't have an E-reader) but even if I don't win I'll buy it myself eventually...

Thanks for letting me know about L.G's celebration- I'll go sign up now!

Speaking of which, do you know about John's Best Reads bloghop? He does it every year and it's always lots of fun.
http://johnwiswell.blogspot.com/2013/12/kicking-off-bestreads2013.html

Cate Masters said...

Very cool guitars!
Looking forward to The Hobbit. I'm a longtime Tolkien fan.

John Wiswell said...

Glad you enjoyed Hobbit 2 so much! I don't know if I'll see it until it hits Netflix. But I am very keen on Interstellar and Godzilla. Hope those movies pan out well.

John Wiswell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leovi said...

Wonderful, I'm sure you enjoyed the questions of the students!

DMS said...

The first guitar is just awesome! I want it and I don't even know how to play!
~Jess

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Michelle, I bet you could offer something.

Beverly, thanks! And I do know, it's just my list would be really short. (I didn't read as much as I wanted.)

John, they come from fine directors, so they should be good.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Those guitars are amazing! Do you have one? The marketing symposium sounds interesting, I look forward to it!

Medeia Sharif said...

That movie sounds awesome and I love those guitars.

Susan's novel is wonderful.

Carrie-Anne said...

Those guitars are really groovy. I never learnt to play an instrument, but I always wanted to learn violin. For the last 10 years or so, I've been more interested in the vielle and dulcian.

The marketing blogfest should be interesting. I'd love some tips for one day starting my own small publishing house and an embroidery business.

Sakib Khan said...

Hello Mr. Alex I recently signup for the IWSG but I don't know how to put badge of it. please help me

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Karen, none like that!

Carrie-Anne, I'm sure you'll get a lot of good tips.

Sakib, copy the badge (save image as) and then add it to your blog as an image. I can email you the image if it will help.

Christine Danek said...

Have a wonderful Christmas!! Love the guitars.

msmariah said...

Oh Alex! The guitars! My husband would fall over if he saw these. I haven't seen the trailer for Godzilla yet, but I'm glad it's getting good responses. Roland Emmerich ruined Godzilla for me. 'Pacific Rim' gave me hope.

Liz Blocker said...

Embarrassingly, I don't actually have much to share about marketing in either direction (good or bad) - that's how little experience I have with it!!! I'll definitely READ everyone else's to learn, though. And if I can come up with anything...at all... I'll join in!

Those guitars are AMAZING.

Doralynn Kennedy said...

My son is the guitarist. He's a natural and self taught. It amazes me. And speaking of my son, he went out and saw the Hobbit as soon as it was released.

Sounds like a great interview.

I could learn a lot from your blog hop, but my marketing skills are nill.

Merry Christmas and good luck to one and all!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Awesome guitars... I won't be showing my Hubby, he'll want all of them, and we don't have room!

I'll definitely be reading the marketing posts in January, but I don't have anything to offer, because I haven't really had a marketing 'idea' yet! Chocolates at my book signing was about as innovative as I've got so far :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Christine, same to you!

MsMariah, let that hope build. And be sure your husband sees these.

Liz, you'll get to learn!

Doralynn, your son has a gift.

Annalisa, you'd have a lot to offer! And no room? How many guitars do you already own?

Jennifer Hillier said...

Can I get a science fiction guitar that plays itself? Because I've always wanted to be a rock star.

I have not seen the Hobbit because I actually have nobody to see it with and am too lame to go the movies by myself. *overshare*

Emilyann Girdner said...

Nice Guitar picks. Your summary of The Hobbit was spot on too. The Hobbit is on my list of top three favorite books ever and I've what they're doing with the series. Like you said, Peter Jackson is definitely taking liberties, but I think it's pretty nicely done. And congrats to everyone on their book releases and cover reveals. Blood Crown looks super cool. =)

LD Masterson said...

Awesome guitars. I don't know now about The Hobbit. The movie sounds fascinating but I HATE cliffhanger endings.

Have a very merry Christmas, Alex. See you next year.

Ella said...

Cheers for The Hobbit !
The guitars are amazing-can t pick,they are all too cool
Nice job with the middle schoolers-Kim sounds like a great teacher! Smart to invite a Ninja Captain to share his process. Bravo Captain Cool

Donna B. said...

Hi Alex, WHOA! Those are some pretty snazzy guitars! I am in awe of all the irons you have in the fire…and juggling them all so impressively!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jennifer, a couple of those just might play themselves. And just go to the movies anyway!

Emilyann, I think he's done fine with the series.

Merry Christmas, LD!

Ella, the interview with the kids was fun!

Donna, as long as I don't drop any of those irons.

Laura Pauling said...

Man, I'm late on this one. :) Looking forward to the marketing bloghop b/c I'd love to know other people's opinions on what I've noticed. :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

If I comment several times, so I get extra chances at winning?

My husband was shocked by the cliffhanger too. Only he didn't take it as well as your wife. I had to give him a punch in theater and remind him of his language when he yelled out an, "You've got to be *bleeping* kidding me?!"

Signed up for the blog hop. I actually have some things I am ready to say!

Now, technically, I could have split that into three comments...just sayin ;)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Those physical copies...I'm assuming they would be signed right? That's what gives me my book envy and makes me willing to try to rig the contest.

Liz Fichera said...

Ah, those guitars...yes, I am drooling. There are several people in my life who'd love one.

What a fantastic idea for a blog hop! Signed up.

Deniz Bevan said...

Love that Tardis guitar.
I hadn't seen the Godzilla trailer! I was totally shocked in the theatre, it wasn't what I expected at all!
Love the marketing blogfest idea! Maybe you could talk a bit about your talks in front of the kids - I'm too shy for that sort of thing, but love it when authors take the time to do it.

Vanessa Morgan said...

I'll be going to The Hobbit tomorrow. By the way, the ultimate Christmas movie is Gremlins. Happy holidays to you too.

Liesel Hill said...

NICE guitars! And I can wait to see the Hobbit. Probably not for another week or two, but totally excited. Don't know if I'll participate in the marketing symposium, but I'll definitely drop by for some tips! :D

Samantha May said...

Cool guitars! If only I knew how to play :P

The Hobbit was awesome and the barrel scene was hilarious! I was really creeped out by Orlando Bloom's eyes the whole time though. Like...you could tell his were fake compared to everyone else. I did the same thing as your wife except my reaction was more along the lines of "NO. WHAT?"

Other people in the theater did it too though so I'm not too crazy!

I had no idea until the end of the preview that it was Godzilla. It was pretty stunning, to say the least.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Laura, glad you're on board!

Elizabeth, that's funny! Nothing like a colorful metaphor. And yes, it will be a signed copy.

Liz, glad you joined us.

Deniz, that's my point exactly - if you didn't know what it was, then the teaser was very effective. And I talked to the kids through email, so no in person for me.

Vanessa, I think it's a Christmas movie as well.

Liesel, you should.

Samantha, that was the funniest part of the movie. And I knew the Godzilla trailer would be more effective if you didn't know it was coming.

Li said...

Those guitars are really awesome! I'm looking at my old acoustic and wondering how I can transform it...

Bossy Betty said...

Awesome guitars. Happy Thursday, Alex!

Pat Tillett said...

Hi Alex! I love those guitars! Especially the first one. Although I thought the beginning of the Hobbit was pretty slow, it certainly did pick up. I'll be seeing the next two installments as well. Hope you have a nice christmas!

Julie Dao said...

Those guitars are fantastic! But I bet very, very pricy. I cannot wait to see The Hobbit this weekend!

Gossip_Grl said...

I forgot your post said that this was your last posting before Christmas. I stopped by your blog to wish you and your wife a Very Merry Christmas and have a safe Holiday!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lisa, it's given you ideas, hasn't it?

Pat, the second one has a much faster pace.

Julie, more than I want to spend.

Merry Christmas, Gossip Girl!

Mason Canyon said...

Alex, you always have so much going on. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Kathe W. said...

those guitars are amazing- !!
We're going to see the Hobbit later this weekend- but first we need to watch again the previous Hobbit's on our DVD's at home....
Have a great Christmas and Happy New Year- and thanks so much for your always ever so nice comments! Cheers!

ediFanoB said...

Awesome guitars!

So my wife and I watched The Desolation of Smaug.
There was a lot of action and the cliffhanger is a really big one.

However, we both were not really happy with the movie.
We missed what we both call "magic moments" which we got in Lord of the Rings.

Of course we will see the the final one in 2014.

Cindy said...

I'm glad to hear Hobbit 2 is better...as I wasn't that impressed with the first. I may just watch it now.

What interesting guitars!

Al Penwasser said...

My son rented 'The Hobbit' this week and we really liked it. We're looking forward to seeing the next chapter. Although I have to wonder, why didn't Gandalf's birds just fly them all to Lonely Mountain?
Plus, my son had what I consider a great line after Bilbo said, "I think the worst is behind us."
He said, "Well, unless you consider that there's a DRAGON in that mountain, yeah."

Mason T. Matchak said...

It's probably for the best that I don't play guitar, else I'd be spending a ridiculous amount of money on that Alien one. Ye gods, that's awesome.

And wholly agreed about "The Hobbit". The whole thing was a ton of fun, even moreso than the first one, and that ending was perfect. Best way to leave everyone wanting more. Bwa ha ha.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Merry Christmas, Mason!

Kathe, enjoy!

Edi, can't miss the third one.

Al, good point. And why didn't those birds just fly Frodo to Mordor?

Mason, I already spend a ridiculous amount of money on guitars...

The Desert Rocks said...

So exciting at your blog Alex. First we have sci-fi guitars, Kimberly's wonderful letter a Hobbit review and secrets to successful book marketing? I wish I could keep up. Can't. Have a great holiday and Happy New Year too.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

The guitars are too awesome, Alex. Glad you liked the Hobbit.

Tara Tyler said...

those guitars are soooo cool! alien one is awesome!

and of course there was a massive cliffhanger. thats what they do!

congrats to all the authors. and how cool to be read & interviewed w/ kims class

merry christmas!!

Trisha F said...

Pretty sure I'd seen the Millennium Falcon guitar before, but not the others - awesome stuff! I think the last one might be my fave.

Had to sign up for the marketing 'fest! Looks like it will be super useful!

Merry Christmas to you Alex - I hope you and your family have a wonderful end of year!

Debra McKellan said...

Cool guitars!

My sisters and I saw The Hobbit on Friday, and it was AWESOOOOOME! :D I love the additions, and that whole segment with Smaug was so mindblowing!

cleemckenzie said...

I'd have to have a special place for one of those guitars, but I loved seeing them.

The Hobbit is on my list of must see movies.

Morgan said...

Merry Christmas, Alex! I hope your holidays are wonderful! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Desert, thanks and same to you!

Tara, it was very cool.

Trisha, same to you, and thanks for joining the symposium.

Debra, wasn't it great?

Merry Christmas, Morgan!

Glynis said...

Merry Christmas, Alex! Love the post it is packed with so much to read and absorb while I unwind. :)

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