Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Plus Minions Trailer, Tomorrowland Concept Art, A to Z Challenge Minions, and Ninja News

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

My awesome co-hosts today are Gwen Gardner, Dolorah, Sarah Foster, and M. Pax!

I’m an even-keeled kind of guy, so I don’t have real highs or lows. With my fourth book coming out in April, there have been some shifts in these past few months, swinging back and forth.

The early reviews have been great–better than for any other book. I’d worried about this one since it branches away from the familiar Cassa universe and characters. It’s also told in third person from only one character’s point of view. Yeah, who does that? So far, so good though.

Of course, I see reviews for other books that talk about lush world building, intricate plot twists, and rich details in a multifaceted storyline. Crap. Yeah, no one will ever accuse me of deep, vivid storylines bursting with symbolism and Tolkien level world building. I’m the fast paced, adventure-style, and unfortunately more simple in my storytelling…

I’ve also read a lot of books in the past six months. Now, usually as writers, we start noticing our own flaws when seeing someone’s polished work. Which I have, but I’ve also noted some areas where I do well. I’m much better now at showing rather than telling; I’m good with character and relationship building; and I don’t overdo the details. Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t worry about the concern above…

My book comes out April 7, right in full swing of the A to Z Challenge. I’m a Challenge Co-host. I have duties and will be posting at the A to Z Blog. I’ll also be posting at the IWSG site. Plus my own daily posts. (Which are going to take about four hours each to put together.) And my blog tour. Will I survive?

Then my mood is back up again with the support and response concerning the What Are the Kargrandes? website. Thanks to those of you who’ve Tweeted about the site and spread the word. The site was a joint effort with my publisher and I enjoyed coming up with a new teaser fact for every Monday. We’re working hard to establish a grass roots effort and hope it pays off.

So there you have it. The ups and the downs. And what I am dealing with right now…

Minions Wanted!

The A to Z Challenge co-hosts need your help!

We are looking for Minions to assist with visiting participants on the list. Duties include visiting a small assigned portion of the list once a week and reporting back to the co-host any blogs that aren’t participating.

If you would like to be a Minion (you get your own A to Z Challenge Minion badge) leave a comment.

And if you’ve not joined the A to Z Challenge, please join us.

Ninja News

February 2 isn’t just Groundhog Day. It’s Lung Leaving Day. What is that? It’s the celebration of one woman’s incredible triumph over death. Learn about Heather’s incredible journey HERE. You can also watch a video about her life HERE.

Out now!
A Not So Humane World by Pat Hatt








Some really cool concept art for Tomorrowland from Blastr:


And just to make you smile, JoBlo featured the brand new trailer for Minions:



Can you help out and be an A to Z Minion? Like the Minions trailer? Think Tomorrowland will be good? What are the Kargrandes – figured it out yet? And who else goes up and down for similar reasons?
Plus - for some reason, not all blog posts are appearing in my Feedly reader. Some are showing up the next day even. Anyone else having issues?

192 comments:

randi lee said...

Hi Alex!

I'd love to be an A to Z challenge minion, if you all will have me! I've always wanted to help out, just never had the time. I do this year though, as I both have time and won't be participating myself.

It's great to hear that your newest is getting good early reviews. I'm sure they are WELL deserved and can't wait to be knocked out of the park again by another goodie!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Congratulations on the great reviews!

I do like the way Tomorrowland looks. And...I don't exactly write a lot of symbolism and beautiful description either...but simple sells.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Hi Alex!! I do like The Minions trailer and I think Tomorrowland looks AMAZING!!

Cathrina Constantine said...

It's normal to have ups and downs. The early reviews are good so don't sweat. Must be an amazing 4th book!!
I'm reading a book that's blowing me away. His writing is great. I'm jealous and wish I had such talent. We all have are moments, right?
I love the minions!!!!

Stephanie Faris said...

I can't imagine doing the A to Z Challenge WHILE promoting a book. I spent the entire month of January at the post office, it feels like! I'm exhausted.

I'll be a minion. I'll be visiting blogs anyway--that's the point!--so I may as well be productive while doing so. Just let me know!!!

Kirsten said...

I like your even-keeled outlook! I think it is normal to question what you have written, and wonder if it measures up, but if you write from your heart I think you'll find that your story will always measure up. You wrote the book that only you can write, and it will be wonderful because of that.
(And I'm looking forward to reading it!)
That concept art is gorgeous. :)

Sandra Almazan said...

A book doesn't have to have everything to be good. Sounds like your book is already reaching the right readers, so celebrate its strengths. As for the A-Z, I'm sure you'll schedule posts ahead of time, so that should make it a little easier. I plan to publish my next book in April, but it depends on when I hear from my beta readers and what feedback they give me.

Sarah Foster said...

Everybody has their own strengths and not every story needs that sort of epic, elaborate story telling. Sometimes I have a hard time with showing vs. telling, so I'm jealous of that :)

What the heck, I'll be a minion!

J.L. Campbell said...

Hey, Alex,

By the sound of things, you've done a great job with your fourth book. It's wonderful when you have confirmation that you've done your job well. Congrats! And yeah, you will survive!

Cool trailer!

Anna Nordeman said...

Dear Alex,

Congratulations on the new book release in April!

I have started reading your first book, CassaStar. This is a new genre for me, SpaceOpera, but important if I am to understand the range of what Science Fiction is. At first glance, it seems like a boy's book. My thisteen year old son, Erik, might like it because he likes Star Wars. Do you have plans to get your books translated into foreign languages?

I've decided to do the A to Z this year after not doing it for a couple of years. But I think it will be alright since I am getting an early start.

I have made a list of ingredients that my daughter used in her uneatable smoothies. I don't understand where she gets her ideas!

Best wishes,
Anna

Nick Wilford said...

I think there's something to be said for "less is more", an exciting, streamlined storyline is more likely to attract younger readers in particular. Celebrate your good reviews and a job well done!

Christine Rains said...

I can sympathize with you. The book is absolutely fantastic, though. And I don't gush if I don't mean it! Can't wait to take my little guy (and big one!) to the Minions movie. It's going to be so much fun!

Jemi Fraser said...

Congrats on the strong reviews! Can't wait to read this one!

Jackie said...

That's great about the reviews! I signed up for A to Z, but not sure what I'm doing yet for my individual blog. We're all set on my co-blog, so that's a bonus!

Pat Hatt said...

Awesome on the great reviews. There will always be weaknesses and strengths, just like anything. I'm more of a go go go writer. Sure you'll survive the month then need a vacation.

Carolyn Brown said...

Love the Tomorrow Land pic, very futuristic!

I have been a minion for Jeremy during previous A-Z Challenges and would be happy to be so again, if he wants my help. Hopefully his year is going better than the last one.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I think it's good to focus on what we're good at as a writer. I'm not a really deep world building or theme writer either. But I prefer the faster paced books like you write to read and to write myself. Glad your reviews have been so positive.

NASHVILLECATS said...

Looking forward to the A to Z Challenge, hope I have somewhere by then also the internet.

Have a good day, great interesting post as usual.

Yvonne.

Murees Dupé said...

Wow! You are going to be crazy busy, but knowing you, you will come out on-top, crushing any obstacles ahead. Also, congratulations with your good reviews!

Jo said...

Oh hi Alex. People want to know what the Kargrandes are? Well, they are...argh........

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Congratulations on the good reviews, I'm sure they will keep coming!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Alex, you are going to rock everything - no worries!

And I LOVE that Minion Trailer! I am way more excited for that movie than I probably should be. :)

J Q Rose said...

Congrats on #4! Adventure stories don't work with a lot of extra description and poetic writing. We want the nitty gritty action! You have a mature attitude about your writing, so claim it. I am curiouser and curiouser about the Kargrandes. What can they be??
Thought I'd join A-Z this spring. Not so sure now as we will be traveling. sigh Have a great IWSG day!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Loved that trailer, and I really want to see that movie now. Thanks for posting it, Alex.

I'm exhausted merely reading your plans for April - and all the more honored that you read and wrote a blurb for my book. Thanks, again. (I'm incorporating it already into proposals.)

Third, thanks for keeping the plots of your books simple. I wouldn't appreciate them otherwise.

Mark Means said...

There's a lot to be said for "simple storytelling" and, many times, those are the ones that make the best stories. Either way, I'm sure you'll do fine and, with three books already under your belt, your insecurities should be minimal :)

I'm waffling on doing A to Z this year, but am still leaning towards the "do" side. I'll know more in the next week...hopefully.

Best of luck and much success to you!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I wish I could guarantee that all your reviews will be wonderful and uplifting, and they probably will. But sadly, we can't make all the readers happy all the time. You are a great writer, and I believe this new book will do better than the others. In fact, I believe every book you write will be better than the last.

I also think the new covers are fabulous.

I want to volunteer for A-Z, but we'll be on the road for 10 days, driving from Mexico to Canada. I would hate to let you down, and rather than do that, I'll have to pass on helping this time round. Feel bad about that.

Charles Gramlich said...

Tomorrowland does indeed look cool

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Randi Lee!

Elizabeth, that's what I'm hoping. Simple sells.

Cathrina, we do have those moments.

Stephanie, I will be beat when it's over. And thanks!

Kirsten, I appreciate that.

Sandra, we might both be crazy that month.

Sarah, thanks!

Anna, thank you! I hope you enjoy it. All three are written so a young person could enjoy them. Sorry, my publisher has never translated any of them. And glad you are on board with the Challenge.

Nick, that's good to know.

Christine, thank you!!

Jackie, glad you're on board.

Carolyn, he will appreciate you, and it's better for him so far.

Natalie, thanks!

Madeline, I'm excited for the movie!

JQ, I claim it.

Robyn, thanks, and I was honored to read your book.

Mark, join us!!

Joylene, no worries.

Haneen I. Adam said...

God! you sure got a lot on your plate!.....don't know if I can survive that but you on the other hand; I'm sure you can ;) good luck.

Jay Noel said...

I'm a similar kind of storyteller. But with my background in English Literature, I have to work hard to strip my work away and not get in my own way.

Some very snooty intellectuals have accused my writing of being very simplistic, yet fun. Like a guilty pleasure. I guess I can't be too angry with that assessment.

Me and the kiddos will be watching The Minions!

Kristin Smith said...

Congrats on the great reviews—I'm sure they are well deserved! And I wouldn't worry about not using vivid description and thought-provoking symbolism...sometimes less is more! My writing probably would be considered simple and straight forward as well.

I'm a minions junkie and think they are hilarious, so yeah, I'm looking forward to this one! :)

Gail said...

Congratulations on your new book! I find it unbelievable that a successful author talks to me.

Karen Walker said...

Alex, that is a lot you've taken on, but you will do it brilliantly. So excited for you about your release and the positive feedback you are already receiving.

Bob R Milne said...

Count me in for Minion duties, Alex. I can't promise to be that cute, but I have been told (by my toddler) that I'm equally amusing. LOL

Tamara Narayan said...

Hi Alex,

Yes, I have my (virtual) blue overalls and goggles ready to go, so sign me up, Gru, I'll be an A to Z minion.

Tamara Narayan

Julie Flanders said...

I admit I usually enjoy fast storytelling more than lush details, etc. I think some authors go so overboard on description that it bogs down the book and I get bored. So your style works for me! Congrats on the great reviews coming in already. :)

Mary Aalgaard said...

Love those minions! Great trailer. You're going to be even more successful with your new book. Can't wait. I'm still trying to come up with a theme for the A to Z Challenge.
Play off the Page

Al Penwasser said...

What? We're supposed to write with symbolism in mind? Huh. I thought that a cigar was sometimes just a cigar.
And Moby Dick was just a big fish, not a venereal disease.
NOTE: I realize that whales are mammals. Big frikkin' mammals.

Eliza March said...

Your approach may help me organize my own long list of things to do. On a bright note. I'm always more productive when there are many pressing issues harping at me. I must need the stress level to produce adrenalin.

Bish Denham said...

I don't know if I'm going to be a minion this year or not. I am doing the challenge, though and working on my posts.

Tomorrowland looks like another over-crowded city to me... Give me country and open space!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Awwww Tomorrowland. The minion trailer is cute.

Yikes, you will be insane after April. Better start the vitamins now.

Teresa

Al Diaz said...

I saw the Minion Trailer yesterday and my dwarves are looking forward to see the movie. Tassin thinks maybe you should consider to have a team like movie stars and other very busy people. You know, make your clones more of an effective tangible, reliable help for you. Something like "AlexJCavanaugh Team". So they effectively work with you to manage all the social media duty in your name and not just the A to Z. It's fantastic that you want to practice the gift of omnipresence and ubiquity but be careful to not burn you down to the point of catastrophe. A drop of dragon wisdom: Keeping your mind on high goals is important but it's also paramount to keep your feet on the ground.

Nicki Elson said...

Y'know what? I think AtoZ is actually the perfect time for a book release -- too busy to stress about it!

At last year's AtoZ I mostly only managed to return visits of those who visited me, so I'm not feeling minion-worthy at the moment. Perhaps I'll build up to it before the challenge starts (I actually haven't even signed up yet).

Jennifer Hawes said...

Congrats...It's so exciting to have a book release! Sounds like you're going to be BUSY. I love rooting out the "showing" in my novel. It makes such an improvement and transports your writing to a whole other level.
I'd be happy to be a minion. This year, I'm going to get my posts done the month before:) Hopefully.

Crystal Collier said...

I'm still debating whether I can manage the A to Z Challenge this year. The baby is due less than 2 weeks before April, so it's not looking good. Still, I was thinking about doing something simple, like picture posts every day... Whew! But with the baby? The jury is out.

Lexa Cain said...

It can be depressing to compare yourself to others. (People write books so much faster than I do. I HATE that!!) But everyone has strengths and weaknesses - better to just accept them...

Congrats to Pat and love those minions! :)

Loni Townsend said...

Hooray for knowing your strengths! I still struggle with mine. And I think it's great that you're getting good reviews already.

Minions looks adorable. :)

E.E. Giorgi said...

I love fast paced, adventure-style, there's nothing wrong with that!! Tolkien has always been slow for me, LOL! April is approaching! My book got bumped to February (eek!), but I still want to feature yours on your launch day!

Arlee Bird said...

I tend to be rather even-keeled most of the time as well. Maybe I need some manic energy highs.

No Hobbits in Dragon of the Stars? Is there at least a dragon?

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jay, nothing wrong with fun.

Gail, I'm just a dude with some books and even more guitars...

Bob, thanks, and that made me chuckle.

Tamara, thanks!!

Julie, that's good to know.

Al, Moby Dick was a venereal disease? I totally missed that.

Al, I'll need a huge team of Ninja clones. And thanks, I will keep my feet on the ground. I hate to fly anyway.

Nicki, true, and sign up!

Jennifer, thanks!

Crystal, pictures would work.

Lexa, wise words.

Cherie Colyer said...

Congrats on the great reviews. That has to make you feel good, and I'm sure they are well deserved. We both have books coming out in April. =) I'd be happy to help spread the word when yours releases. Just send me whatever details you have at the time.

And you are doing better at keeping up with everything than I am. I totally forgot that today is the first Wednesday of the month. Hangs head, because I don't have a IWSG post. I'll do better next month. In the meantime, I'll be hopping around the blog-sphere to support others.

Beth Ellyn Summer said...

I always compare myself to others and as a result have major ups and downs--I push through!

Heather M. Gardner said...

Hi ALEX!
It's a great story. People are going to love it. Breathe! You will do a great job at everything on your list because you're smart and plan ahead. Not to worry. :)

I'll worry for you!
AHAHAHAHAH!!!

There. All done!

Have a great day!
HMG

S.K. Anthony said...

Yay for the great reviews, Alex!!!! I definitely go up and down a lot. Mostly about my time and feeling stretched thin with my responsibilities and my passion, but it's part of the deal so I take it lol

Loved the Minion's trailer...and the Tomorrowland concept! Nice ;)

sydneyaaliyah.com said...

I get caught up in the comparison to other peoples work. It's hard not to, but I love your story telling style. All the amazing world building skills is meaningless if you can't tell the story.

Chrys Fey said...

World building is tough. While it is lovely to read a book that does it well, I'm a sucker for action!

I already emailed Stephen Tremp to be a minion. ;) But I have to get my badge!

Stephsco said...

Congrats on your newest book! I think reading widely is hugely beneficial as a writer. I go back and forth with reading outside of what I write and finding books in my genre to keep current. One of the best pieces of advice I've gotten is to read debut authors in your genre. It's great to read classics or works from 10+ years ago, but if you're marketing your books or trying to sell to a publisher, knowing what's selling NOW is crucial.

ilima said...

I'll take a simple story with great characters over lush detailed descriptions ANY DAY. (and I write the same way) I say you're doing it just right. Congrats on the great reviews!

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

I thought artist types where supposed to be moody. :)

Emma Adams said...

Congratulations on the reviews! :) I wouldn't worry about comparing your book to others - every writer has strengths and weaknesses, and it sounds as though your readers enjoy your stories as they are!

Jennifer Lane said...

Eek! Aprils getting closer. I too learn more about my writing strengths and weaknesses by reading and reviewing.

cleemckenzie said...

You'll survive and come out all the stronger for piling o the labors.

Loved Tommorrowland image. Just hope there's a forest somewhere to hide out in.

I saw Pat's book this week. The title has me curious.

pk hrezo said...

I feel like I've missed so much! Big congrats on your new release Alex!! So great!!! I'll have to check out that new website too. I think it's super cool you tried something different with this story. :D

Mina Burrows said...

I think you just have a lot going on right now. All good things but it's a lot to take in. Enjoy the ride and I can't wait for your book release! Woot!

Melissa said...

It doesn't surprise me that your latest book is getting rave reviews. It was obvious you are passionate about that story. Congrats, Alex. :)

Kai Strand said...

Our IWSG topics are similar this month. I addressed my pre-release jitters. Your April sounds crazy busy. Add celebrating my birthday and I might have just tipped over your apple cart. Lol. Best of luck with your new book.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Hemingway wrote well as did Faulkner, but both wrote in drastically different styles.

Don't compete with others; compete with yourself. You have grown as a writer since your first novel. Enjoy the ride. You have earned it. :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

EE, wow, no pressure! And thanks.

Lee, there's a ship called the Dragon.

Cherie, thanks, and I will do the same for you.

Heather, you helped make it great.

Sydney, thank you.

Stephsco, goo point!

Ilima, good to know.

Holly, I know! Weird, huh?

PK! We've missed you.

Kai, we'll both go crazy in April. It will be fun.

Thanks, Roland.

Juneta Key said...

Congrats on release of your book and the early reviews. Even keel is probably the best approach, after all it is why the turtle beat the hare in their race.
Juneta at Writer's Gambit

Lori L MacLaughlin said...

Congrats on the positive reviews! I've been up and down quite a bit the past couple of months. Just when I think I'm making progress, I run into another obstacle. I guess that's life. Looking forward to A to Z! Love those minions.

Leovi Leovi said...

Congratulations Alex by the good reviews of your book and also for your wise self-criticism, which I consider more valuable!

Yolanda Renee said...

Up and down describes the writing life, at least for me! LOL

Wonderful opportunities in the IWSG page for critique partners, thank you!

You have a lot on your plate, but it's the fun kind of busy, right?

good luck with all of it!

mail4rosey said...

I like to read the A to Z's. Glad your book's getting nice reviews!

LD Masterson said...

I think it's wonderful that your getting great, but not surprising.
But a release date in the middle of the A-Z? Oh Lordy.

farawayeyes said...

Unfortunately, I really get the highs and lows; the ups and downs. I feel that pain.

Still on the fence about doing the A to Z. I'm sure you'll find plenty of minions.

AND,'The Minions' looks like fun.

Jenni Enzor said...

I think it's great that you're seeing what you do well. I am mixed, too, when I read other people's books. But I like how you focused on your strengths. I have to remember that when I admire lots of description in someone else that I'll probably never write that kind of prose, it's just not me. It sounds like you have a really good perspective, Alex!

Cortney Pearson said...

Yay for great reviews, and congrats on your newest book!

I've never done the A-Z challenge before, but I'm thinking maybe I'll give it a try this year!

Rachel Pattinson said...

Congrats on your book coming out in April! It looks like we'll both be hitting the ground running in April ;) - I forget to blog at the best of times, so goodness knows how I'll do the A-Z challenge, as well as promote my book! We can keep each other going! Best of luck :)!

Carrie-Anne said...

Congratulations on your good reviews!

You shouldn't compare yourself against other writers and books. I know I'd never be able to write a standalone of less than 200 pages, for example, or a fast-paced, plot-centric book, since my strengths and interests are in other areas.

Chemist Ken said...

I'm sure you'll survive April, but I expect some of your clones will bite the dust. That's okay, you can always make more.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The Minions are so cute! I love them.

You're getting good reviews. Have confidence that what you wrote is best for your readers.

Sherry Ellis said...

Tomorrowland looks very cool! Congratulations on all the good reviews! I'm sure your next book will get them, too.

Brian Miller said...

I think we have to be careful in comparing ourselves to other writers...its one thing to take some style points but not so that we lose our voice...I look forward to reading your book alex...I am a little bogged down ina book thick with world building and it is cramping my pace...

Patsy said...

I guess there'll always be someone who is better at some things than we are. As long as we're doing our best I don't think we need be too concerned that someone else's best is better.

Debra McKellan said...

If anyone can do it, you can!

Tia Bach said...

Wishing you all the energy you need to rock your April and anything else that comes your way. I love fast-paced and entertaining, and we all have to be the writers that we are. Thank goodness there are so many types of readers out there!

My IWSG Post

M Pax said...

I find really great writing can inspire my own. Yeah, I find myself sometimes editing other people's work, then I let it go. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We have to get really good at writing stories that play to our strengths and downlpay our weaknesses. Glad you're getting good reviews for the new work.

Elephant's Child said...

Love that your confidence in your abilities is growing. Some day you will be as awed at your skills as the rest of us are...

Andrew Leon said...

I don't check my feedly reader very often, but I do know that I have issues with specific blogs showing up anywhere. I have to remember to go directly to those pages.

Sharon M. Himsl said...

Wow, you've made great progress as a writer, and the reviews on #4 are terrific. Congratulations! Also, I want to thank you for starting the IWSG. It feels good to finally be a part of something I've watched grow from the sidelines. Writing is such an isolating experience, although a wonderful one too. The support this group gives other writers by letting them know they are not alone is amazing. Thank you again!

SA Larsenッ said...

Quite interesting that you decided to write this fourth book from only one character's perspective. What made you do that? Just curious. I'm always intrigued how we decide which tense and person, and POV write out stories in. I really struggle with that at first.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Leovi, thank you.

Yolanda, yeah, fun. I'll try to remember that.

Jenni, thanks! If we focus on our weaknesses, we'll just go nuts.

Cortney, please join us.

Rachel, we can do it!

Ken, good thing I have that cloning machine.

Brian, no such issues in my next book, I promise!

Tia, good point.

Elephant - ha!

Andrew, I've been using my sidebar. I have no idea what's screwing up.

Sharon, thanks for being a part of it!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Wow, your April looks like it'll be even busier than my February. Good job you're not a panicker :-)

Lisa said...

What a great post this week. Wow, and I think I have a lot on my plate!!! Thanks for the announcement about minions! I'm checking them out now!

Patricia Lynne said...

C. Lee has already recruited me as a minion and we came up with a team name and mascot. Totally into it already. =D

Lidy Wilks said...

Hi Alex! It's my first IWSG day and wow you've got a lot going on. How do you manage? Anyways, congrats on your release in April!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Tomorrowland has high expectations in my mind. You are a cool guy Alex and promotion for your upcoming book is gaining great traction. It takes me a longer time to write anything that could even dream to be like Tolkien than my usual writing style. Write what you know, use the style you do best and draw in your readers. That matters most. I have read some high styled books that are just too boring to complete. Style doesn't matter if you can't get readers interested.

Is it okay to be a minion even if you are not taking part in A-Z this year? I still plan to visit sites even though I'm sitting out so why not volunteer my services?

Shah Wharton said...

Oh that's so brilliant Alex. I've never got review prior to publication but it must take the weight off those pre-pub nerves. Regarding your 'simple' style... it takes all sorts and in genre fiction, simple plots is as welcome as a single Lilly in a garden of vulgar blooms... or something like that. Lol! :)

shahwharton.com

Shah Wharton said...

Oh that's so brilliant Alex. I've never got review prior to publication but it must take the weight off those pre-pub nerves. Regarding your 'simple' style... it takes all sorts and in genre fiction, simple plots is as welcome as a single Lilly in a garden of vulgar blooms... or something like that. Lol! :)

shahwharton.com

dolorah said...

I plan to take a break during A-Z. Will I be writing or reading? Or will I flake off the entire month? Don't know yet.

You are so busy, I don't know how you keep up. It intimidating!!

Glad the promotions are going well. And it is scary to start a new story line after the success of a trilogy. Many of my favorite fantasy authors have done it. Seems the mark of a good author to be able to switch characters and worlds. I write in thirds person, single perspective. Its fun!!

Thanks for allowing me to co-host this month Alex. I always enjoy it.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Great news that you've received so many wonderful reviews! I agree that simple is better. The Minions movie looks like fun, and it has a fantastic cast! I know things will run smoothly for you in April, though I'll never understand how you're able to do it all, Alex!

Julie

Hart Johnson said...

I start your book tonight! I just finished the one that was right before it on my list, so you are up. I am looking forward to it. Glad your reviews are going well so far!

Caffe Maggieato said...

Congrats on the early reviews! Who needs symbolism? Sometimes I just wanna kick back with a fun book that keeps the pace moving. So go you!

Michael Pierce said...

I enjoy more fast paced books as well, and so I think I write similarly. But I also love good plot twists. Congrats on your positive feedback. See, you're getting better which each book. Can't stop now!

Holy Ghost Writer said...

You sure have a big month coming up.

Melanie Schulz said...

I'd be happy to be your minion again, if you still need one.

Birgit said...

April will be a supremely busy month for you but I think it grateful one. Look at all the accomplishments and you should see how well you write cos you do!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sheri, he was the only consistent, main character and I don't like first person. That's the best answer I can give you!

Lidy, welcome to the group!

Sheena-kay, good point. And thanks - yes, you can.

Shah, I'm fortunate my publisher sends out a lot of review copies.

Donna, good to know someone else writes that way. And appreciate you co-hosting.

Hart, awesome! Enjoy.

Caffe, I'm going!

Thanks, Melanie!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

You are busy, but don't worry. You will survive. And your book will be out before you know it.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Cool Minion trailer. Hoping to get some volunteers soon.
Glad to hear Dragon is doing so well and it's not even out yet.

L.G. Keltner said...

I don't know how many people have already volunteered, but I'd be happy to be a minion again if you still need volunteers.

Liz A. said...

With Feedly, the other blog I write for just posted two hours ago even though I had it scheduled for 8 AM. So, yeah, looks like there's an issue.

What's the saying? We see our own first drafts while we see the world's final polished product. I think we all write what we write, and we can enjoy the writing of others, but we shouldn't compare ourselves to them. (If only I took that advice ;) )

J E Oneil said...

Hey, simple isn't a bad thing. Complexity can be good, but only if it's done right, and it's the same with simplicity. I think the important thing is that people enjoy it and you have the story you want to tell :). Good luck with the release!

Cynthia said...

I actually prefer reading writing where the writer isn't overdoing the details.
I want them to get to the point, and leave some things to my imagination too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

LG, awesome!!

Liz, the Feedly issue is frustrating. And I know, shouldn't compare.

Cynthia, then I'm in luck!

Stephen Hayes said...

How wonderful that you're getting reviews to support your work. It isn't critical, but it must feel good. I also love the minions, although I can't explain why. They just make me laugh. Take care.

Mark Koopmans said...

Hadn't heard about the splendid reviews, so that's splendid news:)

Personally, I don't care for deep meanings behind world-building, all I want is 20 mins of escapism before the kids break the [insert thing here]

Continued good luck :)

Donna McDine said...

Congratulations on the reviews...woo hoo. I'd like to be a Minion.

Best,
Donna

Mason T. Matchak said...

I wouldn't worry about delving into detailed world-building too much. As long as the book has enough background detail for the story to work, to seem like it could actually happen, then you should be fine. And some readers will fill in the smaller details without even realizing they're doing it. ^_^

And I've never seen the Despicable Me movies, but I think I might have to see the Minions one. Heh!

Diane Burton said...

Congrats on your upcoming release, Alex. I wouldn't worry about extensive world-building. Sorry to say but if Tolkien wrote his series today it probably wouldn't get published. Readers don't take the time to read a lot of description. They want action! Best wishes.

Rose Munevar said...

Hey stranger! Congratulations on your new book coming out. I want to get my daughter into your books because she is a huge sci-fi fan. Don't know why I didn't do that sooner. (Probably because I didn't want to share my nook)

Trisha F said...

I've missed the IWSG this month, but I should be safe for another month I think :)

I know what you mean about reading other people's books and either thinking "Oh MAAAAN!" or "Hey, I did that part better in my book..." at various times. It's always good when reading other books makes you feel good about your own - though not as good when you have those "Wow, I suck!" moments. I guess it's natural to have some of both. :)

Anyway, I haven't got a copy of your new book yet, but look very much forward to reading it when I do!

Sandra Cox said...

You are going to be really busy, but it's all good:)

lilicasplace.com said...

Congrats Ninja on the wonderful reviews for Book 4. Each book gets better, it seems. :)

I loved the Minions trailer. I want to see the movie now. And the Kar Grandes is killing me now! LOL.

If there's anything you need me to help with for your book release, let me know. Hugs. Eva

Liz Blocker said...

Hey Alex, I'm so glad the reviews are good!!! Now,, one small piece of advice: don't compare yourself to anyone else. So you don't write like Tolkien; so what? NO ONE does, except for Tolkien. You have your own strengths and your own style, and just because it's not full of "lush worldbuilding" doesn't mean it's not fantastic :)

Botanist said...

I wouldn't stress about the strengths other people show in their books. You've obviously found a balance that hits the right note with your readers, and really that's what counts, isn't it?

Hope you make it through April with your sanity intact!

The Happy Whisk said...

Neat thing you and your publisher are doing.

:-)

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, I am thrilled that the reviews for your upcoming book have been good. I am already hooked by the title and very curious about the Kargrandes. Tomorrowland looks good.

Fundy Blue said...

It must feel wonderful to get good reviews on your upcoming book, Alex! You'll survive April, I'm sure, even if it will be challenging.

Emilyann Girdner said...

So glad the reviews are looking good for book 4.

Love the concept art for Tomorrowland. Beautiful piece :)

Kim Lajevardi said...

Congrats on the upcoming release, Alex! I can see why you're having some ups and downs - that's quite a full plate. I'd say it's more of a platter. Here's hoping for some longer days.

Helena said...

Alex, you have nothing to worry about with your writing! Isn't it a great feeling when, as you say, we read other good writers' works and realize that we have our own strengths? Recently a friend read a semi-famous author's book I had passed on to her (it had even been made into a movie), and this well-read friend insisted that my manuscripts were better. Bless her.

Suze said...

'I’ve also noted some areas where I do well.'

Wooooohoooooo!! Whistlin' through my teeth for ya, Al! :)

Sher A. Hart said...

Congrats on good reviews and not keeling over with such a heavy schedule! I actually wrote a true story for my post, but first I gave you a new name in keeping with IWSG.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Congratulations on the good reviews! I still can't believe you're launching a book in the middle of the A-to-Z, but then you should get more traffic than usual, so when better?

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Alex - I can help with Minion work, but need to know which day of the week I'll be needed. I don't think I'm doing the challenge this year. If I do, can I still do the minion thing? (Feel free to leave a note on the joke blog or BOTB, if you like.)

FYI: I have three blogs, BOTB, and "Celebrate the Small Things" (every Friday.)

I hope you have a couple of days rest before April kicks in. I really want to know what the Kargrandes are. They sound like living weapons. Loved the trailer!

Belle Wong said...

Just speaking for myself, but I usually pick the fast paced, adventure type books :)

Lanise Brown said...

Congrats on the good reviews, Alex. The ups and downs come with the job, but the good feedback means you're going in the right direction, so try to hang in there. I will keep a look out for your next book.

Also, I would like to be a minion. :D

Rhonda Albom said...

Congrats on early reviews Alex.

As you know I am happy to be a minion.

kaykuala said...

Congrats on your book release Alex! Looks like you are head to head with Pat! That's wonderful. It would certainly rub off on others perhaps! Have been to both the Florida and LA Tomorrowland at Disneys! But what you have here is fantastic. It's comparatively bigger. There's so much more to savor. Great write!

Hank

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Stephen, they're just damned funny!

Mark, that's what you'll get with my books. Minus the breakage.

Donna, thank you!

Mason, I fill in those details when I read.

Diane, that is probably true!

Rose! Good to hear from you. Thank you, I hope she enjoys them.

Trisha, I won't cull you yet. And you can pre-order the book now.

Eva, thanks!

Liz, thanks for the confidence boost.

Ian, it is.

Kim, a really big platter.

Helena, we all need friends like that.

Suze, I'm trying to see my better qualities.

Sher, I will have to go read it!

Shannon, I didn't have a choice, so just need to run with it.

Dixie, thanks!! Will leave a note. Or some co-host will.

Lanise, thanks!

Rhonda, you are a happy Minion.

Hank, much bigger than the real Tomorrowland! And I've been to both as well.

Dean K Miller said...

I remember the "old" tomorrow land. Wonder how it would compare to today's world? Comforting in a strange way to see someone bulk up on projects and responsibilities. I have no doubts you'll come out on May 1 on top where you deservedly belong.

S. L. Hennessy said...

I know having a book come out in the midst of A to Z will be a challenge, but we'll help you out in any way we can. This is so exciting and I can't wait to read your newest release!

readfaced said...

I bow down to you. Your April plate looks pretty full. It makes me feel bad that I was considering NOT participating in A-Z this year because it will be SO MUCH WORK. You are a god among men.

Leanne Ross

Decadent Kane said...

Wow, Alex. You have so much on your plate. I'm in awe of your ability to stretch yourself that way.

Your concern about your new book, everyone is entitled to their feelings- but I have utter faith in your abilities as a writer and believe you will do well. :)
HUGS- I hope it all goes smooth.

Leovi Leovi said...

Yes, I would help of Minion, but I can not, I have very little time! Sorry!

Tyrean Martinson said...

I think you have some pretty awesome world-building - you just don't dump it on your reader all at once, but let it slowly come out with the development of your character-driven stories - exactly the kind of world-building I like. So there - stop worrying about that one. :)

I definitely have my ups and downs - but I just keep swimming. (Well, there are days when I just tread water, but shh.)

And yes, I'm looking forward to Tomorrow land!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Heather's Lung Leaving Day is a triumph and that concept Art is awesome. I use Feedly and haven't noticed any issues, but I'll keep my eye open.

Quanie Miller said...

Goodness! How do you get all of this stuff done? Good luck with the release. I'm sure it will go well.

Laura said...

Hey Alex- wowzer, you're a busy boy! Can't wait to grab a copy of your book- and looking forward to joining in with the A-Z for the first time in several years. WOOT WOOT!

Laura x

Michelle Wallace said...

You sound super-duper-ultra-uber hectic... but that's just the norm, hey?
Congrats on the reviews!
(I'm still having blog problems... *sigh*)

Huntress said...

Dragon is pre-ordered. So ready for its release.

Cherie Reich said...

It's always good when we can tell our own strengths and weaknesses. I've noticed that the things that bug me about books I read are usually things that I did in my own work before I became wiser to it.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'm a minion. My team is bent on world domination and baked goods.

I am not a fan of lush world building. Give me the facts, I'll fill in the blanks. I sometimes feel guilty for skimming huge chunks of description. It bores me. So, you're the perfect writer for me- fast paced!

Susan Kane said...

Even the word "minions" makes me smile. Looking forward to the movie.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Readfaced, thanks!

Kane, thanks!

Tyrean, that's good to know.

Laura, glad to have you back!

Carol, thank you!

Elizabeth, awesome!

Michael D'Agostino said...

Wow, you're an incredibly busy, dedicated man! I'm struggling to keep up with the small number of blogs I've followed so far, which is why I haven't signed on as a minion :P

That picture of Tomorrowland looks fantastic :)

Lynda R Young said...

I'm not surprised you're getting great reviews. It's another awesome book!

Kim @ This Belle Rocks said...

You have a LOT going on! Hope you are able to find some minions to help out soon :)

DMS said...

Awesome news about the early reviews! How exciting! You are going to be one busy guy. :)
~Jess

Lan said...

I didn't know the minions were getting their own movie! And congrats of the upcoming release of your new book! Third person is a POV I've always wanted to write in but been scared I could never do it justice. Good luck!

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Blogger has been nuts!

Medeia Sharif said...

I think about my strengths and weaknesses as a writer, and also how I'm constantly improving. I can't wait to read book 4.

Liz Fichera said...

LOVE that Tomorrowland pic...

Ella said...

I anxiously await your latest and greatest! Have some faith, Captain~
Your honesty is always refreshing and I admire it.

I am recruiting some new bloggers I found to join the A-Z army-I mean challenge!

Off to glance at your links. I have missed your humor, Captain.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lynda, and you helped!

Lan, and I couldn't do first person.

Thanks, Ella! For everything.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

What is Tomorrowland about? I know next to nothing about it other than the trailer seems to have a girl taking a magical portal to another world. Is it a time travel thing?

Congratulations on the wonderful reviews. I'm sure that with every new book you put out, the writing just gets better and better. I know I really enjoy it.

DL Hammons said...

That shows you how far removed I've been from blogging lately...I didn't even know you had a 4th book coming out. Belated congrats!

And since WRiTE CLUB is going to be later this year, I'm even considering taking on the A-Z Challenge again this year. *Gulp* Did I just day that?

:)

Ava Quinn said...

Yes, the ups and downs. Glad you're seeing your writing growth as you read others' books. Wish I had more time to read. Good luck with the grassroots effort. I have some of your tweets scheduled to go out still.

Beate said...

Wow, you have a lot on your plate :) Congratulations on the great reviews! I wish I could be a minion for the challenge. Maybe next time when school is finally over, I'd love that! And I love the new minions trailer!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Hi, Alex. I'm still undecided on A-Z, but if minions are still needed, I'm happy to help. (Are minions also participants?) I'll decide on it soon, hopefully.

Jeff Chapman said...

Best of luck with your latest release. I hope you survive April.

Tara Tyler R said...

yay for better than expected reviews!
hope evryone finds some good minions, lee talked me into being a muffin commando =)
and good luck with all the posting! makes me tired reading it!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

If anybody can pull of the A to Z Challenge and a book launch it's you, the Ninja Captain!! Congratulations!!

Tomorrowland looks AWESOME.

Stephen Tremp said...

That is cool art for Tomorrowland. In the previews you have to look at the monitors behind George Clooney to understand they are out to save the world. Much potential for this movie and I think it'll be a real winner with some really cool special effects.

Nigel G. Mitchell said...

We all have strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing that helps us grow.

I'm looking forward to Tomorrowland, even though I'm not quite sure what it's about

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Michael, I'm not completely sure what it's about. And thanks.

DL, thanks. And you should join us!

Ava, appreciate that.

Beate, there is always next year.

Robyn, hope you can join us. And participation is not required.

Tara, you are on a good team!

Nigel, I'm not sure anyone knows what it's about.

Blue Grumpster said...

What... noTolkien level world building? Good. I tried to read TLOTR and I gave up after three pages. No joke.

Hope you're doing fine.

Julie Dao said...

Congrats on all of your success, Alex!!! I'm so happy that you've gotten great reviews. And hey, fast-paced and simple storytelling makes for a great story - that's your style and it works for you! Sorry I haven't been around as much...there's some stuff happening (good stuff!) that's been keeping me busy, but I hope to share soon.

Sandra Cox said...

Congrats to Pat on his release.

And to you, Alex, on your great reviews.

Happy Saturday.

Brandon Ax said...

It is great you are seeing improvements in your own writing we can often be our biggest critics. Good luck on your fourth book.

Toinette Thomas said...

So glad to hear your first round of reviews are going well, even better than expected.
I think as a write if you didn't have a few ups and down you might be kidding yourself in one way or another.
The A-Z challenge looks like it's going to be even bigger this year. Some day, one day, down the road I'll have time to do all the things I've been too afraid to do like partcipate in the A-Z, be a minions, or maybe even co-host an IWSG day.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Blue, I did a lot of skimming with those books.

Julie, can't wait to hear your good news!

Toi, you need to join us sometime.

Leovi Leovi said...

Nice photos, trailer Minions very fun fun!

Sandra Cox said...

Happy Sunday, Alex.

Blue Grumpster said...

Skimming? You're more patient a guy thn I am. I threw them out of the house.

Carrie Butler said...

April is going to be busy, busy, busy! I'll be helping out Lee. :)

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Wow! April is going to be a hugely busy month for you. Good luck with all you have scheduled!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Happy Sunday, Sandra!

Carrie, Lee will appreciate that.

msmariah said...

Alex- I'm thrilled for you and the new book! I know what you mean. I think we are always our own worst critics!

John Wiswell said...

Congratulations on the positive early reviews, Alex!

Sarah E. Albom said...

Congrats on your book! I can't wait for it to come out :). Also, love the minion trailer. I've seen it so many times now :P