Monday, October 19, 2015

Defining Author Success, RiffTrax: Live, Sicario and San Andreas Reviews, Mini-Alex on Vacation, Ninja News and New Releases, BOTB Results, and Movie Trivia Answers

I’m at the IWSG today and my subject - Lists of Markets Open to Writers and Hot Writing Topics

RiffTrax: Live!

RiffTrax Live #18: SANTA and The ICE CREAM BUNNY - December 3, 2015. Get tickets through Fathom Events. You can also see Mike, Kevin & Bill perform LIVE on stage in Nashville at The RiffTrax Theater (Belcourt) or as a simulcast in a theater near you. Plus, there is an encore presentation on December 15.

Movie Reviews

IMDB - An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.
This is a very intense and slow but well-paced film. The tension builds nicely and the soundtrack plays a big part in that. I liked the gritty realism of the film.
All performances are outstanding - Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, and Josh Brolin do a great job in their roles.
The audience experiences the film as Blunt experiences it – we don’t know things until she knows – which adds to the mystery.
This is definitely an adult film and not for kids.
Highly recommended and couldn’t be surprised if it was nominated for several Oscars.

San Andreas
IMDB - In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey with his ex-wife across the state in order to rescue his daughter.
This is a follow-by-numbers disaster film. No surprises, dumb, but enjoyable.
Dwayne Johnson is the star and everyone turns in a serviceable job of acting. The effects are also decent and what you would expect of a large-scale disaster film.
If you want to turn off your brain for two hours, this is your movie.
Worth a rental.

Mini-Alex on Vacation

I’m back from vacation and it was great! Involved family, which was fun. And yes, despite the odd looks from strangers (and some family members,) Mini-Alex went along (at my wife’s insistence.)

Ninja News

Alexia Chamberlynn is hosting a monthly fest.
The blog hop is called Taste of Magic, and it's the third Friday of every month, to share things literary and culinary!
Visit her BLOG for details.

Join Denise Covey, Yolanda Renée, and the enthusiastic writers at Write…Edit…Publish, (WEP) as they gather together around the campfire for their Halloween challenge this week -- October 21 - 23. You are invited to share a scary book, poem, movie, artwork etc for Part A and tell everybody why it's your favorite. The optional Part B is where you can post your own creepy story, non-fiction piece, poem, photo/s or artwork. So if you have a creepy gene, now is the time to exploit it. Oh, and there's a prize for the best entry, judged by Annalisa Crawford and a random prize just for entering. Click over to Write…Edit…Publish, for more information.

David Black is one of the authors involved in a Kickstarter campaign - Arts in Entertainment: A Series About Art Impacting Life. Reflections on how creative works shape lives and the way we view the world. A six-volume series by six accomplished authors.

Next week is the The Listing Hop, hosted by Bish Denham and myself. Join us for a list of good fun!

Just a two weeks remaining for the IWSG Anthology Contest. November 1 is the deadline! The theme is Alternate History/Parallel Universe and any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter. Winners will be published in a royalty-paying anthology next year.

New Releases!

The Gaijin Girl by E.E. Giorgi
Find it on Amazon

The Wishing Steps by Karen Helene Walker
Three Women and a Single Story That Unites Them Across the Millennia
Find it on Amazon
Be sure to visit Karen’s new Website.

Battle of the Banned Results

Hosted by Shady Del Knight, here is the vote tally. It was neck and neck until the very end, but even with my vote, the tie could not be broken. (I voted for Rob Zombie.)

Ozzy Osbourne – Bark at the Moon – 15
Rob Zombie – Living Dead Girl – 15

New battle next week – continuing the Halloween theme!

Movie Trivia Answers – Submarine Movies

1 – Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman, Viggo Mortensen – 1995 – Crimson Tide
2 – Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Holly, Rob Schneider – 1996 – Down Periscope
3 – Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch, Donald Pleasance – 1966 – Fantastic Voyage
4 – Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Sam Neill – 1990 – The Hunt for Red October
5 – Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Jon Bon Jovi – 2000 – U-571
6 – Doug McClure, John McEnery, Susan Penhaligon – 1975 – The Land That Time Forgot

What Defines Author Success

My post last week garnered a lot of comments on the topic of Five Years or Five Books to Make it as an Author.

Many of you said it depended on the goals of the author. That author success cannot be measured by money earned or books sold.

So, what does define author success for you?

There is no wrong answer. Some of you aren’t published yet. Some of you have no desire to be authors. But your viewpoint still matters. And it might be something that published authors need to note.

Before I answer, I want to thank everyone who stated that I was already a success, between my books and contribution to the blogging world and the IWSG. I was very humbled by the response.

So, what defines success to me? The amount of people I have reached. And regardless of sales or royalties, when I boil it down to that one thing, I’ve reached over 100,000 people. Toss in all the friends I’ve made along the way and the IWSG, and it’s just mind blowing. I can’t think of anything else I could’ve done to touch so many lives.

Especially since I never wanted to be an author.

And today marks a special moment in my author career. Five years ago, CassaStar was published. My first book. The one that started it all. The book that would go on to hit number one in science fiction on Amazon almost a year after its release. The book that would spawn a series I never intended to write. The book that sat in a drawer for thirty years before I drug it out and decided to re-write it. Having that book picked up by a small press and published was a dream come true.

Which means all else is gravy. And more precious than any sales ranking.

Going to Rifftrax: Live? Seen either movie? Been on vacation lately? Participating in any fests or hops? BOTB results surprise you? Get any of the trivia correct? And what is your definition of author success…?

Don’t forget to visit the IWSG today - Lists of Markets Open to Writers and Hot Writing Topics!


Mason Canyon said...

Congratulations on the five year anniversary of CassaStar release. You've had an amazing ride and I hope it only gets better and better for you. Glad to see Mini-Alex had fun on vacation too. Sicario sounds interesting. I've seen San Andreas and it was an ok movie.

H. R. Sinclair said...

Well five years - success! :P Getting a (just one) book published is a success. That's such an accomplishments, but big success?? I dunno.

cleemckenzie said...

Your wife's amazing! Mini Alex along on your vacation. Glad it was fun, and congrats on your book anniversary.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Congrats on your author anniversary and best wishes to everyone with new releases!

Elephant's Child said...

Congratulations on your anniversary.
Mini Alex looked to be having a ball - and I hope you (and your wife) had at least as much fun.
I am really looking forward to reading the myriad of WEP posts. Perhaps not late at night.
Success is when you not only reach out you connect. Which you have done and continue to do.

Shady Del Knight said...

A 15 to 15 tie in the BOTB? That's great Alex! With only a short time to go before the polls close, my battle is also a tight race and might be a photo finish. Come over to SDMM in the morning and check out the results.

stephen Hayes said...

Each person defines success for themselves and that's all that really matters, but in my opinion you are certainly a success.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad you had a good time with your family. I agree with how you define your success. You've touched many people and helped so many too.

The Happy Whisk said...

Glad you had a great time. Sounds like vacations are getting more and more fun for you. said...

Congratulations on 5 years, Alex! Time sure flies - in outer space or here on earth. Doesn't seem that long ago that the first sci fi book I ever read had my crying and wondering if you'd pass along Byron's number.

Have a great week.

Andrew Leon said...

Is that a tiny Tom Baker scarf?

Robin said...

First, I'm sorry I missed the voting in your battle. Migraines have been tough. (Which is why I'm up after midnight....:(

I don't know what defines success for an author. I do think celebrating every milestone is important. I think you inspire many people with your story. What I take away from it is that it's never too late to pull that dream out of the drawer, dust it off, and make it shine.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Congratulations on your 5 year anniversary for CassaStar. Can you imagine how things would be different if you hadn't opened that "drawer."

I'm glad you took mini-Alex on your vacation even if strangers stared. Who cares what they thought!

Denise Covey said...

So Alex, you are truly a success story, but rightly you say every author has their own path. I love that overnight success tag. It takes so long to become an overnight success.

Thanks for the WEP shout out. Should be a rip roaring time.

And my novella finally hit the shelves last night. Thank you for offering to plug it. I'll send you the copy for whenever suits you!

Denise :-)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Emily Blunt's character was woefully missing at the end of the film. It destroyed the narrative for me. Five years and it seems so short a season. May you only gain greater momentum in the future! :-)

L.G. Keltner said...

Congratulations on the five year anniversary! I guess I'd define author success as writing things that you feel proud of and never giving up, even when inspiration or readers remain elusive.

Laura Clipson said...

Congrats on five years! I've been meaning to watch San Andreas, I'll have to check it out.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Congratulations to you! And I'm so glad Mini Alex got to go along. :O) Also glad that you got to take a well-deserved break.

Sicaro sounds good, but might be a little gritty for me.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Mini Alex looks like he had a great time. I can imagine the looks you got though!

Congrats to the new releasers!

TBM said...

Dude, Mini-Alex needs a holiday too and I'm so glad he had fun. I get strange looks all the time and I can't blame anyone but me.

Nicola said...

Author success for me is to write something that other people enjoy reading.

Glad you had a great holiday - loving mini-Alex.

I love disaster movies, no matter how predictable they are. San Andreas wasn't the best I'd seen but I couldn't have missed it. My favourite to date is Twister.

Have a great week.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Happy Book Anniversary, Alex!!!!!!

So glad you had a nice vacation!!! Mini Alex really gets around too!!!

kaykuala said...

Happy anniversary on your books release Alex! It must be such a satisfaction and most deserving really! Mini Alex is just as privileged to be vacationing in the circumstance!


Anonymous said...

100,000 people? Goodness gracious! That's simply amazing! I've reached about three and I was shocked haha

Success for me will mean helping just one person (cliche' right? But I really mean it) with my self-help book. I just want one person to understand they are not alone in their journey.

And once my fictional book is ready to be announced on Blogger I'd like to sell about five and I'd be happy. Reaching five people would impress me. 100,000 even in five years seems damn near impossible so BIG CONGRATS to you!!!!!

Also, thank you for your kind words on my blog. I appreciate them.

Vanessa Morgan said...

I saw Sicario a few months ago in Cannes and thought it was very intense. Not as good as Denis Villeneuve's previous film, Enemy, though. That one's absolutely brilliant.

Murees Dupè said...

Congratulations on your book anniversary! You are awesome. Mini Alex looks like he had a ton of fun.

Congratulations to the authors with new releases.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elephant's Child, well put!

Shady, I will!

Robyn, thanks, and still feel bad I made you cry...

Andrew, Deniz made it for Mini-Alex. You'd have to ask her.

Dianne, it would've been so very different...

Denise, you're welcome, and send the information! I'll announce next week.

Roland, she did rather vanish for a bit there.

Annalisa, I did get some looks.

Nicola, Twister was good.

Elsie, you are going to help a lot of people with your book.

Thanks, everyone!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Love the vacay pics with mini Alex.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Success is how many lives you can touch in a positive manner and you have done that.

I'm sorry I missed the music battle. My vote for Living Dead Girl would've broken the tie.

Karen Lange said...

Glad you had a good time on vacation! We went to Williamsburg, VA a little over a week ago. The change of scenery was nice. Have a great week!

mshatch said...

I wouldn't want to define anyone else's success, but for me success would be that I could write full-time and pay my bills. That would be pretty cool. Glad you had a good vacation :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Yeh on the book anniversary, Alex! You deserve all the success you've received. :)

Glad to hear Sicario was good - I'd made a note of it awhile back. I believe Jon Bernthal (of The Walking Dead) is in it also....

Jo said...

Glad you enjoyed your vacation. Congratulations on you 5 year anniversary. You had the book written for 30 Years? What were you waiting for?

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations on your 5 year anniversary! And it looks like you and Mini Alex had a great time. :) I haven't been on vacation in years. Maybe part of my author success would to be able to afford a vacation for my family.

Hart Johnson said...

I think I am going the slow route on this author thing. I would define success as when it starts to snowball and build, where for me I sort of petered out and need to give it a jump start again...

Yolanda Renée said...

Just got back from vacation too!
Thanks for the WEP shout out!
Finishing my submission for the IWSG - are there specific rules for formatting?

Patsy said...

Glad you, and mini Alex, had a good vacation.

For me, writing success means moving forward. As long as I feel I'm making progress, rather than slipping backwards, I'm happy.

Pat Hatt said...

Congrats on the 5 year mark. Yeah, it is different to all. Just the fact that it is done and out there is a huge accomplishment indeed. lol mini alex got some weird looks? Poor guy.

Jay Noel said...

Looks like you and the Mini had a great vacation. Good for you.

Has it really been five years, Alex? I can't believe that. I'd say your definition of success a good one, and five years is really a blink of an eye (hopefully). So you've accomplished a lot in a relatively short amount of time.

For me, success would be to have a real audience who loves reading my stories. I'm getting there, albeit slowly.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Five years since CassaStar? Wow that went fast. My husband and I would like to go on vacation but he has so much work right now we can't get away. I only knew on trivia and I'm looking forward to the list bloghop.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Hear, hear! Happy book anniversary (bookiversary?) of CassaStar. And it's true, sales rankings are not the definition of success. We still don't feel like we've quite 'made it', but we will say this, we agree that the friends you make along the way count as a huge success in its own right. You most certainly included.

And hey, what's the point of having a mini-Ninja if you can't take him with you everywhere? I'd bring that guy with me any time I left the house. Even just to watch Rifftrax in a theater (sorry, guys, this seat is taken by my mini-me. No, move one more over. He bites).

Shell Flower said...

Congrats on the CassaStar anniversary. That is pretty exciting. I just saw San Andreas and agree that it's a little mindless, but I did enjoy the scenes of destruction. I think success as a writer really depends on the writer. We all have different goals, whether it's to have someone read our book and "get it" or to be on the NYT best seller list.

Holy Ghost Writer said...

Depends is the right word for success. We each have our own. Congrats on the anniversary.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Karen, that's a fun place to visit.

Marcy, hope you achieve your success.

Madeline, he is!

Jo, I was waiting for a time when I could write a better story I guess.

Karen, you're welcome.

Yolanda, you're welcome! No specific rules for formatting.

Patsy, that's a good one.

Brandon and Bryan, I should take him to the next RiffTrax.

Bish Denham said...

It's hard to believe it's been 5 years! Really? Success is relative to the individual. My greatest successes have no monetary value at all but have (and will continue to have long after I'm gone and forgotten) positive affects in the lives of human beings.

Unknown said...

So Cassa sat in a drawer for thirty years. That's amazing to me as it is what launched you as an author, led to the series, to being translated into foreign language and to being nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke award. God works in his own time. Perhaps you couldn't have handled such success when you were younger and He helped you wait until you were in the right place not to let it change you.

M.J. Fifield said...

I've heard good things about Sicario. I look forward to seeing it one day.

Love the vacation pics!

Congrats on your book anniversary!!

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

Congratulations on your fifth anniversary! That is wonderful.
Love the new releases you publicized todaym too.

Arlee Bird said...

My wife and I are both looking forward to seeing San Andreas. We're suckers for any earthquake movie which might seem strange considering we live in an earthquake zone.

Everybody wins in your music battle. Nicely matched.

I wrote about success on my memoir blog Wrote By Rote this past Saturday. Success has many definitions depending on viewpoint, but I maintain our own view matters most when assessing personal success.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Wrote By Rote

Stephen Tremp said...

Sicario is high on my list. We saw The Martian over the weekend. Very good but not a s good as the book. Also on tap this week is Goosebumps.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Author success is whatever we want it to be, Alex. When I set out to write, I just wanted to see if I could craft a decent mystery. I felt I had succeeded when The Prairie Grass Murders was published, so now everything is just extra icing on the cake.

Congratulations to you for all your accomplishments. You are a big success!

Joanne said...

Mini-Alex looks rested. He is riding the coattails of your success. Glad you had fun. Congrats on the author success and fun with it - I think you have a good perspective on why you write and your interaction with the whole publishing world.

I want to see Sicario but the times weren't good. Instead I scared myself with Crimson Peak. Ray was gone this weekend and I had to come home and turn on all of the lights!

Otherwise, it's finally awesome weather in TX - I am distracted by pumpkins and fall.

Keep your vacation glow as long as you can

Cherie Reich said...

Wow! I can't believe we're at the five year anniversary for CassaStar. It doesn't seem that long ago. :)

Sarah Foster said...

Congrats on the anniversary! Glad you had a nice vacation.

Sandra Cox said...

Glad you had a great vacation.
And hitting #1 in Sci Fi at Amazon.....Huge!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Bish, Amen to that!

Anne, exactly. I was ready. And for more than that, as I now play music for Him as well.

Lee, it does. And I think you'll enjoy watching California go to hell.

Patricia, exactly how I feel.

Joanne, that's next on my list to see.

Sandra, it was!

Thanks, everyone.

Chrys Fey said...

Happy 5 year Anniversary!!!!

San Andreas looked good. I haven't seen it yet, but you know me...I love disasters, so I'll see it eventually.

Mini Alex looked like he had a blast.

SpacerGuy said...

Goodness truly yields excellence and you couldn't have done it without Mini Alex.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Yay for more mini-Alex picks. That's a great meme imo.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the 5 year anniversary! I hope to be there someday. I agree with your review of San Andreas, I liked the movie but it is another action flick that you have to turn your brain off. I want to see Sicario though.

Suzanne Furness said...

Happy book birthday to CassaStar, that's fabulous and definitely a success story. Glad you all enjoyed your vacation - looks like Mini Alex had loads of fun!

Birgit said...

I thought Ozzie would get more love but I didn't vote for him either so..I guess not:) I did get some right and I have seen The Land that Time forgot but only when i was young so i would love to see it again. I recall, even as a kid, that it was corny. I have not seen either film but would love to see Sicario. I think I'll wait for dvd or just old TV for the other flick. It sounds like you had a great time off which is always nice to have (I haven't been anywhere). I think what you wrote about being an author is perfectly said. Faceoff-I was surprised who was voted off-I like the older guy better(craps he is younger than me). I'm surprised they kept the younger dude in. Let's see who will win-it's a 2 parter!

Anonymous said...

Happy 5 year book-versary! I'm very glad you took the journey. =)

nashvillecats2 said...

Loved to see MininAlex on vacation, congrats on your 5yrs book aniversary, Oh nearly forgot, Great to have you back Alex.

ediFanoB said...

Five years?
Unbelievable how fast time flies!
It is incredible what you achieved and I'm more than happy that I got the opportunity to accompany you and to read and review all your excellent books.

Great to read that you, your wife and Mini Alex have had a good time. Vacation are something really important.

Per aspera ad astra ....

Liza said...

That Mini-Alex is one cool dude!

J E Oneil said...

I've heard lots of good things about Sicario. And of course I was dragged to see San Andreas. I don't think my brain was turned off as much as it was knocked unconscious. Violently.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Chrys, grab the popcorn and enjoy.

Birgit, I missed it last week, but won't this week. And yes, The Land That Time Forgot is cheesy.

Edi, you've been my biggest fan and I appreciate that.

JE, that's one way to describe it!

Karen Peterson said...

I really want to see Sicario, but just haven't had a chance yet.

Dave said...

Happy anniversary! Success is relative, I suppose, but its made up of smaller achievements and goals. We shouldn't overlook the victory of getting words on a page in the first place.

Thanks for the shout out about my kickstarter, here's hoping we get some success there.

EEGiorgi said...

Alex, thanks so much for featuring my new release!! And I love how you define success, because in the end that's what we want -- to reach people with our stories. By that measure, even reaching one is a success. In any case, congratulations :-)

Truedessa said...

Hi Alex,

Congratulations on you achievements! You have given so much of yourself to others that speaks volumes about your character. That is why so many follow you as you are a light in the journey of those you touch.

I had to smile at mini Alex taking the trip with you and your wife. She has a good spirit as well. It doesn't matter what others think of him tagging along, smiling of course. Our ninja rocks!

I went to see The Martian this weekend. I have to say I thought it was a very good movie.

Thanks for all the support you have given me, much appreciated in my world.

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a nice vacation, Alex. Mini-Alex reminds me of Flat Stanley for some reason. It's always fun to take him around and catch a few photos with him. Agreed, all opinions matter, regardless of desire to be published or not. People read and write, and those readers matter quite a bit.

Jemi Fraser said...

5 years!! Wow - doesn't seem that long ago!
Definitely a great way to count success :)
Glad you, your wife and mini-Alex had a great vacation!! :)

dolorah said...

Glad mini-Alex had fun on vacation. Whats the point of visiting family if you can't freak them out a little and leave them something to talk about. Ah, the memories live on.

Congrats on all your successes :)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Congratulations on your five-year anniversary and your success.
That was nice of you and your wife to take Mini-Alex along on your vacation. He looks like he had a good time.
I think an author's success depends on his/her goal: to make money, to be famous, to be a New York Best Seller, or just to write because you enjoy it.

Stephanie Faris said...

I think the problem with "defining success" is that it's never enough. Whatever you think you're chasing, if you ever catch it, you'll just want something more. At one time my goal was just to be able to write full-time. I do...but I spend most of my day writing about sales tax and business marketing. So now my goal is to spend more time writing fiction and less writing nonfiction, but as you probably realize, fiction writing doesn't really pay the bills! Not even after 20 books, for many authors. Studies have found that happiness is hard to define...but it isn't money and it isn't career success. Interestingly, one study I read defined happiness as "hope for the future." It is when you have that hope for the future that you're the happiest, according to that study.

Liz A. said...

Glad you had a great vacation. And you are definitely a success.

Carrie Butler said...

Oh, man. I wanted to see San Andreas until I saw the trailer a while back. Being a semi science geek with a Cascadia-based WIP, I cringe every time I see that overblown tsunami in the movie.

Yes, I'm weird, but you already knew this. lol

Glad you had a great vacation!

Helena said...

May continued success bless all your future literary projects too, Alex my dear. You deserve bestsellerdom.

So someone actually made a movie called Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny. Seriously?

Unknown said...

I'm really glad you feel so fulfilled! I wouldn't know how to define success, doesn't it come down to how the individual feels?

Elizabeth Mueller said...

The movie "cover" to Scicario looks so 70s! x(

Who made that mini Alex, btw? :P

Thank you for sharing your opinion on what makes an author successful. I agree with what you said! When I started writing, I did it to get things off my chest. I lived through my characters--it was my way of dealing with childhood trauma--you should have seen what I had my characters endure! lol

As I grew older, and still losing myself in the written word, I also grew from my childhood struggles and realized how cathartic writing really is. Getting published was accidental for me. My motto was, "The worst they can say is yes." LOL

Rhonda Albom said...

Happy 5 year publishing anniversary. Like you, for me success has to do with reach and making a difference somehow. From a book perspective, at this point I think I would feel pretty good if I ever get my first book finished. Although now that my second book already has an editor and publisher, it has jumped the queue. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - five years and counting on ... you've done really well - you took your publishers advice and started the blog, and then linked in with so many others ... and thus to us lot - helping us all ... all of the time.

It's being happy with where you're at - and not thinking about what could be - just doing right in all things ... and you set us all that example - so glad you had a great holiday and Mini Alex was allowed to come too .. cheers Hilary

G. B. Miller said...

For me, what defines author success is that I was able to get a book published the traditional way (along with two short stories). So no matter what else happens or how many books I ultimate self-publish, I'll always have that rare feather in my cap to crow about, and that's something that no one can ever take away from me.



Jeremy [Retro] said...

Awesome on the five years, you have come a long way... you should do a "how did we meet" bloghop... Thanks for the reviews, I watched the Star Wars trailer this morning... I am not feeling it yet.

Have a super day and the rest will follow!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Dave, you're welcome!

You're welcome, EE!

Thank you, Truedessa. And my wife refused to leave without Mini-Alex.

Donna, that made me chuckle!

Stephanie, I think success is personal satisfaction. You hit that, you've succeeded.

Carrie, everything was overblown in that movie.

Helena, seriously!

Elizabeth, it can be cathartic. And Elise made Mini-Alex and Deniz made the scarf.

Rhonda, that's still really cool.

GB, very true!

Thanks everyone!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I'm really glad you took Mini Alex along. He looks like he enjoyed the vacation.

Lots of good news here. Congrats to all for the new books out.

Charles Gramlich said...

Love the ninja pics. Lana brought San Andreas home yesterday but I had so much to do last night I didn't get to watch it.

Al Penwasser said...

My kids and I saw "San Andreas" this summer when we couldn't get in to "Jurassic World."
We really enjoyed it and didn't get all wrapped up in the "that crap doesn't happen that way."
I came up with a good advertising campaign:
"Can't get in to 'Jurassic World'? No problem! Come watch 'San Andreas.' We don't have dinosaurs, but we bust a lotta shit up."

Sherry Ellis said...

Glad you enjoyed your vacation! I bet mini Alex had a good time, too. He reminds me of Flat Stanley.

Regarding the IWSG Anthology - I'm becoming an insecure writer. :0) I wrote my piece, but the original was over 8,000 words. I've shaved off about a thousand, but I still have another thousand to go. I'm worried I won't meet the word count requirement. :( I'll keep working.

H.R. Bennett said...

Welcome back! I'm glad that you had a good time. Mini-Alex is adorable, btw.

Nick Wilford said...

Happy author anniversary! I bet you will have plenty more years of success. You've definitely made a difference to many of us. Glad Mini-Alex enjoyed his holiday too.

Sandra Cox said...

Just how gritty is Sicario?
I like a good thriller but I'm not real big on violence.

Bushman said...

Rob Zombie for me too!

I thought about wasting the $5 on pay per view to see San Andreas but was hesitant on the cliche of a movie. How many movies can they make about disasters?

Hope you enjoyed your vacation. Mine are just about to start. Long weekend hunting starting this Friday. Another one next weekend and then two weeks in November. Also a week in Cancun in December and then our annual Christmas shutdown for the week of the holidays!

Carrie-Anne said...

For me, the ultimate definition of author success is being an author for all time, like Shakespeare. While he was very much a writer of his own time, writing about contemporary concerns and in a contemporary style, he's become a writer for all time because those characters and themes transcend geography and historical eras.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I love your definition of success Alex. All the people you have reached including myself. Thank you for everything my blogging ninja friend.

Unknown said...

Congratulations on 5 years, Alex. What cool accomplishments and congrats on the success. Success is pretty obscure for me because it feels like a cap, but once I reach one goal, I always have more, and I think for me that will always be the case. So I feel I have experienced a lot of success as an Author, such as volume downloads, positive reader response, award finalist recognition and more (though I have had plenty of failures too, ha). And there will be a lot more success and failure on the horizon too, it is part of the journey. :)

Nilanjana Bose said...

Congratulations on the five years. It's inspirational how you define success. And ultimately that must be the measure for everyone, writer or otherwise, it matters only in the lives we touch.

One of the parameters for author success from my pov has to be how long after publication their books remain in circulation, so yes, time is a factor.

Nice to see WEP featured here, it's one of my favourites.

Belle Unruh said...

I didn't know all those things about CassaStar. It's amazing it was in a drawer for thirty years and was #1 on Sci-fi Amazon. Wow, that really is a dream come true.

My mom was a writer and she would have been so thrilled with that. She had a newspaper column and published some short stories though; and I admire that. She also wrote he memoir for the family, which is a great keepsake for future generations. To me, she was a success as an author.

My husaband and I rented San Andreas. It is exactly as you said. We enjoyed the special effects. I liked the movie, 2012, a lot more than this one though.

Glad you had a good holiday. The last vacation I was on, we went to Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. Fantastic and breath-taking places to see. I'll never forget it.

Jennifer Lane said...

Hi Alex,

I like your definition of success, and congratulations on reaching it! It's been a little over five years that my first novel was published--it's been a hell of a ride! I hadn't known that about CassaStar languishing in a drawer. What made you decide to polish and publish it?

Crystal Collier said...

Yeah, I think success is definitely a question of what the author is after. For me, I just wanted readers, and I have them. Loyal ones to eat up everything I put out. That base will grow, and that's enough for me. I LOVE to write, and they love to read it. Happy day!

Wow. Must be the season of hops of such. Fun stuff!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Charles, be sure to turn off your brain.

Al, that sounds like a good campaign to me!

Sherry, keep working!!!

Sandra, gritty but not grisly.

Jeff, got room for one more on your travels?

Emilyann, it is a journey.

That's cool your mother was a writer, Belle. And what a great place for a vacation.

Jennifer, I guess I thought the characters were good, they just needed a better setting.

~Sia McKye~ said...

First, congratulations on reaching the five year anniversary on CassaStar and the success that has come with this. Success is defined differently by each individual but I like your definition.

I like the mini-Alex on vacation. I like your wife's sense of humor with taking it with you. I belong to another group, The writing Wombats and as you can imagine, the Wombat is our mascot. We've all taken pictures of us in various places with a personal Wombat mascot. It's been all over the world. It's fun.

Second, thank you for the personal support and encouragment you've given me. It means more than I can say.

I've missed visiting so many in the past few months. I've missed so many accomplishments by our blogger friends. Coming here helps me touch bases and catch up a bit. My energy levels are still low but I'm trying to get back into the groove, as I can. :-)

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Blue Grumpster said...

Crimson Tide... It was on the tip of my tongue and stayed there all day long. Good to hear you had a great vacation. I'm enjoying one right now. To bad it's already Wednesday.

San Andreas... No surprises, dumb, but enjoyable? I figured as much.

Misha Gerrick said...

I have a bit of a complicated relationship when it comes to success (publishing or otherwise.)

I picked a monetary measure for my five year goal, because my actual feeling about success is a lot more nebulous. To me, it's about: does being a writer make me happy? Yes.

Achieving my huge-ass goal is more about seeing if I can actually do it than deciding if I've made it as a writer.

Anonymous said...

Wow, over a hundred-thousand people! That is mind-boggling. Congratulations! And congrats on the five year anniversary of CassaStar. That has to be sweet.

Julie Flanders said...

I can't believe CassaStar is 5 already! What an amazing five years you have had. Congratulations!
I'm glad you had a nice vacation and that mini-Alex got to join in on the fun.

msmariah said...

I'm very happy that you and mini-Alex had a fun vacation! I really liked the film 'Sicario.' Brilliant, brilliant film. Everyone was so good. I went on vacation in August. Probably one of the worst trips ever. Remind me not to go on vacation with my family. I did a beach trip with the girls in September that was super fun though!

Catherine Stine said...

Haha, Mini-Alex is a fun thing for sure.

Loni Townsend said...

Yay for five years! CassaStar is next on my list for the read and review challenge. I'm looking forward to digging into it. :D

David Powers King said...

Happy first book anniversary! For me, success isn't one measurable element. I have some high goals for myself, but for now I'm just looking to get the next book out. Oh, and happy Back To The Future day! :)

Mark said...

Loving the ninja pics:) Also, I know you've mentioned before that you never set out to be an author, but perhaps in a way you've become more than an author. I know that sounds odd, but I like how you point out all the friendships you've made and if writing led to that, then being an author can't be all that bad;)

Julie Dao said...

Congratulations, Alex! I am so happy for you and all of your wonderful accomplishments. You've definitely achieved author success in every sense of the word - especially because you always reach out to help and support others. Also, I am glad you and your wife and mini-Alex had a great time on vacation!

M Pax said...

Congrats on 5 years of an exciting journey. Glad you enjoyed your vacation. I wonder if Santa and the Bunny is as good as Santa vs. the Martians.

Fundy Blue said...

I'm glad that you had a great vacation with your family, Alex, and I enjoyed that your wife insisted that Mini-Alex go with you! I just happened to see "San Andreas." These movies are always so ridiculous, especially the earthquake, volcano ones; but the geologist in me just as to see what the special effects are. For once I was liking the characters and actually hoping they'd make it. So many holes, but I won't pick it apart!

Congrats on the five year anniversary of your first book, Alex! You have accomplished so much! Very few authors hit the jackpot money wise. I've talked with a lot of authors over the years. It was encouraging to hear that you pulled your Cassa book out after thirty years! My immediate goal is to get my memoir written; the more I dig, the more I find. Meanwhile I'm getting a lot of gratification from my blog writing, which has turned out to be really important to me. Participating in the IWSG also means a great deal to me; the website may be your real legacy! Take care!

Jeffrey Scott said...

If I had just voted the other way, the results would be quite different. Not so pencil-neck to pencil-neck as Shady may point out.

It seems I'm watching my films these days vicariously through you. Glad you already watched the San Andreas so I won't have to. Though, to be honest, I wouldn't mind watching it. I love a good disaster film.

PS - Hope you had a great trip.

John Wiswell said...

Happy book anniversary, Alex!

Michelle Wallace said...

Happy Book Anniversary to Cassastar!
Sounds like it was a great vacation... especially with Mini-Alex going along.
Reaching over 100,000 people and touching lives in a positive way is a wonderful measure of success!
Thank you for all that you do!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Congrats on your happy book anniversary of CassaStar!
I love that your wife insisted the mini-Alex take a vacation, too. :)

Life has been a blast lately with extra stuff going on, including some kayaking for me so I've kind of had some "vacation" moments.

Donna McDine said...

Time sure does fly! Can you believe five years has gone by. A very belated congratulations!

Donna McDine said...

Time sure does fly! Can you believe five years has gone by. A very belated congratulations!

Shannon Lawrence said...

My husband just walked in the door after having seen Sicario. He said it was intense.

mail4rosey said...

I'm glad mini Alex went on vacay. A ninja's gotta get some R&R too, ya know. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sia, thank you! Glad I can help you catch up. And that's funny about the wombat.

Lori, boggles my mind.

MsMariah, family vacations can be hit or miss, especially when we are older.

Thanks, Loni!!

Mark, thanks!

Mary, I aim to find out.

Fundy, it probably will be my legacy. Keep working on that memoir. And plot holes? It was all Swiss cheese, but a tasty Swiss cheese.

Michelle, couldn't do it without your help.

Shannon, it was!

RaShelle Workman said...

Wow, I can't believe it's been five years. That's awesome!

To me, writing success is about entertaining people, touching their lives in some way. My favorite thing about being an author is getting emails from people (especially young people) letting me know how much they enjoyed a book I wrote. Love that!

Have a great Thursday!

Sandra Cox said...

That is so cute that your wife took mini-Alex along on vacay:)

Shah Wharton said...

Sicario sounds like a thrill ride. :)

Wow, five years! Look how much you've accomplished in that short time. You must feel mighty proud, Alex. X

Lynda Dietz said...

Trying to make my way back around my favorite blogging circuit and realized how much I've missed reading yours. Congratulations on the five-year mark with Cassa Star! You've had quite the adventures along the way. Glad to hear you had a vacation and that Mini-Alex enjoyed it as well.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Awesome post, Alex.
Sorry I'm late to the party.
Congratulations on your 5 year book release anniversary! I'm so glad your path led you where it did, or we might never have connected and that would suck. :)

I'm glad you had a great vacation and Mini-Alex looks very relaxed!


Unknown said...

ha! I love that mini Alex was there! fantastic!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Alex,

You certainly are a success... In so many ways. Your support of our community in astounding and you never seem to fail at being there for all of us.

THANKS for that and for all you do!

Shadow said...

aaaand the weekend's just begun, I'd like to try Sicario pleez

Chemist Ken said...

San Andreas wasn't too bad as a mindless 2 hours of fun. The only thing I remember about it, however, was all the times the characters got past an obstacle and literally breathed a "thank-goodness-we're-all-safe-now" sigh of relief--just before something else happened to them. I mean, how many times can you pull the same stunt in a movie?

Nicki Elson said...

Mini Alex makes everything more fun. :)

I agree with those who said you're a success. You are! Not only are you famous in Blogland, you've done so much to encourage SO many writers. Your contribution to the publishing world extends far, far beyond your own books. And BTW, THANK YOU for the encouragement, giggles & good times you've shown me during these last 5 years.

SpacerGuy said...

Theres so many near life and death misses in San Andreas like heading over the crest of the tsunami wave encountering huge mongo sized propellers bearing down on them. Fun movie San Andreas.

klahanie said...

Hey Alex,

No, I wont mention the major fault in the plot of the movie, San Andreas.

Hearty congrats on your five year anniversary of the publishing of CassaStar.

I have a hunch that Mini-Alex is one of your clones.

Have a nice weekend.


TF Walsh said...

Happy Anniversary... great reason to celebrate:) I didn't mind San Andreas - nothing wow, but enjoyable:)

Mason T. Matchak said...

I had no idea you hit #1 on Amazon. Congrats, man, even if I missed it by a few years. ^_^

Unknown said...

San Andeas sounds cliche and dopey - and I'll totally watch it anyway! lol

Congrats to EE and Karen on the new releases!

Mini-Alex looks like he had a great time on vacay!

Congrats on 5 years of publishing books, Alex! Honestly, with my books I crave validation, people to tell me they love it and will buy anything I write, even if it's a small number of people. That would make me happy, but wouldn't make me successful. I think success is measured in sales.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

RaShelle, that is awesome!

Shah, I fell mighty humbled.

Heather, that would've sucked all right!

Thank you, Michael.

Ken, I think they pulled it at least five times.

Nicki, thank you!

Gary, good one! Rim-shot.

Mason, thanks.

cleemckenzie said...

You're back and I'm gone! It was a though we planned these vacations. See you again in Dec if not before!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, looks like mini-Alex and Super Alex both enjoyed the vacation. I just hope that between mini and super Alex, your wife too managed to enjoy her vacation ;)

Unbelievable that a book sat in your drawer for thirty years! Makes me feel and think that CassaStar was just waiting for its right time to make its tryst with success.

DMS said...

Love the pictures of Mini Alex! I know I get looks when I take pictures of the Flat DMS when I am out and about. :) Hope vacation was fun.

Leovi said...

Sicario interesting!

Sandra Cox said...

I trust your weekend has been great, Alex:)

Intangible Hearts said...

Funny how I was born wanting to write. Seriously. Had a typewriter at age four but I'm still struggling. Congratulations on all your success. Mini Alex looks like he's having fun on vacation and San Andreas hits way too close to home.

Melissa Sugar said...

Wow, you never take a day off do you. Your wife is even amazing. It's an amazing family. I'm looking forward to the list blog hop. It might be the last time anyone hears from me for a while , until after NaNo. I'm still working hard and finding the unreliable narrator very tricky and difficult. I'm off to check out the IWSG. I lean something new every time I visit your blog. I had no Idea there was any reason to visit on days other than Wednesday. It's only the beginning of the week and I already feel foolish, but I won't let that keep me from a great opportunity so I'm headed right over.

Michele at Angels Bark said...

I recently went to see San Andreas: it was in its final week at the cheap seats movie theater. I'm glad I saw it in the theater. I liked the effects. You're right, it's a straight-up, what you'd expect disaster film but I liked it. It was good. No complaints from me...
Michele at Angels Bark

Anonymous said...

Great mini-Alex vacation pics. Congrats on the bookiversary. Here's to another five years.

Deniz Bevan said...

Congratulations on your milestone!

Love the mini-Alex photos :-)

And yay, Ozzy won!

That marketplace post is super helpful, I've got to bookmark it.

Pat Garcia said...

It takes me about a month and a half to finish one short story. It nice to hear someone else takes more than a week.