Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Hero Lost Release, May Movie Preview, 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 Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace, and Feather Stone!

May question - What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

I kept hearing how important research was. So, for my fourth book, I decided to do some intensive research before I began to write. Sea kelp plays an integral role in Dragon of the Stars. It’s an energy source, a food, and a drug.

I did extensive research online, gathering pages upon pages of information.

And while it helped to shape the story, almost none of what I learned made it to the page.

If anyone wants to know more about sea kelp, please let me know.  I can hook you up...

The IWSG anthology is out now!

Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology
Print ISBN 9781939844361
eBook ISBN 9781939844378

Can a lost hero find redemption?
What if Death himself wanted to die? Can deliverance be found on a bloody battlefield? Could the gift of silvering become a prison for those who possessed it? Will an ancient warrior be forever the caretaker of a house of mystery?
Delving into the depths of the tortured hero, twelve authors explore the realms of fantasy in this enthralling and thought-provoking collection. Featuring the talents of Jen Chandler, L. Nahay, Renee Cheung, Roland Yeomans, Elizabeth Seckman, Olga Godim, Yvonne Ventresca, Ellen Jacobson, Sean McLachlan, Erika Beebe, Tyrean Martinson, and Sarah Foster.
Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these twelve tales will take you into the heart of heroes who have fallen from grace. Join the journey and discover a hero’s redemption!

Find on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Nook, iTunes, Kobo, Amazon UK, Amazon CA, and Goodreads

And visit Michelle Wallace today for a special feature with the authors of Hero Lost!

Ninja News

Special shout-out to Laura Brambrey! She featured CassaStar in a segment regarding non-romantic love stories. (If you’ve not read CassaStar, it follows two ‘brothers’ in a war.)
Laura says: The one that instantly springs to mind actually comes from a genre that sits outside of my usual comfort zone. Cassa Star by Alex J. Cavanaugh is pure sci-fi, but it’s a book that I have now re-read over half a dozen times for the central relationship - the friendship of the young pilot, Byron, and the older, more experienced navigator, Bassa. Cavanaugh crafts their story in such a way that, although they may be training and fighting in the far reaches of the galaxy, their friendship develops like a classic romance. And every single time I’ve read it, it has reduced me to an emotional, sobbing wreck.
I still feel bad I make her cry though.
Thanks, Laura!

Reedsy just posted a great article - Dynamic Character: How to write a compelling protagonist.
They have a lot of great articles and resources. If you’re not following the site or subscribed to their newsletter, then you need to check it out.

New release:

Where Words Fail, Music Speaks
A collection of short stories and poetry by writers from all walks of life.
Featuring stories from Annalisa Crawford, Clare Dugmore, Kyra Lennon, and more.

Ultimate Principle: A DCI Lane Rivers Novel by NJ Burggraf
The job is brutal. It sucks every ounce of life out of you.
Find on Amazon

May Movie Preview

Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for May! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

5 –

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' continues the team's adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage.
Director: James Gunn
Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper
Now, repeat after me. I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot!
Oh yeah – this is going to rock

12 –

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy - whether he likes it or not.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Annabelle Wallis, Hermione Corfield
Sherlock Holmes meets Excalibur. With Guy Ritchie, you know it will be quirky.

19 –

Alien: Covenant
The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.
Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Katherine Waterston, Michael Fassbender, James Franco, Noomi Rapace
Hopefully the covenant is Thou Shall Not Suck as Bad as Prometheus…

26 -

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon.
Directors: Joachim Rønning | Espen Sandberg
Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Orlando Bloom
One day, dead series will tell no more movies…

Devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchanan butts heads with a brash new recruit. Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.
Director: Seth Gordon
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon Larracuente
Why do they keep turning all of our 80’s dramas into slapstick comedies?

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever researched? Picking up Hero Lost? What book made you cry? What movies are you looking forward to this month?

And we need IWSG co-hosts for June, July, and August! Let me know if you can co-host.


RaveAir said...

This looks a very strong, promising movie month.

Nicola said...

Thanks for sharing my new novel, Alex. I greatly appreciate it.

I am looking forward to seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - should be fun.

Have a lovely week.

nashvillecats2 said...

Happy May to you Alex. Being a poet I don't need much research but sometimes do get lost for a subject to write about as I mainly write about the events in my life.

The book "Where Words Fail, Music speaks" sounds like my sort of book.
Hope it does well.

Enjoyed all your reviews as I normally do.


Nilanjana Bose said...

May's exam month here - so no films!

I'll be picking up the antho as soon as I'm able. Congrats to the authors and to you! It looks as promising as the last one, which I loved.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Research should be like an iceberg: You only see the tip of it in your story.

Elephant's Child said...

Huge congratulations to all in the ISWG. You rock, and I am sure the anthology does as well.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

Lots of research never makes it into the book, but at least it's a lot of fun finding out everything about (insert topic) and torturing, I mean informing, people about it whenever they decide you have to talk to them :-)

Lynn La Vita said...

Hi Alex, Looks like I posted my May comment after your April post. After it's approved, I'll copy and paste it into the correct comment section.

Sorry for the confusion. Cheers!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I think you did research the right way - using what you've learned to make the story work, rather than splurging knowledge onto the page.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Guardians of the Galaxy - #1 son saw it on Monday and loved it. The soundtrack looks especially awesome!

Thanks for sharing our anthology - we're really hoping to raise a good amount for the Cluserbuster charity :-)

Birgit said...

Congrats to Nicola for your new novel and having Alex showcase it here. I love history so anything historical I find interesting in researching. I've been looking up Hamburg during the bombing in WW2 and am just amazed anyone survived..including my mom. I am really looking forward to Guardians which looks just as good as the first. I love anything about King Arthur so I will be watching this one especially since Guy Ritchie is behind it. The best, for me, is still Excalibur. Baywatch was a comedy when it was a tv show just unintentional. This looks downright stupid. Deep needs to retire those teeth

Truedessa said...


Welcome back! Your stories have made me cry as well. I say that as a compliment. You were able to make me the reader feel. Emotions play an important role in the success of a story.

Congratulations to all who made it in the anthology! I will be sure to pick it up.

Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 is a must see for me!

Have a great week! You really do rock...

Cathrina Constantine said...

Sea kelp, interesting.

Congratulations on the New Release: Hero Lost!!

I'm looking forward to Guardians 2!! I loved the first movie, and can only hope the second is just a awesome! The first 2 Pirates of the Caribbean were good, but then...No. No more please....

Alex, have a great week.

Cathy Keaton said...

Congrats on the anthology and to those who made it in!

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Congrats to everyone who's featured in the anthology!

My family and I saw Baby Groot repeatedly during the trailers for Rogue One. We like him, but my son isn't into superheroes, so we probably won't see GotG2. At least Baby Groot inspired our family motto, "I am Fruit!" I even got my husband a T-shirt that says that.

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Thanks for the anthology shout-out! I hope the new Aliens movie is a good one. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats to all the anthology authors.

That's pretty weird to research about kelp. I'll remember to ask you if I need to know about it.

The King Arthur movie looks interesting. Will add it to my movie list.

Yolanda Renée said...

I've cried reading so many books it's an unfair question. :)
I'm too sensitive!
But it is nice to know that you've touched someone else so profoundly! Congratulations!

Remakes - yuck!

Looking forward to the Hero's!

Pat Hatt said...

Guardians 2 is a no brainer. So if I ever need kelp info, you're the guy.

I cringe at the Baywatch remake crap. And King Arthur, how many friggin times are they going to tell the same friggin story? It's worse than remakes.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - thanks for all the help with the A-Z and now with the IWSG that you're concentrating on ... I love viewing from the sidelines. Both anthologies have given all the authors ways to shine their words towards us and beyond our galaxy here ...

Bet you did lots of research for your Cassa trilogy ... if I can't understand something then I tend to look it up ... as you did re Kelp for your new book ... seaweed is fascinating .. cheers Hilary

Dean K Miller said...

Many books make me cry, even some of my own! The latest: A Man Called Ove.

Guardians should be good.

Have to check out the Where Words Fail, Music Speaks. Looks interesting!

Susanne Matthews said...

Hi Alex. This is my first time posting. Looking forward to more great stuff. While I haven't really thought about sea kelp, I suppose it could be nutritious. Looking forward to Wonder Woman and Guardians.

Nick Wilford said...

Sea kelp, eh? Didn't expect that one, interesting stuff.

I did think Byron and Bassa had a great bromance.

It seems you have to go a long way to find a movie these days that isn't a sequel, rehash or remake! I do need to catch up on the Guardians movies though.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nicola, you're welcome!

Lynda, mine looked like an ice cube.

Ronel, funny!

Lynn, no worries! I'll go approve it now.

Annalisa, you're welcome.

Birgit, very fortunate for you she did survive.

Truedessa, thank you, even though I still feel bad about that.

Sandra, that's hilarious!

Yvonne, you guys rock.

Natalie, I still have my notes!

Pat, at least we know this version will be really, really different.

Susanne, welcome!

Jennifer Lane said...

Sea kelp! LOL. I had a burning question about sea kelp the other day...

Ann V Friend said...

Have a blessed day Alex (smile)

Jennifer Hawes said...

Guardians of the Galaxy 2? Yes, please! Can't wait to read the anthology. And, yes, I've researched things that never made it into the book. Well, you are now an expert on useless things;) Okay, not totally useless.

Arlee Bird said...

Kelp seems like something that is in such great abundance that it could have great potential for many uses and I guess it would be relatively easy to cultivate. Reminds me of a book I read where an antagonist was growing massive amounts of kudzu in order to create a fuel and that grows all over the South and it grows fast.

No movies are in my anticipation list other than the old ones I've recorded off of TV and haven't watched yet.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Okay, none of those movies speak to me, although I love a good Alien movie. :)

But I did see Split and really liked it - James McAvoy was amazing! And Hidden Figures was so, so good. And Quarries was a solid horror movie.

I can co-host in June if needed!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

This is the second time this morning I've heard someone mention Reedsy. Once again, I must be living under a rock. Hopping over to check it out... And congrats for the anthology authors! I've seen them everywhere today.

Got to ask: know of any good sea kelp recipes?

Heather M. Gardner said...


What a busy day today! But, an awesome one. Congratulations on another successful book! You're doing great things for the writing and blogging world. Don't let anyone tell you different!

Kelp, huh. I'll let you know. :)

I can't wait to see GoTGV.2! Can't. Wait.!!!

You know I'll fill in any host jobs if you need me. :)


Karen Lange said...

I agree with what Lynda Young said about research - what readers see is the tip of the iceberg. So true! I have files stuffed full of notes, and only a small bit shows up in the final work. Enjoy the rest of the week!

Julie Flanders said...

Wow what an awesome compliment on your story from Laura! That had to feel so good to read.
I can't believe there's another Pirates movie. Good grief.

Karen Baldwin said...

I feel you research pain. Sometimes only a sentence is all I need for my story on a particular subject, but if I don't get it right, I'll look like an idiot, or at least a slacker. And sea kelp? Did you happen to learn about sargassum? I think the name sounds like a cross between sarcasm and orgasm hehe, and some attribute the name to Christopher Columbus. But at this time of the year, the beaches here in the Mexican Caribbean are loaded with it. It can even be eaten.

L.G. Keltner said...

If I ever need info about sea kelp, I know where to turn!

Congrats to the anthology authors! It looks like a great read.

I just shook my head when I saw the trailer for Baywatch. Not sure quite what to think about that one. Hmm . . .

I'd be happy to co-host in August.

Erika Beebe said...

Sea that's cool. I find going over board on research is way better than not doing it. For me, I have s more accurate picture of what I need to capture then even if the details don't make it into a scene. I love the movie previews! Thank you for all your constant efforts and shout outs :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats to the anthology authors. I hope they enjoy their release week.

I love baby Groot! I can't wait to see Guardians 2.

Patricia Stoltey said...

The Hero Lost anthology was a great idea. I'm looking forward to reading the stories.

Bish Denham said...

The vast majority of the research I did on Tibet will never be used... But that's what happens. I think doing all that research gave me more confidence to approach/tackle my subject.

Here's to Hero's Lost.

(Maybe one day they'll turn the Alien movie into a comedy?)

Crystal Collier said...

We're going to see Guardians this weekend. Can't wait! Though I hear it's not as good as the first one. How could it be? That movie was beyond epic.

Sea kelp, eh? You know, it may seem useless now, but ten years from now it will come up in a conversation and you'll be the expert in the room. (True story. I've had this happen numerous times for different things I've researched extensively.)

Angela Brown said...

A couple of those movies are on my radar to check out. If I can, I'll actually try to catch one in the movie theater!!

As for research, I've often heard that authors research details about things, but it's the details that help shape how they use things, and the details themselves don't quite make it to the story.

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats to the authors of Hero Lost! I'm looking forward to seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 next weekend.

J.Q. Rose said...

You didn't use much of your kelp research in the story, but I bet you can carry on long conversations about sea kelp with anyone who'll listen. Now, who would listen?

None of these movies are on my radar. I'm boring.

Thanks, Captain.
JQ Rose

kaykuala said...

Welcome back Alex! Research is def necessary. You must have spent time on that. Congrats for those authors of the anthology.


Shah Wharton said...

I love researching while I'm working of story premise and plotting. It can lead into much more interesting places than I intended to go, or give me ideas where there were none. It's one of the best parts the process, for me! But when researching something like sea kelp, I imagine it can get old. My research informs more than features in the stories. It helps me shape or glue the parts together, according to what I've researched.

All those movies look worth a shot, except for Baywatch nonsense. Never into the original and this looks worse still! It's a 'blokey' movie!

Shah X

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Nick!

Jennifer, I can probably answer it.

Jennifer, I'm bib on crossword puzzles, so yes, I do know a lot of useless stuff.

Lee, we do have kudzo everywhere.

Madeline, thanks!

SA, there are hundreds but don't know if they are good. Except for sushi wraps.

Thanks, Heather!

Julie, I know, they just won't end...

Leigh, it can be used for a lot of things.

LG, thanks!

Bish, that I might watch. Although the alien had a funny scene in Spaceballs.

Crystal, I'll let you know if that happens.

JQ, I'm guessing not many.

Shah, agreed!

Jen said...

Hi Alex!! Thanks for all the help in making this anthology a reality!! It's been a fun and wild ride so far!

I didn't research anything for my anthology story, but the weirdest thing I've ever researched in general for a story is snake handling churches in Appalachia. Talk about weird...BUT there I did get to watch an X-Files episode on the topic so I'd say it was well worth it!

Oh, and I mentioned on the IWSG blog that I'd be happy to co-host this summer. Just let me know when you need me!


PS: They filmed Bay Watch 20 minutes from my house. It made getting to the beach a bit cumbersome but it was pretty funny to think that The Rock was running around Tybee Island!!

Tamara Narayan said...

I can co-host for June or July if needed.

I did pick up my copy of Hero Lost yesterday and better read it quick. I have a guest post scheduled for the 12th.

None of those movies are must-sees for me. My husband seems intrigued by The Circle. He's reading it now.

Unknown said...

Sea kelp! I'll admit I'm not even entirely sure what that is.

I will email you about hosting duties!

Christine Rains said...

I find a lot of what I research never makes the page either. Yet my characters are then wiser in dealing with those things. :) Congrats to all the anthology authors. It's an awesome collection! I don't know why they keep making re-makes of 80s shows. There are tons of new ideas out there. I have several if they want to buy them! If you need a co-host for August or September, I can help out.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Asnwer to the 80s drama to comedy question - think about the fact that a middle aged guy is running around in swim trunks with a bunch of 20 something bikini clad lifeguards. It's either fantasy or comedy or both. Was it ever really drama? (Sorry, I wasn't a big "babe"watch fan even in the heyday.)

Love your taglines for the movies!

And, thanks for the shout-out!
I can co-host in June.

Carol Kilgore said...

Sea kelp. Who knew? LOL. I'm betting even though known of the actual knowledge made it to the page that simply knowing what you did made it easier to write about it and, therefore, made the writing stronger overall. Nothing is ever wasted.

Gwen Gardner said...

An energy source, a food, and a drug? That's some powerful sea kelp! Like you, my research into psychic abilities helped to shape the story, but the rest was embellished.

Have a great week, Alex!

J.L. Campbell said...

Big congratulations on the anthology release. Congratulations also to those who have a new or upcoming release.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Wow, lots of info today in this post, Alex. I probably won't see any of these films. I am not a fan of superhero movies, or films with tons of special effects and little on character or dialogue. Although I am looking forward to the two Star Wars movies we missed while out of the country!

H. R. Sinclair said...

Ah yes, so much of our research goes into the ether.

Suzanne Furness said...

Research is a bit like that isn't it? I've got pages of random info that I will probably never need/use in a story! Hope you enjoyed your blog break.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, sometimes I wonder if all the research we do is ever used by us. But in my case my 100 pages of research is giving me a whole lot of subplots.

A book that made me cry was The Fault in our Stars.

Chemist Ken said...

Not sure if I'll ever need sea kelp for a story, but it's nice to know the information is there if I ever do need it.
Definitely looking forward to Guardians. Authur intrigues me also, but I'm not sure if I can convince the rest of the family to go. Depends on the reviews.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

So many good stories and movies coming. I think I am drooling a little.

I'm really glad not too much of the kelp info made it into the story.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

So much research is for the writer's information, not the reader's. I think it's great you used what you learned to inform your novel but didn't feel the need to include it in the narrative. That's how it should be!

I guess I'm looking forward to the launch of my two books this month! Equal parts terror and excitement.

Anonymous said...

I'm excited for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. It looks awesome. May actually go to the theater for it.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Many times the lion's share of a writer's research never makes it to the page per se. However, your knowledge of what was researched can be embedded in the story in ways you cannot always notice. That's the beauty of research in story or essay.

As always, thanks Alex, for all you do to help the insecure writer. All best to you, sir. said...

Sea kelp, huh Alex? The things we learn for...nothing. Smiles.
Take care,

Pat Garcia said...

My, this is going to be a great month. The anthology is out, and I got my copy. Congratulations to all the wonderful writers who were selected.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat G

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jen, thanks! Too funny the Rock was there filming. And I remember that X-Files episode.

Tamara, thanks!

Megan, think sea weed.

Karen, thanks!

Christine, thanks!

Thanks, Tyrean. For me, that would be total fantasy. Both running around in swim trunks and the girls.

Karen, they are both excellent.

Rachna, story fodder is good.

JH, it will rock.

Chrys Fey said...

Fascinating to know what all sea kelp can be used for.

I do want to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I'm a Captain Jack Sparrow fan. :)

Ryan Carty said...

I'm never very thorough at research, doing just enough to not sound stupid, but not really able to stand up to expert scrutiny. Add this to the list of things I need to improve in my writing.

Joanne said...

happy May - it's sea kelp month! Well, I just made that up, but why not?
I have not done any official research for a book, but there's always a first time. I used to enjoy doing it back in school for papers.
I am Groot and I'll be there to worship the Star Lord. Guardians looks fun.
Pirates needs to give up. As for Baywatch - hey, we need some campy. Dwayne and Zac = no shirts - I'm fine with that.

Olga Godim said...

Sea kelp, huh? It took serious imagination to turn to this aquatic weed for your sci-fi fiction.

Tonja Drecker said...

The anthology is out! That went quick. It's true that most of the research never makes it to the MS, but it is interesting. Lol! Sea kelp is a new one. But who knows, maybe that knowledge will save your life someday.

Laura Clipson said...

That tends to be the case with most of the research I do as well - it doesn't make it into the story, but it does help to shape it.
I'm looking forward to reading the anthology, looks like there are a lot of interesting stories in there.

Stephanie Faris said...

I don't know what's weirder--the fact that they remade Baywatch into a movie or the fact that it stars The Rock!!!

Sometimes research is fun even if we don't use all the information. It gives us more of a personal connection with the book we're writing.

Trisha Faye said...

How funny that almost none of your research made it into the manuscript. Did it help get you in the world you needed to be in though?

cleemckenzie said...

Sea Kelp, heh? Well, at least now you can sound very eruidite at the aquarium.

Raimey Gallant said...

I'd love to co-host whenever you need someone. The weirdest thing I've ever researched. So many to choose from. The number of Vietnam War evaders that took refuge in Canada, the suicide rates in Alaskan communities affected by the Exxon Valdez spill, etc.

Loni Townsend said...

Sea kelp, huh? Sounds on the safer side of the research spectrum. :) I'm looking forward to the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2!

Lisa said...

I am Groot I am Groot I am Groot! I CAN'T WAIT!! I'm totally head over for baby Groot!

J E Oneil said...

You will be the number one sea kelp source from now on.

Covenant is either going to be really good or really bad.

Juneta key said...

Ooo, sea kelp I will have to look that one up myself.
' Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Anonymous said...

I am so torn about Baywatch. I mean really, Baywatch? But the previews look like it could really be funny. Maybe I'll wait for you to go see it first, Alex. You can do the review, and then I'll make my decision. We seem to have the same taste in movies.

Diane Burton said...

What a great line up, movie-wise. Guy Ritchie movies are great. This one should be a hit. Or at least a lot of fun. With all the research you've done, maybe you should write a book about sea kelp. LOL

Patsy said...

Our entire lives are writing research! (and mine is both quite cool and very slightly weird).

stephen Hayes said...

When I was researching one of my novels I went online to research plastic explosives and received a notification I'd been tagged by the FBI.

Roland Clarke said...

Bought copy of Hero Lost as reading as many shorts as I can to learn the secret. Looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and I'm a sucker for King Arthur films. My coolest research has to be cutting edge airships as I blogged at:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Joanne, we'll make it sea kelp month.

Olga, it just served so many purposes. And what else do you grow on a planet that is mostly water?

T, if I'm ever starving at the beach, I'll know I can eat it.

Stephanie, both are weird.

Trisha, yes it did!

Raimey, thanks!

JE, hoping not really bad.

Elsie, you'll be waiting a very long time...

Diane, I do think it will be fun.

Stephen, they were serious, weren't they?

Toi Thomas said...

I haven't had to research anything too weird yet.
Very excited about Hero Lost; I'm hosting a stop on the tour.
I'm excited to see Guardians, may see King Author is someone else pays. Other than that...

Jemi Fraser said...

Love that description of Byron and Bassa - spot on! :)

I've learned so many things through research that never quite make it to the story! Fun :)

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Alex! Happy IWSG Day! Your post is interesting and informative as always. I'll be ordering the anthology in a few days, shortly before I return home, so the book will be there right after I arrive. I can't wait to read it. Have a good one!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Laura had some nice things to say about your book Alex. You did some interesting research. IWSG!

Lan said...

LOL @ Sea kelp. I also did quite a bit of research on seaweed for my novel that didn't get put in the final edition. That's what research seems to be about. I never regret doing it, I just don't like it very much!

The cover of Hero Lost looks fantastic! I'll have to check it out. said...

I really feel like I need to know ore about sea kelp. :)

I'm with you in wondering why they keep remaking all of the 80s/90s shows into weird movies. Stop killing our memories. Make new stuff. Argh...

Liz A. said...

When a book makes me cry, it means that I've connected to the characters. That's a good thing. Not all books touch their readers emotionally. (This is the current thing that I'm working on with my writing.)

Nicki Elson said...

Sea kelp...I feel like once upon a time I had a nourishing face mask made out of sea kelp. Can it be used for that?

Botanist said...

Guardians 2 is definitely on the "to be seen" list. And lots of weird research including how to survive re-entry into atmosphere without a spacecraft to protect you :)

DMS said...

I am sometimes amazed at all the information we find out when we research. I learn so much that just ends up rolling around in my mind. :)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Wow! A lot is going on. I do plan to get Hero Lost. I really enjoy researching. There's so much fascinating things to discover.

Stephen Tremp said...

Hey Alex, I'm looking forward to all of these movies except Baywatch and hoping for the best with the Alien remake.

I love doing research. Wormholes through space and time fascinate me and I just can't stop reading and watching the latest and greatest.

Jo said...

We are groot. I saw Chris Pratt being interviewed on Good Morning America the other day. They showed a bit of the movie with he and his father which I missed except the end part when he said "I got to watch her die". I will, of course, look forward to buying the DVD.

I like to eat seaweed, some are better than others, but I think kombu is delicious.

dolorah said...

I researched a ball and powder gun for several days, and talked my hubby's ear off for several hours. All culminating in two line in a 3,500 word short story. Sad but true, need the research to use the objects in proper context.

Lots of good movies coming and I hope I get to see some at the theater.

Looking forward to reading Hero Lost. And I haven't co-hosted in a while; I'll help in August :)

The Happy Whisk said...

I had to scroll down like seventeen times to get to the end of the comments.

Hahahahaahah on the kelp. That's really funny.

Donna K. Weaver said...

So true about research. But you do need to know about things as you craft the story. If I ever get shipwrecked, I'll know more than the average person because of the research I did for A Change of Plans. lol

Pam Lazos said...

Ah, but you learned about a powerful superfood and who knows when your next character might like a good sea kelp sandwich.

Jenni said...

That's so funny about the kelp! That's the thing with research--it also seems like you find more information than you'd ever need. The Dynamic Character sounds like a good read too.

Rhonda Albom said...

The funniest thing I had to research wasn't for a book, but rather for work. In my former life I was a marketing research manager and one of my clients was a major kitty litter brand. I had to write into a survey, "What does your litter box smell like when it needs to be changed?" While many said ammonia, the answer they were hoping for, many were much more creative.

As for the movies, yes to Pirates, and "really?" to Baywatch.

LD Masterson said...

Very nice write up by Laura for CassaStar. I like a book that includes a good cry. For me that's pretty much any book where an animal dies. Old Yeller nearly destroyed me.

The weirdest thing I ever researched? Goats. Yup, has to be goats.

Mason T. Matchak said...

This is a family blog, so I'm not going to say the weirdest thing I've ever researched. :P Congrats to everyone in the anthology. ^_^ And I already have plans with friends to see Guardians this weekend. Can't wait. I am Groot.

Denise D. Young said...

Sea kelp, huh? I think the issue we can run into with research is that it can be a black hole. We go online to look up one little thing and before we know it it's been two hours--but man, how much we've learned about whatever random subject we've been digging into. Still, who knows when that info will end up in a different story?

Empty Nest Insider said...

Hi Alex, The cover on the anthology looks incredible! Congrats to all of the authors. It's true how they're turning old dramas into comedies. I'd rather see the Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn comedy instead.

Thanks for all you do!


G. B. Miller said...

I long ago gave up watching 80's (or 90's for that matter) remakes of schlocky t.v. shows/movies. Hollywood does it because they have no originality left.

For research, the adult entertainment industry was pretty much the weirdest thing I ever had to research (of which I wrote about for this months post). Most of what I research is pretty mundane.

Father Nature's Corner

The Cynical Sailor said...

That's a great review on CassaStar from Laura. You definitely nailed the relationship between Bassa and Byron which is what makes your book so compelling to read.

Powdered Toast Man said...

I hope Pamela Anderson makes a cameo in Baywatch and in Guardians of the Galaxy. You have published so many books now, where have I been? Congrats man. I loved CassaStar. I can't wait to read the next one. I'm currently reading 1984 but your book is next.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

It's wonderful seeing the Hero Lost anthology everywhere. It's a great tribute to the talent of these authors. I was so honoured to be part of it. Thanks, Alex. I wish I knew where I'd be this summer because I'd volunteer to co-host. Can I get back to you? I would love to help, just not sure where we'll be.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Jemi!

Lan, I'm not a fan either.

Kim, amen!

Nicki, I don't think there is much it can't be used for.

Donna, isn't that how it always ends? And thanks!

PJ, that doesn't sound tasty.

Rhonda, that's hilarious.

LD, that is odd.

Thanks, Ellen!

PTM, thanks!

Joylene, anything you can do is cool by me.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

WELL, I need to buy an anthology book!! :) Gosh, I don't see any movies that I can see with kids together ages 17 years down to 6. Hmm. Guess I'll need to wait for summer.

Unknown said...

Hero Lost sounds amazing, and May the Fourth Be With You is a perfect release date! And can't wait for Guardians 2 tomorrow!!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Bromances are my favorite type of book and yes I cried in CassaStar too. Looking forward to Guardians Volume 2.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Love the look and sound of the Hero Lost composite.😊 I also think it is cool how it showcases numerous writers from among your ranks.
I Saw It On Facebook at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

Shannon Lawrence said...

My husband saw Guardians tonight and enjoyed it. Not sure when I'll get to see it. And, yes, why are they taking our dramas and making them comedies? Are they making fun of us? When will TJ Hooker become a slapstick comedy?

Carrie-Anne said...

Research is so fun. I now have numerous virtual collections of things I've found while doing researching, in categories like Vintage Seventeen (the magazine), 1950s ads, vintage recipes, and, of course, all the places I've written about. I've also done research on art materials, to see if a certain colored pencil, paint, or pastel existed in that year, or if that particular line were made by that company then.

Deniz Bevan said...

I like the idea of research being in the background -- it might lead to ideas or just simmer quietly, but never make it into the book. At least not in any obvious way... :P

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Good to see you back!

My kids will be set for movies for the summer, it looks like. :)

erica and christy said...

Oh my gosh, you made me laugh. You'll have to write another book incorporating sea kelp... maybe a non-fiction one on its health benefits??? I'm sure we'll watch Pirates of the Caribbean once it's out of the theater... and Baywatch? Really? Christy

Liesbet said...

Nice blurb by Laura Brambrey! Did you know that "groot" means "tall" in Dutch? Are you tall? I will repeat after you: "I am Groot!" :-) I didn't know there is a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie out - interesting. We will wait until it is widely available, though. The little time I have left, I'd like to read more.
Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

Charles Gramlich said...

Quite a few new movies out or coming out that I want to see

Unknown said...

Sea kelp is a drug? Who would have guessed? I love researching even if only a little makes it into the book.

Congrats to NJ Burggraf on her new release!

"I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot!" This IS indeed going to rock!!

There's a new PotC? How'd I miss that?

Baywatch? I like the Rock, though. It's easy to make fun of the 80s. Look at that hair - glam-rock all the way.

(Sorry I missed IWSG. Just got too much on my plate these days...)

Sharon Himsl said...

Sea kelp is quite healthy I hear. Good to know we have an expert in the group. I'm looking forward to the new Pirates ... movie. Can't get enough of Jack Sparrow. That's nice what Laura said about Cassa...

Unknown said...

I like the reference to the love story in your book-very well said. I enjoy reading all kinds of love stories, not exclusively the romantic kind.

T.F. Walsh said...

Seen guardians of the galaxy twice... loved it. Sure, it wasn't' as good as the first one, but still good. Can't wait for King Arthur and Pirates of the Carribean.

Magic Love Crow said...

Hi Alex!
I thought that was very interesting about the sea kelp! You never know where your research will take you. I have been looking at a lot of crow tattoos and tattoos in general these days. I can't wait to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!!! Baywatch????

H.R. Bennett said...

This probably isn't news for anyone whose known me, but I am itching for Alien Covenant. I fully accept that it's probably going to be garbage given its connection to Prometheus, but I can't help but feel oh so thirsty.

Also...Sea Kelp? XD

Theresa Milstein said...

Wow, what a packed post! Congratulations on the release of the IWSG anthology. Nice to see the Music speaks book featured here too. A new Baywatch and Pirates? These franchises really stick around, don't they?

JJ said...

With respect to weirdest research, I had to build a criminal justice course for a college and an entire module dealt with pornography. Try researching that online!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Teresa, they might all enjoy Guardians.

Susan, that still makes me feel bad!

Shannon, that one I can actually see happening.

Christy, always a thought!

Liesbet, I didn't know that.

Lexa, sorry you missed it as well.

Melanie, thanks.

Robert, God Bless you. Someone needs to be excited about that movie.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was awesome. Can't wait to hear your review of it. I thought it was just as good as the original, although my friend Brad said that it wasn't as fresh. I suppose I could agree with that, but why would you ever expect a sequel to be fresh? Anyway, I love that you researched sea kelp. I wish I had questions to ask you, but I know so little of sea kelp that I think I'd have to study up on it first in order to ask any intelligent questions.

J Lenni Dorner said...

I want to see the new Alien movie.
I do intend to read Hero Lost at some point.
Hope you have a great May!

Michelle Wallace said...

So you're the go-to person for info on sea kelp? Cool.

At the moment, the Hero Lost anthology is causing quite a buzz in BloggyVille!

Cynthia said...

I think research on a subject gives us more confidence referring to it in our writing, even if most of what we learned doesn't make it into our story.

Debra Renée Byrd said...

I think they feel like the shows we love were cheesy, so they're trying to make them funny. Blah. The preview I saw of Baywatch made think, "Nope."

I can't wait to see Guardians and get these anthologies!