Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Alex "Cosbolt" Cavanaugh: Knight of the Cosmic Table!

Friends and aliens, I bring to you a champion today, which many of you have come to know in this neck of the galaxy for some time.

Some know him as the Ninja Captain. Some know him as an Amazon Best-Selling Cosbolt pilot. Others know him as a guitar-strumming cardboard figure, but I know him as a willing and helpful friend. His infectious personality has reached nearly every inch of the writer-blogger community with pay-it-forward skills that are unmatched. For these and other innumerable, stalwart qualities, I hereby dub thee, Sir Alex J. "Cosbolt" Cavanaugh, Knight of the Cosmic Table!

AJC: I am honored to be included at the Cosmic Table and do not take this knighthood lightly. I shall uphold all that it means to be a chivalrous knight. I will defend the Kingdom, I will rescue the fair maiden, I will battle those who steal the Hot Tamales treasure …

DPK: Hot Tamales treasure? I'm not sure we have those ...

AJC: Wait, no Hot Tamales treasure?

DPK: *shakes head* I can order some.

AJC: Oh. Bummer. Do I still get to rescue the maiden?

DPK: Certainly! And since you mentioned it, I'm sure a trove of hot tamales is worth its weight in gold (now I'm hungry - note to self: order some hot tamales!). Thanks for letting me check out your dojo today. I look forward to learning the ways of the writing ninja!

AJC: There is much to learn, little grasshopper!

First there is teleporting. You do have a teleporter, don’t you? That is how a Ninja moves around so fast. Next, you need clones -

DPK: Would you mind looking at my teleporter? A fly got into it with one of my red shirts and ... Let's just say the medic's hands are full.

AJC: Sorry, hate to tell you, but the red shirt is dead.

DPK: *checks datapad* You knew my crewhand died before I did?! You really are a ninja! Well ... I guess the good news is there's a new job opening back on the ship ... Now, what was that about clones?

AJC: You need lots of them. You’ll exhaust yourself teleporting all over like that. I have a clone machine if you’d like to use it (don’t let Al’s dwarfs near it – they went a little crazy and almost broke it).

DPK: Clones ... I knew it! I suspected as much.

I'm curious to know how it all began. What led you to start what has become one of the most recognized author blogs in the universe?

AJC: One of the most recognized? Thanks, but I’m still just a small fish in a very big pond.

DPK: Your humility shines, metaphorical fish. Please continue!

AJC: What led me to begin my blog? My publisher told me to get my butt online. It wasn’t an option. I opted for a blog because I could combine my website with social networking and do it all at once. And I struggled to connect with other bloggers for months. It wasn’t until the very first A to Z Challenge that I finally found my groove.

DPK: Truth. Getting involved in the blogosphere certainly makes a difference when you're first starting out. I'm seriously considering taking the challenge myself for the first time this year. Any advice that would help a newbie survive this month-long alphabet soup?

AJC: Bring crackers.

Seriously, go with a theme. I winged it the first year and came up with brilliant posts – the lame movie “Q,” Q*Bert, and some band named Q-Tip for Q. You don’t want to go there. Select a theme.

Mine has always centered on featuring my blogger buddies and every year it’s a bigger challenge and so involved. This year I have something really cool planned…

DPK: Well blast my asteroids! That sounds easy. I'll be sure to have a theme ready before April springs (see what I did there?). Speaking of springs, how high can you jump while strumming a guitar?

AJC: Well, if you’re expecting one of those Eddie Van Halen jumps, you’ll be disappointed. I’d probably hurt myself.

DPK: You'd have to be a superhero to do one of those, so I don't blame you. I already lost one red shirt today. I'm sure the community will flog me if you get so much as a splinter during this interview ...

They say it's best to have a picture of yourself on your blog so people can get to know you better, but you managed your success without one! Will we ever get to see the man behind the mask?

AJC: Maybe someday! Until then, the photo of me in silhouette with my guitar will just have to suffice. Remember, Ninjas are supposed to be secretive ...

DPK: So if your publisher told you to start blogging, does this mean your first novel CassaStar was done beforehand? Tell us more about what inspired you to write this novel and the other Amazon Best-Sellers that followed.

AJC: It was done and part of the contract agreement was that I’d create an online platform.

CassaStar was a story I’d written as a teen about thirty years earlier. Found it in a drawer and decided to rewrite it. My wife prodded me to look for a publisher and the rest is history. That I wrote two more books and they all did so well still stuns me. I never even wanted to be an author (rock star, maybe!).

DPK: You're stories rock the stars, for sure! Did you know my first book is also about deep space and starfighters, and I wrote it as a teen? I should pull it out of the drawer and see what I can do.

AJC: You need to dig up that old manuscript!

DPK: Will do, but first you're going to have to tell us about your Insecure Writers Support Group (#hashtag: IWSG). How did this incredible group come about and where is it headed?

AJC: It all started with an email exchange with Rusty – I told him he needed an insecure writer’s support group. And it hit me – why not start one? So I proposed the idea and on September 1, 2011, we did our very first post. As it grew, I was amazed by the posts and comments, and how many people were so grateful for the group.

When it neared the two year mark, I reached out to six awesome authors and we launched the IWSG website. It’s the database of databases on all things pertaining to writing, and we recently started having guest posts from major players in the writing world. We also have a Facebook Group that’s over five hundred members strong.

DPK: That's incredible, Alex. Congrats to your success!

AJC: Despite the success I’ve enjoyed with my books, the IWSG is my greatest achievement online and means the world to me.

DPK: The dedication shows. It's one thing to write great stories and have them available for others to read and enjoy, but it's another to form a group of this magnitude that aims to help fellow writers. That in itself is worthy of knighthood, which is why I present to you this custom badge to prove your humble valor however you wish.

Welcome to the table, Sir Alex! 

AJC: Thank you, Sir David! Honored to join the ranks of the Cosmic Knights.

DPK: Any chance we can ride your Cosbolt before we leave the dojo?

AJC: There’s room in a Cosbolt for two. You can navigate. Just don’t touch the telporter. Takes a certain skill. You never know where you’ll end up. Good thing Al’s Dwarves never found it or we’d have them popping in and out all over the universe …

*     *     *

It's so good to see another seat at the table, and this tradition will continue to happen every last Wednesday of the month. Keep your swords sharp and your blasters charged. I'm always on the lookout for the next Cosmic Knight! Who's next? Find out next time!

I'm David, and in case you missed it, here's a CassaTrailer!


  1. David, thank you again! Honor to be joining the other fine Cosmic Knights.

  2. Congrats on your Cosmic induction, AJP! :)

    I have no theme for the A-to-Z. oh gawwwwsh, whatever shall I do?

  3. What? Did Alex have a Cosbolt? And here we are playing with his left socks. Blast! Now we will have to organize an infiltration mission! We'll use tamales as bait, muahahahaha.
    Congratulations on the knighthood. Sire will be most happy.

  4. The red shirts always die.

    Congrats, Knight Alex! You couldn't have picked a better person.

  5. Always great to see Alex and if anyone deserves Knighthood, he does. Fun interview!

  6. Good to see you two educating and having fun. A to Z challenge will keep all of us readers swimming in good content.

  7. Hi David and Alex - well you sure covered all the bases here ... life after the redshirts, how to write a book - make sure it's got decades of dust on it .. and then fast forward and that net thing comes into play .. with that extraordinary word - is it a word?! - blogging ...

    Fun to read .. and the A-Z will be an amazing time once again .. Congratulations Sir Alex, Knight of the Cosmic Table ... cheers Hilary

  8. Trisha, thanks, and don't panic!

    The Dwarves will never find my Cosbolt...

    Hilary, tons of dust just might be optional.

  9. Sir Knight...has a nice ring to it! Such a fun interview - full of important information too. Looking forward to seeing you at the Challenge, David!

  10. Love the badge, Sir Alex! And now we know your secret…teleporters and clones. Gotta get me some of those :)

  11. David and Alex, I will not wear a red shirt and now want Hot Tamales! Congrats to Sir Alex! Nicely done David or maybe I should say Ninjaly done-

  12. Alex just keeps piling on the titles. Captain, Ninja, Knight, where will it end?
    He deserves the title of fearless leader for IWSG. He's been a real inspiration for me as a blogger. Good on ya, Sir Alex.

  13. Now I want some Hot Tamales! Also, don't have redshirts on your crew unless you want people dying everywhere. And rule one about having a teleporter is that you need to have an anti-fly field in place. I have the schematics for one drawn up just in case I ever get a teleporter.

  14. Congrats, Alex. I wish I had a teleporter and clones...lucky!

  15. Julie, as long as you don't let the Dwarves near it, you may use the teleporter.

    Ella, just don't wear your Hot Tamales.

    Susan, thank you!

    LG, we need to get together and plan a world takeover...

  16. Cool interview, Sir Alex. You make me regret my dislike of hot tamales.
    Beyond Acadia

  17. Congrats, I really want a teleporter, need to make them available world wide soon. And pffft ninja wannabe is a better moniker than all those first ones haha

  18. I feel much safer knowing Alex is out there protecting us all.


  19. You two are very entertaining together! You should do a stand-up routine at one of the writing conferences. IT would go over smashingly.

  20. Alex is so cool.

    Even his silhouette is cool and you know that takes skill.

    As for A-Z, I'm totally pumped! I can't wait to share my theme and of course, I'm ready to see what Alex has planned.

    Writing Through College

  21. Jan, that's all right - more for me.

    Pat, you'll never let me overcome that title, will you?

    Moody, thanks! That made me chuckle.

    Jessie, that would be fun - thank you.

    Samantha, thanks! Hope you like my theme this year.

  22. Yay congratulations Alex Oh Cosmic Knight. Thanks to you both for a fun read this evening.

  23. That was a fun read Sirs Alex and David. Your humor is refreshing. Those clones of your's Alex probably get into as much mischief as Al's dwarves.


  24. Congratulations, Knight of the Cosmic Table! I'm glad your publisher insisted on you developing an online presence! You've not only helped yourself, but also so many other authors!

  25. Awesome choice for Knighthood. all I can say is I want a ride in that Cosbolt when you're done.

  26. Great interview. I remember that email exchange. I thought you were making a joke and them BOOM! It was the biggest thing on the internet. Alex really is a Cosmic Ninja Captain Knight.

  27. Congratulations Sir Alex! Great interview, and I hope that Sir David found the Hot Tamales treasure for you! Thanks to the Knights of the Cosmic Table!


  28. I've still enver tried Hot Tamales! Um-ah!
    Congrats on your cosmic knighthood ;)

  29. Donna, they did the day they sent Kate Beckinsale through the clone machine...

    Thank you, Sherry.

    Brandon, get to it before the Dwarves do!

    Rusty, I'd say I never joke when it comes to writing, but that itself would be a joke.

    Lynda, I need to send you a box! It would only be twenty dollars to ship it to you...

  30. Alex is a fine addition to the Knights of the Cosmic Table. And no matter where you go, Al's dwarfs will have beaten you there.

  31. A theme seems like great advice. I've seen that approach many times and it seems to work well. :)

  32. hrmm... I want to make a joke about crossbows and cosbolts, but I'm too tired, right now, to work it out.

  33. Fun interview, guys! Congrats to Knight Alex.

  34. Jeff, only because there are about six hundred of them after the teleporter incident!

  35. Great interview. Thank you for posting it.

  36. All hail the Cosmic Knight. This was a fun and funny interview, and I almost believe the teleporter stuff...

  37. Congrats on the knighthood Captain!
    And hey, the other evening I happened to be watching TV and they were talking about hot tamales... now I'm more confused than ever... is it a type of sweet or a type of food...?

  38. Congratulations on your knighthood Alex!

    I loved the repartee that flowed here.

    AND I always *knew" there was a cloning device. It explains Everything!

  39. Congratulations Alex! That's probably one of the best interviews I've ever read. You really are an inspiration for the writing community!

  40. Helena, believe!

    Michelle, it's a hot and sweet chewy candy.

    Robin, now you know the secret.

    Thank you, Krista!

  41. Boy, do you two feed off each other. LOL. That's sweet that Alex is most proud of the IWSG! Power on!

  42. You couldn't have picked a better knight! Now get him some hot tamales, stat!!!

  43. Great interview with Alex! I've read all hsi books thus far:)

  44. Love this! Thanks to both of you for the interview!

  45. A ninja knight... definitely never met one of those... but I like it. I'm not sure what other title could possibly add more power or cool factor to Alex... A ninja knight speed hot dog eating champion? A ninja knight look alike to Daniel Craig? A ninja knight rocking guitar soloist? Oh wait... ;-)

  46. Kim, the IWSG matters most.

    Mark, I appreciate that.

    Morgan, that last one works! Although if it was the one before it, Old Kitty would be all over me...

  47. Yay for Alex being knighted. I had no idea he started blogging after his book contract. I'm glad he built his platform, because it's a great one.

  48. I bought CassaFire this month. Yeah I have long TBR list. Congrats Alex on making knighthood and David you'd have to immortal to survive the onslaught of any Alex injury caused by your interview.

  49. Can't eat hot tamales. Read CassaFire and loved it and Love the IWSG!

  50. Medeia, thanks!

    Sheena-kay, appreciate it!

    Cathrina, thank you!

  51. Congrats on your knighthood, Alex. Hope it fits over your ninja hood :) Great interview. You guys are hilarious. Congrats to you, too, David, on your Scholastic deal. You guys are both rocking the world!

  52. Congratulations on your knighthood, sir Alex!
    And now I remember why I rarely wear red - it's too dangerous. :)

  53. I'd say Sir Ninja has fulfilled the part of his contract that said to create a web presence. Quite honestly, without his energy and reliable presence around here, I'm not sure I'd have ever become comfortable with bogging. Thanks, Alex! And thanks for the fun interview, King David P.!

  54. I've met so many people through the IWSG. Thanks again, Alex!

  55. Thanks, Shell!

    Tyrean, good way to wind up dead.

    Nicki, thank you!!

    Ken, glad it has made a difference.

  56. Congrats on your well-deserved knighthood, Alex!
    Great interview. Where would the writing world be without the IWSG?

    I'm looking forward to meeting the next cosmic knight (or knight-ess?) :)

  57. That was a fun interview!
    I hadn't realised you were published *before* starting the blog, Alex. Feel like you've always been there supporting us all!