26 March 2012

Blogging Mentor Monday: Alex J. Cavanaugh—Need I Say More?

I was excited, mostly for selfish reasons, when Alex agreed to be our Mentor. This interview was really an excuse for me to find out how Alex, writer-blogger extraordinaire, does it all. Read on to hear what the master has to say.

When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog November 2009 because my publisher told me to get my butt online. I started it to build a web presence, and I’ve stayed because I found an awesome community online.

As an active blogger and successful writer, what advice can you give to those struggling to find time to write and blog?
Most people don’t have the time I devote to blogging, but you do have to devote some amount to online activities. Blogging is about building relationships, so you need to spend some time visiting other bloggers and getting involved in the community. If you’re also a writer, you need to set aside time for that as well! It’s all about finding a balance that works for you. If it’s a priority in your life, you will find time.

The launch of CassaFire was huge. Do you have any tips for a successful book launch?  
The more involved you are in the community and the more bloggers you know, the more help you will have when it comes time to launch a book. And you need to plan a blog tour many months in advance and select your hosts with care. It’s a lot of work – make your efforts count!

You're a great example of a blogger who “pays it forward.” What support do you feel the blogging community offers writers?
Thank you! This community offers writers so much – tips on writing, publishing, and promoting; support in terms of helping one another with promotions and sales; and a general sense of belonging.

What is your most memorable blogging experience to date?
Wow! There’s been many, including watching so many showcase the launch of my last book. That was humbling. However, I’d have to say the response to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Hundreds have signed up and every first Wednesday, it’s awesome to see the support and encouragement from the community as writers post their fears and concerns. So many have expressed gratitude that I started the IWSG and it’s just amazing.

Random Question: If you won a trip to the moon and could take three things with you, what would they be?
My wife, my iPad, and a case of Hot Tamales. You don’t think I’d have any problem picking up a WiFi signal out there, do you?

No, none at all. : ) Thanks for Mentoring us, Alex. You da' man!

Thanks, Emily!

Alex J. Cavanaugh

97 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thank you again, Emily!

Old Kitty said...

Yay for Capn Ninja! He's so darned NICE!!!
:-)

Hello Emily too! Take care
x

Brinda said...

Hi Alex,
You certainly pay it forward and had a great launch. As a side note, I went on vacation last week and spent 10+ hours in the car each way. We ate a huge box of Hot Tamales on the way back. Those things are addictive!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Good interview and equally good answers. Thanks to all concerned.

Yvonne.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Awesome interview Alex and Emily. I so agree with Alex that part of building a successful blog entails visiting others, commenting, and developing friendships. I still struggle with finding the balance.

Thanks for all your advice Alex. It's always so right on.

ediFanoB said...

You want a blogging advice?
Then ask the Ninja Captain himself.

Emily, I'm sure you are as satisfied by the answers as your readers.

Thank you for the questions Emily and thank you Alex for the answers.

Melissa Bradley said...

Alex, you truly are a Ninja with your blogging superpowers. I especially love the way you bring so many people together.

Emily, you have a great blog. I love your style and layout here. Terrific interview, Alex is definitely a mentor. :)

Rusty Webb said...

Great advice. But one you got to the moon they'd probably just be tamales by then. Not sure you can keep them hot for the whole trip.

Anna Smith said...

I must find out what these hot tamales are! Great question about the moon, screw the desert island lol! :)

Richard said...

You are amazing in your blogging. I see your name everywhere, yet it is not annoying. Everyone loves you and your work and it shows.

Coleen Patrick said...

Hot tamales! Ha ha. :) Great interview Emily & Alex!

Hart Johnson said...

Well frankly, I think Alex has a time-turner. He gets more places and gets more done than anyone I know. Defitiely the master at this.

Southpaw said...

Hot tamales were a great drive-in treat.

Cate Masters said...

Great interview, Emily and Alex. You have a real gift for building community online, Alex. Thanks for the reminder about the Insecure WRiter's Group. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thank you, Kitty!

Brinda they are addictive!

Natalie, it can be a balance struggle.

Thanks, Edi!

Melissa, I just try to give back as much as possible.

Rusty - microwaves!

Richard, good to know I'm not annoying.

Hart, I get more done before dawn than most people do all day. Well, not really....

Karen Lange said...

Love Alex's insight and advice. He is a faithful blogging friend. Thanks for hosting him, Emily! It's good to meet you. :) Have a great week!

Talli Roland said...

Yay for Alex! He's fabulous, and he's such a generous blogger, too.

elizabeth seckman said...

great interview. It's good to b e reminded that reading the blogs (which I love to do!) is actually productive!

Christopher Hudson said...

Alex, don't forget your golf clubs ... do you know how far you could hit a drive on the moon?

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Alex uses words like ninja stars thrown by characters from Dragon Ball Z!

Journaling Woman said...

Alex's middle name is Awesome. Alex Awesome Cavanaugh. I hope that wasn't a secret. :) But,he seems to do it all.

Great interview- both of you.

Teresa

Jenny S. Morris said...

I just discovered Alex's blog last week. I'd seen the second book in the Cassa series everywhere but for some reason I hadn't been to the blog. And I've seen so many people get support through the Insecure Writer's blog hop. Great job starting that!

Wonderful Interview!

Cassie Mae said...

When I saw your schedule for the month, Em... and I saw Alex's name, I srsly squeed!

Blogging is def. about building relationships. Can't agree more. And I love the IWSG! One of my favorite days of the month!

Thanks guys! Interview was awesome!

Angela Cothran said...

I do bow to Alex :) I have CassaStar sitting on my Kindle begging to be read. Why is there only 24 hours in a day? Blast!

Great interview :)

i'm erin. said...

ALEX!!! He's so unbelievable. I've been a silent lurker on his blog for a bit, and now and then I comment when I find something intelligent to say. He's freaking awesome. And I need to get CassaStar.

Sarah Pearson said...

As blogging mentors go, they don't come much bigger than Alex! Well done on another great interview Emily :-)

cherie said...

Alex is awesome! And he really does pay it forward. I think he may be part ninja/part robot, just because who has time to write amazing books and blog AND respond to comments AND leave comments all over the blogosphere at the same time?

:D

Meredith said...

What a fun interview! And yay for hot tamales. :) I can't live without those!

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Alex is amazing at 'paying it forward.' The IWSG is so wonderful. Now we need to start an Alex fanclub with Alex appreciation day. :)

David P. King said...

Alex has been a shining example for me since I followed him last year. Both as a blogger and a writer. About halfway through CassaFire and wish I had more time to read. Only enough time to hit a chapter between everything else. Been that busy.

Excellent interview, Emily, Alex! :)

Cortney Pearson said...

Hot Tamales are the best! Great interview! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Karen and Talli, thank you!

Christopher, I might have to take up golfing for just that reason.

Michael, and it's a shame I'm not a better aim!

Teresa, thank you so much.

Jenny, thanks.

Cassie, I can picture you squeeing.

Angela, I appreciate that.

Erin, all of commenters say something intelligent, so feel free to comment.

Sarah and Cherie, thank you!

Meredith, they are as important as air. Well, almost.

Rachel, that's sweet!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Love Alex. He rocks!

And so do his books.

Morgan said...

I really think Alex is SO COOL. He's the kind of person that has a million best friends because he makes you feel that way. He's sincere, talented, hard working, and such a light in this blogging/writing community ;)

Sarah Allen said...

Brilliant! Thank you Alex :) You're CassaFire launch really was incredible, nice to hear some more thoughts about that.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

E. Arroyo said...

Awesome interview!

Shiela Calderón Blankemeier said...

Thanks for the great interview, Emily. And for the wonderful advice, Alex. I enjoying hearing other author/bloggers experience in balancing life. Best of luck to you!

Peaches Ledwidge said...

Emily, I tagged you for the Lucky & Meme Award - I don't know if you had received before.

Emily R. King said...

Melissa, thanks! Alex really is a wonderful example of blogging excellence.

Richard, I agree! Alex is so very nice.

Southpaw, were? But aren't no more, eh? : ) I guess they're reserved for trips to the moon.

Cate, thank you!

Erin, silent lurkers count as followers, too. : )

Cherie, yes! I'm not the only one who watches in awe as Alex accomplishes all he does.

David, he's been an example to me, too. It's great to have bloggers (this includes you) to emulate. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Donna, you rock!

Morgan, thanks - that was really sweet.

Sarah, it was huge all right.

Hope Roberson said...

Thanks for the advice and the great interview!

J.L. Campbell said...

Every time I come across Alex, he makes me wish I used my time better. Dunno how he does all he does, but he does.

SherryE said...

Great interview!

LynNerdKelley said...

Wonderful interview, Emily! Alex rocks and has made such a difference in the blogging community. He always offers good, sound advice, and hosts fun bogfests. His trivia questions are fun, too. Alex is innovative. We never know what he's going to come up with next. Three cheers to Alex.

So nice to connect with you again, Emily. My life has been topsy turvy the past few months and I just haven't had enough time to blog. I've missed so many great posts. I hope you're doing well. Take care!

Samantha said...

Great interview! I must say that the writing community is just awesome. People are so supportive!

Carrie Butler said...

Great interview! I love how community-minded Alex is. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Alex is amazing. The Insecure Writer's Support Group is huge now.

Jen Chandler said...

Hello Emily :).

Thanks for hosting the amazing Captain Alex :D He truly is everywhere on the Interwebs :D

Nice to meet you,
Jen

Jessie Humphries said...

Yeah, when I first started blogging, I was like, "Who is this Cavanaugh fellow? He is everywhere!" Great online presence.

M.J. Fifield said...

Great interview. I especially loved the random question. Too funny!

M Pax said...

The launch of Cassafire was epic.

If the moon doesn't hae wi-fi, steal a satellite along the way.

Waving at Emily.

Medeia Sharif said...

I haven't had Hot Tamales in a long time. I think I'd take Dots to the moon.

Great interview. I got to learn more about Alex.

Cherie Reich said...

Wonderful interview! And I love the random question's answer too. That's great. :)

tfwalsh said...

Great interview... loved your answers Alex, esp the three items you'd take to the moon...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

JL, not sure if I'm using it better, but I am using it!

Lynn, I'm a Ninja of surprise...

Jessie, just an author-geek with a blog!

Mary, will do!

Thank you, everyone!

Romance Book Haven said...

Hi Emily and Alex,

Alex had some good advice and asnwers to your questions Emily!

Thanks Alex!

Jemi Fraser said...

I wish I could do a little blogging on my lunch hour, but we're not allowed at my job. It would make life a little easier :)

Monti said...

A case of hot tamales. Interesting choice! Thanks for the comments.

Monti
Mary Montague Sikes

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey,

Loved your comments re. Cassie's interview (you get a 50% discount:) and thanks for haviong Alex here, today... it's always fun to learn a little more from the Borg :)

Suze said...

Hot Tamales, eh?

Al, just want you to know that you feel like a sort of unifying force on Blogger for me and, I think, for a lot of other bloggers. Always appreciate your enthusiasm, your consistent presence and your infectious zeal.

All esteem,
-Suze

Tara Tyler said...

wow! just interviewing alex boosts the comments! he's so popular! and gives great advice! thanks for having him!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jemi, if I couldn't blog from work, I'd never manage it all.

Mark, have you not been assimilated yet?

Suze, thank you. I really appreciate that.

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Great interview! Always nice to learn more about the people I see in the comments sections! And Hot Tamales are the candy of choice around our house!

Julie Musil said...

Alex IS that man, that's for sure! I'm humbled by all that he accomplishes. And you're right...he is a great example of paying it forward. Thanks Emily & Alex!

Christine Rains said...

Wonderful interview. Alex is great, and hilarious. Hot Tamales, indeed.

Leigh Covington said...

I am constantly amazed by Alex's ability to get around the blogosphere. But even more than that - he is SO nice and supportive to everyone. And humble. You can't help but like the guy. Fabulous interview Emily & Alex. I loved it!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Great interview, but with all the time Alex finds to spend on Blogger, plus writing and publishing a couple books, plus have a family, I believe I've figured out his secret. With all his science fiction-y stuff, he's figured out a way to stop time at will, so he can do all he wants in what's effectively a much longer day than what the rest of us poor mortals have.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

Alex is amazing and one of the most supportive bloggers out there. Great post (as typical of Alex and Emily). Brilliance I say!

Kelley said...

Yay Alex!! Great interview again Emily :)

Can you believe I didn't have his book marked as 'to read' in Goodreads? Shame on me...

And Hot Tamales. Yes please! :)

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Alex is a one of a kind friend to have. His support of my writing journey has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I especially like the part how Alex said we should devote more time to writing and blogging; that's definitely important. Some bloggers will disappear without warning for weeks or even months and then pop up again; I'm never sure if I should stop following them or keep following them in case they show up again. And I must admit that for a long time I spent more time thinking about writing than actually writing; blogging actually motivated me to stop procrastinating so much and start writing again.

Angela Brown said...

Captain Alex. You are a riot. Always have to make sure those Hot Tamales are right there :-)

Love it!

michelle said...

Thanks Emily & Alex.
I really don't know how Alex does it! He's amazing!
Talk about being in 100 places at the same time...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thank you, Julie.

Appreciate that, Leigh.

Susan, I wish!

Kelley, thank you!

Neurotic, it does keep us in the writing mode.

Thank you, everyone and thanks again Emily!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Emily, Hi Alex
Good advice. I am considering revamping my blog as my health improves to be a better friend.
Nancy

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Good to know you pay it forward. Nice interview.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Alex is my blogger hero. Thanks for having him here to share his expertise, Emily.

J. A. Bennett said...

What a great interview, and I agree, Alex is the king of paying it forward!

Shallee said...

Thanks for the interview, Emily and Alex! Yay for the awesome blog community.

Mark Noce said...

Great interview:) I luv reading Alex's blog and yours:)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great interview! For a trip to the moon, I would take my family (a combo item), my laptop and chocolate. Loved that question!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Patricia and JA!

Tyrean, we think alike - loved ones, electronic device, and candy!

Gina Gao said...

This is a great interview. I really enjoy Alex's blog.


www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

ladonna watkins said...

Great post and reminder that we have to balance both. Thanks.

Karen Peterson said...

Alex! I know him!

Fun interview! And Hot Tamales are definitely a MUST.

Michelle said...

Great interview. Thanks guys
Sometimes I feel I don't have enough time to spend hanging out in bloggy land. There are so many lovely people here.
Xx

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Karen - I know you!

Thanks everyone.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Not sure about the Wifi on the moon but I guess land lines are out.
I'm working on balancing my time but I figure I'll be doing little more than blogging during April and my WIP will have to wait.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Finding the balance is tough. I'm still struggling with that. And so impressed that Alex has mastered it.
Great interview!

Stephen Tremp said...

Finding time to write blogs and visit other sites is the tricky part. I do what I can throughout the day and by the time I go to bed I have visited fifty blogs or so. That's a lot for me. If I could visit one hundred a day I would, but unfortunately time does not allow me to.

Christa Desir said...

You need not say more. It's Alex. Of course. Just. Of course. Perfect choice.

Ella said...

Great interview! Of course Wifi is on the moon! ;D I'm bringing popcorn. I will share~

You work it, better than anyone I know! Well Done~

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, you can do both!

Cynthia, I'm trying.

Stephen, a hundred takes a lot of time - trust me.

Christa, thank you!

Ella, popcorn would be great.

Thank you SO much, Emily!

Kate Coursey said...

I've seen this book around. Thanks so much for the interview! I have found it hard to keep up with writing and blogging, but having an online presence is sort of necessary.

Caitlin said...

Great interview and wonderful advice! Alex you really are one of the most wonderful bloggers I've seen out there, and I love participating in the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Theresa Milstein said...

Alex is a hard working blogger. I see his comments everywhere and when he posts, he receives lots of comments. And nobody knows how to the word out for a new book like Alex!

Ciara said...

You are smart man to name your wife first. :)