Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Alex J. Cavanaugh & Patricia Josephine Book Release Guest Posts - Starting & Ending a Series and The Fun of Short Fiction

Today I welcome Alex J. Cavanaugh and Patricia Josephine, who both have book releases! If you came for one's guest post, I hope you'll also enjoy the other's guest post! Alex wrote about Starting and Ending a Series and Patricia wrote about The Fun of Short Fiction. Alex J. Cavanaugh is releasing CassaDark and Patricia Josephine/Patricia Lynne is releasing A Quick Death.

Note that my usual open submissions post will be next Wednesday instead of this week.

Before we jump in, my interview with Claudia Monacelli at Multiple Voices (a podcast) is now available for your listening pleasure!

Multiple Voices Podcast, episode 97

Starting and Ending a Series - Alex J. Cavanaugh

Beginning a news series is challenging but also exciting. So many possibilities! It’s also satisfying to bring it to an end. After years of living with the characters, sharing their adventures, it feels good to find closure and tie everything together in a tidy package, sending the series out with a bang. 

I’ve started a series once. Ironically, I’ve ended that same series twice now. 

Wait, I can explain! Let’s go back to the beginning. 

The first book was a terrible first draft I wrote as a teen over forty years ago. I watched probably way too much BattleStar Galactica, Star Wars, and other science fiction shows, so the story’s vibe was similar. It sat untouched for almost thirty years before I decided to rewrite it, as the main characters were good but the execution terrible. 

When that first book was picked up by a publisher and released, I was excited. The story I’d imagined as a teen, a book at last. Then fans (and my publisher) started asking for another – in the series! Well, I’d never planned a series, but I did have an idea based on another story from the past. So, I wrote a second book. Of course, who’s ever heard of a series of two? No one! That meant a third book. 

I’d done it! A science fiction trilogy. I’d brought the series full circle, with each book containing its own story arc and theme. Stick a fork in it – it’s done. And while it seemed a little sad to end Byron’s adventures, it was time. I’d jumped forward twenty years with each book, so the main character was showing his age a bit.  Byron: The Geriatric Years didn’t have a nice ring to it. So, I moved on with an entirely new book, a couple short stories, and lots of blog posts. (Those count, right?) 

Somewhere along the line, an idea hit me. In the third book, I’d introduced Byron’s ten-year-old son, Bassan. What if I wrote a story about him instead? I jump forward in years anyway (although this was only a fifteen-year jump), so he’d be an adult. The wheels really started turning then. 

Since it was a different character, I came up with a divergent concept. It needed to stand out from the other three, and since it followed Bassan not Byron, it had to stand on its own. Plus, it was third person point of view from just one character, not two or three. But once I’d finished it, once it was edited and polished, I knew this was a great way to end the series. Sending Bassan across the galaxy on a bit of a cat-and-mouse game with only his wits and unique connection to ancient alien technology to help him survive – perfect! 

So, if you are considering a series, a little advice. If you’re reading one, understand the effort that went into connecting it all together. If you’re writing one, try to plan a little better than I did!

CassaDark, by Alex J. Cavanaugh



By Alex J. Cavanaugh


“Cavanaugh returns to the world of his Cassa Series…for a fourth inventive space opera.” – Publisher’s Weekly


His world is unraveling… 

Bassan’s father is stepping down from command. His best friend almost dies when Bassan freezes. Now, he’s being sent across the galaxy to speak at an important conference. Despite saving the eleven races years ago, he’s paralyzed by doubt. Could things get any worse? 

Once there, new acquaintance Zendar convinces Bassan to visit his planet for a humanitarian mission. Bassan’s special connection to ancient technology is the key to saving Zendar’s people. One problem though—it’s a prisoner planet. 

On Ugar, he discovers things aren’t so straightforward. As each truth reveals itself, the situation grows more desperate. If he can’t find the right answers, he might die along with Zendar’s people. Can Bassan summon the courage to be a hero again? 

Print - 9781939844842

EBook – 9781939844859

Science Fiction – Adventure/Space Opera/Space Exploration



iTunes | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Scribed | Goodreads 

You can find Alex J. Cavanaugh at his blog: Alex J. Cavanaugh

The Fun of Short Fiction - Patricia Josephine

A Quick Death is my third collection of 200 word flash fiction. I have two more collections in the works. It’s something I find myself coming back to again and again. I love writing it. I love reading it. They’re fun bite-sized stories that you can consume like candy. (The perk being that the stories won’t add to your waistline.)


The thing I really enjoy about shorter fiction is it allows me to read an entire story in one sitting. I am notorious for reading a book in one go. I’ve missed appointments because of the fact. There’s also a certain amount of emotion that a full length novel requires. At least for me. There’s a roller coaster ride you go on with a novel. You can go through so many emotions. You get attached to the characters. You cry when the author kills your fav. (WHYYYYYYY?????) I enjoy novels, but my energy reserves aren’t always full enough.


That’s where short fiction comes in. Where novels are roller coasters, short fiction are more like a kiddie rides at the park. They take you for a safer ride and you get off and say, “That was fun.” But your legs won’t be left shaking from the adrenaline. They don’t drain me as much as a novel does. That’s important since reading is a vital author task. (Yes, it totally is! Don’t argue with me.)


If you’re ever feeling a little worn out but still want to get some reading in, check out some short fiction. There’s a ton out there and, while they may not take you on a roller coaster ride, they can still make you say, “Wow.”


A Quick Death, by Patricia Josephine

The Afterlife

These things fascinate our imagination. Delve into a collection of tales that explore death and murder. Each story is told in exactly 200 words and designed to give you a quick thrill no matter how busy your day is.



 Buy Links

Amazon | Universal Link | Goodreads 


About the Author

Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.


 Social Media Links:

Website | Patreon | Facebook | Newsletter 


Patricia Josephine:

Goodreads | Amazon Author Page 


Patricia Lynne:

Goodreads | Amazon AuthorPage 

Patricia is doing a giveaway! It's open May 11 to May 18. THE FINE PRINT: Giveaway is US only. (Sorry, but the packages I've sent international have vanished in transit.) Entries only valid for new subscribers and followers. Contest ends May 18th.

Giveaway code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

What do you think about their covers? Did you enter the giveaway? Have you written a series? What do you think of short fiction?

May you find your Muse.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations Patricia and thank you Shannon!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats to Alex and Patricia on their new books. And thanks for the tips on writing a series, Alex.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Congrats to both!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm really glad Alex wrote a fourth book.

Short stories and anthologies are perfect for when you only have a little time.

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

I don't know if I'll ever write and publish a novel, as much as I love reading them, due to my short attention span. However, because short stories don't seem to be selling in YA I may write a novel for that age group since I feel a need to write for it more. Congrats to both you Alex and Patricia on your book releases!

Christine Rains said...

Congrats to Alex and Patricia!

diedre Knight said...

Congratulations to Alex and Patricia! Cool interview, Shannon. You guys are so inspiring ;-)
I love writing short stories, they set a pace that doesn't allow for much meandering. That's a good thing for me ;-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - good luck with your release later in the year - while Patricia yours looks a fun read - though I've no wish to meet Death! Cheers to you both - Hilary

Mary Kirkland said...

I haven't written a series but I read a lot of them and seeing how all the books are tied together is fun.