Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Window to the Soul by Alex J Cavanaugh

Today I welcome new author, Alex J. Cavanaugh! His first book, CassaStar, debuted last week and has been all over the Internet. Take it Alex!

Thanks for hosting me today!

Diane asked me to elaborate on an attribute unique to my main character’s race. Cassans are similar to humans in appearance, although their lifespan is several years longer. They also possess a similar intelligence even though they are ahead of us in technology. However, they do possess a unique talent.

Cassans use telepathy.

The idea of telepathy has always fascinated me. (Since I don’t own a cell phone, it would really come in handy!) It’s an incredible concept. What if we possessed the ability to communicate without speaking? What if emotions were sensed or images shared without using words? It would be like a window into the soul.

Imagine the communication issues we’d eliminate if we could clearly show someone what we meant. (Conversely, the trouble we could get into as well!) Telepathy would allow relationships to delve deeper. We’d always have someone who would hear our call, regardless of the distance.

It wouldn’t be a window we’d throw open often, though. We’d choose to shield some exchanges while limiting others. (I’d limit quite a bit - I’m a mean thinker!) Some would block all thoughts from entering or leaving their mind, resenting any attempt to break the mental barriers. They would cut themselves off from others.

Such is the case for Byron. He resists any attempt to pierce his shields or share his thoughts. He does not feel comfortable connecting with others on any level.

However, in order to fly a Cosbolt, a mental connection is necessary between pilot and navigator. Position and intention are communicated in the blink of an eye through the open mind link. Byron struggles with this aspect of piloting, acquiescing to the minimum level of bonding required to fly his fighter. If he is to achieve success though, either in the cockpit or in life, he needs to change.

I think readers will identify with Byron’s conflict. We don’t possess telepathy (bummer!) but we struggle to connect with others. Relationships require communication and commitment, and we often resist out of fear. However, it’s our connection to others that brings meaning to life.

Maybe through Byron’s struggle and journey, we’ll learn to open that window more often.

In the meantime, I’m still wishing for telepathy!

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games.


“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.”
- Library Journal

To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…
Few options remain for Byron. A talented but stubborn young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude, his cockpit skills are his only hope. Slated to train as a Cosbolt fighter pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life as he sets off for the moon base of Guaard.
Much to Byron’s chagrin, the toughest instructor in the fleet takes notice of the young pilot. Haunted by a past tragedy, Bassa eventually sees through Byron's tough exterior and insolence. When a secret talent is revealed during training, Bassa feels compelled to help Byron achieve his full potential.
As war brews on the edge of space, time is running short. Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive, and Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?

CassaStar ISBN 9780981621067, Science fiction/adventure/space opera
Also available in eBook format for iPad, Nook, and others

And check out the most amazing book trailer ever!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks again, Diane!

Golden Eagle said...

Too bad we don't possess telepathy! But I like the analogy--often, our windows are closed, even when they should be open.

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Telepathy, a blessing or a curse? I'd love to be able to at least try it to find out.

Tara said...

When I was a kid, I was convinced my parents could read my mind. Whenever I was thinking something I didn't want them to know, I'd start singing a song in my head instead. Paranoid? Who me?

Anonymous said...

I'm more than intrigued now. Facinated and looking forward to reading your book. But really, no cell phone? It's unfortunately become a staple for me!
Thanks for having Alex Diane!

Mason Canyon said...

Diane, thanks for hosting this interesting interview with Alex.

Alex, using telepathy as a part of your characters abilities is intriguing. But I'm still in awe that you don't own a cell phone.

Thoughts in Progress

Helen Ginger said...

I don't think I'd like telepathy. Not that I have horrible thoughts, except when I'm plotting a book, but I think it would such an intrusion. And when you didn't want someone knowing your thoughts, it would be a burden to constantly keep the walls up.

Nancy J. Parra said...

This sounds fab! I'm adding it to my tbr pile today.

Thanks for sharing. Cheers~

Anonymous said...

I would not want people reading my thoughts LOL! I don't bury victims in secret locals, plot revenge, or want to take over the world. Its not that. Its the little things that would get me into trouble. Probably slapped a few times too.

Karen Lange said...

Wonderful interview! Wish you all the best, Alex. Thanks, Diane, for doing this.
Happy Wednesday,

~Sia McKye~ said...

Oh, I love the idea of telepathy. Like your character, we'd also have the means to block some thoughts. I think, like any form of communication, there are those things in the *common* sector and hidden ones.

"Relationships require communication and commitment, and we often resist out of fear. However, it’s our connection to others that brings meaning to life."

I think that's true whether we would have telepathy or not. Good point.

PK HREZO said...

Oooooo.... I'd get into a lot of spats if we all had telepathic powers!! lol. Kind of like that old saying, "It's the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
I have crazy, questionable thoughts all the time that don't necesarily agree with the real person I am. I can only imagine how they'd be misconstrued by others who could read them. eeeek!

But for a story it's awesome! Great to learn more about the Cassans! I swear I'm starting the book tonight! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Golden, exactly!

Mary, sounds like you're ready to cause trouble.

Tara, no, not at all!

Lynn and Mason - I really don't own a cell phone. Who would I call?

Stephen, I think all men would be in danger.

Thanks, Sia!

Pk, hope you enjoy!

Talli Roland said...

Oh, how I'd love to have telepathy.

I'm half-way through Alex's book and really enjoying it!

Cinette said...

I got my copy of CassStar in the mail just the other day. Now I just need to find a minute to sit down and read it! Can't wait to find out more about the telepathy; I've started writing a 'soft' sci-fi piece that has implants in the soldiers in order for them to communicate.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Alex, I like the analogy of the open window!

Robin Spano said...

Alex, this blog tour rocks! As long as we could control our shields, I'd love to have a telepathy system - I just worry that too many errant thoughts that are NOT meant for sharing would escape.

Arlee Bird said...

I wouldn't mind being able to read other people's thoughts, but I wouldn't necessarily wanting anyone to read mine. Sometimes it seems like my wife thinks I should be able to read her mind--sorry, dear, I can't.

Tossing It Out

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Talli, I'm so relieved!

Thanks, Robin!

Lee, don't they always?

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I would never let my shield down. What if my students at school really knew what I think about them. LOL
You're created a very clever concept. Can't wait to read it.

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Are you certain we don't already have telepathy? Have you ever had the feeling someone was reading your mind?!!!


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Though telepathy would be nice, I think it could also cause a lot of problems and hurt feelings. I am looking forward to reading the book to see how your characters handle it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, might go far as way to control the kids! Thanks, hope you enjoy the book.

Monti, my wife swears she can read mine!

Thanks, Jane - that would be awesome!

Jai Joshi said...

I'm totally down with telepathy so these Cassans sound cool.

I also love it that you (Alex) don't own a cell phone. I hope, one day, to be like you.


Jemi Fraser said...

The telepathy in the book is so realistic - it's just part of who they are. I also loved the teleportation. That one would be awesome as well :)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

telepathy would be cool. I could talk and eat at the same time! ;)

WritingNut said...

I love the idea of telepathy - I used to wish all the time that I was telepathic when I younger.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jai - just say no!

Thanks, Jemi! Yeah, I'd like to teleport right now and avoid the idiots on the road.

Lynda - that's funny!

Susan Fields said...

My wip has characters with telepathy also - it was really interesting to read what Alex has to say about it.

N. R. Williams said...

I can think of a hundred complications arising out of telepathy which translates into tension. A worthy concept indeed Alex.

Thanks for hosting him L. Diane.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, you need to post about your character's telepathic abilities.

Nancy, it does!

Hart Johnson said...

Alex-I hadn't heard this angle yet, and I think it is my favorite detail! I love the necessity of opening up for 'safety' but the resistance for a lot of other reasons. I think this is a fabulous struggle!

I keep wondering though, what a schizophrenic in such a society would be like--EVERYONE could experience it!

Unknown said...

The telepathy is so cool. Like Star Trek. I thought that Alex was so cool to bring that into it.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Hart! And wow, would that add to the confusion.

Thanks, Clarissa! I am a Star Trek geek, too.