Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Music to Make Write to Starring Alex J. Cavanaugh

Last week we began a new phase to MTMWT by having Tracy share her top 3 writing tunes.  Today I'm handing the blog over to Alex J. Cavanaugh (since it was sorta kinda his idea.)  Take er' away Cap'n Alex!

"How about doing some writer features? What song inspires them and why?"

I made that comment two weeks ago. Little did I know Chris would take me up on the suggestion – and request that I be one of the first!

What song inspires me? I’m one of those authors who prefer to listen to music while writing and editing. The pounding of the drums, the intricacies of the guitar playing, the passion in the vocals – it all contributes to mood of the setting. The right piece can propel a scene from flat and lifeless to energetic and alive. With music, I feel the moment!

I have many songs and artists that inspire my writing. I like the pounding energy of In Flames. I like the melodic emotion of Redemption. With some bands, it’s the album as a whole rather than individual songs.

Chris gave me permission to select up to three, but I’ve decided to go with just one.

There’s a key scene in my book, CassaStar, that changes the main character’s path. The moments leading up to it are rapid-fire and chaotic, which the pace of this song matches. It’s the intensity and agony of emotion in this tune that evoked the proper mood for the climax. I needed this song to get me through the scene, as it was the most difficult the write.

To capture that moment, I used Stream of Passion’s Street Spirit:

Thanks, Alex!  If you want to be an uber awesome guest blogger like Alex, feel free to email me at clp3333(at)hotmail.  Also be sure to pick up a copy of Alex's debut novel CassaStar, info and linkages below.


CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh

Science fiction/adventure/space opera, Dancing Lemur Press LLC
ISBN Print 9780981621067 eBook 9780982713938 

Links to purchase:
AMAZON KINDLE - http://www.amazon.com/CassaStar-ebook/dp/B0045Y261I/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1286550119&sr=1-2

To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…
Few options remain for Byron, a talented young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude. Slated to train as a Cosbolt pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life. Much to his chagrin, Bassa, the toughest instructor in the fleet, takes notice of the young pilot. As war brews on the edge of space, Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive. 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? 

“…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

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He’s 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. Currently he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.


  1. Great job, Alex! I'd never heard this song before, but it's extremely powerful and I may just have to steal it for my playlist. :D

  2. I'd always had a problem listening to music and writing/reading at the same time, but with my last WIP, I started listenting to opera, now I'm hooked.

  3. Cool song, Alex! Great beginning and I didn't expect a female vocalist! She has an amazing voice!!!

  4. Very cool! I love how music can bring out ideas and inspire our words. Thanks for sharing Alex!

  5. I've tried playing music in the background while I write but still prefer a room's quiet. Never know, maybe one day...

  6. Tracy, it's a cool band!

    Melissa, now you're one of us.

    Kelly, she has what one would call a 'voice of glass' - smooth and pure!

    Thanks, Janet!

    Kittie, you never know...

    Thanks again, Chris!

  7. That's a beautiful piece with great buildup.

  8. Music does inspire many,this song is beautiful. Thanks, for sharing, I had never heard it before. What song is inspiring the next book? ... ;-D

    Great idea Chris; Fun post Alex~ Or is it Great idea Alex?!

  9. Man, that is one cool musical inspiration! I was expecting something different and was pleasantly surprised. Thanks Alex :) And Chris wonderful series. Anything music and I'm in :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  10. I agree with Holly about the build up

  11. Isn't it though, Holly?

    Ella, a little of both! And I will let you know that inspiration when and if the book happens.

    Jules, bet you thought it was going to metal scream your head right off, didn't you?

    Thanks again, Chris!

  12. That is a brilliant song, if there ever was one. Not surprised it inspired CS.

  13. Amazing song! Music influences all, whether we are aware or not.

  14. Oooh love the shadow shot of Alex looking ever so moody.

    Thanks Chris Phillips and Alex J Cavanaugh for this yummy treat! Take care

  15. I often select music to fit the scenes I'm writing to help my brain get in the mood. I had to turn it down to listen and I'm glad I did.

  16. Kitty, you always make me laugh!

    Thanks again, Chris. And I'd written that scene before the song came out, but when doing revisions for my publisher, it really escalated the moment. Made it better!

  17. Such a powerful piece. I don't often write to music, but there are times when it's absolutely necessary. Thanks, Alex, Chris.

  18. For Fireseed One? Lots of electronica. Also, The Gorillaz.