Monday, May 25, 2015

Hosting the Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh: Writing Influences

Please welcome my guest, Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh! 

Writing Influences – Space Opera

Science fiction (and fantasy) have always been big influences on me, from movies to show to superhero comics to books.

I tend to lean more towards the space opera side. It’s more action and adventure, sometimes with a bit of western thrown in. (Think Firefly/Serenity.) It’s less about the science and more about the characters and storyline. I’ve discovered that even people who don’t normally care for science fiction tend to enjoy space opera.

What influenced me to try my hand at space opera? Since Tyrean wanted to know my top five space opera influences, here are the movies/shows that captured my imagination as a kid:

Battlestar Galactica
Star Wars
Buck Rogers
Star Blazers
Star Trek

I’m also a big fan of trivia! Below are quotes from the above movies/shows. Can you match them up?

1 - Pilot: A message from the Gamilon ship, sir: "Earth fleet, we advise you to surrender now." What shall I tell them?

Captain: Tell them they're idiots!

Pilot: What?

Captain: I said - idiots!

Pilot: This is the Earth flagship 225. Our answer: idiots! Over.


2 - Well, I'm scheduled for execution and if I miss it I could be in a lot of trouble.

3 - I changed the conditions of the test; got a commendation for original thinking. I don't like to lose.

4 - Lt: Just keep it up, old buddy, you're going to get us into real trouble.
Lt: Ten thousand light years from nowhere, our planet shot to pieces, people starving, and *I'm* gonna get us in trouble?

5 - Look, Your Worshipfulness, let's get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me.

Answers at the bottom!

Were you influenced by space opera? What were some of the movies/shows/books that influenced you as a kid?

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.


Available now!
Dragon of the Stars
By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military
Print ISBN 9781939844064 EBook ISBN 9781939844057
What Are the Kargrandes? http://whatarethekargrandes.com/

The ship of legends…
The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter. But when the Alliance declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray and told he won’t make captain. One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?

Purchase:
Amazon  
Kobo 

Answers:
1 – Star Blazers
2 – Buck Rogers
3 – Star Trek (The Wrath of Khan)
4 – Battlestar Galactica
5 – Star Wars

How’d you do?

Tyrean: I actually had the last one! :) 

In addition to hosting the rockin' Ninja Captain Alex, I just want to take a moment and highlight a new book by Nick Wilford:


Have you picked up copies of Dragon of the Stars and A Change of Mind and Other Stories yet?

What's influenced your writing?

70 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks again, Tyrean!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Loved seeing the movies that influenced you as a kid. I didn't think I'd like space operas until I started reading your awesome books. Now I really like them. Congrats on another fantastic book.

Nick Wilford said...

Thank you, Christine!

Neat quiz, Alex, but hard! I'm a big fan of Star Trek and Star Wars and couldn't even get those. I think the quotes show space opera can be really funny.

Nick Wilford said...

So sorry, Tyrean! I got you mixed up with Christine who's hosting me today. Must have been distracted by Alex's fiendish quiz!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I didn't get any of those trivia questions/answers. But I'm not all that surprised.... :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Natalie, glad you gave mine a chance!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I tried to go for funny!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I got the Star Trek one right.

Sarah Foster said...

Sadly, I don't know a single one of those quotes. But they sure are funny!

Pat Hatt said...

I got 4 and 5 right, 1 I got right by guessing, messed 2 and 3 up though

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So far you've done the best!

cleemckenzie said...

Great sci fi that influenced you, Alex. Loved Star Trek best of all.

Christine Rains said...

That was fun! I have never heard of Star Blazers. Must check that out. My big sci-fi influences when I was a kid were Star Trek, Doctor Who, and Star Wars.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - your books are definitely fine examples of space opera!

Tyrean Martinson said...

It worked!

Tyrean Martinson said...

That's okay! LOL! It's good to know that I'm not the only one that mixes things up. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Not even Star Wars? Oh well. that's okay. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Cool! I thought it was a Star Trek quote, but wasn't certain until I read the answers.

Tyrean Martinson said...

They are really funny! It's been a long time since I've seen Star Blazers.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Way to go, Pat!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex definitely picked some great sci-fi examples. I liked the original Star Wars a tad better than the original Star Trek, but Wrath of Khan was an awesome movie!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex knows how to create fun quizzes!
My influences were heavy on the side of Star Wars - saw it three times in the theater at the ripe age of six and made up stories in the Star Wars universe after that, and then watched Star Trek re-runs and the movies on TV. Plus, my whole family (including my grandmother who lived across the street from us) liked to watch Battlestar Galactica (the original). I was more likely to watch Duck Dodgers and Marvin the Martian than Buck Rogers, but if I had known there were funny gems in the shows I might have watched Buck Rogers more.

Disney, the idea of Fantasy Island (my parents didn't let me watch more than the off-load of the plane), and Kung Fu influenced me so much at nearly the same time that I automatically put these in the same realm of speculative fiction, even though they are technically fantasy, paranormal, and action adventure.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm not familiar with Star Blazers but I enjoy space opera and like reading it and watching it. I'm really enjoying the reboot of the Star Trek empire.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I like the reboot, too. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Star Trek rocks!

Karen Lange said...

I'll have to give space opera a try. It's always nice to learn more about Alex. Thanks for hosting, Tyrean! Happy Memorial Day!

Stephanie Faris said...

It's interesting what influences the genres we choose when we start writing. So nice to learn more about Alex. Great guest post!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Space opera rocks!

lilicasplace.com said...

Wow, I'm disgraceful. The only one I got half-right was number 3. I knew it was Star Trek, but picked the wrong movie. I'm such a bad Trekkie. Lol. Thanks for hosting Alex today! Have a great day. Eva

Susan Roebuck said...

Great interview - I should've got some of the trivia questions right but I hang my head in shame. Dragon of the Stars looks great.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Nice interview, Tyrean and Alex. I'm a fan of four out of five of your influences, Alex, and got questions 2, 3, 4, and 5 right. I've never heard of Star Blazers. I definitely have to look that one up.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Fun interview! I only knew the last quote, but I loved them all.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, space opera rocks!

Happy Memorial Day!

Tyrean Martinson said...

It is interesting!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for stopping by, Eva!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Dragon of the Stars is great!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wow! Way to go on the trivia!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Caryn!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

There are only good Trekkies!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lori, good for you!!

Lynda R Young said...

I'm not a huge science fan, but I love interesting characters in science fiction settings. I'm a little worried, though, that I don't know what Star Blazers is! Gasp!! Maybe it never came to Australia? lol.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I didn't watch Buck Rogers, but there were a lot of Buck Rogers lunchboxes around me in the cafeteria when I was a kid!

Oh, gosh. I was probably influenced by Scooby Doo, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden. I believe Scooby had a bigger influence than I realized. I'm not sure I really like confessing how much of an influence he had... :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's Japanese, so maybe not.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Scooby Doo is a universal name!

Michelle Wallace said...

I'm not really into sci-fi but I DO recall a series long, long ago, about aliens, that made quite an impression on me.
It was called V... don't know if anyone can remember it??
I think it was round about the early 80's (...now I'm guessing...)
Fun interview!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I remember V! Cheesy but fun show.

Quanie Miller said...

I'm not the best at trivia (I didn't get a single one right). Good luck to both Alex and Nick on their releases.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm a fan of sci fi and space opera, but can't imagine trying to write a novel like Alex's. The world-building seems a bit overwhelming.

T. Drecker said...

Star Blazers is new to me, but not the rest! My mom even bought me a 'TV-dog' to sit on with really long ears. I'd pull them out and use them to steer my dog space fighter while watching several of those shows.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Good Post! I was a big fan of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. It takes a special writer (Alex J. Cavanaugh) to build a universal world.

Maurice Mitchell said...

A fun interview and I love Space Opera too. It's a shame that we don't have any on the air right now, but hopefully that'll change soon.

Cherie Reich said...

I prefer space opera much more than hard science fiction. It's not as limiting as hard science fiction. Congrats, Alex!

Congrats to Nick too!

Jay Noel said...

Great interview. We must have the same influences, as I got all of those right!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If I can handle the world building, anyone can!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

T, that's funny!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Cathrina.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Outside of superhero shows, we don't.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's how I feel as well.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jay, you knew Star Blazers - awesome!

SA Larsenッ said...

#5 was easy-peasy! Han Solo!!! I actually answered one of your trivia questions, Alex. And you know how much I suck at those. I don't even bother trying anymore. Woot for me! Loved this interview. Very cool. I remember Buck Rogers. I was really young, like little. I think I used to watch it with my grandparents on their tiny black-n-white TV. #snort

Heather M. Gardner said...

Star Blazers? This doesn't sound familiar. That line is SO funny. I have to go look this up.

I completely agree! I think Space Opera puts the focus back on characters not on science. Makes it much more interesting to read.

Great post!
Heather

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sheri, good for you!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Makes it more interesting for me to read! And I bet your son would enjoy Star Blazers.

Spacerguy said...

Star Trek's Captain James T. Kirk said No 3. Do I deserve a trekkie a prize now?

M Pax said...

Congrats to Alex and Nick.

I guessed the trivia right. I don't remember Star Blazers. Remember the others.

Patricia Lynne said...

I only knew the last one. ^^;;

Liz Blocker said...

Hey, I got three out of five! Not bad. I usually stink at trivia :) Congrats, Alex and Nick!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You get a basket of Tribbles!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mary, good enough!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You're getting better.