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Guest Post by CassaDark author, Alex J. Cavanaugh

Challenges: That Fourth Book in the Series

By Alex J. Cavanaugh

The end of 2013 saw the release of the third book in my Cassa trilogy. I also wrote a short story prequel that came out a few years later. Series are easier since there is familiarity with the work and the world-building is already established.

It’s been a long time since I stepped back into that universe. So of course, I decided to go a completely different route with this book!

I departed from my main character (who was getting a little too old for grand adventures) and told the story from his son’s viewpoint instead. I’d introduced Bassan in the third book, but at the time he was just a child. This story would take place fifteen years later (also a departure from my usual jump-forward-twenty-years). I wasn’t dealing with a boy anymore but a grown man. I knew the basics of his childhood, but the passing years would cause him to develop new characteristics. So, with only a little to go on, I basically had to create a new character.

Bassan wasn’t the only one I needed to work on. The story opens on Tgren with several familiar faces from previous books, but by chapter two, Bassan is across the galaxy and meeting new people. I had to create many new characters, both on the space station and the planet he travels to. Plus, it’s quite the mix of people on the planet.

I also altered the point of view. Third person from two-three characters is my standard for the series. I’d tackled third person from one character in my previous non-Cassa book (Dragon of the Stars) and decided since this was Bassan’s story, only one point of view was needed. That always adds a bit of challenge because it limits what the reader knows since the character is limited to what he knows.

Add in the fact I’d not written anything Cassan-related in over four years when I began this (or written anything for that matter!), and I had a major task ahead of me. The words did not come easy. I kept changing the outline. Scenes were altered, trying to up the stakes. Ironing out the plot and the pacing and everything – it was a bit of a mess.

However, the result is one I’m proud of and an excellent addition to the Cassa universe. And because of the challenges and the way I wrote the story, CassaDark can be enjoyed without reading the first three books in the series.

But of course, I’d like for you to read those as well!

“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


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Alex J. Cavanaugh 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. He's the founder of the Insecure Writer's Support Group and author of Amazon Best Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars, plus he's contributed to numerous anthologies.

Find Alex on his website and on Twitter!

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