Friday, April 20, 2018

Where It All Began … Tick Tock

I’m super excited today to welcome fellow blogger, friend and outstanding author Alex J. Cavanaugh to Thoughts in Progress.

As many of you know, Alex is the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group which offers support for writers and authors alike. Alex is joining us today to talk a bit about the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and a huge event they have coming up. Welcome, Alex.

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime comes out May 1 – the third anthology from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. How did it all come about? Maybe I need to go back and give you some history.

Seven years ago, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group began. At first, it was just a monthly blog hop. But it eventually morphed into a website that we like to call the database of all databases for writers. A Facebook group also began at the same time. Along the line, we opened a Twitter and Instagram account, started a newsletter, published two free writing eBooks, began a Goodreads book club, and launched our own Twitter pitch party, #IWSGPit.

But before we hit our one-year milestone with the website, we decided we needed to do something special. An anthology contest was suggested and once we had a few things lined up, we dove into the opportunity. I’m not sure anyone is prepared for their first anthology project, but somehow we waded through all of the submissions, sent the best ones to our selected judges, and then turned the winners over to Dancing Lemur Press for publication under their imprint, Freedom Fox Press.

Our first contest’s theme was parallel universes and the genre science fiction. The result was Parallels: Felix Was Here. We decided to make it a yearly contest, and that book was followed by Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life, a fantasy book with the theme of hero lost. This past year, we selected mystery/crime/thriller and a theme of tick tock – something having to do with clocks and time. And now Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime comes out on May 1.

Readers (and most people) see only the finished book. Which is how is should be. But there’s so much work behind the scenes. Months beforehand, we announce the genre and start working on a theme. Then judges (authors and agents) are selected based on the genre, which involves a lot of emails. After submissions open, the IWSG admins prepare for the avalanche of stories. The writers have two months to submit–which means the admins have just one week longer than that to read every single one and narrow it down for the judges. We tally up their votes and the best ten to twelve stories make it into the anthology. From there, Dancing Lemur Press takes over and handles everything else.

It’s exhausting for the admins. But when we see the results, it’s worth it. Three excellent anthologies – and many more to come!

Alex, it is amazing. Thanks for giving us a behind the scenes look at how TICK TOCK (as well as the other anthology projects) came to be.

Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with Alex (you really should be), here’s a bit of background on him.

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, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars. The author lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

For more on Alex and his writing, visit his website and connect with him on Twitter and the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website.

You can also find the IWSG books HERE.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have you read any of the anthology books? Are you a member of the IWSG?


  1. I am really looking forward to this anthology. And awed by Alex's energy and his supportive nature. He rocks.

  2. Thanks for featuring the IWSG today, Mason!

    And thank you, Elephant's Child - you rock!

    1. Alex, thanks for all you do for us bloggers, as well as the authors. I agree with Elephant's Child, you rock.

  3. This is so exciting! And the anthology sounds great, too. Thanks for sharing, both!

  4. Thank you for hosting Alex and the IWSG today. It is a lot of work and of course, for me, the real work begins once the winners are selected.

  5. You do a lot for the community, Alex! Good thing you have those clones. And Diane is doing an excellent job of coordinating everything!

    Thanks for hosting the Tick Tock anthology, Mason :)

  6. The behind the scenes work is really amazing, Alex! If you weren't a Ninja, we'd never have all of this.

    Hi again, Mason. Thanks so much for hosting Tick Tock this week.

  7. Hi Mason and Alex - great to read more about the beginnings of the IWSG and all its offshoots - I've always admired it ... stayed on the sidelines (for now) ... but enjoy reading everything that's going on ... good to know about Tick Tock coming out on the 1st - cheers to you both ... Hilary

  8. Thanks for sharing the behind-the-scenes Alex! And thanks for hosting Tick Tock, Mason! :)

  9. So interesting to learn about what goes one behind the scenes. Sounds like a real race against time.

  10. So many of my favourite online friends on this blog today!
    The anthologies are a LOT of work - and I'm so thrilled to be part of the group! :)

  11. I'm looking forward to this anthology too! Congrats on the whole shebang, Alex!

  12. LOL, I think I'm too insecure even for IWSG, but several of my blogging friends are.

  13. Such a great group and a great anthology! Congratulations, Alex!

  14. I've bought and read the first two anthologies, and I am looking forward to the release of the third. I've been a member of the IWSG for several years, and through my membership I've come to know many of the authors who've made it into the anthologies. That makes reading the books extra fun. Thanks for hosting Alex and the IWSG, Mason; and thanks, Alex. for all that you do!

  15. Great post! I love the anthology series IWSG produces. These are amazing and so important to the overall group. Thanks for all you do, Alex!

  16. Thanks, everyone! We appreciate your support.

  17. I have it and I'm looking forward to reading it! :)

  18. The behind-the-scenes work is hectic... but I enjoyed every minute!
    A great bunch of stories from an amazing group of writers!


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