Thursday, August 21, 2014

Interview: C.R. Asay

Interview: C.R. Asay

Heart of Annihilation was released this month through WIDO Publishing. Christauna is someone I consider to be a friend, and an amazing human being. I’m excited to talk with her about bringing her first book baby into the world, or should I say alien? I should probably call it the latter because that’s what this book’s about—aliens and our military trying to keep a lid on their invasion.

A: You write military so well that I feel like I’m actually catching a glimpse behind the scenes. How many years did you serve our country?

C: Only about five years. But it was an amazing five years of getting to know the best people on earth, having amazing experiences, and serving my country. I love my country.

A: We thank you for your service, and this really awesome book inspired by your work. How did you first come up with the idea for the premise behind this book?  

C: I wrote the character Kris Rose in a scene where she’s facing down a red-headed lieutenant with an M-16 pointing at her. Then I had to figure out how she got in that situation. Add on some seriously cool, science-y super powers, an alternate dimension, a horrible crime, and I had the premise for Heart of Annihilation. The bulk of the story took years to develop, but the coolness factor always remained the same.

A: I love the electrical current concept, and your plausible explanation. Is Science Fiction the genre you generally write?

C: I always thought I’d be a fantasy writer because I read a lot of it. But when it came right down to it, I enjoy fantasy that is based in reality. Apparently that’s science fiction. So I write sci-fi. And now I can’t stop. What else could something as common as electricity do if we really understood and could manipulate it? What about the powers of the mind? Or communication between different species? There are a thousand questions that never gets old. Worlds are built them. I will probably write sci-fi until the day I die.

A: It looks like you’ve found your niche, and I agree. A story is more believable when it mimics reality, and actual people. Kris carries a lot of your attributes. Was she modelled after you?

C: Originally, yes. I was a new writer when I wrote my first draft and I didn’t know any better. Anyway, years down the line with massive rewrites and revisions and she has become and entirely different person. I see small similarities between us, but I wouldn’t wish her existence on my worst enemy. This girl has some serious darkness inside her.

A: I think you’re pretty bad-ass, and so is Kris. If there is ever a zombie apocalypse, you’re definitely on my team. I’ll bring the tomahawks. What will be your weapon of choice, and why?

C: My AR-15. It’s such a glorious weapon. Now I understand that it’s a pretty loud weapon so I’ll be happy to sit up in a high building with a scope and pick off the zombies. If I had to do it hand to hand I would use and machete, but I’d rather just shoot the !@#$# from afar.

A: Which is why I’m putting my chips in with you. What’s your favorite aspect of the work?

C: Watching words on a page become real. Real people, real places, real situations. It’s like magic. Only science based. So science fiction then….

A: Great way to describe it! When did you first realize you would be a writer?

C: I started writing after watching my husband write a novel. I became infatuated with the process. However it took me months of watching him and “helping” him before Kris Rose visited me and demanded that I write her story. That was a good 7-8 years ago. And now she is fully realized on a page.

A: It’s awesome that you and your spouse share this. Do you have any advice for someone who is just starting out?

C: Learn the craft. Do the work. Don’t settle for anything other than your fully realized masterpiece. When you finally hold your book, your actual, glorious, perfectly perfect book in your hands for the first time, you will realize it was worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears you put into it.

A: What are you reading right now?

C: Suspect, by Robert Crais. IED sniffing military dog paired up with a wounded police officer who are both suffering from PTSD. It’s fantastic. Can’t recommend it enough.

A: If you could travel back in time and talk to a younger you, what would you say?

C: My younger self didn’t know she had ADHD. My older self does. I’ve only had my diagnoses for about a year and it’s been quite the learning curve. I’d love to tell my younger self that we are not lazy or crazy. Our brains just work a little differently. And it’s because of our differently working brains that brilliant things (such as publishing a book) can come to pass.

 C. R. Asay joined the Utah National Guard at the age of seventeen. After spending time in the 625th Military Police Corp she transferred to the 19th Special Forces group as a counterintelligence agent. She retired from the military after marrying her best friend and graduating from college so that she could embark on the most exciting adventure of all; being a mom.

The short story version of her first novel, Heart of Annihilation, earned an honorable mention from the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest. C. R. Asay currently resides in West Jordan, Utah, with her husband, four children, and a dog. There is always a dog

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