It’s been a little while since I’ve hosted an author interview (and if you’re thinking of doing one with me, I am considering moving the format to video via G+ Hangout) but today we welcome Chris Mentzer, author of The Askinar Towers trilogy. Thanks for joining us today, Chris. Could you share a little bit about your recent projects? 

My trilogy The Askinar Towers is completed and I’m waiting for book 1 release in December by Tiger Dynasty Publishing. In addition to these, I’m working on a new Towersstory featuring a supporting character that appears in both book 2 and book 3 of the trilogy. I’m also working on a blog series called Observations of a Café Waiter. This features a waiter named Chuck and his employment at the Floor 17 Café found in the Tower of Water. 

Busy, busy! Do you tend to put messages or themes in your novels? 

Adventure can be found everywhere and anywhere you look. A simple trip to the grocery store can be made exciting just by using your imagination. But always remember that when you are out on an adventure, home is the place you always want to return to in the end. 

What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why? 

From book one, I would say my favorite chapter to write was How To Rescue a Damsel in Distress. The reason being that first, it is an off-the-wall title, and secondly, the chapter gives a breakdown of the rescue but it doesn’t go as planned.

From book two, my favorite part would be the Black Friday scenario in a sleepy town called Pleasington. I won’t say anymore for fear of spoilers.

From book three, it’s a toss-up between the chapter called Angry Villagers 101, and the pirate scenario. Both were fun to write and the outcome is somewhat unexpected. 

Did you choose your genre, or did it more choose you? 

I got interested in Fantasy primarily from reading the Chronicles of Narnia series in junior high. From there I progressed to David Eddings novels and the Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett. The Askinar Towers trilogy was greatly inspired by Narnia in that it too is a Portal Fantasy series. 

Some of my own early favourites! I would have read The Chronicles of Narnia before I even knew what fantasy was, and David Eddings was my first ‘real’ fantasy as I understood it. I pinched Castle of Wizardry off Dad when I was ten. I was well into Discworldby age twelve.

What book are you reading now? 

Currently I’m reading The World of Karov by Elyse Salpeter. It’s book 1 of the Children of Demliee Series. I recently met her online and picked up an e-copy of her book. Very inspiring story.

I’m not familiar with that one. I might need to check it out. Are there any other new authors that have seized your attention? 

In addition to Elyse, I’ve been following Kayla Curry, Scott Bartlett, and Ciara Ballintyne. I’ve haven’t read much from them but I’m in the process of making the rounds. 

Awww, me? I’m flattered! I have to say this is a first for me.

Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? 

Hands down it would have to be M.C. Beaton. She write small village mysteries featuring a local constable by the name of Hamish Macbeth. What I love about her writing is her ability to make the fictional town of Lochdubh seem real including the residents. I’ve read all her Macbeth books and hope to collect them all and reread them in the order that they were released.

That got my attention! Although the Scottish angle always does that for me. No, I do not have a ‘men-in-kilts’ fetish, just some relatively recent Scottish roots, as my Dad was born in Edinburgh.

I imagine like many authors (myself included) you have a day job as well. Are you happy to share that with us? 

Yes, I’m currently serving a life sentence in retail. Been with the company for 17 years and I hope to survive long enough to reach 20. Time will tell. 

Yikes, that’s a long time. I hope you make 20 as well.

If you were a Star Trek® character, which one would it be? 

Definitely a Red Shirt crewmember; Ensign Expendable. I can’t see myself surviving any particular mission down to a planet (hostile or non) and most likely would die shortly after arrival. 

That has got to be the funniest answer I’ve ever received, although I certainly hope you are not that expendable!

What would I find in your refrigerator right now? 

Surprisingly this is a difficult question to answer. We have two refrigerators in our house. My wife is a diabetic and has a gluten intolerance and she (and our youngest daughter) has control of the main fridge. I have the secondary one which houses basic things like bread, tortilla shells, and other items that can’t be eaten by the other two. Of course if you look in just my fridge, you’d probably wonder how I survive! 

If you looked in my second fridge, you’d think I survived on a steady diet of beer and ice cream…

If you were a car, what kind would you be? 

A 4×4 car crushing monster truck. I am so sick of the way people drive on the road these days, I’d rather just run right over them to get to my destination. Plus I’d enter competitions on the weekend. 

*makes a note not to annoy Chris*

Thanks for joining us today, Chris. 

If you’d like to know more about Chris and his work, keep reading and check out his contact details at the end. Nexus of the Worlds, Book 1 of The Askinar Towers Trilogy is being published by Tiger Dynasty Publishing and is expected to be released on December 3, 2013. Watch Chris’s Facebook Page and Twitter account for details of the release.   

About Nexus of the Worlds 

Sara and Erika weren’t looking for an adventure but when but they are given a special key, they find a portal that takes them into a world dominated by four towers. They soon realize the towers themselves are the center of every known world. Their quest is to locate the legendary fifth tower, encounter the entity that lives within, and then find a way back home. Meanwhile a sinister cloaked figure is watching from the shadows and following their every move. Are they ally or foe? Do they want the girls or the special key? Find out in book one of The Askinar Towers. 

About Chris Mentzer 

Chris has been interested in writing ever since 1982 when he was given an English assignment in the 9th grade. He had to write a paragraph using a lot of detail. Although he wasn’t sure he completely understood the assignment, he wrote a scene in a bank where a guy was coming out of the bathroom and witnessed a robbery in progress. The detail portion came in when the witness described the robber to the police. From that moment Chris decided he wanted to be a writer.

Between 1982 and 2005, he made several attempts to write a story; it was his goal to write the great American novel, you know the one that everyone wants to own and read. The majority of his work lay incomplete in a personal slush pile in a filing cabinet.

Having read The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis and all fantasy books by David Eddings, he took a stab at Fantasy with minimal success. Even tried his hand at Science Fiction with a couple of buddies while he was in college. The bottom line was he lacked discipline and the desire to stick with any one project. But that was all to change in 2005.

In November of that year, Chris entered his first writing challenge held by the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) website. Although the goal was 50,000 words, he obtained his personal goal of 25K, which went on to be the foundation of book 1 of The Askinar Towers Trilogy. He later wrote foundations for books 2 and 3 in ’07 and ’09 respectively. His inspiration for the Towers books came from John DeChancie’s Castle Perilousseries and Doctor Who’s Paradise Towers. 

Chris lives in Mesa, AZ with his wife and two daughters. He is currently employed in the retail industry working in the produce department. In his spare time, when not writing or stalking the social media streams, Chris loves to hike out in the Lost Dutchman area and Saguaro Lake. 

Here’s another interview with Chris Mentzer 
Contact information 

Platform Blog 
Askinar Towers Fan Page: