Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Interview with C.R. Asay, author of Heart of Annihilation

         C.R. Asay worked in the 19th Special Forces group as a counterintelligence agent. Now if that isn’t interesting in and of itself, her book, Heart of Annihilation, is a work of fantasy, involving aliens.  I was curious as to whether her experience in the military had shaped any aspect of the events in Heart of Annihilation. So, of course, I had to find out.

When U.S. Army Specialist Kris Rose catches members of her unit stealing ammunition to kill aliens, she is forced to defend herself with a freakish electrical charge shooting from her fingertips. Shaken by her newly found power and hunted by vigilantes from her unit, Rose is forced away from her structured, military world and into a fight for her life.

With the aid of her battle buddy, Corporal Thurmond, Rose sets out to learn more about the aliens under attack. In the process, she discovers her bizarre connection to a devastating threat to Earth—an alternate dimensional weapon called the Heart of Annihilation, lost somewhere on Earth.

From a chuteless free-fall from 20,000 feet, to deadly bullet wounds and the unforgiving Sonoron Desert, Kris Rose enters a world where aliens are real. And she might be one of them.

AMM: Welcome Cristauna. It’s great to have you here. So what was it like being in the military?

CRA: Thrilling. And terrifying. And exciting, challenging, fascinating, exhausting and brutal. I met the very best people in the world while I was enlisted, and also some of the worst. I got to experience things that normal, civilian-types never have the opportunity to do and learned a great deal about myself in the process.

AMM: How many years did you spend as a counterintelligence Agent in the Special Forces Unit? This sounds so very exciting.

CRA: On a normal day, being a counterintelligence agent was not as exciting and glamorous as it sounds. In fact it was never glamorous. A counterintelligence agent is responsible for countering the intelligence efforts of the enemy. Sure we did things like prisoner interrogations, trailing a mark, or setting up a secret meeting with a contact, but more often than not I’d find myself buried under a pile of message traffic looking for patterns in enemy activity, or I’d be up to my armpits in garbage while dumpster diving looking for discarded information that should have been shredded. I loved every minute of it.

AMM:  You loved wading through garbage? Hmm, there must be something you aren’t sharing here. J  Tell me though, to what degree did your experiences in the military and Special Forces Unit shape Heart of Annihilation?

CRA: Quite a bit. The initial setting of the book is patterned after my time at Camp Williams in Utah. Many of the characters surrounding Specialist Kris Rose are authentic to those in the U.S. Army and really help bring the setting to life. Specialist Rose started as a cardboard cutout of myself from my military days, but she quickly evolved into someone entirely different. Sometimes I admire her, sometimes not. 

AMM: So this is the perfect example of writing what you know about. Very cool. Is Heart of Annihilation part of a series or trilogy?

CRA: Heart of Annihilation is the first book of my 12th Dimension series. I anticipate there to be 3-4 books in the series. The second book is complete and into revisions. The third book is still in drafting mode. I’m aiming for a release of book 2 in summer 2015.

AMM: You’re busy! Way to go. So what’s next for you?

CRA: I have several anthology pieces coming out in the next few months. One is to support TADSAW (Train a Dog, Save a Warrior) and is called Tails from the Frontlines. It will be published on Veterans Day 2014. You’re not going to miss it. The author lineup is incredible… and humbling. The second is for the Utah Fantasy Authors anthology, release date forthcoming.

AMM: Kudos. I’ll look out for it. And now for my last question. Can you tell us something about yourself that not many people know?

CRA: I can ride a unicycle and I used to have a pet goose. Sometimes I would take my goose for a walk while riding on my unicycle. But that’s another story…

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.

Find C.R. Asay online:

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