Monday, September 24, 2012

Welcome to Charles G. Irion - Talking About The Summit Murder Mysteries! Author Interview!

Good Morning Mr. Irion! Welcome to Book Readers Heaven! Thanks so much for visiting, given your many activities, plus writing your books! You’ve certainly traveled the world and gotten involved!!! For this interview, I’ll be sticking just with your mystery series, but tell me first, of all of the adventures you personally have experienced, what was/were the favorite one or two?  

The first one was the expedition through China and Nepaul to climb Mt. Everest - a two month ordeal that took me all over China, NePaul and Bangkok.  Probably more recently my two-week trip to Tanzania and a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro would be my favorite.  The ruins were amazing.  I’m getting ready to leave for Ecuador in a week to do a needs assessment on a hospital in Cuenca, Ecuador for Project C.U.R.E.

I know you are very involved with philanthropic projects and certainly admire them, but that's why I thought I'd better limit the interview otherwise, I'd be filling pages! My best wishes for your continuation of projects like the one you mentioned!

You have climbed yourself—Tell me, why, oh, why, would people risk their health or possibly death to climb and “summit” a mountain?!!!  

For a variety of reasons!  Each one most likely personal including because it’s there, because it’s the tallest, because it is a unique adventure and it is an achievement that most human beings will never see.

Well, forgive me--and maybe it's because your books were written so realistically--but, whew, during my first book, I just kept thinking "they're all crazy to do this!" LOL

I understand that you climbed Mt.Kilimanjaro in 2011, were you there with the President’s private tour—LOL???   [Note that the last book in the series covers the climb of U.S. President and entourage.]

No, I was there to make sure it was safe for the president, but obviously I was wrong J

Well, there were many that were wrong about that trip, but, I must say, that it resulted in an incredible thriller!

Kilimanjaro is a different climb, I understand, than many of the others. Yet I am sure there were specific challenges you personally faced. Could you share some of those with your readers?  

The main challenge I faced was summit night which began at midnight in the dark using head lamps.  We were climbing to reach the summit seven hours later at subzero temperatures to reach the top as the sun rose.  Each step was painful, each breath was hard to take but the struggle was worth it.  The summit was amazing.

The closest I've come to this was during a trip to South America and, in particular, visiting the famous status of Jesus there in Rio...and riding the buses with a large group going through the hills and mountains was enough of an adventure for me, especially if sitting at the window looking "down" as we rounded corners! But I do have to agree that God's earth is indeed beautiful!

You attempted Mt. Everest in 1987 when you were much younger...what happened, if you don’t mind sharing? Did you summit?  

No, I didn’t summit.  I got up to 23,000 feet in elevation a little beyond camp two.  After two months of illness and bad weather, I was done.  No one else on my team summited on that expedition though a number tried after I left. 

Those who read your books will learn about how the weather affects the climb and all of the possible physical results that can occur...Still amazes me that so many risk it--but maybe they won't after finishing the series!??? LOL

Let’s turn to your decision to write the Summit Murder Mystery Series. You are co-authoring that series with Ronald J. Watkins. I’ve always been curious about writing a book with someone else...My only experience is when taking classes—and it always seemed like one or more did the majority of the work...LOL...So how do you begin to share that work? Since you are the publisher, how did you “choose” to have Mr. Watkins work with you? Did it work? And was it a totally work project or are you friends with your co-author? 

Ron and I are very good friends to this day.  We met in 2007 when I was writing my first book Remodeling Hell.  That was the start of our writing relationship.  Our publicist in Los Angeles suggested that I write a book about a murder on Everest because he knew that I had attempted to summit it in 1987.  Ron and I talked about it and formulated a plan to write not only Murder on Everest but the whole Summit Murder Mystery series.  We met once a week during the process to discuss characters, plot lines, scenes and the twist and turns that make the series so successful.  Ron is the “wordsmith” and I am the “idea and concept man.”  Together I think we have produced a highly top-notch murder mystery series that will be published in many languages throughout the world.

Well, you certainly do have a potential world-wide audience given the location spread across the globe! And just think about traveling for book signings! Wow, now that I could get into...

Right now, you publish only your books? Do you see your publishing activities expanding and would you limit the genre? Have you ever received unsolicited manuscripts and what do you do at that time?  

I have no current interest in publishing works of other authors.  I have been asked a number of times to do so but feel it is too great of a responsibility for me to commit to. 

And it sure would hinder all of your great traveling activities! I must admit that I've missed traveling since I've gotten older and there are so many security issues to deal with.

The seven highest mountains in the world allowed you to limit the summit series, but do you have plans for more mystery? Another series?  

Yes, potentially a murder mystery around Machu Picchu in Peru, as this summer I climbed in the Andes around Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu itself and found the stories of ghosts and Incan folklore to be very intriguing and good fodder for a murder mystery.

It certainly does sound like the perfect setting! Let me know when I get to travel with you to Peru--through your book of course...LOL!

I was initially somewhat surprised that you chose to have your main character be “more” than an avid climber, what decided you to do this?  [Scott Devlon is often called in to work for the government, especially when climbing experience is required.]

He needed depth and character and to do that I had to make him as strong and believable as possible thus opening many doors of creativity to allow his character to unfold. 

Personally I was happy to see you gave him a "love interest" in the last book that provided a nice addition to the book in my opinion...

At a Book signing, you indicated that you were the character “Tom.” Soooo, I have to ask, what exactly does that mean?!  

Tom Bowman is a successful commercial real estate broker from Arizona (me too!) who has advised a number of successful business people worldwide (me too!).  He is honest, hard-working and believable (me too!).  I like Tom.  I hope you did too.

Cool Answer! I don't think I've ever talked to an author so willing to admit that a large part of "him" was in the book... For me, when I most enjoy a series, it is because there are a number of characters that appear in each book...So, yes, I came to enjoy and like Tom...but...Scott, now, he did become my hero! LOL

Well, I think this may be the first and last time I'll be able to say that I've interviewed both the author and one of the characters of a murder mystery series! Thank you so much for spending time with me to talk about your books. I only got to read four of them at this point due to my own schedule, but we'll spend a little time with each of the books during upcoming days! And, if you get a chance to stop by again and comment, I and my readers will certainly enjoy hearing from you! Great to have the opportunity to have you share with us! Thanks Again!

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