Over the last few weeks I’ve been sharing excerpts from an old project of mine called The Floor 17 Café blog. When I was getting ready for book 1 to be published, I came up with the idea of writing a series of blog entries, on an actual blog, to coincide with the release of The Askinar Towers trilogy. Here is a behind the scenes look at this café.
The Slide of Peril
While I was writing book 1 I had my main characters, Sara and Erika, exploring the Tower of Water since that was the first tower they entered when they came through the magic door from their world. They had a magic key with them and soon found themselves on Floor 13 which revealed not only an observation deck but also a view of the legendary fifth tower. From there they decided to go all the way to the top of the tower to get a better view.
While going through door number 100, they made a mistake (sorry, no spoilers) and soon found themselves on a sliding going down down and down to a lower level. It was here that I came up with the idea for the Floor 17 Café. There is nothing significant about the number for the floor; although 13 and 86 do have significance but that’s another story. Anyways 17 seemed like a good place to arrive and I thought a café so they could get something to eat.
Chuck the Waiter
One of the first people the girls meet here in the café is Chuck, a red-head waiter who serves them and then later serves them almost every time they reappear. There was nothing special about Chuck or Maurice, the Maître D for that matter but the café itself had such an appeal to me and my writing that I kept bringing the characters to visit.
The interesting thing about this café is that it’s a normal place to eat but very un-normal people visit. Whether it’s the adventuring party known as Destiny’s Six or the business men having a power lunch, everyone accepts each other for who or what they are and rarely seem surprised when events occur.
When I was waiting to get my books published I hit upon the idea of starting a blog account featuring posts from Chuck the waiter and have it available as the books came out. It was supposed to be kind of an interactive thing which fans of the books could head over to the blog and interact with a character; see how Chuck got his start and meet the other characters. I knew that I had a good idea on my hands and wanted to utilize it to its fullest potential.
After six months the ideas ran out and I soon abandoned the blog. I even had a neat little idea of a story when I was absent from writing the blog for three months and claimed that Chuck had lost his memory. But that only went four entries and I then stopped altogether. I wasn’t getting any kind of interaction from people and I couldn’t tell if anyone was reading this posts.
Happy to Serve
A couple of months ago (three years since I updated the blog) I was going through some of the old posts and rereading some of the work I had done. I had just started to link the blog entries with the trilogy. My intention was to make the café its own setting with its own storylines and then occasionally throw the girls’ visits in between. But that died with the blog.
As I was reading through them some new ideas began to formulate and a new storyline began to evolve and I knew then that I had to finish the project. I wasn’t going to resurrect the blog as too much time had passed but I knew that a book was in the making. I had 30 entries already completed from the blog and decided that I would write another 20 to round out the stories that coincided with the trilogy plus bring Chuck and the other characters to a certain completion to where instead of saying, The End, I could always say, To Be Continued, and write more entries later on.
Chuck’s concluding phrase in most of his blog entries is: Happy to Serve. So that’s what I decided to call the book and I got my friend, Hanna, to create the book cover for it. With any luck, this project should be done and available by the end of September.
Meet the Cast
Here now is a brief look at some of the characters you will meet at the Floor 17 café.
Chuck: He a young red-headed go-getter who does his best to serve the customer. Although he’s the nephew of Maurice, the head Maitre D, he doesn’t receive special attention. Chuck learns by doing and updates his blog to share his views of life as a server in one of the more interesting places to eat.
Maurice: He’s the head Maître D. He speaks with a French accent and, when angry, lapses into his native tongue. There are rumors that Maurice is not actually French as he has been known to “lose” his accent when under pressure especially when a gun is pointed at him. Overall, he is very friendly to all customers and does his utmost to serve all who stop by.
Manuel: Second in command, if you will. Manuel is of Hispanic origin though he won’t talk at all about his family, his background, or anything outside of his job. He’s as prim and proper as Maurice but he has less patience with the customers. His military background shows through sometimes as he orders people around like a drill sergeant. Patrons simply tolerate him when he’s on duty as the food is free and the ambiance of other patrons is very interesting.
Gretchen: A young attractive girl who has been working for the café for several months. No one knows how she became a waitress but there are rumors that her co-worker Johano knows and even has pictures to prove it. She remains very professional in her job and doesn’t tolerate frivolity from her co-servers; namely Chuck and Johano.
Johano: A server who’s been with the café for a couple of years and has become Chuck’s best friend. He has a girlfriend, Brynn, who he only gets to see once a year due to the nature of her job. He works the tables along the walls and near the Realm Doors and is always carrying an umbrella as it does tend to rain in the café.
I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes view. Look for the book, Happy to Serve, to come out near the end of September. Diary of a Bard will no longer be available on this blog. I’m not getting the comments or reactions that I want and have moved it over to Wattpad to try there. You can continue to follow the adventures of Dell Chanter and his singing partner, Derek Banter, here.