This may seem like an off-topic question, but it's really more about writing than about the grammar.
I use a lot of dialogue in my writing, sometimes too much, but while I'm writing it, though the story itself is in the present tense, I don't know whether it would be confusing to use the past tense for dialogue tags. For example:
I swallow and look at Mac.
He looks back at me, just as frightened.
"Tell me the truth, should I be scared?" He asked me.
I answer, "I don't know."
Is this confusing to do? The way I usually look at it is by imagining the way the narrator is hearing it. Like, if the narrator is narrating after it's said, use the past, or he/she is narrating during use the present, etc.b
Is it best to just stay in one tense in dialogue regardless of when the narration is happening?