Nina R Schluntz
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Romance
Publisher: Rainstorm Press
Date of Publication: 19 December 2014
Number of pages: 230 pages
Word Count: 80,580
Cover Artist: Nina Schluntz
Dragons, unicorns, fairies, zombies… and Santa.
At the center of it all stands Dee, a man immortalized in legend as Decompose. An ongoing war between unicorns and dragons has led to the creation of a plague… a deadly infection Dee is the host for. Not quite human, but not a unicorn either, Dee and the plague form a symbiotic relationship, resulting in immortality of the undead kind.
Every ruling Empire has desired control of Decompose. Controlling the infection means control of the people. An intervention of an old rival, Santa, results in Dee going missing. When he resurfaces decades later, Dee has one goal: locate the mythical cure to his plague.
However, complications of the heart force Dee to decide whether he truly wants to find the cure and give up being Decompose.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/93Yoo-LcPZo
Available at Amazon
Dee focused on the name, pulling strength from it. Jhon contained the cure. Dee had to live so he could find Jhon. The cure was his way to correct all the wrongs he had done.
Dee ripped at the flesh surrounding him and clawed his way to the surface. The guts of the creature spilled out onto the ground, and he fell with them. He coughed, spitting out bodily fluids of the creature that had eaten him.
Dee rolled onto his side and threw up. The acidic stomach bile had left him temporarily disabled. His hearing returned before his vision and he heard voices near him.
“That?” A boyish voice asked. “That’s what you call a great and powerful present?”
“Trust me.” Another male voice said. “Throw the net on him and all your wishes will come true.”
“What is he, a genie?”
“You can treat him like one. He will be able to grant your every wish.” The older voice sounded familiar. Air rushed into Dee’s lungs, and his heart gave a painful beat. “Throw it over him now, before his strength returns.”
“Santa,” Dee managed to say. He gritted his newly mended teeth and gave a low growl. What did that man want now?
Dee’s vision returned in time for him to see a large, light- weight fishnet fall over his head and shoulders, covering his entire body. There was something claustrophobic about it. The more he struggled, the more of a mess he made of himself and the net.
“Stop moving around like that,” the boy said. Every muscle in Dee’s body stiffened. “Straighten the net out and get to your feet.” Dee moved as quickly as his wounded body would allow. His skin continued to burn from the acidic digestive juices still covering his flesh. The child before him didn’t look nearly as young as he’d expected. He was a teenager. And a dorky looking one at that, dressed in dark green pajamas with a cowlick on the back of his head.
“Santa, what is this?” Dee asked.
“Show me a trick,” the boy said. Dee obediently raised his hand and created a tennis ball sized orb of fire. It hovered in mid- air a few inches from his hand.
“He can do whatever you want,” Santa told the boy. “He is yours. No one will miss him. They all think he is dead.”
Dee put the fire out and lowered his hand. Fear rose through his healing body as he realized Santa was right. Dee had just crawled his way out of a dragon’s belly. Everyone who knew him thought a giant winged lizard had digested him. Even if someone searched for his remains, they would likely find nothing awry with his missing body.
“What is this?” he asked again.
“You’re my Christmas present,” the boy said.
Santa leaned in close to Dee. “The boy is clever, Dee. He caught me in a trap. You wouldn’t want all the children in the universe to miss the joy that Santa brings, would you? Of course, you wouldn’t. Therefore, I bartered with him. I gave him you in exchange for my freedom. You understand, don’t you?”
“You gave me to him as a present? I’m not an object to be owned.”
“Well, let’s be honest here, Dee. Most of your life has been spent in exactly that manner. At least this time your owner only wants you for your power, not your plague. Consider it a blessing—besides you’ll still have my visit to look forward to every Christmas Eve.”
My plague. Dee tried not to cringe at the reminder.
“Can you teleport him directly to the shower? He’s disgusting. My mother will throw a fit if he brings all that goop into the house.”
“Then you’ll take him?” Santa asked, as though Dee were a puppy for sale at the pet store.
“Yeah, he’ll do. Thank you, Santa.”
“I should have thought of this years ago,” Santa said.
“Santa, please,” Dee said. “I have to find Jhon before Emperor Emanuel does. He’s the only one who can cure the plague.”
“I’m sure Jhon will be fine without you, Dee.”
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’m sure you get this answer all the time. But yes, I am one of those people who was scribbling stories before they even knew how to write. Was very frustrating since I couldn’t read my stories after the fact.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
Writer is a label I don’t remember giving myself at any distinct time. I supposed it applied to me when I was back in kindergarten.
How long did it take to get your current book published? (I revised this slightly)
I spent about a year writing and editing it. Then another year sending query letters to both agents and small publishers. I was picked up by Rainstorm Press in Jan 2014 and the book didn’t come out until nearly a year later. It’s a long process but well worth it.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
“Amaranthine: The Heart of Decompose.” Countless worlds, including Earth, have been destroyed by a deadly plague, leaving behind an infestation of zombies on the few inhabitable planets that remain.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
“Amaranthine” is published by an independent publishing company, Rainstorm Press. I also published a novella on Createspace, creating an abridged edition of my earlier novels that are out of print. I also have experience with self-publishers like Llumina Press and Author House.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
That all depends on how much free time I have. I once wrote an entire novel in two weeks. But I’ll spend six months editing, and there’s a good chance it won’t survive the editing process and I’ll scrap it and start over.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
For now, I'm having fun with the universe I've created and I plan to continue writing about it. I'm sure eventually I'll move onto something new. I have two novels in the works, one might be out by the end of this year. Aurum: The Screams of Decompose...which has more dragons in it than my previous novels. I bet you can guess what color they are.
What genre would you place your books into?
My books span into several genres: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and romance. It's hard to pin an exact genre down. No matter what, the books always have a dark feel to them. Multiple categories apply only because I include things like dragons, magic, aliens, zombies, and yes, I know as I list all that, that the stories sound crazy. But they work... I swear.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
It just worked out that way. When growing up I felt there weren’t many good books out there with unicorns and dragons, so I wanted to create one. Then I decided to say the dragons and unicorns in my novels are aliens. They came to Earth to make a colony. The story just went from there. Pretty soon they had a backstory of being at war and more aliens were showing up on Earth to confiscate the "weapon" of Decompose, which they created during their various attempts at genocide.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
(Laughs) I guess you could say my favorites are the ones who get to live for more than one book.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Sure. I’m always looking for feedback. For instance, people tell me they wish there were more dragons and less violence. A few commented they really liked my version of Santa. I take all those into consideration and you can bet there will be more Santa and dragons in upcoming novels. Now the violence, well, I’m still working on that.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I go back and forth. I might have an idea, then change it later. I think I came up with Amaranthine after the fact. I used to use the word Twilight in my titles, but after a certain other set of novels with that title became popular I had to figure out something else. Let the record be known, my first novel came out a year before hers. (smirks)
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
This can go either way. I know one time I posted on facebook for planet name suggestions. I already had the worlds created, I just needed names. I like to think my friends enjoy being involved in little things like that. Names are usually an afterthought. Right now I have an entire novel idea in my head, but no name for the main character!
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Well, I have to figure out what kind of role the character will have. Then I base their traits and history on that. So I’d say yes, I have idea of who they will be before they are ever written into a story.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I recently bought a kindle and now there is no going back. I love it for two reasons. One, it’s lighter and thinner than a regular book. And second, no one knows what I’m reading! I can read an erotica while in a waiting room and not be judged. It’s very freeing.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
Jurassic Park and The lost World!! I loved the movies and although the books scared me when I was young, I outgrew the fear and have reread them a lot. More books should have dinosaurs in them.
Your favorite Author is?
I used to have one. But now I’m finding my taste is constantly changing. I’ll like a book an author writes, but then when I try to read another book they’ve written, I’ll hate it. My world has become a “one hit wonder” when it comes to favorite authors.
Her husband continues to ensure her stories maintain a touch of realism as she delves in the science fiction and fantasy realm. And their kitty, a rescued Abyssinian, is always willing to stay up late to provide inspiration.
Visit her blog; mizner13.wordpress.com for information regarding previous and upcoming publications. She also posts book and movie reviews for a wide variety of genres.