by Bobbi Schemerhorn Genre: Urban Fantasy
On a world called Olympia, a terrible disease plagues the race of gods. As rumors spread about the disappearance of the anomalias, many infected gods flee through portals from Olympia to other worlds, including Earth, hoping to avoid a similar fate.
When the disease infects Rion, a bounty hunter who once helped return anomalias to Olympia, he, too, seeks sanctuary on Earth. But Rion’s partner, Temis, hunts him. Temis still believes the lies told to the bounty hunters about the anomalias. She believes they are violent, paranoid, delusional.
Rion’s only hope is to convince Temis to see the dark truth. But how can he convince her that everything she thought she knew is a lie?
A race against time to discover a chilling truth with powerful consequences.
Rion glanced over his shoulder at his home one last time before crossing-over, through the portal and into the Hereafter. The hair on his arms and the back of his neck stood on end from the static caused by the two dimensions merging.
He pushed his way through Olympia’s portal. He could feel the warmth of the solid ground on the other side through the thin soles of his shoes. The Hereafter was a void absent of all life and sound; the space between worlds. He took a ragged breath. The air was so thin there may as well be none.
He spied the glow of Earth’s portal in the distance. He’d never used that particular portal before. Over the centuries Rion had traveled to Earth at least a hundred times, usually chasing the undesirables from his world, but sometimes from other worlds. The criminals would use the Hereafter to cross-over, attempt to escape to other places. It was Rion’s job to bring them home to face justice.
Only this time, Rion was the one on the run. His circumstance was different. He was no criminal. But his only hope for survival was to seek refuge on another planet. Many of his kind in similar situations fled to Earth, it was the closest thing to a safe haven as they could find.
The Earth portal was approximately twenty minutes away. Rion would need to move quickly to reach it. The Hereafter’s air supply was minimal, and his changing physiology made it difficult to breathe. Gods could survive days in the Hereafter, humans mere minutes. Even though he was more god than human, his survival would still be difficult. He tried to pick up his pace and jog, but the dim light and the uneven surface made it challenging. Rion coughed several times. It felt as if his lungs were collapsing in on themselves from the lack of oxygen. He had to get out, and quickly.
The black surface was like volcanic rock and was cracked as if all water had dried up many millennia ago. But he often wondered if the Hereafter had once been a luscious and beautiful place, full of life. Tiny particles floated in the air around him, only visible if caught at the right angle against the warm glow of the many thousands of portals.
The Hereafter made him uncomfortable. The darkness seemed to enclose on him, and the lack of sound seemed to scream in his
ears, like air rushing through a tight tunnel.
As he approached the portal the hair on his arms and the back of his neck again stood on end. The sound of rushing water filled his ears; all of Earth’s portals were submerged. It was going to be a difficult transfer. Kilometers of ocean separated Rion from freedom.
Before crossing-over from the Hereafter to Earth he struggled to take a final breath. His chest tightened and the thin air rattled through his lungs as he heaved in a breath. It had been months of planning, careful meticulous planning. He was directed to take this portal; it was the closest of all Earth’s portals. With his physical changes he would never survive the trek to any of the others.
Rion pushed through the portal. Immediately, the cold of the water began to seep through his bodysuit. It was made of organic material meant specifically for travelling to Earth. They had a series of sensors to help regulate the user’s body temperature in the frigid waters. The organic component also helped to make the suit more buoyant which would help him reach the surface faster. Rion suspected since his physiology is changing the suit wasn’t able to protect him properly.
The water was heavy and dark, he was certain he knew where
he needed to go. He struggled, kicking his legs frantically to reach the surface before his lungs finally reached a point where they force him to take a gulp of air. Only it would be a mouth full of Earth’s salty ocean water.
His mind raced and drifted to when he had still been fully a god; when this short distance would have been a mere inconvenience. Now his ability to remain underwater had deteriorated. He knew the changes would only make this journey more treacherous the longer he stayed on Olympia. He feared he waited too long before leaving his world. The illness that plagued him was mutating his genes, changing him into a human.
He gasped for breath as he broke the surface. Rion leaned his head back and treaded water the best he could while trying to catch his breath. The sky was dark, and he looked at all the tiny specks of light. How many of those have portals? he wondered.
As he was about to start the long swim to shore, he heard a motor. It was getting closer and louder. As he spun about he spotted a watercraft gliding toward him.
“I didn’t think you were going to make it,” came a female voice. “You tripped the sensors fifteen minutes ago; I thought maybe you drowned.” A slight girl sat atop her ride like a knight on a horse.
Bobbi Schemerhorn was born in Nova Scotia, but raised in Alberta. She has lived all across Canada, living in at least five different provinces, thanks to her military husband. Bobbi enjoys watching a variety of TV shows and movies; she is a Sims 2 playing fool, and loves working with her hands making crafts. Although she has no human children she does have one beautiful kitty who has reached her 19th year.
Bobbi is self-published in the fantasy genre. She has dabbled in Steampunk and Greek Mythology as well as Urban and Epic. Outside of her own writing Bobbi takes pride in helping her fellow authors with their work with her content editing and beta reading. She is known for her tough love both in her professional and personal life.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I do a few things. About a year or so back I caved and got a VR system. I admit it was because there was a particular game I wanted to play. Beat Saber, I play this nearly every day and I have to say I’m pretty good. I certainly wouldn’t video myself doing it for others to see, but I can hold my own!
I also do other gaming. I call myself nerd-adjacent, because I like to game, but not all the time. I ebb and flow. When I ebb though, you’ll find me controlling lives in Sims 2(only sims 2 because it’s the best out of the franchise. Don’t get me started!) Taking over lands in Age of Empires, or killing squishy things in Ratchet and Clank. I’ve also been known to raid some tomes.
The biggest thing I do to unwind is craft. I work with sculpy clay and for some time I used to make Christmas bear ornaments. But last year I switched to dragons I’ve come up with a few ideas of different types of dragons. I find this to be very relaxing.
What are you passionate about these days?
A little over ten years ago I took an online photography course. It was just before digital camera’s were popular and smart phones were starting to make their debuts. (Yes, that long ago.) Anyway, photography was something I had always loved, mostly night skies. I badly wanted to get a telescope to hook my camera to so I could take astronomy photos. Then my writing started taking up my thougts and the photography fell away.
I’ve been following a number of different photographers and photo tip sites and would really like to get back into it again.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
I’m loyal, passionate, hilarious, sarcastic, and a little weird.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A dragon, absolutely without a doubt. Mind you I am finding the older I get the more I sleep. So maybe my spirit animal is a cat, or an extremely lazy dragon.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had just come off of writing a four book series over about five years. I wanted to try something different, a kind of cleansing of the palate. So I decided to write a standalone title. So I wouldn’t say that I was inspired, just a little series fatigued and needed a short break.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
When I started writing Bounty I knew I wanted the characters to be from another world and that they suffered an illness that would cause a confused amnesia type state.
The idea of them being from Greek mythology had come much later in the writing. I was several chapters in when the idea of them being Gods came to me. When I started researching the different Gods I knew I wanted to do a slightly different take on it.
How did you come up with name of this book?
It’s really very simple. The main character, Rion, is a bounty hunter. But very quickly in we discover that he is no longer the hunter but the hunted, he’s the Bounty.
What did you edit out of this book?
I actually edited out the original ending to the book. About two or three chapters at the end of the book were taken out and another six were added in. My beta readers for this book felt it was unsatisfying and left too much open.
I too felt a little unsatisfied with the ending so completely rewrote it. It went from a 59k book to nearly 80k.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since about 2009-2010, I’ve been writing full time since 2012.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
Normally I don’t do much research since I work in worlds of complete fantasy. But for Bounty I had to do a great deal of learning about Greek Gods. Their connections to one another, what they were gods of. I was surprised to find out what an incestuous bunch they all are. LOL.
A day in the life of the author?
My days are pretty boring really. Even before covid. However this year is looking a little different because I have decided on a few changes. Normally I would do my words for the day and then move to the TV. This year though that routine has changed.
I do watch a little TV in the morning, then I will do an hour or so of learning about marketing, writing, publishing. I would spend some time making sure my promos are ready, set up event dates. Then I do at least an hour of writing.
Normally I would be prepping for a launch every four months but this year is a “gap” year for me. So I won’t be launching anything new so that I can concentrate on just writing, learning how to be a stronger writer, and marketing.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I was always 100% a pantser, I would just sit and start typing. Eventually the story would unfold in front of me. I would also never write in sequence. My thoughts would be everywhere. From chapter eight to chapter two then back to fifteen.
Now I’m trying a slightly different method. I will always be a pantser, but I have also done some planning out when writing a series. The main plot line, the arc across several books will be thought out. Decided on before I start. But how I get there will be pantsed.
As well, my way of writing will switch from the chaos that I normally do to a consecutive order chapter one through to the end. I have found in the last two books, that when I wrote the final chapters in order I was able to write faster and there was less “fixing” in the editing process.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Sometimes they get ahead of themselves. Many new writers haven’t even started writing and are already asking about how to publish. Yes, publishing is the end goal, but it is not the first step. The first step is to actually write the book then think about publishing it.
A huge trap though, one that I see far too often and not only with new writers. It’s the editing while writing trap. Which sometimes runs hand in hand with critique groups/partners. My way of writing and the way I tell anyone who asks what they should do, is get everything down first. Finish that first draft BEFORE editing any of it. Always move forward. If you are constantly editing and reediting the same chapter and you only have two chapters, you will never finish the book.
This is a huge obstacle for many writers.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Their speech and the way they would react to a situation. It’s the same with age, a sixteen year old, thirty year old, and eighty year old will all react to the same situation differently.
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