This is a reposting of a 2014 post on JP Barnaby's blog. I decided that I'd repost my past guest blog posts since I can never think what to say for my own blog. Oy! I like the idea of putting them all in one place for your reading pleasure. :)
Good day, lovely readers! My name is M.D. Grimm and I will be your host today. First let me say it is great to be here and I hope we can have a fun and enjoyable day!
Now to business: I am the proud author of the happily popular, "The Shifters" series with Dreamspinner Press. The books are: "Psychic Moon" (Book 1), "Love is a Whirlwind" (Book 2), "Blind Devotion" (Book 3), "Hunter and Hunted" (Book 4), "Healing Minds" (Book 5), and "Master's Blood" (Book 6). The short "Celtic Warrior and Wolf Spirit" is a holiday sequel to "Psychic Moon."
I am also the author of the needs-to-get-more-attention series with Torquere Press, "The Stones of Power". Those books are: "Ruby: Lost and Found" (Book 1) and "Peridot: War and Peace" (Book 2).
Both series are different in premise and characters but they are similar in that they have elements of the fantastical in them. One has shape-shifting creatures, the other has creatures of all sorts with magick and dragons and trees with a wicked sense of humor, and best of all, a large mountain castle fortress that likes to drive intruders insane! Fun times, right?
I suppose that's where this post is going... the fantastical. There are times when I look back at my childhood and realize, with some surprise, just how early I started having interest in the fantastical, by which I mean, the supernatural and/or paranormal. My favorite book growing up, the one my mother used to read to my sister and me every single night, was "Mickey Mouse and the Haunted House." Don't look at me that way, I was five. Anyway, the point is, I loved that book so much, and I can't really determine why. Maybe it was the thought of ghosts, even though they (spoiler alert!) turned out to be bank robbers. Maybe it was the pictures of the haunted house that was both spooky and beautiful at the same time.
When I looked back at the TV shows I used to watch, I noticed a trend begin to crop up. I loved the show "So Weird" which used to play on the Disney Channel. Loved it. Obsessed over it. Hated it when they replaced Fiona and added a badly-singing rip-off, then cancelled the show. Anyway, that show dealt with the supernatural, paranormal, and well, weird stuff. I also loved the old "Scooby Doo" cartoons. I know, I know, corny as all get-out, but again, kid. Yet I still have a soft spot for the gang and especially Scooby. I was also obsessed with "Gargoyles." Come on, who wasn't when it came out? Damn, that show was amazing. Freaking genius. The animation was beautiful, the storylines intriguing, and even the bad guys were fun to watch! Love, love, love it!
When I also look back at the fiction I read, I realized more than half of them dealt with ghosts or other weird phenomenon. I've always been interested in the Grimm fairytales, both the "originals" and the revamped versions. I read "Harry Potter" beginning in middle school and then progressed to "The Lord of the Rings." I enjoy "The Dresden Files" by Jim Butcher, and can't help but rent or buy paranormal movies (even the cheesy ones) and I also have an affection for zombies.
I tell you, I don't know what happened when I was growing inside my mother, but I swear the love and interest in all things fantastical is just in my DNA.
I love mythology, from all cultures, I adore dragons (in fact I have several stuffed dragons and many dragon posters on my walls), and the shows I'm watching on TV now could be described as... not sitcoms. Such as: Grimm, Supernatural, Once Upon a Time, Ghost Adventures, and Sleepy Hollow (when it was on, grrr, why the super-short first season???). (side note, I also seem to have an affinity toward cop shows: CSI: Las Vegas, Bones, and I actually leave my TV on the ID (Investigation Discovery) channel as a default. There's something wrong with me....)
Also, as a child, I loved, (and still do), the "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Hercules" shows. Yeah, I know, laugh it up. But, seriously, they were my first introduction to Greek mythology and from what I studied later as an adult, they weren't so far off on a lot of things... at least at the beginning of each series. Seriously, those writers made those shows weird by the time they ended. But, I really thinking it's one of those cases of having a soft spot for childhood show, and being able to look past the corny/campy elements. I truly believe there are some shows that you can only watch and enjoy as an adult, if you saw them as a child. Nostalgia and all that.
So, given all that, it's not surprising I enjoy writing about fantastical things. It's in my blood. Also, it might have something to do with the fact that I'm a Pisces... hmmm. The symbol for Pisces is two fish tied by their tails, swimming in opposite directions. It symbolizes duality, or the fact that I literally have one foot in the "mundane/ordinary" world and one in the "otherworld."
No, I haven't seen a ghost... but I wouldn't mind it
For some reason, it's nearly impossible for me to write a completely "realistic" story. I always have to toss elements of the "otherworld" into it, to make it seem real to me, if you can believe that! I really believe there are mysteries in this world that can't be explained by science, and you know what? They shouldn't be. If they were, well, what interest would life hold, then? Hmm?
For my shifters series, I do base the stories in present day Earth. The shifters look like everyone else. But again, I had to add even more to them than that. That's where the idea for the "Three Tribes at the Beginning" came from. I basically split up my different "kinds" of characters into three groups, which used to exist separately at the "Beginning." I have humans, shifters, and fae. The fae are what I'm calling those more inclined to magick, and those worshipped as gods by ancient humans. I have a whole origin story, and some really significant things happen in the "Beginning" which circle around during the last few books of the series.
Currently, the fae and human bloodlines have mingled and are barely indistinguishable. Most humans have special powers but they lie dormant. Others have those powers manifest and some of them are recruited for "The Agency." The Agency is a secret organization which makes sure the general populace doesn't know shifters exist. They are basically a police force/clean-up crew. But they've become more than that when the Knights, an organization dedicated to eradicating shifters, was formed. Then it basically became a war between those two organizations, with shifters caught in the middle.
All of this is represented in the first six books published, which are noted above. Those books make up "Part 1" of my series. I'm currently working on "Part 2", which will add another important element in the war of survival. That's truly what it is: survival of the fittest. Or, survival of the who-has-more-warriors-on-their-team.
I'll have five parts to this series, with about 4-5 books in each part. Quite an undertaking, I admit, but so totally worth it. I'm loving every minute. (Except when the stupid characters won't do what I tell them to do! What do they think, that they're writing the story? Pssh.)
Another side note: I created a fun little trailer video for Part 1 of my series. You can view it on my website at: http://www.mdgrimmwrites.com/#!the-shifters/cnec
I delve far more into the fantastical with my other series, "The Stones of Power." This is complete fantasy, on a different world, with a menagerie of different creatures and animals I get to play with. But the most vital part of this series is the relationship between just two of the planet's creatures: Lord Morgorth, a dark mage, and Aishe (pronounced "ash"), who is a dialen (basically, a Tolkien-looking elf without the ethereal quality who has the tribal society of a Native American).
My magick has rules, I have dragon-like creatures called payshthas, and my main character (Morgorth) is a sort of anti-hero. At least, he's not really "nice", per se. He's been persecuted his entire life by his own people (mages), and I ask you, who wouldn't be a bit grumpy because of that? Sure, he has a dark destiny attached to him, but really, was that his fault? No.
I have thirteen books planned for this series, with two already published (see above), and a third coming out sometime in June 2014. The third book, "Amethyst: Bow and Arrow" is from Aishe's point of view, which was really exciting and really hard to write. But so worth it! I love both of these guys and I'm trying to spread the word about them, however I can. They need more love! If you're interested, please check them out! (Also check out the "goodies" page I have on my website. It has excerpts as well as fun little "theme song" videos for books 1 and 2—here's the link: http://www.mdgrimmwrites.com/#!the-stones-of-power-series/c150v
I supposed the point you can construe from this long-rambling post (sorry, by the way) is that humans, in general, need the fantastical. They need that element of the unknown, if not to make their lives more interesting, than to have something to search for, to discover. Just look at all those sci-fi books before we managed to enter space, and how fantastical they were; life on Mars seemed to be a particular favorite. Sure, there are still many, many sci-fi books out today, but it was before we discovered the "guidelines" (there are no rules for space) for space that imaginations could truly explode. It was our wonder, our curiosity in the unknown, the fantastical, that made us want to explore and create our own answers. If you only scan the ancient mythologies of the world, you'll see that the fantastical was part of daily life, it was how ancient humans explained life. From that perspective, I'm quite happy that I have such an affinity for the fantastical, and that I'm having so much fun writing my own fantasy series.
I think that's all for me. I've greatly enjoyed my time here and confessing my very odd interests to you, and hope you've enjoyed it as well. Please check out my books, my website, and find me on Facebook! I'm always looking for new friends.
May dragons guard your dreams,