Agents and Shifters and Knights… Oh My! by M.D. Grimm

August 15, 2017

Agents and Shifters and Knights

 

Good day everyone! Thanks for joining me!

I’m M.D. Grimm and the proud author of The Shifters series with DSP. My latest, “Feather and Scroll” (book 11. Eleven!!) was released on August 9th and I am so stoked! How about I get right to it and talk about some behind-the-scenes info, shall I?

 

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Blurb:

Agent Pan has spent most of his adult life protecting shape-shifters from the Knights—an organization bent on their annihilation—and keeping the secret war in the shadows where it belongs. But the Knights are growing bolder, and a new threat has resurfaced after being buried in the ocean for decades.

The ancient scroll, a key to a devastating weapon, is now in the hands of a recalcitrant Russian hawk shifter named Viktor. As a bird shifter, he knows his duty is to protect the scroll, but he wants nothing to do with the war. He leads a quiet life and wants to keep it that way. But when agents come knocking on his door, he finds it difficult to resist the charms of Agent Pan, especially since this isn’t their first meeting.

Two years earlier they spent a passionate weekend together, neither aware of the other’s true identity. Viktor never really got over Pan. Now with sexual tension at its peak, they must learn to trust each other and work as a team to protect not only their loved ones, but every shifter in the world.

 

First things first: Viktor is Russian. I wrote this story about a year before certain events happened between the USA and, well, the rest of the world. So making him Russian was simply a diversity decision, and I thought it would be fun to write about a gruff, yet kind, Russian hawk shifter. He was a great character to work with and the way he and Pan played off each other kept me interested through the entire story.

Throughout the series I have endeavored to depict not only diverse shifters (wolves and bears, to sharks and snakes!) but also diverse people. A constant thread through the series has been: we may come from different places and cultures, but we are responsible for caring for those around us. My big-bad villains, the Knights of the Dawn, and their leader Arcas, are determined to “cleanse” the world and essentially make it a world of one culture, under one leader. Sound familiar? I wanted my heroes and heroines to come from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences, and on the spectrum of identities and sexualities. We are all needed if the world is to be saved and the creatures on it to be protected.

Okay, stepping off my soap box…

In the first draft of this story, I actually didn’t have Viktor and Pan meeting two years before the story starts. I tried to have the initial connection within the confines of the story and it didn’t feel right. Nothing gelled and even *I* didn’t feel any romantic magic. The story moved too fast, and there wasn’t enough time for them to feel the buzz, and I try to avoid insta-love. I don’t always succeed, but I try! So I set the story aside and thought about it. Then the lightbulb went off, and I realized there wasn’t anything preventing me from having them know each other, at least slightly, before the story started. Once I inserted that into the story, everything gelled and I felt the magic and tension. Their relationship felt far more organic. I came up with the solution during one of my cardio sessions. Not surprising. That’s my usual problem-solving venue. That and the shower…

I really enjoyed getting these guys together, and Agent Jin’s exasperation with the two of them made me giggle a time or two.

This story certainly caused me to flesh some creative muscle that I hadn’t needed to before. The cat-and-mouse game between the agents/shifters and knights wasn’t something I’d really done yet, not on page. Trying to think warfare and espionage moves and countermoves isn’t my forte. I hope I managed it enough to make the story at least plausible. At the very least, entertaining. That’s the point of a fiction book, isn’t it? To be entertained. If you learn something, well, that’s a bonus, isn’t it?

“Feather and Scroll” takes place right after the events of “Shifting Moon” (10) and I suggest at least “Shifting Moon” be read before “Feather and Scroll.” But if you don’t feel like, don’t worry. I think you can pick up on things fairly quickly. This series is a true one, and think each book should be read in order, but again, that’s just me. I’m a stickler for starting a series with book 1 and then moving forward. Granted, each book is a different couple, but the overarching storyline runs through all of them.

I’m about halfway through folks. Yep, halfway. I have about 23 books planned, so look out!

Speaking of future books… Books 12, “Kindred Truths” will be available in October. Agent Poe and Nordik are back! It was a hoot to revisit those guys and see where life would take them. There were some surprises and twists as I wrote it, but it all came out the way I hoped it would. Unfortunately for our heroes, the Knights of the Dawn (and Arcas) will be winning a few more battles before their supremely satisfying comeuppance.

 

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Blurb:

Agent Poe loves being part of the Agency—an organization devoted to protecting shape-shifters—and he especially loves his mate of only a couple of months, Nordik, the nigh immortal master bear shifter. He has the best of both worlds—the man he loves and the job he loves. But when Nordik reveals he’s ready to rejoin society and accompany Poe on his missions, Poe must take the next step and make them a full partnership.

After the Agency intercepts a message from Arcas, the leader of the Knights of the Dawn—a cult bent on the annihilation of shifters—meant for his followers, their job gets a whole lot harder. The Knights don’t bother keeping their activities hidden anymore, stretching the Agency’s resources thinner than ever.

After a near-fatal mission almost costs Poe his life, Nordik insists on a break for both of them. They visit Poe’s family in Ireland and learn that true danger lies not without, but within. There’s no greater betrayal than that of a loved one.

 

To keep my sanity, I split up my series into five parts with several books in each part. That way, I could stay with a specific theme and keep *some* order while I outlined each book. The first part was books 1-6 (Psychic Moon – Master’s Blood) and it was simply labeled “Beginning.” It was my introductory phase into my world of shifters, agents, and knights.

Part Two was “Scrolls” where I introduced the mysterious and bothersome ancient scrolls, keys to a weapon of destruction. Books 7-12 are in that part (Hunted Guardian – Kindred Truths).

Part Three will be called “Blood.” There will be maybe four or five books in this part. I won’t say too much, but there is an inevitable effect to the Knights gaining the upper hand against the shifters and agents. A devastating, sad effect, that I introduce slightly in “Kindred Truths.” Watch for it!

Part Four is “Masters” and all about the other master shifters. There will be about four or five books in that part, and all the pairs will involve master shifters.

The last is Part Five, simply labeled “End.” I think there are only three books in that one. The last book will deal with the long life and tragedies of Merlin, the master shifter of all shapes. He has quite a story to tell and it will be bittersweet when I start writing.

So hold onto your hats everyone! I have quite a rollercoaster waiting for you. Care to join me?

My question for all of you is: what mythological creature and/or beast would you want to shift into? Think outside the box, consider that there are: Pegasus, unicorn, manticore, minotaur, chimera, griffin, centaur, faun/satyr, nymph (wood, tree, mountain, water, etc.), mermaid, selkie… Think of the beasts of Egypt, Sumeria, Japan, Ireland… you get the idea. What would *you* want to be and why?

Mine: Dragon (western, either wyvern or the more common depiction with four legs and a pair of wings);

Why?: Fire-breathing, fierce, flying, hoarding gold (though I would hoard books)… you get the idea. Of course I would be blue. I’ve loved dragons since I was a kid, when I read Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. It just grew from there. Yes, “How to Train Your Dragon” is my favorite movie. I’m not ashamed.

And you?

 

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