Today, I have author Morgan Brice in the interview chair. She’s here to talk about her latest release Kings of the Mountain, a m/m urban fantasy romance. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
1. Hi, Morgan. It’s great to have you at my blog again. I’ve interviewed you a few times, so I came up with a new batch of questions. Before we get started, can you share about the everyday you for readers who might be new to your work?
Morgan: The ‘everyday me’ isn’t very exciting—my characters are. My husband and I write full time, so in addition to the actual writing, there’s researching, marketing, and all the back-office stuff like tracking royalties. Other than that, in a normal year, we go to the beach, and we go to a number of book/genre conventions. This year, we’re staying home and enjoying the backyard. Our dogs meander from my workspace to his, supervising.
2. Your new release, Kings of the Mountain, is an urban fantasy with paranormal elements. Was this intentional, or did the story call for a combination of two genres?
Morgan: I always think of urban fantasy as necessarily having paranormal elements. That’s what I love about it—the modern world, but where magic and supernatural creatures are real. If you’ve read my other series (Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail) or my Gail Z. Martin urban fantasy series (Deadly Curiosities, Night Vigil, and the Spells Salt and Steel series I co-write with my husband Larry), that combination is always a part of the story for me. And by the way—all of my Gail and Morgan urban fantasy series cross over and the characters all know each other. It’s one big expanded universe!
3. How did you come up with the title? It’s quite interesting, especially after reading the blurb.
Morgan: Dawson King’s family has been fighting monsters since before the American Revolution. They were the King’s monster fighters back in Wales, and when they came to the colonies, he gave them a charter for the land that they named Cunanoon Mountain (the phonetic pronunciation for the Welsh word for ‘hellhound’). They founded the town of Kingston, and settled in to hunt the things that go bump in the night. So they are the Kings of the Mountain.
4. What influenced you to focus on the following tropes for the novel: Hurt/comfort, mutual pining, friends-to-lovers, childhood best friends, and second chance?
Morgan: I love hurt/comfort. Always have. It forces characters to have clarity on their feelings and how they are lying to themselves, and it also forces priorities to become clear.
Mutual pining is fun, because the reader knows the answers to what the characters are agonizing over. And let’s be honest—we’ve all second-guessed ourselves, gone down worst-case scenario rabbit holes, and overthought things.
Friends-to-lovers strikes me as very realistic. Being friends first means mutual interests, natural compatibility—all the things that make a relationship last. Then sex becomes the icing on the cake.
Childhood best friends—it’s a wonderful thing to love someone who really knows you, who was there for so many life milestones and mistakes, who doesn’t fall for your facade, who knows the real you.
Second chance—Sometimes we don’t get it right the first time. The timing is wrong, we’re not who we need to be, the stars haven’t lined up. We all need a do-over from time to time.
5. Dawson and Grady are wonderful names. How did you go about selecting these names for them?
I figure out the character’s age, then I look at the most popular names around the time they were born, and pick the ones that feel right to me.
6. Speaking of the main characters, what do you love most about Dawson and what makes you want to kick him square in the butt?
Dawson is fierce and loyal. He tries to do the right thing and has a lot of integrity. Sometimes, that integrity makes him a little too self-sacrificing, and he makes things harder for himself than he needs to.
7. The same for Grady. What do you love about him and what makes you want to slap him into next week?
Grady is smart and funny and passionate, with a lot of sass. He’s also young, and he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. That makes him impatient and a little reckless.
8. Let’s look at secondary characters. Who is your personal favourite, and why?
Denny is fun, because he’s the voice of reason, the old-timer, and he loves both boys like sons. Colt will show up again in future books. He’s not a perfect best friend, but he’s been there for both Dawson and Grady when they needed him.
9. Your antagonists are werewolves. Are there any certain werewolves that stand out? Pick a favourite, and tell us why.
There are werewolves and shifters in the book. Shifters can change at will, regardless of the moon phase, and they breed naturally, so their bite doesn’t change someone. Werewolves are cursed, their bite is infectious, and they must shift during the full moon. The pain-in-the-ass sheriff is a shifter, and he’s not really a bad guy—he just has a grudge against the King family, and their willingness to play fast and loose with the rules annoys him. So Sheriff Rollins would be my favorite.
10. Without giving away any spoilers, why is Dawson’s family responsible for hunting werewolves?
Morgan: Answered in #3
11. If a reader asked why they should read Kings of the Mountain, what would you tell them?
Morgan: It’s like a mashup of Dukes of Hazzard crossed with Supernatural, only the main characters are *together*. Fast cars. Outlaw country boys. Snarky werewolves, vengeful ghosts, and menacing monsters.
12. Can you share what you’re currently working on? Readers love hearing about works in progress/upcoming releases.
Morgan: I’m working on the first book in my new Fox Hollow series. It’s a shifter fated mates series, set in the Adirondacks.
13. You self-publish your works. Can you tell us why you chose to go this route?
Morgan: I’ve been traditionally published by big New York and London publishers, had short stories published in more than 40 anthologies by mid-sized presses in the US and UK, and we currently have three series under contract with Falstaff Books, a mid-size North Carolina press. Recorded Books and Tantor publish our audiobooks. My Gail Z. Martin backlist is still with the original publishers and still in print. Our new stuff we’ve chosen to self-publish. It’s complicated, but the shortest answer is that it gives us more control of the story and while there can be benefits to working with a publisher, there are also benefits to doing it ourselves.
14. I enjoy doing random questions. Since you answered my previous set, here are some new ones!
- What’s your favourite TV show?
- What’s your favourite non-fiction title?
My current favorite is There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done edited by Lynn Zubernis—it’s a look at the legacy of the TV show Supernatural in chapters written by the cast, crew and fans—including me!
- Who’s your favourite author?
Too many to name!
- What puts a smile on your face?
A bouncy dance song, or petting my dogs.
15. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Morgan: I hope readers check out the book—it was a lot of fun to write. And of course at some point, it will also tie in to the rest of the series (there’s a tiny tie-in, for readers who know what to look for). So it becomes a big interconnected world with lots of characters you’ll see again and again.
Title: Kings of the Mountain
Author: Morgan Brice
Release Date: May 21, 2020
Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal romance
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 63 000 words/238 pages
Series: First book in a new series
Fast cars. Outlaw country boys. Snarky werewolves, vengeful ghosts, and menacing monsters.
Blurb: Dawson King’s family has been hunting things that go bump in the night in Transylvania County, North Carolina, since before the Revolutionary War.
Dawson was never happier than when he was racing his souped-up Mustang along winding mountain roads and hunting monsters with his best friend, Grady. Then Grady fell in love with him, which should have been perfect since Dawson had already fallen hard for Grady.
But Grady was only seventeen, and Dawson feared that sooner or later, Grady would realize his feelings were just a first crush, and then he’d be gone, leaving Dawson devastated. They both needed space to figure things out. So Dawson joined the army, while Grady stayed on the mountain.
Four years later, Dawson is coming home. He’s more sure than ever Grady is his forever love, and they’ve both agreed to begin this new aspect of their relationship as soon as Dawson gets back.
Then Grady’s father is killed in a werewolf hunt gone wrong. Grady is devastated, and he’s throwing mixed signals about moving forward. Dawson knows he needs to hold off on this new thing between them until Grady has time to grieve. But monsters never sleep, and one hunt after another throws Dawson and Grady into constant danger, while tension and unresolved feelings ripple between them.
Making it even harder, Dawson’s got a secret. He’s dreamed of death omens—which point to something stalking Grady. Can Dawson figure out who’s trying to kill Grady, save his life, and win back his heart?
Plenty of mutual pining, hurt/comfort, spooky chills, sexy thrills, and a very happy ending. The Kings of the Mountain is the first novel in the series. It is a MM romance intended for readers 18 years of age and older.
“Dude, you can’t keep me hanging for over an hour until we get home. Please.” Dawson didn’t care about begging. He needed to know what had happened, so he could figure out what to do when he got there.
Colt slid him a sidelong glance and relented. “If I tell you, you’ve got to keep Uncle Denny from whupping my ass, because he told me not to.”
“You know I will.”
Colt tightened his grip on the wheel, his knuckles bone-white and kept his eyes on the road, a convenient way to avoid looking at Dawson. “We’ve had some problems with rogue werewolves and feral shifters lately. They like our neck of the woods because it’s remote. If they didn’t bother anyone, we might have let it ride. But there’ve been livestock kills and some attacks on people that just barely got pushed back.”
“How did you know you’ve got weres and shifters?” Dawson fell back into hunting mode out of old habit.
“It’s that time of the month,” Colt replied with a smirk. “Seriously? The weres are only out the three days of the full moon. You know this shit—did you forget it all while you were gone?”
Dawson flinched. “Just confirming. Didn’t want to assume.”
“Wouldn’t be the first time you made an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me.’” Colt’s smile faded. “Anyhow, we’ve all been out trying to track down one particular werewolf. He didn’t stay in the forest and feed off the deer. If he had, no one would have bothered him. Kept coming near towns, snatching farm animals. Grady and Aaron thought they’d figured out a pattern and guessed where he’d strike next. So they did a stakeout.”
Dawson found he was holding his breath. He had an awful feeling about how this was going to go.
“They were right,” Colt continued, his voice flat. “The werewolf got the drop on Aaron. Grady shot the wolf—silver to the heart—but he’d already bit Aaron.”
“Aaron begged Grady to shoot him. Grady refused. Grady also wouldn’t just leave his gun and walk away.”
“He knew how it had to end,” Dawson said quietly, his voice thick with sorrow for both Grady and Aaron.
Colt shrugged. “Maybe he needed more than a few seconds to be okay with killing his father.” At Dawson’s wince, Colt relented. “Sorry. I don’t know what happened to Aaron’s gun; he probably lost it when he got jumped. Anyhow, Aaron went for Grady’s gun, and in the struggle, it went off. Killed Aaron. Grady walked home, covered in blood, and told Uncle Denny what happened. Denny took care of the body.”
“Jesus,” Dawson murmured. “What did they tell the cops?”
“Sheriff Rollins knew about the rogue were. He had his men out looking for it, too. So what went down could have happened to anyone.”
At least no one was going to jail. That was a small comfort. “What about Knox?”
Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.
On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.
Series include Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!
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