Dani Harper’s new book, Storm Warned, just came out, and she kindly stopped by to discuss one of her characters in the Grim series. Also, she’s giving away a Storm Warned totebag (open to US, UK, and Canada), so be sure to check out the details at the bottom of the post!
The Faery GRIM
“Faery” is a catchall term for all sorts of supernatural beings, and there’s a wide variety of them in my new paranormal fantasy, Storm Warned. All of them are inspired by Welsh faery legends and lore. The book is #3 in my Grim Series, so of course, one of the fae creatures making a reappearance is the GRIM!
The Grim is a legendary canine with many names. In Welsh, it’s the gwyllgi or barghest. In other UK countries it’s the Black Dog, the Dog of Darkness, Black Shuck, Dog of the Twilight, or the Black Hound of Destiny. It’s said to resemble a giant mastiff, a noble animal which I greatly admire. A grim is larger than any living dog however, and its eyes are often red and glowing.
The story is an old one, dating all the way back to Celtic times in Wales. The Grim or Black Dog is associated with the Fae, and acts as the herald of Death itself – those who see the animal may be destined to die very soon! The dog appears without warning, follows and sometimes even chases people – yet vanishes without a trace. Electrical storms are often associated with the dog’s appearance (and yup, there’s a thunderstorm in every book in the Grim Series — you can probably tell from the titles, Storm Warrior, Storm Bound, Storm Warned.)
In its defense, the Grim hasn’t always been threatening, at least, not to the innocent. In some tales, the animal is an instrument of justice, hunting down escaped murderers. A few stories recount incidents where the great beast protected children, or guarded lone travelers. Those are the tales that truly captivated my imagination and made me wonder – what if the spectral creature had a conscience and a sense of compassion? What if the Grim didn’t mindlessly follow its mission? What if a Grim wasn’t really a dog at all, but a mortal under a faery curse?
And what if it came to America?
That’s when I began writing this series! The characters jumped in immediately, and it’s been a wonderful journey. One of the highlights has been corresponding with the owners of Vincent, a Neopolitan Mastiff who is now an honorary Grim. Check out this big handsome creature on my website (In the photo, Vincent was in New York recently for the Westminster Dog Show)
***Click the link below to enter to win a STORM WARNED totebag!***
About Storm Warned:
When Caris’s unearthly musical talent attracts the attention of the Wild Hunt, the Welsh farm girl is stolen away to serve as a faery grim, a herald of death. Two centuries later, she’s finally escaped back to the human world—and into the present-day life of a reclusive and heartbroken American musician.
Music was Liam’s whole life—until a crushing betrayal left him desperate to flee the public eye. Yet long-dormant passions awaken within him after a powerful storm strands a beautiful, strong-willed woman on his isolated farm. When a fae prince bent on ruling both human and faery realms threatens Caris’s life, Liam must decide if he can finally believe in love again, not just for her sake—but for the sake of two worlds.