The Devil's Metal (Devils #1) by Karina Halle
New Adult Paranormal*293 pages*Published September 21st 2012 by Metal Blonde Books (first published September 1st 2012)
It’s the summer of 1974 and 21-year old Dawn Emerson has only three things she wants to do: compete one last time in the Ellensburg Rodeo, win back her ex-boyfriend Ryan, and become the best damn music journalist at Central Washington University. But all her plans are left in the dust when she’s contacted by Creem magazine to go on the road with one of her favorite groups, the up-and-coming metal band, Hybrid.
At first the assignment reads like a dream come true. Not only will Dawn land some much-needed credibility as a female music journalist, but she'll finally get to experience life from the other side of the stage, and maybe crack the drunken, enigmatic code that is guitarist Sage Knightly. Instead, Dawn finds herself on an aging tour bus filled with ego-maniacs, band politics and a whole lot of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. When monsters start showing up in dressing rooms and some of Sage’s groupies become increasingly strange and dangerous, Dawn discovers the band is not only going places –
they’re going straight to Hell.
And Dawn has a backstage pass.
We thank Karina Halle for letting us interview her.
1) Can you share with us how the idea for The Devil's Metal came about and why you decided to set it in 1974? I used to read Creem magazine. Why Creem and not Rolling Stone or some other magazine from the 70s?
I’m a music journalist and have experienced some pretty crazy shit when dealing with obsessed fans and other journalists (and the musicians themselves). After one particularly harrowing experience with a psychotic fan, I thought ‘man would this make a good book’ – then of course I had to a make it horror, because that’s just what I do. I’m a big fan of Creem and Lester Bang’s writing. Rolling Stone wouldn’t have been interested in a band like Hybrid at that time but it was all up Creem’s alley.
2) Dawn has some lofty goals: rodeo, Ryan and best journalist at CWU. How cool was it to write her character? Have any other favorite characters?
I really like Dawn. She’s terribly naïve at times but she has spunk to her. Jacob, the tour manager, was the most fun to write however. That’s a man I’d love to have a beer with and talk to. Luckily we see more of him in book two.
3) As you were writing, were there any surprises?
Oh, there usually is. Some people died that I didn’t think I’d kill heh heh.
4) Any hints as to what Dawn deals with in book two?
I’d say it’s a lot like book one – on tour and writing about it. But there’s a lot more sex, less drugs, more demons. It’s set in Europe. It’s going to be awesome.
5) What's an average writing day for you (I use the word average loosely) and do you write on your boat? Does traveling/boating help with your writing?
I don’t have a boat but my parent’s do. I don’t get to go on it often but it’s usually quite inspiring. What’s more inspiring is where the boat usually goes: Salt Spring Island. That’s my happy place, where I’ve always been creative. Luckily I’m moving there in November! Now that I write full-time, I need just the “write” setting.
My average writing day varies. I’d probably say it’s get up, get active, then drink lots of coffee and write. Then enjoy the afternoon. Come back to the writing in the evening. Perhaps with wine.
6) What is about the paranormal/horror/fantasy genres that appeals to you?
To put it simply, I like to be scared. I like to be intrigued. And I love to use my imagination.
7) While writing this, what was some of the music you listened to (if you did)?
Lots of my favorites, which happen to be era-appropriate, like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Hendrix, The Who, David Bowie, and some newer bands like Royal Thunder. That band rocks.
8) The model on the cover for The Devil's Metal reminds me of Tori Amos. Do you have any input into the covers?
Yup I come up with the whole concept. I find the stock images and the font and I create a mock-up myself in photoshop before I send it to a graphic artist for the final touches. If I knew photoshop or indesign just a little bit better, I’d be doing all of it.
I was high in the air on the shoulders of Sage Knightly, watching over a hushed and attentive crowd while Tom Waits sung to the crowd. He was sitting down by his piano, an acoustic guitar in his arms, an interesting looking man that packed the same kind of beast-like heat as the man under me. His voice was emotive and raw.
“So goodbye, so long, the road calls me dear
And your tears cannot bind me anymore,
And farewell to the girl with the sun in her eyes
Can I kiss you, and then I'll be gone.”
I closed my eyes and let the words and music wash over me, feeling the taught shoulders beneath my legs and his soft hair that tickled my thighs. The night air was thick and humid, everything slowed down and sensual, yet my heart was ramming against my ribcage a million miles a minute.
“Though I held in my hand, the key to all joy
Honey my heart was not meant to be tamed.”
Sage shifted beneath me. I put one of my hands back into his thick hair and left it there, pretending I needed to hold him. It took all my willpower not to start playing with it.
“I guess you don’t do this very often,” I told him, my voice cracking slightly.
I couldn’t see his face but I could feel him smile. “No. Usually my head’s turned the other way around.”
About the author:
Karina Halle is a music journalist and all around wino who resides in beautiful British Columbia. When she's not rocking out or taking a nap, she can be found writing her ghost-hunting Experiment in Terror Series.
Review:Being a rock 'n' roll fan and having attended many concerts, I love reading about music in novels. As a student at a parochial school, I used to sneak reads of Creem magazine during boring classes so when I read the blurb for The Devil's Metal I knew I had to read it. Music and the paranormal all in one story. Cool.
Karina Halle is a music journalist and her love of music as well as her experience is apparent with her words. Dawn is a determined girl and we get a look at the goings on with a rock band on tour. Her dream job of touring with and writing about the band Hybrid has some intense moments, a slew of characters to like or dislike and some paranormal elements to thrill. The Devil's Metal is unlike many of the paranormal novels I love to read. Music, romance, journalism, and demons, all I can say is bring on book two.
Cover comment: Subtle. I like it.
Book source: I received a promotional e-book in return for my honest review during a book tour.
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