Shelf Candy is a meme hosted by Maria @anightsdreamofbooks. Click the button above to see what other covers are being featured this week.
Today’s featured cover is THE DEVIL’S METAL by Karina Halle. This is one of those books where the cover art completely won me over. I stumbled across it while clicking through Goodreads and, after reading the synopsis, I knew at once I had to read the book. After getting in contact with Halle to find out who did the art, I was surprised to learn she did it herself.
Please welcome author and artist Karina Halle as she discusses her inspiration and process for the cover of THE DEVIL’S METAL!
SWR: Can you tell us a little bit about The Devil’s Metal and its heroine?
The Devil’s Metal is pretty much Almost Famous meets The Devil’s Advocate. It’s about a college student, Dawn Emerson, who is trying to gain respect as a writer and ends up going on tour with her favorite band. It’s very loosely based on my experience as a working music journalist…just set in 1974. Oh, and throw in some HOT rock stars and some psycho demons. It’s honestly like nothing out there, but if you like strong female protagonists, sexy times, music and suspense, it’s a good book to try.
SWR: Why did you decide to do the cover art yourself as opposed to working with a cover artist?
I always have ideas so I usually just need someone to make those ideas happen. I am definitely not opposed to working side by side with someone, especially someone who gets the gist of the books, the industry, and my vision.
SWR: What was the inspiration for the cover art?
I love Deviant Art for stock photography, so I was looking for a gorgeous redhead to put on the cover as Dawn. But I wanted a sense of horror too, something to juxtapose the beauty, hence the devilish flames.
SWR: What was your inspiration and process for creating the cover?
I wanted something very metal and with a 70’s dusky vibe, think Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I think I achieved it.
SWR: You worked with artist Bret Taylor to refine the artwork. How did you two collaborate to finalize the art?
Well I do the mockup on my own first (see photo above) then I get him to refine it in InDesign or Photoshop. It’s a lot of back and forth.
SWR: What was the most important idea you needed the cover to convey?
The “bad-assness” lol.
SWR: Have you worked on other covers for your series?
I’ve worked on all of them in some way. Darkhouse features a photo I took of my friend, then I found some great stock background for it. Same goes for Red Fox – my friend and then a photo I took in Palm Springs. The cover for Dead Sky Morning was a photograph I took of my parent’s zodiac that’s tendered to their boat. Lying Season was a photo I took of my friend in my apartment – I got to pour blood down her arm (fake blood, of course). On Demon Wings features my best friend on the cover – we took the photo in her apartment and I got her to bend over her couch backward! The cover of The Dex-Files features the silhouette of my partner. I’m proud to say I did that entire cover by myself, not needing any graphic artist involved.
SWR: Who or what are some of your favorite cover artists or book covers?
Oh wow, great question! I love books, my bookshelves are filled with hardcovers and paperbacks and my Kindle is overflowing. I am a sucker for a great cover and I love treating them as artwork. Ones I could stare at all day include: Pure by Juliana Baggot, For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff and a bunch of others I can’t think of cuz I’m not near my bookshelf!
SWR: Finally, what are some of your upcoming projects that you’d like to share with us?
I’ve got the 6th book in the Experiment in Terror Series coming out on November 15th. Sins and Needles, a romantic suspense thriller involving a grafter and a tattoo artist will be out in January (it has an amazing cover, btw, courtesy of Najla Qamber). I should have an EIT novella and the next Devil’s Metal book out in the spring. Plus tons of other secret projects!
And the Pivot Quiz…
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Music. Good music.
What turns you off?
What is your favorite curse word?
What sound or noise do you love?
What sound or noise do you hate?
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Photography. I am a music photojournalist, but I’d love to do more.
What profession would you not like to do?
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“Hey, you made it. Beer’s over there.”
Check out Karina Halle’s THE DEVIL’S METAL!
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.
The Devil’s Metal is the first book in a two-part New Adult Horror/Paranormal Romance and very (very!) loosely based on the author’s exploits as a music journalist. Hell comes in different forms.