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 a New Adult Paranormal Romance**
The Devil’s Metal and 70’s films
By: Karina Halle
Before I was an author, I was a screenwriter. Well, an aspiring screenwriter, anyway. You can’t really call yourself a screenwriter until you get paid for your work. Regardless, I tried, for many, many years. I went to school for it (Vancouver Film School, for those wondering). I took film production and courses at the University of British Columbia. I worked for a few film and TV companies and queried the hell out of my many screenplays, but unfortunately none of them found a home. Oh, there were a few close calls – my script Wanderlust (which will be turned in to a standalone novel, Lost in Wanderlust) caught the eye of an Irish producer, another script, At Wit’s End, was actually optioned by someone local (and no, I didn’t get paid). But nothing came out of that.
Nothing except an appreciation for cinematic writing and an appreciation for film. Naturally, I tend to draw on both of these aspects when I’m writing a book and The Devil’s Metal was no exception.
To start, The Devil’s Metal felt like I was writing a script in a way. I could see the plot points all very clearly and I knew that the prose would come across cinematically. For some extra influence though, I turned to horror movies, particularly The Devil’s Rejects. I am already a huge fan of Rob Zombie’s music, music that has influenced many books of mine. This time, however, I let his film influence me. I know the Devil’s Reject isn’t a 70’s film, but it is set in the decade and you can see that Mr. Zombie was very heavily influenced by it, from the bit characters, to the over-the-top gore, to the dry, almost gritty look on the film. 70’s music also played a major factor in The Devil’s Rejects, and naturally it does as well with my book. In fact, I borrowed a bit from the film by setting one particularly terrifying scene to The Allman Brother’s Band’s “Midnight Rider”, which was used brilliantly during the opening of the film.
The Devil’s Rejects aside, I was also influenced by The Excorcist and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, two films that came out around 1974. The Excorcist will always be the champion of subliminal imagery and that building feeling of tension and dread. It starts off subtle and as creepy as hell and goes from there. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, on the other hand, has this sense of urgency and a feeling of us against them. It can be downright disturbing at times, making you feel utterly helpless, and then it switches to some fairly ridiculous scenes. I had a few chuckles to myself when writing The Devil’s Metal, thinking “Wow this scene is just insane” but that was kind of the point, you know? Classic horror films are a mix of sex, humor, gore and insanity. I hope I brought that kind of feeling to my book.
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.
Wow, this story was one thrill ride, that's for sure! I really enjoyed reading this story from Dawn's POV, and reading it from a different era, the 70s! To me, it's an unfamiliar time of course, but I just felt, like I was really there, so the Author did a great job in writing and describing the situations/events/locations, so I liked the detail in this story.
Through Dawn's thrilling and perhaps sometimes disappointing ride with the Metal Band: Hybrid, we get a glimpse of what a tour is like, and this is really the first time Dawn is touring as a music journalist, and it's a big plus for her: to be touring with her ultimate favorite Metal Band, but...there is also a dark and twisted side, and for sure, we see little hints here and there, even before Dawn meets the Band, so there is definitely a horror like, Paranormal twist in this story that was just definitely surprising, and I think will have you keep turning the pages to read what happens next! So, this is not just a Music/Metal Band/Touring on the Road story...oh no, there is some wicked stuff that happens, and I feel it entwined nicely.
The characters, were really written great! I liked Dawn, and just thought she was at times a relatable character, as she has not had an easy life, and we read what she has gone through, so there was a good amount of a background. Now, to the Band Mates of Hybrid! I think Halle did a great job in just writing the five band members' personalities really different and believable and one of those is the guitarist, Sage Knightly: Dawn's absolute favorite member, and well I do not want to give too much away here, but there might be something between them that you will want to happen, I know I did, and whatever happens to these two does Not Disappoint!!
As I mentioned, we get a glimpse of what a band tour is like, from the 70s, but I just liked how this is just a different time, and what music is mentioned is music that was popular back in the 60s/70s and it was just pretty cool to read about different bands, that I have heard about here and there, including: Alice Cooper, The Allman Brothers, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, and so much more! What I also liked about this Novel is that it's New Adult, and I am such a huge fan of this Genre and can't wait to read more New Adult Books, and also can't wait for the second book in this series, as you have seen, this is #1, so be on the look out for the next story, after you read this one of course, and I do recommend you do!
My Rating: 4.2/5
I say a Strong R-Rating (Mature Language/Sexual Scenes/Drug Content/Horror Elements)
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