Karina Halle is in the Guest House with DARKHOUSE!

Darkhouse by Karina HalleDarkhouse

by Karina Halle

Paperback, 323 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Metal Blonde Books
ISBN: 9781461079859
There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twenty-something, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. Luckily for her, that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her life and seduces her with a sense of importance. Her uncle’s haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems.
Buy Darkhouse by Karina Halle: Amazon (Print) / Goodreads (epub) / Kindle

Guest post by Karina Halle:

Perry and Dex’s Songs

Hey everyone!

My name is Karina Halle, the author of Darkhouse, Red Fox and the rest of the (yet to be released) novels in the Experiment in Terror series. A little bit of background about me: I’ve pretty much dabbled in everything from screenwriting to filmmaking to blogging to make-up artistry to marketing to music journalism. I’m still doing the latter, writing about more experimental and metal music tastes for different publications, and of course now I’m an author now, as well. As a music journalist, and a music lover in general, music has had probably the greatest influence over my writing. I make certain lengthy playlists for each novel. The first book Darkhouse, consisted of a lot of Fantomas, Massive Attack, Faith No More, (old, pre-Twilight) Muse, Depeche Mode etc. Red Fox was a lot of Queens of the Stone Age, Tomahawk, The Dead Weather and The Doors. The third book, Dead Sky Morning, was a mix of Team Sleep, Bohren & Der Club of Gore, Dillinger Escape Plan, White Zombie and Nine Inch Nails. Varied? Yes. But the theme of instability, surprise and edginess resonates in all songs and in all books.

But though the books had a range of musical influences moving my fingers and stimulating my brain, there were always a few songs that I kept coming back to for one reason or another. After a while, I realized I had some real emotional connection to these songs and the way they related to my characters. If I had to pick a theme song, at least a current theme song, for Perry and Dex, they would be the following (And yes, they both happen to be Nine Inch Nail songs. It just sort of worked out that way):

Perry Palomino is a 22-year old recent college graduate who finds out that having a degree doesn’t mean having a job, least not one you like. She’s a receptionist at an advertising firm, and though she hopes to move up in the ranks, she feels stagnant, ignored and unstimulated. All of that changes when she explores her uncle’s mysterious lighthouse one creepy evening and runs (literally) into a man called Dex Foray. Dex opens Perry’s mind to the possibility of the unknown (he wants to run a ghost hunting show) and to the possibility of using her life to its fullest potential. As Perry quotes, “somehow, by dealing with the dead, I’d never felt so alive.” But this new outlook and focus brings some rather disturbing questions that Perry would rather keep buried. How is it that she can see ghosts when many others can’t? And is her turbulent past so easily blamed on drugs, as she claims, or was there something supernatural going on during her teenage years?

For obvious reasons, I always feel Perry is connected to Nine Inch Nail’s “Right Where It Belongs.” Every time I hear the song I can’t help but picture Perry sitting on a beach somewhere, her hair in her face, wondering about what exactly is real in her world and what trap she’s built for herself.

YouTube Link: http://youtu.be/1jAyfGzSaz0

“See the animal in his cage that you built
Are you sure what side you’re on?
Better not look him too closely in the eye
Are you sure what side of the glass you are on?
See the safety of the life you have built
Everything where it belongs
Feel the hollowness inside of your heart
And it’s all…
Right where it belongs

What if everything around you
Isn’t quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection
Is it all you want it to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks?
Would you find yourself…
Find yourself afraid to see?

What if all the world’s inside of your head
Just creations of your own?
Your devils and your gods
All the living and the dead
And you’re really all alone?
You can live in this illusion
You choose to believe
You keep looking but you can’t find the woods
While you’re hiding in the trees

What if everything around you
Isn’t quite as it seems?
What if all the world you used to know
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection
Is it all you want to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks
Would you find yourself…
Find yourself afraid to see?”

For Dex, who is more complicated than Perry thanks to his dubious past and the fact that you only know as much as Perry knows, he’s a walking enigma who causes people to either love him or hate him. In Darkhouse he’s not too sure how he feels about Perry. He’s ten years older than her, has a gorgeous girlfriend of his own, yet finds himself growing very fond of her, and has this queer sense of them having some sort of destiny together. Neither Dex (nor Perry) really knows what that means, but there’s no denying how similar they are. I think Dex sees a lot of himself in Perry. The Nine Inch Nail’s song “The Fragile” always reminds me of how Dex views their relationship.

YouTube Link: http://youtu.be/QFCNEfd9mQ8

“She shines

in a world full of ugliness

She matters

when everything is meaningless


She doesn’t see her beauty

She tries to get away


it’s just that nothing seems worth saving

I can’t watch her slip away

I won’t let you fall apart

She reads the minds of all the people

as they pass her by

Hoping someone will see

If I could fix myself I’d…

but it’s too late for me

I won’t let you fall apart

We’ll find the perfect place to go where we can run and hide

I’ll build a wall and we can keep them on the other side

but they keep waiting

and picking…I can’t watch her slip away

I won’t let you fall apart

It’s something I have to do

I was there too

Before everything else

I was like you

It’s this similarity that both pulls and vexes both characters and what in turn intrigues the reader. Perry and Dex are both too complex to encapsulate by comparing them to just one song, but I hope this gives the reader just a bit of a hint to where they are both coming from and why they may act the way they do. I hope you get to know them as well as I do!

Buy Darkhouse by Karina Halle: Amazon (Print) / Goodreads (epub) / Kindle

Karina’s sadly neglected personal blog can be found here: www.ontheblogbandwagon.blogspot.com

Karina’s not so neglected writing blog can be found here: www.experimentinterror.com

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