We had a "devilish" time at Preston Black's Opening Act yesterday afternoon. Thanks to author Jason Jack Miller (pictured above on right) and all his friends, twas definitely true to its call: "A friendly affair to celebrate the impending release of THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK by Raw Dog Screaming Press, with music by Abacus Jones."
I'm sitting here the following morning with a cup of coffee, still admiring the cover of "The Devil and Preston Black." Who wouldn't love a book with the "devil" in its title and an acoustic guitar on the cover with a background of red flames?
This amazing cover is in the style of the old-time music show posters. As the book says, the cover design elements and typography are by none other than Hatch Show Print in Nashville, Tennessee, a division of the Country Music Foundation, Inc., with the overall book design by Jennifer Barnes. Many music lovers know of Hatch Show Print, and it also has a tie-in with one of my favorite shows, "American Pickers."
Here's a cool factoid about Hatch Show Print, from its website:
We're one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America, and over the years our posters have featured a host of country music performers, ranging from Country Music Hall of Famers Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, and Johnny Cash to contemporary stars such as Garth Brooks and Wynonna.
As a music lover myself, I consider the use of Hatch Show Print for a book cover to be a stroke of genius.
Want to know another stroke of genius? Having this kind of book party at Black Bear Burritos in Morgantown, West Virginia, where there is a stage, great atmosphere and great food. Black Bear Burritos even created a unique burrito for the event:
Today's Special "HAM! HELLBENDER"
To coincide with our friend and local author, Jason Jack Miller's book launch event (Saturday, Dec. 8) we've created a hellacious burrito! This story begins with a flour tortilla stuffed with hot and buttery mashed potatoes, red beans, grilled ham (or WV tofu!) and a fistful of lightly seared snap peas. The tale concludes with a smothering of golden, savory gravy. Pure Magic!!
Of course, I had a great time talking with John Lawson of Raw Dog Screaming Press, Jennifer Barnes, family members and friends of the author (and particularly want to thank author Heidi Ruby Miller for help with taking photos). Wish I'd been able to talk with everyone who was there, but was great to see area authors such as Rich Bottles, Jr. and longtime friend Scott Emerson, freelance writer/editor, fiction author, blogger and host of Morgantown Poets. Here's a pic of me and Scott:
Scott told me he's already read "The Devil and Preston Black." I'm definitely looking forward to it myself. From Faust to films like "The Devil's Advocate" (Al Pacino), there's something timeless and compelling about stories on the subject of "dealing with the devil." Just reading the book's back cover pulls you right in:
"He's broke, he's tired of playing covers and he's obsessed with the Curse of 27. If he doesn't wise up, he'll be adding 'deal with the devil' to his list."