Iron & Velvet : Blog Hop


Today we’re chatting with Kanaxa, cover artist for Iron & Velvet (Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator #1). Hi Kanaxa, thank you for joining us at Live Your Life, Buy the Book!

Let’s talk a little about the Iron & Velvet cover. What was the inspiration behind the cover concept? Was there a big difference between the initial design and the final one?

From the description I received, the first image that came to my mind was the poster for the French movie Le Pacte des Loups. And Jack the Ripper, but with vampires! It’s one of those cover art form that made me jump in my chair. It was so interesting and unique and fun. We luckily got it right from the start and kept the same design from the first draft to the finished product.

Walk me through your creative process? In what order do you work? How much does the author’s ideas of how a cover should look influence the cover design?

As I read the author’s cover art form, I look at video game and foreign movie posters a lot before I start anything. It’s like music for the eyeballs; it puts me in a certain mood for a certain book. For Iron & Velvet, I was in full atmospheric mood. A cool palette, for sure, then a nice contrast, and some shadows. During the finishing phases of this draft, we were trying to bring a bit more POW to the cover. When I added a splash of blood, that was it! I’m lucky that Riptide and its authors trust me. They rock.

Which author(s) would you like to work with next?

Working with Alexis Hall makes my inner Chihuahua chase her tail with savage glee. I wouldn’t change a thing!

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Kanaxa is the alter ego of Nathalie Gray, author of over thirty novels of speculative fiction ranging from science fiction, to steampunk, to fantasy.  Her art, both written and visual, has won numerous awards, including RT for Best Science Fiction novel and multiple covers of the year awards. Her work has been featured in The Independent (UK), Men’s Fitness (Australia), RT Book Reviews, and Realms of Fantasy magazines (US) and other publications. Over the years, Kanaxa’s input has been sought as part of panels during genre conventions and as a judge for contests.

A former soldier in the Canadian army and avid runner, Nathalie makes her home in an impregnable fortress beneath the Nordic ice sheets, where she plots to one day take over the world.

Pending global domination, you can browse her portfolio at or her books at


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Title : Iron & Velvet

Series : Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator, Book 1

Author : Alexis Hall

Publisher : Riptide Publishing (BUY IT HERE)

Length : 277 pages (e-book)

Published : December 16, 2013



First rule in this line of business: don’t sleep with the client.

My name’s Kate Kane, and when an eight-hundred-year-old vampire prince came to me with a case, I should have told her no. But I’ve always been a sucker for a femme fatale.

It always goes the same way. You move too fast, you get in too deep, and before you know it, someone winds up dead. Last time it was my partner. This time it could be me. Yesterday a werewolf was murdered outside the Velvet, the night-time playground of one of the most powerful vampires in England. Now half the monsters in London are at each other’s throats, and the other half are trying to get in my pants. The Witch Queen will protect her own, the wolves are out for vengeance, and the vampires are out for, y’know, blood.

I’ve got a killer on the loose, a war on the horizon, and a scotch on the rocks. It’s going to be an interesting day.

You can read an excerpt and purchase Iron & Velvet today from Riptide!