We hope you’ll enjoy reading our interview of someone who is so very special to us; DIG. Even though there are a hell of a lot of good reads out there, author Cat Porter, has conveyed her protagonist in a such a light that our opinion regarding MC reads has been swayed completely. Not only that, we’re going to interview her too! And to say we are itching to get our hands on ‘Iron and Bone’ would be putting it mildly.
☠ Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty! ☠
☠ Dig. What makes a good old lady? ☠
A good old lady is a woman you can trust to have your back, and I mean physically as well as emotionally. She knows what you need without you having to ask, and she doesn’t push you. She can take care of shit on the home front while you’re out getting business done on the road. A good old lady is committed to what’s best for the club too. She always puts that into consideration in every decision she makes. But at the end of the day, your woman is your rock through the good times and all the crap. And trust me, there’s plenty of crap.
☠ Did you think Grace had what it took to make an old lady when you first set eyes on her? ☠
When I first set eyes on Grace, I never considered her to be a possible old lady. In the beginning she was like an ice cream popsicle on a hot summer’s day. She was a refreshing dream. A dream of what could have been, might have been for me once upon a time. At first, I really didn’t see us together. She belonged to the “real world,” not my shadowy one. I couldn’t see how it could work, and, anyhow, I felt it wouldn’t be right for her. I didn’t want to take anything away from her or dull her shine, taint her clean.
☠ Did you think there would be fallout for Ruby taking the fall for the club? ☠
I really thought Ruby taking the fall would solve a lot of problems on many fronts. So much for that. I certainly didn’t expect it to forever change my life, that’s for sure.
☠ Did your nightmares get any better when you met Grace? ☠
Yeah, they did. They came less frequently, and I did manage to get more sleep after Grace and I got together. That part of me that was always running on empty, finally relaxed, but I couldn’t let go 100%.
☠ How did the tension in the club affect your relationship with Grace? ☠
I was pulled in a million directions, juggling the political crap, and trying to pursue my ideas to keep business moving forward. Maintaining order and defending the club were my responsibility as Sergeant at Arms. All that was mighty time consuming and never let up. And being in an intense relationship is very consuming too, but in a good way, a much better way. Frankly, for me it was a totally unexpected way, never having been in a real relationship before! But yeah, I was torn most of the time trying to balance all those fucking spinning dishes.
☠ Did you ever feel guilty about bringing Grace into the club knowing what life she could have chosen? ☠
Not in the beginning. After I realized what she’d been dealing with at home on her own, I was done with being the white knight, the responsible guy. It was bullshit, and I wanted her bad and she wanted me. We made a crazy kind of sense every time I was with her, every time I touched her. It felt good, right, and we were good together. But I regretted it every time things got out of control, really badly out of control between clubs. Not to mention when Wreck got killed. That was a turning point for me, the lowest of the low. Everything turned into quicksand for me then. Even holding on to Grace. I tried to shut her out for a long time after that. Felt it was all pointless. She needed a life in the light, the life she expected, the one she’d been striving for so hard before she and I hooked up. At that point, I felt that I had taken that away from her, and it drained me.
☠ Do you regret leaving Grace with such a responsibility? ☠
You mean with Vig and his freaking diamond stash? Of course I do. That was the kind of shit I’d been trying to avoid for her all along, and then look what happened. I mean, I died, and still I was bringing her down. That’s just insane. On the other hand, the aftermath of me not having had the opportunity to make it to Nebraska as I’d planned in order to iron things out with the Blades and the Flames, made things crazy for the Jacks. Battles broke out for years until Jump took the Presidency, got a handle on it, and things finally cooled down. So actually, I’m glad Vig forced her out of South Dakota and away from the club, all the clubs. Ironic, huh? He had promised me he’d look out for her if anything happened to me. I guess in a twisted way, the motherfucker did just that, but still getting what he wanted, of course.
My biggest regret though, is that our kid died along with Grace ever being able to have another baby. That’s the biggest tragedy, and that suffering is on me. I can barely still wrap my head around that one. Next question.
☠ Did you ever envisage your life with Grace would be cut short because of the life you led? ☠
Every moment of every day.
☠ Are you happy with Grace’s choice of husband? ☠
For starters, I’m sorry that it took her sixteen years to let someone in again, to find someone she could be herself with. But the fact that it’s Lock makes me happy. Makes me feel that even though things turned out shit for me, it gave them a new lease on life, a better life. Both of them were thrown to the wayside by shit at the club, got twisted into other people. They needed each other. Grace and Lock are good kind-hearted souls. That they were able to find each other after all this time and get untwisted, gives me peace. It means that all this, all of it, in some way, wasn’t for nothing. (Wreck is glad for them too. Yeah, he had a good laugh over it, in fact.)
☠ Do you think anything would have happened between Butler and Grace if you hadn’t sent him away? ☠
No, I don’t, but I think it would have been a constant source of tension between all of us, which would’ve been hell. So it was a very good thing he left. It gave us time to cool down and get back to basics with each other. It also gave Butler a kick in the ass, and he finally got serious about his place in the club after that. Once he let go of fucking around with his life, he focused. That made us able to be friends again, trust each other, work together. We were brothers, after all.
☠ You and Tania had a silent understanding but she irritated you. Why? ☠
I knew Tania wanted better for Grace than me. Both of them had big dreams while they were growing up in this tiny town. Tania felt that Grace was giving up a bright all-American future by choosing me, the biker with only good times, drug deals, countless felonies, and a strip club to his (fake) name. She just didn’t want her best friend to get hurt, to be disappointed. Tania was right, and I knew she was right. She knew I knew, too. But at least she knew that I really did love Grace. There was never any bullshit about that. Tania’s very smart and tells it like it is, no filter. It made me crazy because a part of me worried that maybe Grace would realize that it all a big mistake and walk out on me.
☠ Boner always had your back. If he hadn’t been around when he was most needed, who else would you have trusted completely to watch Grace’s back? ☠
Wreck was the only other brother I trusted the way I trusted Boner. No one else. Not in that absolute way.
☠ If you’d had longer with Grace, what, if anything, would you have changed?☠
I would have made sure we spent more time together. Just the two of us. And we would’ve had our kid, too. Yeah, definitely more time together. The three of us. Our family.
☠ If you hadn’t joined the MC, which direction do you think your life would
have taken? ☠
Oh, I would’ve been dead. Ha.
Let’s do some giveaways! Cat is giving away a Random & Rare eBook. Like her FB page and leave this comment, Nice to meet you Dig. Like KFF’s post and our page if you haven’t already, tag a few friends, and sharing would be much appreciated. And…we’re going to giveaway a Lock & Key eBook, so the lucky winner will have the two books in this series!
KFF to Cat: This is a difficult question to answer for us bloggers ‘cause I’m sure that more than one of us are considered to be frustrated writers. Why did you start to decide writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. Journaling always helped me make sense of my emotions and the world around me. Being an introverted only child, I was overly sensitive, and writing not only helped me, but became something I needed to do to feel balanced. I was always writing short stories and poems too. I remember in high school I wrote a poem about a dead older brother, and everyone thought it was true. That was rather swell. Also, being a trained actor, you realize the power of the written word is paramount. It’s everything. Studying Shakespeare in high school and then later “playing” Shakespeare opened up a huge fascinating world of the power and color of words for me.
KFF to Cat: We all have our favourite authors, but we’d love to know which author inspired you to put pen to paper.
I’ve always been an avid reader, from the Scholastic books we’d order at elementary school, to when I first dove into Nancy Drews and my aunt’s stash of romance novels every summer. I loved getting lost in a different world and being inside another person’s head. I started reading the classics at ten years old. “Wuthering Heights,” “Pride & Prejudice,” “Jane Eyre,” and “Vanity Fair” were my firsts, and although I didn’t understand half the language and the many subtleties, I was swept away into a whole new universe of characters, dramatic events, intriguing settings, and intense emotions. It was truly thrilling! Later I discovered D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster, Lawrence Durrell, James Joyce, Paul Scott, and the free-form hipster madness of Henry Miller. Writing a novel one day was always in my heart of hearts.
KFF to Cat: Why MC?
I’d read several MC books and I became fascinated by the idea of an old lady returning to a club. A seasoned woman who knew the score, not the usual heroine- the young thing who is taken aback by the MC lifestyle and the Alpha men. That got boring real quick for me. I kept seeing this older woman, defiant, hiding some sort of secret returning to the club against her wishes. The genre was totally new to me, but the few I had read at the time, I liked a lot. The “living on the fringe” culture greatly appealed to me and scared me in a way, because it was the complete opposite of how I grew up and everything I was familiar with!
KFF to Cat: It is more than obvious that you have done your homework regarding MC research, their culture, women, even their transport. How did you go about it?
I read an autobiography written by a former officer of an outlaw club in the midwest in the 80’s which provided details to me of a biker’s commitment to the lifestyle and the daily dangers and the harshness inherent to it. It wasn’t pretty. I also read whatever I could get my hands on online from reporters who had gone undercover in bike clubs in the 70’s to get a feeling for the classic bike club. That’s what interested me, the original, true spirit of a motorcycle club and the people who were committed to the lifestyle. I watched endless videos on YouTube of events, and videos of people riding bikes through the Dakotas. It was amazing stuff. I also met an old lady online who was very generous in answering my questions and filling in the many blanks I had.
KFF to Cat: Just love to know which book has influenced you more in your life? (Must answer!)
I took this fantastic class in high school called “The Search for Self” where we read Dostoyevsky, Joseph Conrad, Thomas Hardy, to name a few, plus the poetry of Rilke and Cavafy. The anguish, darkness, and intelligence of those writers blew my sixteen-year old mind away and opened my eyes and soul. Later on I discovered the vampire books of Anne Rice, and her passion and romanticism along with the macabre made me crazy. I love those books, I couldn’t put them down!
KFF to Cat: We’d love to know what is on you TBR list. Can you let on?
A lot of indie classics that I have yet to read! Colleen Hoover’s “Slammed,” J.R. Redmerski’s “Edge of Never,” Lorelei James’s Rough Riders series, the “Outlander” books, Melissa Brown’s “Wife Number Seven,” Jojo Moyes’s “Me Before You,” Madeline Sheehan’s “Thicker Than Blood,” Callie Hart’s “Deviant” series, LB Simmons’ books, JB Hartnett’s “Bride in Bloom,” Jay Crownover’s “Marked Men” series, Daryl Banner’s “Beautiful Dead” series, Amy Harmon’s “Law of Moses” and “Making Faces,” L.H. Cosway’s “Six of Hearts” series, Paullina Simons “The Bronze Horseman,” and Patti Smith’s autobiography “Just Kids” to name a few. Oh boy.
KFF to Cat: How often do you write? All and every day or whenever you can?
Every day. I come home from dropping the kids off at school at 8:30 am and I write until 1pm when I cook for them and then pick them up. Then I go back to work around 5pm and keep on until after 11pm. On the weekends I don’t have such a structured schedule, but I still fit in several hours each day. Otherwise I go cookoo. Literally.
KFF to Cat: This question is of utmost importance to KFF. Do you brainstorm your ideas, let them stew for ages or go with the flow?
With “Lock & Key” and “Wolfsgate” (my historical) I let it flow. I didn’t have any publishing or promotion deadlines to deal with then, so I wrote and discovered as I went. Now I need to be more organized, so in the beginning I brainstorm to get a very general outline of events and character arcs in place. I always have a specific beginning, middle, and end when I begin, but everything in between is a surprise as I go along. The characters surprise me always and new connections happen, which is very exciting. After the first draft is finally done, that’s when the big work begins for me. That’s when I let it stew, and I see all the places that need moulding and sharpening, along with listening to my beta readers’ helpful feedback. Revising is a huge, vital process for me. A lot of magic happens there, and I need time to do it.
KFF to Cat: You must read a lot. Which authors would you recommend to the readers of your books?
I really enjoy Shay Savage, Kristen Ashley’s earlier work, CD Reiss, Leylah Attar, and Lorelei James. A huge favorite of mine is Sigrid Undset’s Nobel Prize winning Kristen Lavransdatter series, an epic saga of one’s girl’s life from young womanhood through first love, marriage, etc., set in medieval Scandinavia.
KFF to Cat: Your book covers are awesome. Who did them and would you mention the artist that did them in your next Cover Reveal?
Oh, thank you. I always talk about my brilliant cover artist, Najla Qamber of Najla Qamber Designs! We’ve collaborated on all my books, and we’re about to start work on “Iron & Bone,” book 3 of the Lock & Key series. Najla amazes me each and every time in how she takes a “rambly” idea I have and then translates it into this magic vision which is ultimately even more than I had imagined. She always hits it perfectly in a fresh, unexpected way, and she “gets” me. I must admit I get that “buzzy” feeling each time. I love that buzzy feeling.
KFF to Cat: Are you happy about the outcome of the reviews you’ve had up to date?
I’m humbled and very appreciative that readers take the time to write a review. I’m thrilled that reviewers responded so positively to my characters and their journeys, and most of all to my writing. That’s huge for me. Of course, there are negative reviews, I mean you can’t expect everyone to like the same book. Everyone has different tastes, and readers nowadays have specific expectations that you can’t possibly expect to meet each and every time. Many have written to me saying my mc books surprised them, not being typical of the genre. Most people love that about the books, and the older characters I feature too, and others don’t like it. That’s okay, that’s reality.
KFF to Cat: Constructive criticism. How much importance do you give to this and would you dare to wipe out a whole chapter because your beta-readers didn’t feel it went with the flow of the book?
Beta readers are integral to the process of creating a novel. By the time I’ve spit out the first draft and then cleaned it up, I’m too far in the thing to be objective, and frankly I’m in a daze as well. I rely on unsugar-coated appraisal to make the story work, because it has to work. Oftentimes the betas vocalize my inner critic too, which I sometimes try to ignore. So, it’s terrific, because I can’t ignore the little problems or sweep them under the rug when the betas are pointing them out too!
With R&R, I had one beta reader who sat me down and told me I had rushed a very important section in the book, and it only made her roll her eyes, and she had felt cheated. The others had alluded to it, but this reader was adamant. I agreed with her. I sat down and re-wrote a huge chunk, coming up with new ideas in the process, and ended up giving a minor character a much more pivotal role. In the end I had two new chapters and was able to move the storyline forward in a much more natural way, while also preparing the way for book 3.
KKF to Cat: Editing process. Is it perfect?
Different editors have different things they respond to, notice, or obsess over, you could call it. I’ve learned a lot from each editor I’ve worked with. For me the process is not just a matter of agreeing to all the editors’ corrections and moving on to formatting. No way. It’s a time to not only clean up your text, but clarify your themes. And you should always trust your editor, by the way! It’s terrific to work with someone you can communicate with, debate certain issues that come up, ask them specific questions. I’m very analytical and I like to dig deep, so the editing process is a very satisfying and exciting time for me, and I don’t like to rush it.
KFF to Cat: What do you think about the ratings on Goodreads and Amazon and if you could, would you change it?
Whatever Amazon does remains a mystery to me. Their secret algorithms and the thousand reasons books place on their charts according to the keyword system, etc. fascinates me. Now things have gotten more interesting and more complicated, I think, with the Kindle Unlimited program. I choose to have all my books available on all platforms, I don’t understand limiting yourself to one. I don’t know how that affects one’s Amazon ratings overall, but I’m sure it does. Goodreads is a great forum for readers to share the book love, but sometimes people put a heck of a lot of effort into ridiculing books they don’t enjoy with these long, sarcastic gif-ridden essays. I find that most unfortunate and hurtful in the long run. I think Goodreads has a secret algorithm recipe for its ratings too, right? At the end of the day, an author can’t get caught up in all this, or you go crazy.
KFF to Cat: What would you do to better your writing?
I’m always studying and working to improve my skills. It’s a never-ending process and one I enjoy.
KFF to Cat: Formatting! Who said that? How do you go about it?
I pay a professional. I could do it, and I would love to be able to have it at my fingertips, because when I do find errors or typos later on after publication, I feel terrible having to ask my formatter to make the time to make the corrections and then sometimes have to pay extra to do so. But for me right now, it’s too much time and energy to learn the ins and outs. I need to give the most I can to my writing and my three children!
KFF to Cat: Proofreading is considered an art. How much importance do you give it?
It’s very important. I used to think I could do it myself, and I would re-read my text over and over again before my formatting deadline and find things. But it’s amazing the things you miss! You definitely need an objective, fresh-eyed outsider to do the job properly. (And I’m always tweaking bits and pieces up to the eleventh hour, which is asking for trouble with typos!)
KFF to Cat: Rach and I were talking about your protagonists in this series lately. We envisaged them… vividly. Why not do a trailer to promote your book/s?
That’s wonderful to hear, thank you. I do have trailers for both books in the “Lock & Key” series, my dears! Both trailers were produced by the marvelous Angel Dust. It was a lot of fun working together to make my beloved stories come alive. Here are the links:
“Lock & Key” book trailer: http://bit.ly/16OmhZ5
“Random & Rare” book trailer: http://bit.ly/1K3LTkZ
KFF to Cat: Which author have you never met, but you’d like to?
There are several: Dostoyevsky, Henry Miller, Laurence Durrell, D.H. Lawrence, Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Brontë
KFF to Cat: MC versus eroticism or suspense, which genre would you choose first!
I really love Eroticism when it’s done with a compelling story and intriguing layered characters to match the heat.
KFF can’t thank Cat Porter enough for these two outstandingly candid interviews. Rachel and I have read both books; loved ’em, and awarded R & R 5 bedazzling stars. L & K, which ‘in our book’ is five star material, could even be read as a standalone; however, we highly recommend you to follow this series in order as it’ll beat the pants off you! You don’t need to be a lover of MC stories to thoroughly enjoy this series either. Covers and buy links below, and as Cat would love to hear from you, we’ve even added her social media links.
Get your one-clicking finger ready!
☠ ☠ LOCK & KEY IS ON OFFER THIS WEEKEND ONLY ☠ ☠
KOBO | iTUNES | SMASHWORDS $0.99 / £0.99
BARNES & NOBLE $2.99
☠ ☠ RANDOM & RARE ☠ ☠
BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | iTUNES | SMASHWORDS
Why not stalk her? She’d love to hear from you!