- The Huffington Post: “You’ve Never Been on a Ride Like This Before” – April 18, 2016
• Kindle Friends Forever Blog: Interview with Lock & Key series hero “Dig” and Interview with author Cat Porter, June 19, 2015
- Happy Ever After, USA Today: “Cat Porter’s 7 Things to Do on a Motorcycle”, March 9, 2015
- Maryse’s Book Blog: “You’ll Never Believe” with Cat Porter, November 26, 2014
- Maryse’s Book Blog: “You’ll Never Believe” with Cat Porter , March 16, 2015
• Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews: Interview with Cat Porter, August 1, 2014
“This is a gripping, edgy, sexy as hell story full of sacrifice, survival, acceptance and love.” ~Rhayne, Guilty Pleasures
Welcome to Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews. We are honored you gave us the privilege to interview you. I can’t even remember how I came across Lock and Key but all I know is that within minutes of starting it I was blown away. So blown away I text Lorelei James and told her she has got to read this book, that I couldn’t believe this was a book by a first time author. Shortly after that text she text me back saying that she was loving it and as a matter of fact she ended up finishing the book before I did. I then talked so much about it Rhayne and Java Girl read it right away. They loved it also and we worked together come up with the following questions for you.
Read with caution some of the answers could contain spoilers about Lock and Key.
What inspired you to write “Lock & Key”?
I had read a number of biker books a couple years ago, and I was so very tired of the same old
scenario where the young girl is either trapped at the MC or she’s introduced to the life somehow and spends most of the book moaning and being critical and negative of the lifestyle, the man-whorish ways of the hero and shocked and outraged at the criminal element. I thought, for Pete’s sake, I want to see an Old Lady who’s had years of experience at this, someone older, who takes “The Life” in stride but not a jaded, bitter or mean woman either. This image came to me of a woman striding into a mess of a clubroom one night and all the men and women alike freak out when they see her. That image, that feeling of Grace, caught me in its hooks and wouldn’t let go until I finally sat down and started writing.
Actually I started writing it when my first full-length adult piece went off to an editor friend for her review (she had helped me with my two traditionally published children’s books) and suddenly I had no project in front of me. The idea of Grace was burning in my head and I said to myself…go with it, what the heck. So “Lock & Key” is actually my second full-length. My first one ended up getting held up when my editor friend got too busy and was unable to finish it, and I had to find someone else to work on it. So I took out all my frustration with that situation by writing “Lock & Key.” That annoying snafu ended up being a complete gift. Which has always been the way in my life for some reason. I’ve learned to go with it…and it’s a good thing.
Did you cry as much writing this book as we did reading it?
I did! Many times my son would come over and rub my back and say “Mommy are you okay?” For me there was of course Ruby’s last scene with her father and Grace, Grace at her sister’s burial where she’s in numb mode (that notion of “remains” and watching the coffin is from my experience at my father’s burial), Miller unraveling after he pushes away Grace, that moment when Grace says she can never go back to the swimming hole, and Dig’s death.
So many of the characters choices are influenced either directly or indirectly, by deaths. Was this a deliberate choice?
Yes, it was. Death has affected my family a great deal over the years. As a child I saw how it affected people differently…there were those who it ripped apart and forever battered them, changed them. Others it made stronger, sometimes brutally so. Some kept that loss alive and it colored every choice they ever made in their lives, others bit that bullet and moved on in a completely different direction. Either way it haunted them, left scars. Death of a beloved person can haunt you in a good way or a bad way, I decided from seven years of age. And that yearning, that need to still have those people in your life, to learn from them NOW when you need them is so very bittersweet. I know that one well.
“Lock & Key” touches on a number of dark subjects. Is there a subject you would not write about?
I’m not a fan of sexual slavery. I’ve read books that deal with it, but it makes me very uncomfortable to go there and to “romanticize” it any way, because that is a harsh, horrible reality for millions of children and women worldwide.
Grace finds herself in several situations that are difficult to get out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of, and what did you do?
I wish I could keep my cool like Grace! I used to grin and bear it and extract myself from the situation as soon as possible without attracting attention. But once I hit my late thirties my attitude was “F this!” and I started opening my mouth and calling it like I saw it and getting confrontational. I am good at assessing a situation though, and I do always try to be a diplomat but that depends. Hehe. And no, I haven’t had anyone pull a gun on me or kidnap me like Grace. But I did get mugged in the third grade on the walk home from the school bus. He said he had a gun, but he never used it…..New York City in the 70’s, those were the days. That experience taught me to be ready for anything anytime. And that saved me when I was a teenager several times when my good-girl reflex would have me being nice and polite, but then I would catch the vibe of something foul afoot and I would get the hell out of that situation very quickly.
What are the future plans for this series? Do you have a character layout as far as who gets a book, or do you just write and see where the story takes you?
My first thought was to followup with Butler. Who by the way I never planned for in L&K…he burst into the clubroom that night as I was writing and he just took off for me. And I really liked him, he’s a mess, but so articulate about where his heart is. So my initial idea was for book 2 to follow his return to the club, but Dig kept gnawing at me. And gnawing at me. And I wanted a follow up with Miller and Grace but in a more interesting way rather than have them pop up in Butler’s story…..so a whole other idea came up and I’m going with it! Can’t say more about the plot. It will not be a rehash off the same events through his POV kind of book. No, I don’t like those very much. I did not plan a character layout for each book, that’s been happening “organically’ as I finished writing and revising L&K. My beta readers’ and current readers’ comments have given me a few things to chew on as well.
How do you come up with names for your MC’s?
The name One-Eyed Jacks came from a title for a western film Marlon Brando had directed himself that was not much of a success. I’m a Brando fanatic. I used to see all his films at the old vintage movie houses in NYC on the big screen. (Side note: Butler is a fan and mentions a famous Brando movie line when referring to Lock’s fighting talent, and Lock’s broken nose is a direct inspiration from what happened to Brando early in his career.) I always thought the phrase “one-eyed jacks” had a bit of sinister mystery to it…then when I came up with the gleaming star in the skull’s eye it clicked for me. The name Demon Seeds came to me first actually, but I didn’t want it for the main club. That one seemed a completely natural fit for the competing club. That came to me from some horror film I think. I used to watch a lot of horror flicks as a kid, especially of the classic “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Exorcist” and “Damien” variety. Those really used to upset me and freak me out, but they were utterly compelling at the same time.
What book do you wish you could have written?
Do I have to pick one?! The ones that really bit me and wouldn’t let go are Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights” (my first brutal love read as a young girl), Sigrid Undsett’s Nobel prize-winning “Kristin Lavransdatter” series which is a family saga set in medieval Norway…very post-Vikings, very epic rip your-heart-out soul-searing love and life story. Then there’s Michael Ondaatje’s “The English Patient,” which I picked up after I saw the movie. The writing was extraordinarily poetic, unforgiving, and somehow sensual and minimal at the same time. Ondaatje’s structure and form blew away everything I thought I knew about writing and books…I needed a stiff drink after my first read. And yes- “Twilight” and “Outlander” because the premise of both those stories is fantastic, gripping and the characters are so memorable. The themes of an impossible, epic love across time and place is what gets me every time.
What secret talents do you have?
I’m really good at foreign accents! Studying languages always came easy. It was very useful when I was acting professionally. And I’m good at baking and making my own homemade ice-cream which my family of course really appreciates. I’m terrible at gardening, though. My husband calls me “the black thumb.”
If you could go on a vacation with any book character you have read about, who would you go with and where would you go?
If the vacation was a sight-seeing tour of Europe, the Middle East and India I would definitely go with Count Almasy of the “English Patient.” He would know all sorts of fascinating, little-known, intricate facts about the history, people and culture and take me by the hand to experience the “other side” and all the while stare at me across the table with smoldering eyes as we drink an exotic wine in a bedouin tent with candles everywhere. Then he’d constantly be losing his self-control and have his way with me in public places with the dust and wind blowing while he’d whisper hot poetry in my ear in a foreign language … ahem…oh yes.
But then again, the simple all-American girl part of me would jump on the back of Miller’s bike (or Kristen Ashley’s Tate Jackson or any of her Rock Chick Hot Bunch dudes, for that matter!) and go to New Zealand with him, like Grace and Miller’s honeymoon. Devoted lover + roaring motorcycle + pristine beaches on exotic island = no brainer.
Guilty Pleasures we all have them. What are yours?
One of my longstanding secret faves is dipping into my “Friday Night Lights” dvd collection and watching when the family is off to bed…another is whipped cream from the spray can that I’ve now gotten my kids obsessed with, We tend to put it on everything. My book reading guilty pleasures are re-reading Kristen Ashley’s Rock Chick series..(.so entertaining and extremely swoon worthy,) and a good menage book, which I have found is hard to come by (I want an intricate menage relationship story, not just, you know)…as for shopping- good makeup and silver rings.
My current #1 guilty pleasure though is stalking actor Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser on Outlander) on Twitter and YouTube and giggling and sighing over him with my Outlander gal pals. Talk about swooning…..I think I said too much now.
Thank you so much Cat for the interview it was a pleasure! And we can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next!!