Today, I have author K.J. Porter in the interview chair. She’s here to talk about her latest release The Weapons They Use, a science fiction thriller novel.
K.J. Porter on The Weapons They Use:
1. First, what’s your favourite scene in the book? Not in regards to writing, but reading, and why?
K.J.: That’s a pretty tough questions to answer. I would have to say that one of my favorite scenes in the book is when Sam comes face to face, literally, with the reality that there are aliens among us. Yet, he still maintains his cool exterior while reeling on the inside.
2. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
K.J.: Not really. Unless it would be focusing a little more on Karma’s emotional reactions to certain events. But, who knows; there could be a sequel in the future.
3. What do you love most about your two main characters?
K.J.: The way they won’t let each other get away with anything. Karma is a strong willed, kick ’em in the ass type of woman who takes no BS from anyone and Sam is a hardnosed Marine who only sees black and white, good and bad.
4. What makes you want to shake your two main characters?
K.J.: The fact that neither one of them is willing to compromise unless they’re hit over the head with indisputable facts and then they still try to find a rational reason behind it. Sam more so than Karma, but they can both be very bullheaded.
5. If you could spend time with one character from your book, who would it be? And what would you do during that day?
K.J.: It would definitely be Karma Taylor. The woman is not only smart but she has a very dry sense of humor. I think we would probably go to a world history museum just to see if we can find evidence of alien intervention in prehistoric times and then discuss them, pointedly, just to shake things up a little. Of course, Karma would be the one to bring attention to us since she’s the more vociferous type.
6. Did the characters hijack the story or did you feel like you had control of your book?
K.J.: Oh, no. Karma and Sam pretty much took over the entire story from the moment they met.
7. How did you come up with the title for your book?
K.J.: When I starting writing Seth’s video and he made that remark to Sam. I didn’t even have a real working title when I started the outline and bios.
8. If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the leads?
K.J.: Liam Hemsworth. He would make the perfect Sam/Seth (since they’re twins) and Sonequa Martin-Green as Karma Taylor. She was amazing in Walking Dead as Sasha and would be a perfect fit.
9. If your book was a candle, what scent would it be and why?
K.J.: Hmm. I would have to say a mixture of sandalwood and with a hint of magnolia.
10. If your book had a theme song, what would it be and why?
K.J.: I would have to say, from Karma’s point of view, the theme song would have to be Rachel Platten’s, Fight Song. The woman never gives up on what she believes in no matter what anyone else thinks.
11. If your book was a colour, what would it be and why?
K.J.: Midnight blue. Everything is in shadows.
12. If a reader asked you why they should read your book, what would you tell them?
K.J.: Because this book may very well answer some heartbreaking questions about what is happening in the world today.
13. What can we expect from you in the future?
K.J.: I’m working on Book Five of my Team Nightly series. I’m hoping to get it out in the next few months. However, I also have two other, paranormal romance novels started. So, you never know.
K.J. Porter on Writing:
1. Tell us about your writing process.
K.J.: When an idea hits me, I usually put it down the old fashioned way; with pen and paper. Then, after it percolates a bit, I start a synopsis on how I want my story to go. However, more often then not, when I start on my character bios, the story tends to take a completely different track. That’s one of the reasons I never begin with an outline. It, to me, is a waste of time. Between the synopsis and bios, the story begins to form and then I start writing. I have to do the bios first to maintain character consistency throughout the book. Readers are smart, they will pick up on the smallest detail.
2. How much research goes into your books?
K.J.: That really depends on the type of book I’m working on. For instance, The Weapons They Use, took a ton of research and a lot of what is in the book are facts that I came upon by accident. When you read the part about Karma’s lecture, you’ll understand what I mean. Everything she says can be found on Wikipedia and a few of the science and astronomy websites. Some of it truly amazed me and added so much more to my story because they are proven, scientific facts.
3. What do you enjoy most about writing?
K.J.: The way it allows me to not only create new realities but gives me the chance to be a part of them. When I write, I experience everything my characters do. Whether they are angry, sad, happy or frustrated, I feel those emotions and try to bring that to my readers. Writing also allows me to leave my own troubles behind; once I return to them, they don’t seem quite so bad and they seem much easier to deal with.
4. What do you enjoy least about writing?
K.J.: You can never write the perfect book. There’s no such thing. There will always be someone out there who will disagree with everything you write or hate it on principle. Whether you are Steven King, James Patterson, or Nora Roberts, there will always be someone who will have something negative to say. That old saying, “You can’t please everyone,” is never more true than it is for a writer.
5. You can only recommend one of your novels to a reader, which would you choose from the books you’ve written so far, and why?
K.J.: Hmm, that’s like asking which is your favorite child. However, if I had to chose one, I’d have to say BLACK HARVEST. That one won awards for best mystery as well as five stars on Reader’s Favorite.
6. What novel was your personal favourite to write, and why?
K.J.: Secrets in Bethlehem. That was my debut novel and the first book I ever started and finished. True, in the beginning there were some pretty scathing reviews but I hired an editor and did some major rewrites and then republished. Now, it is one of my best selling books. It, too, has won an award.
All About Kate Porter!
1. Readers know about the writer you, but what about the everyday you?
K.J.: I love to laugh. I enjoy sharing funny stories with my sister and my BFF, even though sometimes I might go a little too far, in their opinion of course. I love learning knew things, going to new places and trying different restaurants. My dream is to take a Mediterranean Cruise, visit the Greek Isles. Maybe discover the lost city of Atlantis!
2. What is something unique/quirky about you?
K.J.: My creativity. My family and friends have told me more than once that I could come up with a story idea by watching a bird fly. Although, I do come up with ideas, not all of them pan out into books.
3. What are some of your pet peeves?
K.J.: When someone tells me “I don’t like that,” when they’ve never even tried it. Whether it is a new food, book, or whatever, how do you know you don’t like it unless you taste it? Get out of your comfort zone and try something new for a change!
4. Where were you born/grew up at?
K.J.: I was born in Oklahoma but grew up in Southern Indiana on a small farm. The town I grew up in, Freedom, is a tiny dot on the map about ten miles south of Spencer, which has a population of about three thousand itself. If you look in the dictionary under Quaint Midwestern Towns, Spencer would be the perfect description.
5. Describe yourself in five words or less!
K.J.: Eccentric, quirky, creative and loyal.
K.J. Porter on Reading:
1. What book do you think everyone should read?
K.J.e: Charlotte’s Web. This is a story of acceptance and love that everyone should learn at a young age.
2. What fiction genre(s) do you read the most?
K.J.: Paranormal Thrillers.
3. Share your favourite character from a book that you’ve read, and why they are your fave.
K.J.: Guy Bodie from The Relic Hunter book series by David Leadbetter. The guy has his flaws but he follows his own set of rules and is loyal to a fault. He considers his crew family because of everything they’ve been through together. They aren’t blood related but they have a bond that can’t be broken. He’s their leader and will do anything to make sure they are safe even in the most dangerous situations.
4. On average, how much do you read every week?
K.J.: I would have to say that I probably read an average of 2 or 3 books a week. I have to read at night before I go to sleep. I helps me to shut out the frustrations and worries of my day by delving into a book no matter if its a thriller, romance, paranormal, whatever.
Title: The Weapons They Use
Genre(s): Science Fiction/Thriller
Heat Rating: Over 18
Book Length: 300 pages
Release Date: June 19, 2020
They’ve found out the secret behind a conspiracy half a century in the making; it already may be too late to stop it.
Blurb: Sam Jackson is a career Marine with a set of ethics, morals and beliefs to which he has staunchly adhered throughout his life. Until the morning of his twenty-eighth birthday when he receives a disturbing video from his twin brother, Seth. Before he can sort out what his brother is trying to convey in the video, two FBI agents barge into his office with news of an inconceivable atrocity his brother committed before his death. Still reeling in shock, Sam is determined to find out what motivated his brother’s horrific crime before plunging to his death from the top of a twenty story building. The only way to do that is contact Karma Taylor, a woman Seth mentioned in the video, to retrieve his brother’s journals.
After learning that Karma befriended his brother during her stay in a mental hospital and has now taken up Seth’s banner of alien abduction and government conspiracy claims, Sam wants nothing to do with her fanatical nonsense. She’s been burning up the internet and the science fiction circuit with allegations that she, too, has been abducted by aliens and is blasting “the truth behind the lies” the world’s governments have been spouting. When bodies start piling up, and Sam is wounded and on the run for his life, he realizes there’s more to his brother’s, and Karma’s, claims than sick minds in desperate need of medication. Especially when devastating secrets are brought to light that will change not only Karma and Sam’s lives, but an unsuspecting world that a renegade alien faction is determined to conquer and subjugate. It may already be too late to stop what had begun over a half-century before any of them were born.
Purchase at: Amazon
Sam opened the plastic case and removed the small SIM card. He slid the tiny card into the reader he’d pulled from his desk drawer and then plugged it into the USB port on his desktop computer.
Within seconds the screen came to life, flashing an image of Seth sitting in what looked like a cluttered room. A basement, perhaps? With castoffs of a family’s life and tools hung on the wall behind him. The lighting around him was dim, a single bare bulb hung over Seth’s head, spotlighting him for the camera.
He looked tired, Sam thought to himself, and lost.
He turned up the volume and sat back to listen to what his brother had to say after so many months of estrangement. He hoped it would be news that he’d finally gotten the help he so desperately needed.
“Hey, Sam,” Seth’s recorded image said, a sad excuse for a smile on his face. “Happy birthday. Wish we could be celebrating it together. I know it’s been a long time since we talked. I hate how things went so far off track since Mom and Dad . . .”
There was a brief pause as Seth looked away from the camera as though trying to control his emotions.
“The voices keep coming back, Sammy,” Seth continued, his tone filled with despair. “The new meds worked for a little while, but they just keep coming back. No matter what I do or where I go, they find me. I can’t make it stop.”
Sam’s heart thumped against his ribs and unease at Seth’s admission had him swallowing hard.
“If you’re watching this then I’m dead and so are a lot of other people . . . Innocent people . . . I don’t want to hurt anyone, Sammy. I never wanted to hurt anyone.” Seth swiped a trembling hand over his forehead and through his shoulder length black hair, before continuing. “But, since that night, my brain hasn’t been my own. I don’t know how to explain it. . . I want to stop them, but they won’t let me. They’re too strong . . . and I’m too weak.”
Sam swallowed hard; he could almost feel the pain his brother must have felt.
“Oh, Seth. Why don’t you just call me? We can talk this out,” Sam told his brother’s image. A bad feeling crept over Sam as he continued watching the video. The same one he’d had when he stepped out his front door that morning.
Something has happened. Something bad.
“I wrote it down,” Seth continued, his voice was soft, almost a whisper, before it grew fierce and demanding. “Everything. I gave my journals to a friend of mine for safe keeping. Her name is Karma Taylor. She lives up to her name, but she’s a great lady.”
Seth leaned closer to the camera as he spoke fiercely. “You have to make them understand that I’m just a weapon. Just like all the others. We’re all just weapons they use against us. Talk to Karma. She knows the truth.”
Kate Porter is an American writer based in South Georgia. She grew up on a small farm in central Indiana where she graduated from Owen Valley Community High School. Her first short story was published in the school newspaper when she was fifteen. Kate went on to study fiction writing at Greenville Technical College, appeared at numerous Comic Cons, book readings, author events and participated in author panels and has been featured as a guest author on a blog tour. In 2013 Kate was not only profiled in her hometown newspaper, Spencer Evening World, but she was also profiled in Woman’s Day magazine. In 2014 Kate was the recipient of the NEW APPLE BOOK AWARD for the Mystery category for her novel, BLACK HARVEST, which also received FIVE STARS from Reader’s Favorite. Kate’s writing credits range from poetry to short stories to full-length books and has recently stretched her boundaries into the area of screenwriting. When she isn’t writing, or percolating her newest story ideas, she and her best friends are cracking each other up with their silly puns and holding entire conversations using