"Writing as a career is something that I have always dreamed of. It is as competitive, however, as trying to become a movie star. Only a select few have reached that level in their careers. That is why most of us have a “day job.” I have been writing since I was old enough to string sentences together and I have never lost the hope, or desire, to do what I love most. Even if I never reach the heights of Dan Brown, James Rollins, James Patterson, Stephen King and Nora Roberts, I will never stop writing".
Tell me more about your latest book
The Weapons They Use is, actually, the novelization of a feature length screenplay I’d written shortly after the 2017 Las Vegas shooting at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. “Why does this keep happening?” I asked myself, and then my imagination just took off, so to speak.
A few months after I’d completed the screenplay, my muse would not let it rest, pushing me to write the book. So, using the script as an outline, I sat down at my computer and Lieutenant Samuel Jackson, Karma Taylor and Conner Dietz were born.
Sam is a dedicated, boots planted firmly in reality, Marine. Karma Taylor is a woman whose personal tragedy has led her to give up a very lucrative career as a litigator for a major law firm to burn up the internet with claims of government conspiracies, alien abductions and human experimentation. Conner Dietz is not only Karma’s ex-husband, but he’s also a Homeland Security Agent with secrets of his own and has never given up on getting his wife back. Throughout the book, facts about mass shootings and several scientific discoveries—one of which is a distant galaxy that has been dubbed Dragonfly 44 and consists of 99% dark matter—have been woven into the fictional story to give the reader a moment to pause and wonder, could this be real?
What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?
For me, the most challenging part of writing this book was not to romanticize those who have perpetrated horrific acts. I didn’t want to make them out to be victims, themselves, and disrespect those who lost loved ones in the attacks. That was a hard line to walk.
What is your normal procedure to get your books published?
Once I’ve completed my draft, I go over it several times, using the READ ALOUD feature in my Word program. This is one of the most amazing and helpful features that anyone writing anything can use. It’s always better when you hear what you’ve written. It’s remarkable how many typos you find and how you can tell when a sentence flows or needs some tweaking.
Once I’m fairly satisfied with my manuscript, I send it off to my editor, Rebecca Ayres of Ayres Editing Services. She is not only my editor but has become one of my best friends. I don’t know what I would do without her.
Once she’s finished and ships it back to me, I go over it once more, using most of her suggestions. (After all, isn’t that why you pay an editor?)
Once I’m satisfied with the final draft, I send it back to Rebecca for another go-over. Then, I offer it to beta readers to get their opinions. While I am waiting for their reviews, I get busy creating the cover for the book. Many authors prefer to have others do this part for them. It’s a personal choice we all make.
Once these steps are all completed, I upload my manuscript and cover design on Amazon.
Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Not so much spiritual as cathartic. Since I was a little girl, writing has helped me express my deepest emotions whether it was in poetry, song lyrics or short stories. After my husband passed away in 2003 from lung cancer, I couldn’t write a single word for several years. Then, one day, I sat down at my computer and poured out my pain and anguish at his loss in my first, full-length, novel. I’ve never tried to get that one published, it’s too personal. Since that time, I haven’t been able to stop writing.
How many books have you written so far?
Including the ones that have not been published, I’ve written thirteen books, four feature length screenplays, a pilot script for a Primetime, Network, one-hour crime series and two pilots for sitcoms.
The ten books that are now available to readers are:
Secrets in Bethlehem (Debut novel)
Black Harvest (Winner of the New Apple Book Award for Mystery)
Guarding My Six (written under the pen name K.J. Porter)
The Weapons They Use (by K.J. Porter)
TEAM NIGHTLY SERIES:
Chase Nightly, L’Uccisore (Team Nightly, book 1)
Hunter’s Sword, (Book 2)
Keys to the Mermaid’s Heart (Book 3)
Redemption Stone (Book 4)
Lost in Time (Book 5)
What’s the best way to market your books?
I have tried a lot of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Tiktok. I also use Bookbub and Readsy to help promote my books. I occasionally offer them for discount or free through some of the online sites that help authors get their titles in front of readers.
Another thing that I do, to help new readers find my other books, is at the end of each digital book I supply links to my available titles on Amazon, my website, my Amazon Author page, and a little note thanking the reader for taking the time to read my work and request a review.
How hard or easy is it to establish and maintain a career in writing?
Writing as a career is something that I have always dreamed of. It is as competitive, however, as trying to become a movie star. Only a select few have reached that level in their careers. That is why most of us have a “day job.” I have been writing since I was old enough to string sentences together and I have never lost the hope, or desire, to do what I love most. Even if I never reach the hights of Dan Brown, James Rollins, James Patterson, Stephen King and Nora Roberts, I will never stop writing.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Here’s a little story, it’s sad but its true. When I first published Secrets in Bethlehem, I was so thrilled with my accomplishment that I lived on cloud nine for weeks. It was my first step to seeing my dreams come true. However, I also let my ego get the best of me. I didn’t need some editor telling me how I should write my book. It was my baby and that was all there was to it.
Until those first reviews hit Amazon. I was heartbroken. Some of them made me cry they were so horrible and mean. But I also realized they had a singular theme. The story was great, but the writing was terrible. I had a choice to make, here. I could let my humiliation, and the nasty reviews, become my dream’s undertaker or a teacher. I chose the latter and hired my first editor.
That being said, I have three points of advice for aspiring writers:
Hire an editor!
Never give up on your dreams
Hire an editor! (This is so important it bears repeating!)
As a side note: I still have a hard time living down those first mortifying reviews. You only have one chance to make a first impression and it is difficult to change it once it’s made. So do whatever you must to make a fabulous first impression with your debut novels.
Visit Author Kate Porter book links:
Kate’s Blog: https://katespassiontowrite.blogspot.com/
(Video book https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pJNMd9uj9ITeasers)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxcwsOYJgv0
To read the entire interview, click the HERE
Interview on Unity Live Radio, Jan. 16, 2022 with Lady Tracy Williams
THE WEAPONS THEY USE (click link or book cover image to read interview)