Love not only stings when you lose it, when it’s ripped away, but when it first sinks its teeth into you, it can cut just as raw and sting just as deep. I had forgotten that. Fifteen years ago I had survived my Old Man’s murder and swore to myself never again. Never again surrender my heart. Never again sacrifice to the Club. At least that’s what I always believed. Then I had to come home, and my past and present blew up in my face. Who holds the keys to betrayal? To suspicion? To trust? To brotherhood? To family? To a bleeding heart? Right now, I just might. Some of us have to get really dirty before we can become truly clean.
1. Meager is a fictional small town in South Dakota about an hour outside of Rapid City, SD
2. Setting was really important to me to be able to tell this story. The lead characters were born and raised in the Dakotas and they appreciate their land, find strength in it, a nobility. They need to be there. It’s a raw, brutal landscape. But it’s also mysterious, simple, beautiful, fertile, and many textured. I’ve always been fascinated by the Great Plains. Having read the “Little House” books as a girl and then seeing the 1973 film “Badlands” as a teenager did a number on me. It seemed a very dramatic, lonely landscape that haunted my imagination. Actually now I’m reading the whole “Little House” series with my kids, and it still fascinates- the primitive power of Mother Nature, its often unforgiving character that deserved a lot of hearty respect. By the way, when Grace remarks that she once dated a guy who said the Dakotas were “a whole lot of nothing that lasted forever” and that pissed her off and she broke up with him…that’s an actual quote from a travel log of the Dakotas I had read online while doing research. I knew I had to use it somehow! I knew my characters didn’t feel that way about their country.
3. The name for the club “the One-Eyed Jacks” comes from the title of a western film Marlon Brando had made. He had directed it himself. It wasn’t too successful. I’m rather obsessed with Brando as an actor. He was an amazing emotional rocket on the screen. Utterly natural and realistic, unpredictable. I have a thing for the old classics. Remember, he was in the first biker flick, “The Wild Ones” that pretty much started the fascination for generations of kids. One of my favorite characters in LOCK & KEY, Butler, is a huge Brando fan.
I’m Cat Porter. I daydream all the time, ‘what if’ way too much, and am an incurable romantic. And I don’t want to be cured of any of those. Ever. I’ve always loved to read, and always needed to write. I like to explore what bonds a man and a woman together- the very small things and the sort of epic, the glory and the mess. Oh yeah, plenty of crazy mess. Don’t you think?