Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for The Cows by Dawn O'Porter!
Q&A With Dawn O'Porter
The Cows is written from the point of view of three very different women - Tara, Stella and Cam. Which of the three girls do you think is most like you? Or at least that you relate to the most?
Really, it’s a mix of all three. They all carry an element of who I am. I feel like I relate to them all. I really didn’t put as much of myself into this book as I have before, but I would be lying if I said they didn’t all represent different elements of who I am.
Do you think if you knew them in real life you would be friends with Cam, Stella and Tara?
Yes for sure. Tara and Cam anyway, they are my kinds of women. Stella would be spikey, she’d probably hate me. But she has a softer side in there, something I’d like to think I could tap away at. I like how ‘un-fluffy’ she is. That appeals to me more than girly types, so I think if we were stuck in a lift together we’d eventually get on. Online shaming is also an important part of the book.
Has writing it changed your own attitude/behaviour on social media?
Nope. My persona on social media is very much who I am. I refuse to edit myself for fear of being disliked or objected to. I am, however, careful not to insult people who don’t deserve to be insulted. It would be so awful to make a bad joke, or try to make a good point badly and be accused of being discriminative. So if I am posting about a touchy area of society, I think before I tweet. But that’s just the decent thing to do, I think.
What advice would you give to young women today?
Take control of your own life. Don’t allow people to steer you in a direction you know isn’t right. In any part of your life. Keep your eye on your goal and get there your own way.
What does your writing day look like?
Up between 6/7 with my little boy. Two hours of play/breakfast/getting dressed with me subtly answering a few emails from the UK as there is an 8 hour time difference. I drop him at nursery at about 9 and walk the dog, then write from 10 – 4. At 4 I cook him dinner, walk the dog, pick him up and that is it. I have less hours than ever to get things done but I refuse to sit at my computer when I’m with my kid. Sometimes I write at night if I have a deadline. When Chris isn’t filming he takes over with Art, and I will work more of a 12 to 8pm kinda day. My best hours are 3pm onwards, but it’s hard for me to get that time these days. But the usual is 10-4 and at home.
Best piece of advice you've ever been given as an author?
Sit down and write. It’s that simple. So many people tell me they want to write, all I say is…well go on then! As soon as you start getting your ideas on paper you are a writer.
What do you enjoy most and least about being an author?
Most is the moment people take time out of their life to read your story and it sparks some kind of emotion in them. Weirdly, even if they didn’t like it, but they still read it and didn’t stop, it still counts. But when people come up to me, or write to me, and say that my book touched them in some way, nothing beats that moment.
The worst is that I have to write 70k plus words to get to that point. It’s perpetual homework, when you write you are never not working. I have constant fear that what I am doing is pointless and rubbish, the self-doubt in a job like this is really intense. I worry about my work being shit all the time.
Did any other books inspire you to write this one? If so, which one?
No, happy to say I’ve never read anything like The Cows. I’m quite proud of that.
HarperFiction | 6th April 2017 | Hardback | £14.99
The new hilarious, poignant, and refreshingly candid novel from Dawn O’Porter.
Praise For The Cows:
‘The Cows looks at motherhood and female friendship through a frank and funny prism that reminds me of the TV show Catastrophe. Smart, fresh and really readable - I loved it.’ Tasmina Perry
‘A funny, smart, kind, incredibly truthful book about women . . . all the shame, judgement, envy and love that being alive and female entails’ Polly Vernon
Fearlessly frank and funny, THE COWS is a powerful novel about three modern women who are dealing with shame and judgement – judging each other, but also judging themselves.
It’s bold and brilliant.
It’s about friendship and being female.
It’s a searingly perceptive novel about modern life.
It's about never following the herd.
And everyone is going to be talking about it.
About The Author:
Dawn O'Porter is a novelist, columnist, broadcaster and designer who lives in Los
Angeles with her husband Chris, son Art, cat Lilu and dog Potato. She has made numerous documentaries about all sorts of things: polygamy, childbirth, Geisha, body image, breast cancer and even the movie DIRTY DANCING. Dawn is the critically acclaimed author of Paper Aeroplanes and Goose.
Dawn founded 'Help Refugees' in 2015. A charity that sends urgent care to refugees across Europe.
Dawn is also the founder of 'BOB by Dawn O'Porter' an online vintage fashion boutique, and host of 'Get It On' a weekly podcast where she interviews interesting people about why they wear what they wear.
Photo Credit David Loftus
What I Say:
Honestly, I'm not sure how to review this book. I think I need to keep it simple.
So, quite simply, read this book. It portrays female relationships perfectly, no-holds barred. We can be nasty, bitchy and two-faced. We can also be supportive, sympathetic and loyal. The Cows takes a look at all of these elements in a funny, frank and honest way. The 3 main characters each bring something unique to the story and each has something very likeable about them.
The Cows is quite easily one of the best novels about female friendships I have read in a long time and its' one I will highly recommend. 9/10
Thanks, Dawn! I've really enjoyed having you visit. This book is going to be big! It's fantastic!
Thank you to Emilie Chambeyron at Harper Fiction for sending me a copy for review and for allowing me to participate in this tour.