August 21, 2013

Character Interview: Zach Kelly from When Love Takes Over @JacobZFlores #RLFblog

When Love Takes Over 
Jacob Z. Flores, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Zach Kelly from the book, When Love Takes Over.
Genre: Contemporary gay romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Cover artist: Michael Breyette
Length: 270 pages
Heat rating: Steamy to hot
Tagline: Will broken hearts keep a porn star and author apart or will love take over?
Zach Kelly's life is a shambles. His boyfriend of three years dumped him, and his writing career is going nowhere. On a whim, he heads to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to nurse his broken heart and figure out his next step. He's expecting to find rest and relaxation on the sandy beaches of Cape Cod. Instead, Zach meets a hunky porn star during a chance encounter at a leather shop he mistakes as a place to buy a belt that is definitely not for whipping.
Van Pierce is smitten when shy and inexperienced Zach crashes through a shelf of fetish gear. Though Van's got an insatiable appetite for men on and off the set, his porn persona, Hart Throb, hides a broken heart. He's struggling to find the reality the porno set doesn't offer, and Zach is fighting to find the fantasy that will set his writing on fire. The odd goofball and the suave beefcake may either find love amid Provincetown's colorful pageantry where summer never seems to end--or more heartbreak than either can imagine.
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What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Zach Kelly is 32. He is a college English professor as well as a struggling author. Van Pierce is 28, and he is a porn star for Nasty Boy Studios. His porn name is Hart Throb.
"Just let me know if you need anything," the guy said before disappearing back into the dressing room he'd previously stepped out of.
Zach nodded and then realized he'd been left alone in the store with Mr. Tanned Body, who still stood silently staring at him. The realization urged his feet to move toward the back part of the store.
As he worked his way around the gas masks, he tried to forget about the fact that he was being watched. Maybe the guy worked security and had somehow pegged Zach as a potential shoplifter.
There couldn't be any other reason that Zach could fathom, so he gave the guy his back and inspected the leather harnesses along the far left wall. They were obviously different styles, but he had no clue what the smaller ones that looked like holsters were called. He entertained the idea of trying one on just for show, but that would mean taking off his shirt. He definitely didn't want to do that.
People typically poked fun at how white he was.
Instead, he worked his way past the harnesses and approached the back wall, where the dressing room was located. There, he found a cardboard display spotlighting a tub jam-packed with lube of assorted varieties he'd never even heard of—Boy Butter, Elbow Grease, Spunk, and FIST Powder.
The last brand name made him shudder. The thought of someone shoving an entire fist up his ass caused Zach's hole to clench tightly shut. No matter how much being here excited him sexually, fisting had never turned him on, and the unpleasant image of some guy elbow-deep up another man's ass calmed the raging waters that had churned so vigorously inside.
In fact, he was certain his asshole wouldn't relax until he left this place that sold objects whose sole purpose seemed to be destroying the elasticity of a part of the body he preferred to remain tight.
He made his way around the tub of lube and stood studying the latex wrestling suits and leather aprons that covered the far wall. He could understand the fascination with the wrestling singlets. Muscled guys rolling around in skimpy gear turned him on too.
However, why would anyone purchase a leather apron?
It resembled something a sadistic butcher might wear in a horror movie.
As he pondered what the aprons were used for sexually, the door to the dressing room fell open, and Zach gasped.
The store employee struggled to help a rather obese man shove himself inside a full-body rubber suit. Talcum powder spotted the interior of the room and the outside of the outfit. It had also gotten on their faces. There was so much powder everywhere that Zach figured this must be what a coke den looked like. At least one that had imploded.
Turning around seemed the politest response, but the spectacle proved too much of a train wreck.
The large man, who resembled Jabba the Hutt trying to squeeze inside a Hefty bag, cursed as he attempted to force every roll of fat inside. His constant struggle caused sweat to drench his body, turning the powder that caked his pregnant, hairy belly into paste.
The poor employee, who knelt before the sweating crotch from which hung a tiny Vienna sausage, attempted to hike the suit farther up the man's meaty thighs. When that failed, he stood and yanked with all his might as the rotund fellow lifted his left leg in a vain attempt at assistance. The slick material, made even slicker by the man's perspiration, caused the employee to lose his grip.
The rubber snapped back quite unexpectedly for the big guy who already teetered precariously on one bulky limb. Unbalanced, he toppled backward onto the dressing room floor, causing the layer of powder to explode upward and resulting in a momentary whiteout in the small room.
Before he could help himself, Zach broke out into laughter.
The customer didn't appreciate Zach's sense of humor and called him a fuckwad.
"I'm sorry," he said as he backed up.
Zach needed to get out of there before he embarrassed himself further, so he turned around and bolted forward, completely forgetting about the display behind him. He struck the lube bin, which began a rather horrifying chain of events.
The display fell over, causing bottles of lube to roll throughout the store, some of which he squashed open with his large, blundering feet. When Zach backed up in surprise, he collided with the wall, which contained the aprons and rubber wrestling suits. The force of the impact caused the top row of hanging garments to fall from their perch and rain upon his head.
"Need some help?"
Zach looked up from amongst the aprons and crushed bottles of lube to find Mr. Tanned Body standing before him with a humorous twinkle in his steely eyes.
The roiling passion within Zach reluctantly surged forward once again.
When Love Takes Over Tour

Interview with Zach Kelly
Tell us about yourself.
Oh, boy. It's not a pretty story but here goes. My boyfriend of three years, Ben, recently dumped me. He gave me no explanation other than it was over. He was done, and he wanted me out of our apartment. I wanted to fix things, like I always try to do, but there was no fixing us. According to Ben. He was so cold and cruel that I had to leave, or I was going to lose it. It was the last thing I needed. You see, I work as a college English professor, but it's not what I want to do. I really want to be a full time author, but my writing career, well, that's going nowhere fast. I didn't know what else to do, so I boarded a plane for Provincetown, Massachusetts. I needed to get away and find out why my relationship failed and why my writing sucks.
Tell us about Van.
Van? Wow! Where do I begin? He's quite possibly the most attractive man I've ever met. He's perfectly tanned and his smile, well, it's a killer. It's one of those smiles that hitches up to the left, the kind that reveals he's both an angel and a devil merged into one. When I first saw him, I wanted to take him in my arms, but I just couldn't. I'm far too shy for that. Plus, he's a porn star. What could he possibly see in someone like me? I'm too awkward and imperfect for someone like Van.
What do you think is your strongest point?
Hmm. My devotion perhaps. When I make a commitment to someone, I see it through to the end. That's why I wanted to work things out with Ben. We'd been together for three years. We owed it to each other to try and work things out, but Ben wanted no part of it. What could I do?
But that's how I've always lived me life. For good or bad. I don't give up. I keep trying until no reason to try exists. I think that's a strong quality. Although others might call it a weakness.
What would Van say is your strongest point?
That's a good question. I don't know. Maybe my shy and clumsy nature. It's what attracted Van to me in the first place. According to him, I was very different from all the other men he'd met in Provincetown. Most guys come to town dressed in the same short shorts and muscle shirts. Not me! I arrived wearing baggy ass camouflaged shorts and an ill fitting blue and white T-shirt. I didn't think I looked that bad, but everyone else sure did. Well, except Van. He liked my mismatched look. He also found it endearing when I crashed through a rack of fetish gear and stumbled my way into his life. Who knew being such a klutz would get the attention of someone like Van?
What would Van say is your biggest weakness?
That's an easy one because we've talked about it a lot. He doesn't like that I've lived for other people for most of my life. It started with my father. He had this image of perfection that I felt I had to meet, and when I didn't meet his expectations, I felt like a failure. When I met Ben, I did the same thing. I did what he wanted and never really questioned it. I told you I was a hot mess, didn't I? But I'm working on it. Van's been helping me with that and so have my new friends Gary, Quinn, and Tara. They've been the best medicine for me.
What was it like where you grew up?
I grew up in a small town called Victoria, Texas. There, everyone knows your business, and being the son of a prominent doctor in town only made me more visible. It was hard living in my dad's shadow, especially once his indiscretions came to light. I don't like to talk about them though. It was pretty tough on me. Well, on my entire family really. I'm still trying to deal with everything, so needless to say, my childhood wasn't the best.
What do you wish was different about your life?
I wish I had more confidence in myself. I used to as a child. I challenged everything—my father, life, school, the world, but that only seemed to get me in trouble. I learned that it was just easier to go with the flow. But that hasn't worked out so well for me, has it? But I'm working on it. That's part of the reason I came to Provincetown. To find myself and the person I once was.
If you were given your fondest wish, what would it be?
To quit my day job and work full time as an author. It's really what I love to do. But I'm not quite there yet. And I need to figure out why. Reviews for the books I've published myself haven't exactly been stellar. They say my characters are two dimensional and that my plots are contrived and over-the-top. Maybe it's because I haven't really lived my life yet, which makes it difficult to create a fictional world. You have to live and have a life to be able to write believable stories. At least that's what I believe.
Describe a place of perfect refuge.
Right now, it's Provincetown. When I first got here, I was stressed and unsure. But now, well, let's just say being here has been good for me. The people here are great, and they are willing to take in a stranger and treat him like family. It's like my troubles in Texas didn't follow me to the Cape. I think that makes P-town a perfect refuge for most anyone.
As a child, who was your best friend? Tell us about him/her.
My best friend was Tommy Martinez. We've been friends since the second grade. We don't talk as much as we used to. Which is sad. But when I was a kid, we were inseparable. It was also kind of tough being his best friend. Tommy wasn't your average kid. He always had his shit together. Like he was an adult or something. Sometimes, I felt as if my dad preferred him to me because Tommy knew what he wanted out of his life and just went for it. Things were never that easy for me.
What do you wish I had asked you? Please ask and answer it now.
How about this: where do I see things going with Van? Truthfully, I don't know. I like him. A lot. Probably more than I should. But he lives in Provincetown, and I live in Texas. Plus, he's a porn star. What kind of future could the two of us possibly have?
About the Author
Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hard ass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world.
Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse. When he isn't stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his husband, Bruce, their three children, and two dogs, who represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.

Previous Books

Books Coming Soon

Jacob Z Flores
Chasing the Sun--(spin-off of When Love Takes Over) Oct./Nov. 2013
When Love Gets Hairy--(the next book in the Provincetown Series) Jan./Feb. 2014
When Love Comes to Town--(the final book of the Provincetown Series) Apr./May 2014


Before I go, I want to thank everyone who stopped by today for my character interview. It's been fun. I also want to thank Romance Lives Forever for allowing me to visit. Hopefully, we can do this again for the next book.
For those interested, I'm holding a contest. All you have to do is leave a comment to this post, and your name is entered to win a free copy of When Love Takes Over. If a reader happens to follow all my blog stops, then she or he can leave a comment at the other sites a well. At the end of the tour, a winner will be chosen and announced.
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  1. What a picture painted for the dressing room ans store. Very funny! Great interview as well.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    1. Thanks, Debby! And thanks for stopping by. :)

  2. I used to live in MA as a child and occasionally went to the Cape, but I missed out on P-town. Love the book cover!

    1. Susan, I love MA. OBVIOUSLY! And you should visit the Cape. It's so beautiful, and the people there are wonderful. It can get a bit crazy, but it's a fun crazy. Not crazy crazy. :)

    2. I previously posted a comment, but I think the Internet ate it. So I am reposting. Sorry if this publishes twice:

      I love MA. Obviously. And you should totally visit the Cape, Susan. It's beautiful and the people there are wonderful. It can get crazy, but it's a fun type of crazy. Not crazy crazy. :)

  3. Thank you for the interview with Zach. It was really interesting to see his perspective on things.
    Freakgrly at aol dot com

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Megan. I had fun interviewing, Zach. He's a bit of a mess, but who isn't sometimes? :D

  4. Aw, I just want to give Zach a hug--don't sell yourself short!


    1. He won't, Vita. He's just got some growing to do, and boy, does he grow! LOL!

  5. I am looking forward to reading this book. I love when there is a level of humor incorporated in the story.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. Lots of the events I include are based on real events. Some of them are just too darn funny to believe! :D


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