K. Vale shares details about the creation of Kory Vansant in the book Crossed Hearts.
About the Book
Title Crossed Hearts
Genre Contemporary MM Romance
Author K. Vale
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
One heart’s been broken. The other is secondhand.
Kory Vansant doesn’t deserve to be alive.
As time sucks him dry of energy, sapping the final ounces of strength from his congenitally enlarged heart, he's forced to end his career as Kory Kent, porn star. Staring down death, he questions his life choices and prays for a miracle. For another chance at life, he vows to change who he is at his core.
His prayers are answered. A perfect heart now beats in his chest, but it comes at a heavy price. The donor is an innocent young man cut down far too prematurely.
Kory's blemished history and his donor's spotless past are far from ideal matches.
As his debts skyrocket, Kory can’t help but think his resolve to walk the high road is being tested. After he meets the adorable Will Squire at the gravesite they both visit, he’s doubly damned because there’s no way he can keep up his end of the bargain. What happens when a man breaks a deal with a higher power?
Will often prefers the company of the dead to that of the living. Following a bad breakup, he pours himself into his two jobs—funeral director at his uncle’s mortuary and part-time paramedic. He’s drawn ever closer to Kory, as if fate sticks her fickle hand in and pushes them together like two unlikely puzzle pieces. But sometimes history can’t be buried, and maybe divine intervention isn’t always right. Will discovers everyone is imperfect, no matter how pretty the outer package, and opening one’s heart is never easy, but can be oh, so worth the pain.
Introducing Kory Vansant
Name: Kory Vansant
Birthplace: Samara, Russia. Raised in Seattle, WA after adoption.
Profession: Retired porn star, artist, and art instructor at Livingston Community College
Describe his body build, skin tone, height and weight. Include any unique features such as dimples, freckles, or scars: 6’2”, 200 pounds, extremely muscular before his heart condition took its toll, now less toned, but still big, fair skinned with brown hair, including ample facial hair, and brown eyes. He has a large scar down the center of his chest from his heart transplant surgery.
Who is the significant other in your character's life?
Tell us about him, please.
Will is a part-time paramedic and full-time funeral director for Rolling Hills Funeral Home. He was hesitant to fall for Kory following a bad breakup, but after getting to know him, he couldn’t help himself.
How does your hero dress?
Kory dresses Salvation-Army-chic. His ripped-up jeans are frequently paint-spattered from his art.
How educated is this character?
He has a Masters in Art History
Does he scrape by, live comfortably, live extravagantly?
Kory definitely scrapes by. He’s in a tremendous amount of debt related to his heart transplant and medications.
Does your character care about what others assume about him?
Kory doesn’t want his past as a porn star to dog him now that he’s resolved to start over after the transplant. He’s upset when a fan assumes he’s for hire because of his past sex work. Of course, he still relies on some of the money that trickles in from his old career, and has a hard time completely letting his porn persona go when he’s desperate for funds. It’s a tough situation for him.
If someone from your character's past showed up, who would he most want it to be, and why?
He’d definitely want it to be his buddy, Mando. Mando and his boyfriend, Jake, were Kory’s best friends from his years doing porn. When Kory was in financial straits and awaiting a donor heart, Mando and Jake took him in. Luckily, Kory will probably see his friends again in a subsequent book in my Hearts and Scars series.
What is your character's biggest need at the beginning of the story?
The first time we see Kory in Crossed Hearts, he’s post-surgical and just waking up after his heart transplant. Until that point, he’d been in limbo, not knowing if he was going to live or die. He’d made deals in his head about changing his life as a porn star and walking the straight and narrow path if he was saved. His greatest need at the beginning of Crossed Hearts, then, is to figure out where his new heart, and new life, leaves him. It’s almost a question of who he is now, which is an interesting place to start, I think.
About Your Writer
Why do you think your writer chose to write about you?
I think she loved the idea of a bunch of lives intersecting because of one incident. Brandon’s death was tragic, but it was my salvation in a number of ways. It gave me my life, and it gave me Will, so I can’t help but see it as a miracle. I also got the gift of meeting the Diazes, who have become like a second family to me, so despite how sad it is that Brandon isn’t here, it’s also a tremendous blessing.
What do you wish your writer had not told others about you?
Nothing. I had been trying to put my past behind me, but I realized that it’s impossible. Her telling my story—from start to finish—was pretty cathartic for me, in a way. I was able to eventually own it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and that’s really the only way to start over and be true to yourself and the people you love.
What other character from your book do you think your writer should write a book about, and why?
Definitely Matt. My donor heart came from Matt’s boyfriend, Brandon, and Matt was pretty much wrecked after Brandon died. I ache for him. I really do. Matt and I have become friends, I think, and I really want him to get to a happy place because right now, he’s still very lost and badly scarred.
Why do you think your writer loves to write?
I think she’s a romantic and a dreamer, and when the two get together, sometimes they birth stories that have to be told.
Is there anything you'd like to say to your writer?
Thanks for dreaming me up and helping me find my perfect partner!
Buy This Book
K. Vale writes erotic romance of all stripes, from hot hetero to mouthwatering manlove. Find her MF work published under Kimber Vale. Come for the sex. Stay for the story. Stalk Kimber on Facebook and Twitter @KimberVale, and check her site for updates, new releases, and freebies at http://www.authorkimbervale.com.
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