Character Interview with Zach Kelly of When Love Takes Over

Next week, on August 5th, my latest book from Dreamspinner Press, When Love Takes Over, releases. I’m SO excited. As many of you know, Provincetown is one of my favorite places on this planet, and that is why I’m so thrilled to finally be able to share the first book of this series with the readers.

I want to provide readers, who have never experienced P-town, with a sample of what life on the tip of the Cape is like. To experience the beauty of Provincetown, to meet the eclectic characters who live and visit there, and to see how the town can foster love even amid the obstacles the carefree environment can provide.

To start off the pre-release celebrations, and to help orient the reader to the Provincetown world and its characters, I’m going to be sitting down with the two main characters from When Love Takes Over, Zach and Van, and interviewing them.

To get us started, here is the blurb for the book:

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.

WhenLoveTakesOverORIGFirst up on my interview couch is Zach Kelly, who lives in Houston, Texas. Zach is a college English professor as well as a struggling author.

Zach Kelly

Zach Kelly

Zach, thanks for agreeing to stop by today for this interview. I’m so glad you could make it.

Zach: Well, thanks for asking. I’m not really sure why you want to interview little old awkward me. But, hey, this could be fun.

That’s my hope too. And you do have some time on your hands, don’t you? You are visiting Provincetown for the first time. Isn’t that correct?

Zach: It sure is. It’s been an adventure already, and I’ve only been here one day!

Well, that’s P-town for you. I just love this place. Besides it being an adventure, what do you think of it here so far?

Zach: Honestly, it’s taking some getting used to. I’m not the kind of person who just goes places by himself, so it was a bit of a jump for me to fly all the way to Massachusetts and vacation somewhere I’ve never been before. Much less a place like P-town, where there are tons of hot men and lots of parties. So far, though, I’ve been pleased. The guys who I’m renting the condo from, Gary and Quinn, have been really great. They are going to take me to something called the “tea dance” later. Whatever that means! But they’re good guys. In fact, everyone I’ve met has been pretty great so far.

That’s not unusual. Most of the people I’ve met in Provincetown have become lifelong friends. I think making lasting friendships here just happens naturally.

Zach: I can see that. Which is weird for me. I’m not someone who makes friends very easily, so it’s been a nice change of pace.

Why is it so hard for you to make friends? Are you super shy?

Zach: Super shy isn’t the right term. I’m more of a shut-in. At least that’s what my ex-boyfriend used to say about me. I’m quite happy staying at home and having nights in. That’s typically how I spend my time after work. I come home, attempt to write, and just veg on the couch.

That can be good on occasion, but every night? Really?

Zach: Yeah. Pretty sad I know.

And what do you mean “attempt to write”? I thought you were an author.

Zach: I am. Or at least I’m trying to be. I’m not very good at it apparently.

Really? Why do you say that?

Zach: (shrugging shoulders) I’m not really sure. Maybe I don’t devote enough time to my writing like I should. I’ve got a full-time job teaching English, and there’s lots of work that goes along with that. Grading papers, serving on committees, and doing a lots of other things that comes with the job. It takes a lot out of me to just find the time to write.

Well, I did find the books you self-published online, and I noticed that some of your reviews weren’t exactly spectacular.

Zach: That’s being very kind. They were awful. You can say it.

Let’s just say they were constructive. Do you mind if we talk about the reviews?

Zach: (groans) Do we have to?

Yes, but only because I’m a pushy bitch.

Zach: (laughing) Okay, fine. Let’s do it then. Since you’re a “pushy bitch” and all.

Great! I promise to make this as painless as possible. Besides, an author can sometimes learn from negative reviews. Like this one for example. This reviewer says, and I quote, “Zach Kelly’s book is filled with one-dimensional characters, who evoke no emotion from the reader whatsoever.” Another reviewer said, “The plot for this book was predictable, and the manufactured angst was over-the-top and unrealistic.” Do you think these reviews are warranted or is there some truth to what these reviewers have said?

Zach: At first, I thought it was just the reviewers, but after a few more reviews, which all said pretty much the same thing, I can’t pass the buck to them, can I? The problem is with me. I’m obviously not very good.

I disagree. I’ve read both books. You have promise. Your writing style is actually quite good, and your prose is sometimes quite beautiful.

Zach: Why do I feel there’s a but coming?

How about a “however” instead?

Zach: (smirking) Isn’t that just a fancy but?

Perhaps. But I like fancy buts!

Zach: I like butts in general.

I think you’ve switched buts on me. Haven’t you?

Zach: Maybe.

We can talk about your butt fetish later. Let’s deal with the issue at hand right now, shall we?

Zach: I’d much rather talk about my butt fetish.

Based on what I’ve read, you seem to have some trouble with characterization and plot development as the reviews have picked up on. You can obviously write very well, but when it comes to people and situations in life, you fall just a tad short. Why do you think that is?

Zach: Well, that’s probably because I’m pretty shy and withdrawn. Like I said earlier. I don’t just jump into life feet first. I take a more casual approach. More of an observer really. People make me uncomfortable and nervous, so I tend to just fade into the background.

Why is that?

Zach: Learned behavior I guess. My father was pretty hard on me and my sister. He’s a successful doctor who climbed his way out of middle class to make something of himself. He expected my sister and me to do the same thing. Make lives that were even better than the one he provided. I sometimes think he wanted us to be perfect, and I could never be what he wanted me to be. I tried, but I never really succeeded. At least I never felt that he saw me as any sort of a success. Especially since I was a pretty clumsy kid. Still am really. I can trip and fall down at the drop of a hat. It used to drive my dad crazy. Falling down all the time. Breaking things. The look in my dad’s eyes was typically one of disappointment. At least that was the way it always looked to me. Seeing that look in his eyes made me quite a rebel there for awhile, but doing things my way never got me anywhere. Just in hot water. So I just go with the flow now. I do whatever people expect me to do. It’s a lot easier, and it saves time.

That sounds like you live your life for other people. Would that be an accurate statement?

Zach: Yes, I guess it would be.

That doesn’t sound very healthy if you ask me. Sure, we have to consider other people in our lives, but we also have to live for ourselves. If not, then we aren’t really living, are we?

Zach: Maybe not. But it’s worked for me so far.

Has it? What was it that brought you to P-town again?

Zach: I was waiting for that question. My boyfriend dumped me, and I needed to get out of town. So I left.

And how long were you two together?

Zach: Ben and I were together for three years.

And do you think you lived your life for him? Like you used to do for your father?

Zach: (nodding) Yes, I did. We did things Ben’s way. If we didn’t, there was hell to pay. It just made life tons easier to give in.

I see. So, your boyfriend of three years dumped you, your writing career is going nowhere, and you are so unhappy with your life that you’ve fled your home to Provincetown. Do you really think living for others is working for you?

Zach: (flinching) Well, when you put it that way, I guess not.

But seeing that is a good thing. In order to grow, we all have to see what’s not working for us. To change whatever we need to change in our lives so we can find happiness. We all want to be happy. We all want to be successful. I think that’s why you’re in Provincetown. To find yourself.

Zach: I can’t argue with that. After Ben dumped me, I needed a change of pace. To get away from all the shit that seems to keep raining down on me. Maybe I’ll find what I’m missing in Provincetown. I don’t know. I’m hopeful. Provincetown is a beautiful place, and with people like Gary, Quinn, and Tara here who’ve taken me under their wings and offered me their friendship, well, it’s been what I’ve needed. It’s been good to connect with people. It’s really the first time I’ve made friends in quite some time.

That’s because you’re living for yourself finally. Making friends on your own. Without anyone else. And in Provincetown, there are many friends to be made. And hot men to meet.

Zach: (laughing) That’s true. There are hot guys everywhere. In fact, I met one today. His name is Van. God, he is probably the most handsome man I’ve ever seen. But he would never be into someone like me. I’m far too goofy and imperfect for someone so confident and attractive.

You never know, Zach. It’s P-town. Anything is possible.

Well, Zach. That’s all the time we have for today. I wish you the best of luck in Provincetown, but somehow I have a feeling that you’re not going to need it. 

8 thoughts on “Character Interview with Zach Kelly of When Love Takes Over

  1. Zach sounds so sweet (bastard ex-boyfriend). Hang in there Zach, you never know what’s around the corner for you but I bet is only good things!!!

    • Thanks, JoAnn. Zach’s ex is a bit of a bastard. Just wait till you read that first chapter. You’ll want to kill him, but never fear. In Provincetown, anything can happen!

  2. Zach does sound very sweet. I can’t wait to meet the rest of your P-town guys. I want to know where Zach teaches because I NEVER had an English professor that looked like that.

    • Zach is sweet, Mel, and a bit of a mess too. But, with that bod, he can’t be perfect, right? I NEVER had a English prof like him either. Darnit!

  3. I can’t wait to meet the guys and get a glimpse into P-town. You and Bruce (and smoking hot Mike Zimmerman), along with all your other friends make it look like paradise.

    • Thanks, Tina. We <3 P-town, obviously. We have lots of fun there, and it is a paradise. More fun than you can, uh, shake a stick at. 😉

  4. Wow what an very interesting interview. I’ve read both, the one with Van first then this one with Zach and honestly I’m a bit shocked. Two beautiful men two very different views of life. One jaded about relationships and one insecure about them. Very, very surprising. Great interviews Jacob. Can’t wait for this series. And I believe I need to plan a trip to Provincetown 🙂

    • Thanks, Jason. I always have a lot of fun interviewing my characters. And you definitely need to head to P-town. Lots of fun to be had there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *