Interview with Kiana Hettinger, Author of Corrupted Vows

08 Mar 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Corrupted Vows?

The story behind Corrupted Vows started with the idea of exploring the theme of second chances in a dark and dangerous world. I wanted to write a story that was both gritty and romantic, where two people who were once deeply in love but separated by tragic circumstances were given a chance to reunite and fight for what mattered most to them – their child.

The inspiration for the characters of Caitriona and Gabe came from a desire to create complex, flawed individuals who were struggling with their past and present choices. Caitriona, in particular, was a character I felt a strong connection to as a writer because of the challenges she faced – having to navigate the dangerous world of the mafia while also dealing with the emotional turmoil of reuniting with her ex-lover.

The story of Corrupted Vows is ultimately about the lengths people will go to protect the ones they love, even if it means confronting their own demons and risking everything they hold dear. I hope readers will be captivated by the passion and intensity of Caitriona and Gabe’s story and the dark, seductive world of the mafia that surrounds them.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Corrupted Vows, what would they be?

Oh, I love this question! Let me see… For Caitriona, I would choose “Control” by Halsey. The song captures her fierce determination to protect her child and the inner strength she possesses.

For Gabe, I think “Believer” by Imagine Dragons would be a fitting theme song. The lyrics speak to his resilience and his willingness to fight for what he believes in, no matter the cost.

And for the two of them together, I would choose “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. It’s a song that captures the intense passion and connection between two people who have been through so much together.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

As an author, I am passionate about exploring a variety of genres both as a reader and writer. While my novel, Corrupted Vows, falls within the dark mafia romance genre, I also enjoy reading and writing in other genres such as contemporary romance, suspense, and fantasy. I find that each genre offers unique opportunities for storytelling and allows me to explore different themes and character dynamics. Ultimately, what matters most to me as a writer is creating compelling characters and stories that resonate with readers, regardless of genre.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Currently, some of the books on my TBR pile include “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides, “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens, “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah, and “The Guest List” by Lucy Foley. I also enjoy reading non-fiction books on a variety of topics, including psychology and history.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

My favorite scene to write in Corrupted Vows was definitely the final showdown – it was intense, action-packed, and emotionally charged, and it really allowed me to showcase the growth and strength of the characters.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I like to have some background noise while writing. It can be anything from classical music to white noise, but I find that it helps me focus and get in the zone. I also have this habit of talking to myself as I write, almost as if I’m explaining the story to someone else. It may sound strange, but it really helps me work through plot points and dialogue.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Absolutely! One of my favorite quotes that I live by is “Be the change you wish to see in the world” by Mahatma Gandhi. To me, this quote means that instead of waiting for someone else to make a positive change, we should take action ourselves and be the catalyst for change.

In my writing, this philosophy translates to creating complex characters who are flawed, but ultimately strive to make a difference and do the right thing, even in the face of adversity. I also believe that it’s important to write stories that tackle difficult and sometimes uncomfortable topics, such as power dynamics and corruption, in order to spark conversations and promote empathy and understanding. Overall, I believe that as writers, we have the power to inspire change through our words, and it’s our responsibility to use that power to create a better world.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

If there’s one thing I want readers to remember after reading Corrupted Vows, it’s that even in the darkest of situations, there is always hope for redemption and forgiveness. The main characters in this book have made mistakes and have been through incredibly difficult circumstances, but they never give up on each other and are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their family. Ultimately, their love for each other is what saves them and brings them a happy ending. I hope that readers can take away from this story that no matter how bleak things may seem, there is always a chance for a brighter future.


Kiana Hettinger is the author of the new book Corrupted Vows

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