The Boys Are Back In Town
By David-Elijah Nahmod, May 21, 2015.
Boystown, the heart of Chicago's gay community, has been home to Jake Biondi for the past 20 years. It is there that the author has found inspiration for another season of his “literary TV series” by the same name.
According to Biondi, he's encountered many colorful characters in the Chicago "gayborhoood," many of which found their way into Boystown his fictional series, the third season of which was released May 1, 2015.
Biondi, an openly gay writer who grew up in a Chicago suburb, launched Boystown, which he describes as "a sexy, fun and wild ride," as an online series in June 2013. Each monthly chapter is written in short story form that ends in a cliffhanger.
Biondi tells Echo that he counts the novels of 19th century author Charles Dickens (Great Expectations, Oliver Twist) whose stories were first published in a similar format, among his influences. He also draws inspiration from grandly decadent television shows such as “Dynasty,” “Dallas,” “Knots Landing” and “Revenge.”
“Boystown deals with a variety of issues," Biondi said, "from sexuality to families to relationships to substance abuse. Relationships are at the core of Boystown."
Additionally, Biondi said his characters fall in and out of love with a great deal of panache and drama.
"It wouldn't be any fun if the relationships were all normal and functional," the author admitted. "There are plenty of twists and turns in all the characters' lives to keep readers engaged and entertained."
Biondi assured Echo readers that his Chicago-centric storylines have universal appeal.
"Boystown appeals to everyone, no matter where they live," he said. "What attracts people to the books are the characters and the struggles they cope with. They are much like people we all know and interact with on a daily basis – the plotlines are fast paced."
While most of his characters are gay, Biondi added that there are a few straight and bisexual characters, and there are future plans to incorporate lesbian and transgender characters into the mix.
"These are characters people can connect with regardless of their sexual orientation," he said.
Boystown has become so popular as an online series, Biondi has released collections of his installments in book form – seasons 1 and 2 have been in print for more than a year, which paved the way for the release of season 3.
In addition to the positive reviews, Biondi said there's been talk of adapting the series for television.
"Two television producers have come forward and said that they'd like to work with me," he said. "I'm confident we'll be able to bring the series to television in the near future."
For more information on the Boystown series, visit jakebiondi.com.