Boystown: your new favorite gay soap opera

This coming November, Jake Biondi will release the fourth installment of his book series, Boystown. This storyline isn’t for everyone—it is, after all, part gay erotica and part soap opera on a page—but if you’ve ever found yourself longing for the gay counterpart to Falcon Crest or Dallas, it might be just what you’ve been missing.

At its heart, Biondi says, Boystown is “the continuing story of the Mancini family and their friends. One of the characters is married to a woman and fools around with men on the side—until he meets a man with whom he falls in love. The story follows him from there.” Then of course there are the feuds, a bombing, and secret relatives to spice things up.

Like any soap opera, “Boystown is full of crazy twists and turns—it never gets stale,” the author explained. “And with new characters being introduced along the way, the storylines keep evolving. Some end, some begin, and some continue from book to book.”

“Years ago,” Biondi said, “I was a viewer of such shows as Dynasty and Knots Landing. The 1980s were filled with nighttime soaps like those shows. Then that genre seemed to fade away. Now it's back with shows like Nashville and Revenge…. Nashville inspired me to write the Boystown series because it demonstrates for me that there is a still a large audience for these kinds of shows.”

Nashville’s success with using a gay storyline also inspired Biondi. “In Boystown, I wanted to create a saga with gay characters at its core—a diverse group of gay characters, each struggling with his own issues, relationships, and the like.” If the popular television show could attain success with one such story line, Biondi realized that there must be a niche for such a book.

Initially Biondi released Boystown in monthly installments, but as the story’s popularity grew quickly, Biondi took the story “offline” and began releasing it in book-length “seasons.” The story’s unique path to publication cemented a bond between Biondi and his readers. “Now that BOYSTOWN is offline and released in book format,” he said, “they still reach out to me. They can still impact the story in the longer term, and … as long as the fans ask for more, I'll keep writing.”

Some of the books’ fans have even earned themselves special “cameos”, alongside celebrities (like Steve Grand) Biondi wants to honor. Musical trio Whiskey & Cherries loved the series, Biondi said, “So, in tribute to them, I wrote them into Seasons Two and Three. Amy Armstrong is another fabulous singer who has performed all over the country and has actually given away copies of the Boystown books to audience members at her performances ... and, as a thank you, I wrote her into the third book as well.”

With the fourth book on the horizon, Biondi is angling to get the books on screen as well. But in the meantime, you’ll soon have four “seasons” to binge read, so consider giving Netflix a break this holiday season.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Joe Eats World

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