Boystown, the Chicago "gayborhoood" is "a sexy, fun and wild ride," according to author Jake Biondi.
The openly gay writer, who grew up in a Chicago suburb, has called Boystown home for the past twenty years. The wild ride he refers to could apply not only to the 'hood, but to the serialized stories he writes about it.
Biondi launched Boystown in June 2013 as an online serial. Each monthly chapter is written in short story form and ends in a cliffhanger. He tells The Mirror that he counts author Charles Dickens (Great Expectations, Oliver Twist), who's 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."
He says that 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 points out. "There are plenty of twists and turns in all the characters' lives to keep readers engaged and entertained."
Biondi wants to assure Mirror readers that his Chicago-centric stories will appeal to SoFla readers.
"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."
He says that though most of his characters are gay, there are a few straight characters, and bisexual characters. Plans are underway to incorporate lesbian and transgender characters into the sudsy mix.
"These are characters people can connect with regardless of their sexual orientation," he promises.
Boystown has become so popular as an online series, Biondi has released collections of his installments in book form. Boystown Seasons 1 and 2 have been in print for more than a year. Season 3 has just been published. All three books are available on Amazon, where reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. 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," Biondi said. "I'm confident we'll be able to bring the series to television in the near future."
In the meantime, please visit the Boystown site for more info: JakeBiondi.com