Out and proud writer and best-selling series creator Jake Biondi talks about his addicting Boystown novels now steam-rolling toward television success.
By Dustin Shrader
Upon graduating with degrees in English and Business from the University of Notre Dame, he returned to Chicago, his one true love, attended Loyola University Chicago School of Law and settled down in the renowned Chicago suburb where his novels get their name.
While residing in the neighborhood for over 20 years, Biondi felt it was time to bring his beloved town and his passion for dramatic storytelling to life. Thus, the well-known adult adventures of Boystown were born.
The premise of the series revolves around the Mancini brothers, Derek and Emmet. As the stories evolve into the upcoming Book Four in the series, Biondi weaves even more new faces in and out of the storyline, seamlessly complicating the beloved brothers’ lives further.
The author takes some time out of his relentlessly busy schedule to discuss the conception of Boystown, the upcoming Season 4 release, and the highly likely possibility that Boystown is headed to become a sure-hit TV show.
David Atlanta: How did Boystown come to be?
Jake Biondi: It’s funny, because I’ve always been a fan of soaps and continuing stories, whether on TV or classic novels like Charles Dickens’ novels that are more like soap opera written.
I thought it would be fun write a story that has gay characters at the core. My plan was to just write an installment at a time and release them once a month online, to see if anybody would read it and get feedback on it.
That’s how the first book came about. I just took the first ten installments offline and put them together in a book form.
I ended the book with a huge cliffhanger, which excited and annoyed people at the same time; then wrote the second ten installments, which became Book Two. Again, the fan base kept growing. Since, I’m doing all the promotion and marketing myself, I decided to have a contest last summer to get some new models, or “Faces of Boystown.”
After the contest was over, people still kept sending pictures, so I got a whole bunch of other new faces. The expansion of my team of models, if you want to call it that, is gigantic now! Those were all people that didn’t care about the contest. They just wanted to be connected to the book somehow.
Are the characters based on people you know?
You put a little of yourself in every character, and you put a little of people you know. There’s maybe inspiration of one from a friend or somebody that I know, but the characters all go to extremes. It keeps it soapy and dramatic and twists and turns, so I wouldn’t say that any of them are definitely this person in my life or that person in my life, but maybe loosely inspired.
How are things moving on bringing Boystown to television?
I’m working two producers, who have reached out to a bunch of other larger producers and product placement people, investors, and they are moving towards starting to film the pilot. They’re trying to get a pilot filmed and are looking for investors, not only in terms of product placements, maybe alcohol companies or fashion companies, or that kind of stuff, but also just anyone who would want to invest in the pilot. We reached out to a couple of larger production companies that seem interested as well.
Book Four comes out in November and seems more character driven. Why is that?
When you get more and more characters involved, the risk is that you lose the core. I’ve been extra conscious of making sure that the core characters get developed and move forward with their story lines and relationships while introducing a couple of the new ones.
Obviously, Mateo and Hugo are new for Book Four, and at the end, Kevin is new. I want it to be exciting and have all the twists and turns that everyone’s used to, but I want it to also be rooted down, rooted in relationships, because I feel like, in the end, the characters are what keeps the audience coming back.
Are there any new faces die-hard fans might not recognize?
We have the introduction of our first Asian character in Book Four, which has been important because I’m always trying to keep a very diverse and broad-base character group. We’ve got an Asian character who joins the cast, and so you’ll see that reflected in the Boystown boys’ faces as well.
Is there anything you would like to say to the Atlanta boys who have yet to discover Boystown?
I would again just emphasize that I love hearing from fans, driving people to the website for more information. The book is available in paperback and available in an eBook format, Nook and Kindle and iTunes, and all that kind of stuff. People can access all of those through the website.
Through email or through the website or Twitter, people are more than welcome to reach out and let me know what they think. I will add, just because I’m proud of it, is that there’s … Just for the first book alone I have almost sixty five-star ratings on Amazon, which is pretty unheard of for a book on there. Again, fans logging on their own and posting does all that. I’m really grateful.
Contact Jake Biondi and find more about Boystown on jakebiondi.com.