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Must-Read: BOYSTOWN

It may have been a wonderfully hot Bank Holiday weekend in the UK, but September is on the horizon along with darker evenings and finding those old sweaters at the back of the wardrobe. Luckily BOYSTOWN, the series of books by Jake Biondi, has got you covered when it comes to snuggling up at home as the sun is setting – but don’t expect a soppy romance story, this series of books is anything but romantic!

The BOYSTOWN books have been available for a while now, and have recently had an exciting redesign by Anna Crosswell of Cover Couture, who said it was “Great to be a part of BOYSTOWN nation and come on board as the designer for such a diverse and exciting series.”

The books now have a consistent theme with the front covers showing a teaser from within the book, such as the recently released book seven with a casket on its cover.

“It’s going to ‘wow’ readers from coast to coast,” Biondi said of the series’ new design. “I wanted the BOYSTOWN book covers and all the marketing materials to better represent the drama, excitement, and diversity of the BOYSTOWN series. The new covers hint at the storyline twists and turns that readers will find within the book’s pages.”

“The new covers hint at the storyline twists and turns that readers will find within the book’s pages.”

BOYSTOWN originally began as a series of instalments on a blog, but as Biondi’s reader-base grew, he knew that the next step was to create a book. That was the right step forward too, as they’re currently averaging 5 star customer ratings on Amazon – not bad for somebody who started writing stuff online.

Having a diverse cast has been one of the many key factors to what makes these books so popular. Book six introduced a transgender character, Ethan Anderson, who Biondi wanted to create with a realistic approach and in a respectful way. He spoke to many FtM (female to male) bloggers and vloggers to hear their experiences.

“I hoped to creat a character who was realistic and entertaining, [and] who had a history informed by some of the common experiences that the men I spoke with shared,” said Biondi. “In the process, I developed great friendships with these incredible guys whom I admire and respect a great deal.”

Biondi shared drafts of his story with transgender men to get their feedback. One was vlogger Skylar Kergil, a well-known Youtuber and musician, who makes an appearance in the book. “Jake Biondi’s inclusion of a trans masculine character, Ethan, puts this next story on a ground-breaking level. It is within this new book that the complex relationships around sexual orientation, gender and identity are explored fully in culture that places a heavy emphasis aesthetics. The inclusion of alternative gender identities and diverse bodies allows us, the readers, to also explore our own thoughts about these sweeping, universal issues we all experience: love, identity and passion.”

Vlogger, activist, entrepreneur, motivational speaker (and Gay Times cover star) Aydian Dowling, also consulted with Biondi on book six. “It is so important to have transgender storylines throughout literature. Transgender men identify under many letters of the LGBTQA+ acronym and bringing highlights to these kinds of stories can only make way for more and more!”

The next step is a TV series, with Biondi apparently in talks with television producers. If you’ve ever read these books, you’ll know for a fact that they’re ready to be made into a TV show. Let’s hope it’s now only a matter of time until we see all our favourite characters, along with their drama, on a television screen…

Find out more about BOYSTOWN here.

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