CYBERSPACE — Helix Studios marquee star Joey Mills is the centerpiece of a YA novel from Helix imprint 13 Red Media, now in release.
Mills will embark on a book tour, starting in New York City on Monday, to promote the release.
“Electric Soul,” a rep notes, was penned by Taylor Saracen, and is “a coming-of-age novel that follows Mills before he was famous. Readers meet a teenage Mills: reckless, brazen and unapologetically outspoken, who — for reasons he can’t explain — chooses to hide a key part of his true self from the world. ‘Electric Soul’ is a journey in self-discovery, as well as an unconventionally heartwarming story of the relationship between a troubled teen and his mother as they confront life’s challenges.”
Saracen is a former middle- and high school teacher with a degree in Applied Developmental Psychology, and an interest in “the plight of youth whose path to adulthood may appear unorthodox,” she said.
“I seek to destigmatize those who work in the adult film industry by showing how closely their struggles mirror our own. They are a community that has been marginalized and maligned. They deserve better representation.”
“Electric Soul” — the title is drawn from a Lana Del Ray lyric — is the third novel in Helix/13 Red’s “Rise Up” series written by Saracen, following “His Own Way Out,” based on the life of Blake Mitchell, and “Twink,” which draws from the life of Kyle Ross.
“While the characters change and the stories vary in each ‘Rise Up’ novel, common themes — including the struggle for independence, identifying one’s passions, searching for acceptance and for love — are interwoven through the pages in all,” the rep said. “Saracen’s hope is that the series illuminates how difficult the teenage years can be for young people, and how the complexities can be compounded by confusion or shame about sexuality.”
Saracen “grew close” to Mills during the process of researching and writing the novel, and was able to speak with the performer’s mother and sister. “The beginning of the writing process was sitting down and talking to Joey about his early life and coming-out. As I wrote the novel, I sent each chapter to Joey and we texted or FaceTimed to make sure everything felt right. His family plays an important role in his story and it was incredibly helpful to get their input on events.”
She came to admire his “energy and effervescence. I hope his magnetism comes across in the pages of ‘Electric Soul.’”
Mills will appear at the Strand bookstore on Monday in New York for a meet-and-greet, followed by stops on March 3 at BookMonster in Sana Monica, Calif., City Lit Books in Chicago on March 23 and the Barnes & Noble in Fenton, Missouri on March 24. A launch party is set for March 2 at Radiant Space in Los Angeles; click here for the Facebook Event page for the launch.
Helix Studios is the 2019 XBIZ Awards winner for Gay Web Brand of the Year.