Using the web serial format and a core cast of characters, Boxer Falls offers a new brand of soap to gay romance fans all over the world. The campy melodrama gives writers a chance to splash around in a world that readers have come to love.
What goes up always comes down.
Peek behind the fly of Boxer Falls, and see what mischief lurks in the quiet streets and secluded spots of a small New England town with a queer reputation. Around here, the family closets hold more than skeletons and the fights are strictly gloves-off. With folks this gorgeous, the feuds are bound to get ugly.
When the wealthy Cotten family decides to turn their country estate into a luxurious resort, the residents of Boxer Falls face an influx of affluent tourists who rub their sleepy little town in the worst ways. Lust, greed, betrayal, and ambition might just yank the town to its knees.
Tune in each week to get the latest on scorching affairs, family dysfunction, and secret desire.
Boxer Falls: The bigger they are...
The imaginary town of Boxer Falls, Massachusetts, a small year-round resort in the Berkshires which has started making a name for itself as a gay-friendly vacation destination. With its population of 1,612 locals, the town sees a mix of rural Yankees and upscale tourists in an uneasy truce.
A Soap is Born
The spark of Boxer Falls was struck in New Orleans on the balcony of Lafitte's during GayRomLit 2011. Damon was chatting with Lori and Jen, the moderators from the Goodreads M/M group, about the overwhelming effort required to edit and organize their massive anthologies. That weekend, Damon ended up chatting other colleagues who kept wishing they had more time for fun experimental short fiction that let them cut loose narratively and take unexpected risks.
Authors love participating these collections and fans love reading them, but the demands of producing a fully realized world and fleshed out characters makes short fiction one of the most challenging and least popular modes of romantic writing, and it's all too easy to get lost in the shuffle of 150 stories. Still, as a way for readers to find new voices, and a way to offer promotional fiction to the online community, short fiction is hard to beat.
After much mulling in the Big Easy and even more back at home in the Big Apple, Damon floated the idea of an ongoing homoerotic web serial and approached Ellis Carrington and Poppy Dennison about cooking up a massive sandbox with enough terrain and tension to give any writer a corner to play. The three of them sat down and cooked up the imaginary town of Boxer Falls, MA. The process went something like this:
To sustain dramatic interest, the show needed a fully realized setting and characters so authors weren't using pages to build from scratch each time. Instead they could focus on action and emotion. A gay online soap opera needed to be assembled mindfully. That indicated a mix of social classes and two competing families for plenty of juicy friction. Many daytime dramas revolve around the hub of a town, a dynasty, or a facility. The first thing to decide was the playing field.
For maximum flexibility, the show deserved a region with four real seasons and a strong LGBT presence, preferably where gay marriage was legal and the nearest metropolis offered a mix of professions and ample cultural options. A rural area allowed for gorgeous locales and sexy activities like horseback rides and rockclimbing. Given that list, the Berkshires instantly offered perfect fit for all of the above.
Once that was done, we sat down and constructed our primary cast of twelve using the time-honored classics of soapdom: a domineering patriarch, a wounded prodigal, a secret admirer, a pining friend, a wanderer with feet of clay, and a seductive hellion bent on revenge. Our dramatis personae clicked into place pretty quickly, and we made sure to allow for a mix of ages, classes, races, and personalities for maximum melodrama. As the Cottens, the Boxers, and the townies introduced themselves to us, we tried to triangulate outwards making sure that each character had at least the potential for complex relationships with the other eleven castmates...
Now that the town was populated, it needed a fabulous name: something quaint and maybe a little stuffy...something active and manly to imply the rugged homoeroticism...but also a little sexy and funny because humor and eroticism would definitely play a part in anything this over the top. The Berkshires offer plenty of Ridges, Holes, Mounts, Peaks, and Rises...but Waterfalls seemed so romantic, volatile, and perilous (with the added bonus of "fall" suggesting the turning of the New Engand leaves) that the choice was simple. Then, Ellis, Poppy, and Damon wanted to build on the sexiness and stir in a pinch of butch Yankee bravado, so they assembled a huge list of words that seemed to fit the bill, gradually winnowing them down to one. "Boxer" jumped off the page at us, carrying with it the connotations of conservative underwear, timeless style, loyal dogs and professional fistfighting, not to mention boxes folks use to hide and the boxes we think outside.
Boxer Falls practically christened itself.
With the unswerving support of the M/M Romance Group at Goodreads, the soap made a huge splash and quickly found a devoted audience. After a little more than a month trying to ride the rapids unleashed by the show's launch, the creative team hooked up with the dazzling Brita Addams who found a gajillion ways to help promote the show and the work of our guest authors, including individual "sponsors" for each episode and our Boxer Brief newsletter.