By Michael Roman
13 Red Media will release the highly anticipated third book in its Rise Up Series on February 21. Written by Taylor Saracen, ELECTRIC SOUL is coming-of-age novel that chronicles Helix Studios model Joey 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. ELECTRIC SOUL by Taylor Saracen will be available in select bookstores, Amazon and most e-book retailers worldwide on February 21.
“ELECTRIC SOUL is a view at teenage life that isn't necessarily what parents or educators want to believe is true in America today, but it is,” explains author Taylor Saracen, a former middle and high school teacher. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Applied Developmental Psychology and is particularly interested in the plight of youth whose path to adulthood may appear unorthodox to most. “I seek to de-stigmatize those who work in the adult film industry by showing how closely their struggles mirror our own,” she says. “They are a community that has been marginalized and maligned. They deserve better representation.”
ELECTRIC SOUL is her third novel in the series, Rise Up. It follows His Own Way Out, inspired by the early life of Helix model Blake Mitchell and Twink, a book about Helix model 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.
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.
She grew close with Joey Mills while writing ELECTRIC SOUL. “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.”
Mills also gave her access to his mother and sister. “His family plays an important role in his story and it was incredibly helpful to get their input on events.”
Saracen came to admire Joey Mills’ energy and effervescence so much, she titled the novel after a lyric from the Lana Del Ray song, "Young and Beautiful”: and all the ways I got to know your pretty face and electric soul. “I hope his magnetism comes across in the pages of ELECTRIC SOUL,” she says.
13 Red Media Ltd. is a multi-faceted media company focused on providing consumers with groundbreaking LGBT content. Founded by Keith Miller of Helix Studios, 13 Red Media sets the same high standards the company places on Helix Studios videos to its literature releases.