Monday, November 19, 2007
FENWAY IS THE MUSE FOR THESE LOCAL WRITERS
By Doug Holder
Writer Adam Pachter may no longer live in Somerville, but he tapped the Somerville talent pool for his second anthology of stories revolving around Fenway Park, “Further Fenway Fiction.”
Somerville writers such as Steve Almond, Jennifer Rapaport, Mitch Evich, Tim Gager, and Lenore Myka contributed work to a collection of poetry and prose that has a focal point of Fenway and its beloved denizen: The Boston Red Sox. Even the front and back covers are graced with the artful photography of Somerville resident Mary Kocol.
Pachter said he hatched the idea for the first anthology “Fenway Fiction,” (2004) when he was inspired by a short story written by his friend Rachel Solar. Pachter originally wanted to compile a literary travelogue with stories set anywhere from ‘Vegas to Venice. But Solar’s story about Sox slugger Manny Ramirez inspired him to edit a collection of writing around the iconic Boston institution Fenway Park.
Like any undertaking it requires talent and not a little luck for a project to grow wings. Pachter put out a call for manuscripts on the Somerville Arts Council email group, and got submissions not only locally but from around the country. Later, while watching the Sox at Fenway with a friend of his, he mentioned he was working on an anthology of fiction with a baseball theme. The friend, a former employee of Rounder Records, told him to “pitch” the idea to the powers-that-be at “Rounder Books,” a publishing division of that company. It seems the owners love baseball, and Pachter had the goods. So after Pachter made that fateful call, it was, as it was said in “Casablanca,” “The beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
Besides luck, timing is a very important element of success. “Fenway Fiction” was submitted just before the World Series. Of course that didn’t hurt sales. And now with “Further Fenway Fiction” sales are in an upswing with the Sox happily in another Series.
Pachter felt the work in the first anthology was interesting because it dealt with the history and the tragedy of the long suffering fans and their losing team. But since the Sox became the team to beat Pachter was worried they wouldn’t be as interesting. Happily Pachter has found that victory has it rewards in everyday life as well as fiction.
Pachter, now an Arlington resident, the father of three children, and former Washington, D.C. lawyer, plans a third anthology. “That would probably be the last.” he said. But for now both Pachter, as well as the dyed-in-the-wool local Red Sox fans want to ride on the comet tail of a Red Sox winning streak.
* This article originally appeared in The Somerville News.