Monday, August 02, 2010
Randy Ross writes from the “Loneliest Planet…” in the midst of Somerville, Mass.
By Doug Holder
Randy Ross, an aspiring novelist who lives in the hinterlands of Somerville, Mass. that borders on the Republic of Cambridge, is a “holy fool.” Ross, 49, who was laid off his job as an editor at PC WORLD, works day and night on his novel “ The Loneliest Planet: A Handbook for the Chronically Single.” Ross, who has an advanced degree from North Western University in Journalism, also founded the online and in the flesh group “Media Chowder.” The group is made up of local journalists, novelists, and denizens of the media world from broadcast to the internet. Ross said, “We are open to people of all levels.” The slogan of the said group is “Media Chowder: The best damned excuse for Boston-area journalists to go out drinking, period..." And indeed they meet at Sidney’s, a convivial pub just outside Central Square off of Mass. Ave in Cambridge, Mass. The group is an excellent place for folks to down a few and network with people in the field. Ross told me that AOL.COM once recruited at one of their gatherings and folks have secured gigs through the group.
Ross described his work-in-progress as a story about a never-married hypochondriac who takes a trip around the world hoping to meet his perfect mate. Along the way he gets involved in the lurid world of sexual tourism. Much of the “action” takes place in Cambodia. Ross said the book is very loosely-based on his own travels around the world. He describes the novel as a dark comedy of sorts.
Ross said of the prospects of publishing the book: “I have gone to endless conferences. I have met with about 7 agents, 3 of whom have asked to read it when it's finished in late fall/early winter, and I have gotten just enough encouragement to continue.”
Ross works part time to help keep chowder on the table, and the rest of the time he labors over his novel. He is in three writers groups, and has run workshops with local writers such as Michael Mack and Daniel Gewertz. Like many of the writers I have interviewed Ross is enamored with Somerville, Mass. He loves the proximity to his fellow scribes, and the whole vibrant milieu the “Paris of New England” offers.
*****Go to this link for more info about media chowder and Ross: