My comedic novel, The Loneliest Planet,features Randall Burns, a chronically-single guy who takes a trip around the world looking for the woman of his dreams. Planet offers an unflinching look at how men feel about sex, love, marriage, and paying for a hand job. Itshould appeal to fans of Jonathan Tropper, Jess Walter, and Sam Lipsyte.
Randall Burns is 48 -- a never-married, recently unemployed, hypochondriac who spends his time pounding away on Match.com as if it were a game of Whac-a-Mole. One day, Burns reads a chirpy travel book promising love and romance abroad. Then he blows his severance on a four-month, solo trip around the world.
During the trip, Burns strikes out with women on three continents, experiences loneliness that would have broken Papillon, and ruminates about old girlfriends. Jackie with the cute shiksa nose dumped him because of a pair of socks. Ricki? A pair of shoes. Why hadn't he married Dani with the nice trust fund? Why do all his exes have masculine names?
On continent four, he meets an American sex tourist who offers a tour of Phnom Penh brothels. Burns is lonely and desperate, but he is also a germaphobe, and the one thing he fears more than squat toilets and dengue fever is V.D. In the end, Burns learns to appreciate undercooked beef, embrace life as it is, and accept himself as he is -- chronically single.
My fiction and humor have appeared in The Drum, Black Heart Magazine, Calliope, and other publications. I have performed a one-man show based on The Loneliest Planet at fringe festivals in the U.S., Canada, and Edinburgh, Scotland. I blog and lecture about marketing for writers and for seven years served as executive editor for PC World magazine. In 2007, I took a trip around the world and learned to say in three languages: "Speak English?" "Got Pepto-Bismol?" and "Is this the evacuation helicopter?" The Loneliest Planet is 80,000 words long and ready for review.