Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Book Signing With Tim Dorsey

Tim Dorsey's latest novel Gator A Go Go was recently released by the publisher and today I attended Tim's signing for the book held at Circle Books on St. Armand's Circle. Anyone going to the Circle today was confronted with a mass of humanity attending their annual art fair. Parking is tight on the Circle at the best of times. Today there were cars parked as far east as Ringling Bridge just to get people to the Circle. Fortunately not everyone was going to Tim's book signing but there were still enough people there to stretch out of the store and into the street.

You can read a bit about Tim Dorsey's background here:

Tim Dorsey was born in Indiana, moved to Florida at the age of 1, and grew up in a small town about an hour north of Miami called Riviera Beach. He graduated from Auburn University in 1983 with a B.S. in Transportation. While at Auburn, he was editor of the student newspaper, The Plainsman.

From 1983 to 1987, he was a police and courts reporter for The Alabama Journal, the now-defunct evening newspaper in Montgomery. He joined The Tampa Tribune in 1987 as a general assignment reporter. He also worked as a political reporter in the Tribune’s Tallahassee bureau and a copy desk editor. From 1994 to 1999, he was the Tribune’s night metro editor. He left the paper in August 1999 to write full time.

Tim has since published eleven novels in several languages: Florida Roadkill, Hammerhead Ranch Motel, Orange Crush, Triggerfish Twist, The Stingray Shuffle, Cadillac Beach, Torpedo Juice, The Big Bamboo, Hurricane Punch, Atomic Lobster and Nuclear Jellyfish. His next novel, Gator A-Go-Go was released Jan. 26, 2010

He lives in Tampa with his family.

His main character through all twelve of his books is a likable yet deranged psychopath named Serge Storm who probably knows more about Florida history than most Florida history professors. Serge's answer to almost every situation is to kill someone. As someone standing in line today said "Serge is the most inventive murderer in modern literature." Yes, and he's funny as hell also.

Several years ago I was on a flight from Miami back to Washington National Airport (never EVER call it Reagan National Airport). American Airlines had me seated in the starboard bulkhead window seat. I was reading Dorsey's newest book at the the time, a book in which he introduced the character "Haywood Yablowme." I remember reading that name and then thinking about it. Finally the name sunk in and when it did I broke into uproarious laughter, so much so that I fell out of my seat and onto the floor of the plane. I was laughing so hard that a flight attendant thought I was having a seizure. I was but not the typical kind.

There is at least one situation like that in each of Dorsey's 11 earlier books. I'm betting there is one in Gator A Go Go also.

Today I brought with me six of his earlier books that had not been signed earlier. Tim very graciously signed every one of them so I now have a complete collection of signed and inscribed first editions of his 12 books. Most other authors will only sign their earlier books - they wont put any inscription in them. They reserve that only for the current book. Not so with Tim Dorsey. When I asked him to sign the earlier books he put things like "To Craig, Best Wishes Always, Tim Dorsey" on the title page of each book. To me that's a class act.

When you read his books you get the impression that Dorsey is some crazed lunatic like his main character Serge Storm. However last year when I met him in the parking garage of the Fort Myers International Airport I was shocked to find that he's actually a very introverted almost shy individual. Maybe Serge is his altered ego?

If you can find the book where you live get it from an independent book seller like Circle Books. I promise you'll have more than your share of laughs from this latest Dorsey tome. I'm already anxious for next year to get here so I can buy the 2011 edition of Serge's adventures.

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