Tim Dorsey, the New York Times bestselling author of the Florida-set Serge and Coleman novels, signed books (and shirts and hats and flasks...) following a successful afternoon appearance at the Coastal Branch Library in Santa Rosa Beach.
Following several selections from the Jimmy Buffett catalogue (including "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw") library director Jurate Burns introduced Dorsey, who spoke to a full capacity crowd in the library's Calhoun Room. In her introduction, Burns noted that Dorsey approached the library about making an appearance and not the other way around.
"Holy shit!" Dorsey said as he examined the audience and took pictures. "Please indulge me."
I've read a couple of Dorsey's books, and I'm happy to report he's just as funny in person as he is in print. And not nearly as deranged. "I'm nothing like Serge," he told us, referring to the highly caffeinated vigilante protagonist in his books.
Dorsey talked about the differences between being a newspaperman (his original profession) and an author (more fun). He shared funny anecdotes from previous book tours and said visiting the places he writes about is the best part of his job.
He explained a screenplay has been written and a director attached to the movie version of his first book, Florida Roadkill, and now the movie folks are just looking for a bankable actor.
"Who would play Serge?" someone in the crowd asked.
"Anyone, as long as I can stop selling fucking hats!" Dorsey quipped.
Among other fascinating tidbits revealed during the library appearance:
- The ways in which Serge "offs" people actually do work.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Carl Hiaasen are among Dorsey's favorite authors.
- People constantly try to slip the author drugs on book tours. "In Sarasota a banker presented a book with a marijuana cigarette in the crook of the binding," Dorsey said.
- He spent a lot of time at Home Depot trying to concoct a murder method for one novel.
- He has an ongoing friendly rivalry with fellow author Randy Wayne White.Dorsey also shared a handmade button one of his former Auburn University classmates presented to him and talked about how Dave Barry recruited him for the legendary band of authors, the Rock Bottom Remainders.
Dorsey was nervous at first, despite how comfortable he is talking in front of large groups. He originally was going to play electric guitar but settled on cowbell. I invited him to stop by Hog's Breath after the book signing, explaining that Flash Flood's Tim Morinelli was a huge fan and that the band would love for him to sit in on cowbell.
He never showed up...