Seven Questions with Tim Dorsey

6 06 2011

Tim Dorsey is one of those authors I wait impatiently for every year for their new release. His madcap thrillers revolving around serial killer Serge A. Storms and his constantly stoned partner in crime Coleman are some of the funniest books you will read or listen to. Tim took some time out and answered seven quick questions for me about Florida, audiobooks, and the further adventures of Serge and Coleman.

You can check out my review of Electric Barracuda, and scan my Top 20 Audiobooks of 2010 which included Gator-a-Go-Go.



Bob: Some of my favorite writers call the Sunshine State their home, including Carl Hiaasen, James W. Hall, and Paul Levine. In fact, it seems like Floridian Thrillers have become a genre unto itself. What is it about Florida that lends it self to such unique characters and plots?

Tim: Frankly, reality. If you notice, many of the authors are current or former journalists, so we get to a more concentrated view of the weirdness, and we’ll never run out of material.

Bob Now, I read the first eight of your novels, up to the Big Bamboo, and then listened to the remaining five on audio. Often times, when I begin listening to the audio version of a series which I read the earlier editions, it takes me a while to adjust to the narrator as the voice of the main character. Yet, when I started listening to Oliver Wyman read Hurricane Punch, I was like, “Holy shit, that’s Serge!” Have you listened to the audio versions of your novels and if so how strange is it for you to hear your words being interpreted by someone else in an audiobook?

Tim: It’s pretty cool to listen to it, and it definitely is a bit strange. And probably even more so for the author, because you have the sound of your own voice in your head when you write. Maybe like seeing a movie with actors cast for parts you’ve invented.

Bob: It seems the “Hero Serial Killer” is becoming more and more popular. Yet, unlike sociopaths like Dexter, Serge isn’t brooding nor does he need sets of rules to restrain himself. Serge is just unapologetically Serge. What is your favorite part of writing a character like that?

Tim: I possibly shouldn’t admit this, but the best part is that Serge is the narrative of my unfiltered thoughts – I just listen and take dictation.

Bob: One of the reasons I think your books play so well is the little tricks you do with the characters, like Mahoney’s noir fantasies and Serge‘s manic cadence. One of my favorite audiobook moments is Serge’s penchant for self narration, listening to Oliver Wyman slowly transform from his narrative voice to his Serge voice with the eventual tag of Coleman saying, “Serge you’re doing it again.”  When you write do you ever consider how it will sound on audio? Have you ever considered playing tricks on the narrator, creating weird dialects or speech impediments?

Tim: I don’t specifically consider the audio version when I write, but I do like to play tricks with other media, like in Torpedo Juice where the narrator is an actual character himself.

Bob For those who are fascinated by Florida beyond its Disney Worlds and beaches, give me two books, two movies and two attractions that budding Floridiphile just cannot miss.

Tim: 92 in the Shade, Tourist Season … Scarface, Body Heat … Dry Tortugas, Ocean Drive.

Bob: Since hearing about an upcoming Tim Dorsey Christmas novel I haven’t been able to get the image of Serge as a Mall Santa out of my head. Without giving too much away, tell me what we can expect from When Elves Attack
Tim: Serge and Coleman buy elf suits and deputize themselves to roam around and help people take Christmas to the next level.

Bob: Beyond When Elves Attack, what is in store for Serge and Coleman?

Tim: "Pineapple Grenade" comes out in January. Serge decides to go to Miami and become a spy..

Those doing early Christmas Shopping, look for When Elves Attack: A Joyous Christmas Greeting from the Criminal Nutbars of the Sunshine State which will be released October 25th.



One response

6 06 2011
Jen - Devourer of Books

I don’t think I’ve ever thought to ask an author explicitly about the feeling of listening to someone else become the voice of their book, interesting!

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