Tim Dorsey on Writing About Florida as a Floridian
In Conversation with Mitchell Kaplan on The Literary Life Podcast
On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Mitchell Kaplan talks to Tim Dorsey about his new book, Tropic of Stupid, out now from William Morrow & Company.
From the episode:
Mitchell Kaplan: You’re not just writing about South Florida, central Florida. You write about things that we all grew up knowing—like you mentioned Weeki Wachee or Cypress Gardens, or any of those places. And your characters explore those places, or you have settings where those places exist.
Tim Dorsey: Florida’s the main character in the books. People have emailed me to say, I’m on to you, I know what your scheme is. You’re trying to sugarcoat history so we’ll swallow all this Florida history and knowledge so we’ll appreciate the state more. And I go, you got me, that’s what I’m trying to do.
Mitchell Kaplan: And you do it. I mean, I remember when you had—maybe that’s your Hunter Thompson thing—but you had that big, was it a Cadillac?
Tim Dorsey: It was a Cadillac at the time. I’m still driving the big boats.
Mitchell Kaplan: It was a beautiful big old car. And when you would pull up—maybe it was the first reading or the third reading or the tenth reading—but you’d pull up and you would you like do a tour of the state, right? You would tour all the bookstores in the state. You’d stop everywhere. And this is a state that kind of runs through your veins.
Tim Dorsey: Yeah, Floridians are a different creature. And frankly, anybody can become a Floridian. Either you’re going to love it or hate it, and if you come down here and you can appreciate everything the state has to offer. I mean, I like visiting other places. I could never live anywhere else.
Mitchell Kaplan: Yeah, just how twisted things can be. We’re able to take just normal, everyday things and we twist them into a pretzel that makes it a little bit more interesting and a little stranger as well.
Tim Dorsey is the author of multiple bestselling novels in the popular Serge Storms series, for which the Providence Journal called him “the undisputed king of the comic crime novel.” Before becoming a full-time writer, he was a police and courts reporter for the Alabama Journal and a night metro editor for the Tampa Tribune.