Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Tim Dorsey: R.I.P.

Tim Dorsey
, author of the Serge A. Storms mystery series about an
 ingenious serial killer and fan of Florida history, died Sunday, at the age of 62. Tim published 26 novels, filled with crazy zany "Florida" people and stories. 

Tim Dorsey was a reporter and editor for the Tampa Tribune from 1987 to 1999, and was the author of: Tropic of StupidNaked Came the Florida Man, No Sunscreen for the Dead, Pope of Palm Beach, Clownfish Blues, Coconut Cowboy, Shark Skin Suite, Tiger Shrimp Tango, The Riptide Ultra-Glide, When Elves Attack, Pineapple Grenade, Electric Barracuda, Gator A-Go-Go, Nuclear Jellyfish, Atomic Lobster, Hurricane Punch, The Big Bamboo, Torpedo Juice, Cadillac Beach, The Stingray Shuffle, Triggerfish Twist, Orange Crush, Hammerhead Ranch Motel, Mermaid Confidential, Naked Florida Man, and Florida Roadkill.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

Randy Wayne White,  a friend and fellow Florida author, said

“When he started writing a series about an insane serial killer, I thought, how long can that bulls--t go on?
“But he wrote about every nook and cranny of Florida. He colonized it. That will last. He was not a haphazard researcher; he was a field historian. Plus the books are freaking hilarious,” White said. “Humor plus history — that’s a winning combination.”

In interviews, Dorsey credited his journalism career as a rich source for his fiction, providing both his encyclopedic knowledge of Florida lore and his familiarity with bizarre crimes. He was a political reporter, copy editor and night metro editor at the Tribune before leaving in 1999, one day after his first book was published.

While writing that first novel, Florida Roadkill, Dorsey originally created Serge Storms as a James Bond-style villain — and killed him off.

In a 2022 interview, Dorsey said, “After (Serge’s) second rant, it was a revelation: This is the main character. I could see where I needed to go — adjust my coordinates. So in the second draft, I made him the main guy. “Luckily, I said to myself, ‘Don’t kill him off. You’re going to need this guy.’”

Don Bruns, another great Florida mystery writer, wrote on his FaceBook page: 

Tim Dorsey wrote about a chaotic backstory of Florida, using serial killer Serge Storms as his vehicle/protagonist. The Tampa based novelist, the author of twenty-six novels passed away at age sixty-two in Islamorada.
Tim was a friend, a comrade who once asked me if he could use part of one of my novels as a source for one of his.
Dorsey explored dive bars…one being the Crescent Club on Siesta Key. His protagonist drove through the underbelly of Florida in a Firebird Trans am and found unique ways to kill, murder, mutilate and destroy the bad guys.
Tim was first a journalist with the Tampa Bay paper…then took the crime writing to a new…fictional level.
He was down to earth, funny both in his personal and literary life. When I wrote Stuff To Spy For, I asked him to read the novel. He asked me if he could blurb the book and of course I said yes. His review was as follows.
“This is the stuff of side-aching laughs: Hiaasen meets grown-up Spy Kids. With another winner under his belt, Bruns has proven he’s definitely got Florida down for the count.”
Tim once told me that he was stopped by a highway patrol officer who informed him he was doing ninety in a sixty speed zone. When the officer saw his license, he smiled and said…”Serge, slow down and keep it close to the limit, okay?”
Tim Dorsey’s writings were famous and did a lot more for readers merriment than just keep him out of a speeding ticket.
RIP, buddy. We will miss you.

Please leave comments and condolences in the comment section. Sad news, indeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Such a great loss of a great author. My condolences to Tim’s family, friends, and followers.