Tim Dorsey is at this moment blanketing the state of Florida in support of his tenth Serge A. Storms novel, Atomic Lobster. Fans in the Sunshine State are having a ball before Tim departs for his trip to see us.
Along the way, he's blogging at his MySpace blog. Below is an entry that will tell you an awful lot about the author. It's dated Jan. 10th.
Only a little more than a week till blast off. ... People are always asking me, "Hey Tim, now that you no longer work for a newspaper, are you going to run out of ideas for your novels?" Actually, people never ask me that. I just compulsively make up crap all the time. That's why I write books. But it's still a valid question. And here's the answer: The book tour is hands-down weirder than anything I experienced in journalism. Out there is where rubber truly meets the reality road.
First priority of touring is not to become another Florida crime stat. Which is tough if you're traveling alone on business and have a soft spot for sub-budget (but historically significant) motels. After shooing off enough hookers and foiling more than a few muggings with my early-detection scumbag radar, I decided that returning from evening book signings in a suit was not the best tactic. Now I stop at convenience stores/gas stations and change into my anti-crime-victim uniform, i.e. crazy clothes that make you not just an unattractive target, but a potential social burden. My "standard" is a ratty T-shirt, laceless sneakers on the wrong feet and one of those baseball caps with the moose antlers (sweat pants w/urine stains optional) – while loudly repeating Peter Gabriel lyrics: "Shed my skin!"
But the compliments of readers more than make up for any hardships, and they always come in the least likely form. Such as the woman who handed me a cell phone in one book store and asked if I could talk with her husband who wanted to make it but couldn't. So I did. Yeah, he couldn't make it – had four years to go in the federal pen. But he said I was tops with the gang in the cell block.
Then there all the photos I get (see the "Readers' Pix" album on my page) of tattoos and Flat Stanley-esque location shots with my books. ... So thank you all for making this one of the most implausible livings in America!
Atomic Lobster crosses the Ohio River on Tuesday, Feb. 26, for a booksigning at Destinations Booksellers in New Albany, Ind. But you can get your copy now and also reserve space at the after-party at Rich O's Public House. The in-store event starts at 5 p.m. The party at Rich O's at 7:30. Space is going fast, so reserve now.
Here's a little peek at A.L.