I’ve probably attended at least a dozen Dorsey appearances, and he’s never been one to read from his books. Very fan friendly, Dorsey prefers more of a roundtable-like vibe and opens the floor to questions right off the bat. The very first question, which came as news to me, an obviously slacking Tim Dorsey fan, was in regards to the progress of the TV show.
Yes, the author confirmed, Florida Roadkill, Dorsey’s first novel, which has been optioned for film countless times, is coming to the small screen in the form of a series. (Please be HBO or FX! Please please please!) No casting has been announced yet, but the show will be produced by Sonar Entertainment, which also produces MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles and the upcoming FX miniseries Taboo, starring Tom Hardy.
Dorsey said he had to keep the news under wraps for about seven months. It wasn’t until he was greeted by hundreds of congratulatory emails and social media posts one morning that he knew how serious things had become. Sonar had released news of the show to industry trade magazines. Still, after seeing his novel optioned for film numerous times, Dorsey isn’t allowing his expectations to soar too high.
“Next year I’ll be coming around telling you what went wrong,” he said.
“Boys are at a higher risk of becoming non-readers,” he said, “because schools make every effort to turn them off to reading with horrible curriculum. They make boys read stuff like Beowulf. It’s no wonder kids are like ‘This is what reading is? No thanks.’”
He added that he was lucky enough to start reading authors like Vonnegut, which made him want to write.
Dorsey was asked how, in a state known for odd news (In the last few days a guy threw an alligator at a fast food worker), he decides which stories to use and which to let go.
“It really is an embarrassment of riches,” he said.
Dorsey related an experience his daughter, a fast food worker herself, shared with him last year. A customer approached her counter, and he was the kind of guy we’ve all bumped into at least once in our lives, who makes every effort to let any and every person near him know exactly how important he is. Dressed head-to-toe in designer clothes and dangling a pair of $300 sunglasses from his mouth, the man loudly asked of the manager, “How much would it be for me to reserve the next franchise in this market?” Essentially saying to all around, “You may be buying the food, but I can but the restaurant.”
After eating his meal, Daddy Warbucks approached the counter and ordered a cookie, which he paid for by removing two dollars and change from Dorsey’s daughter’s tip jar.
Dorsey mentioned that was finishing a novel when heard this, and had to stop to make a note for his next one. Needless to say, Coconut Cowboy features an encounter eerily similar to that, only Serge and Coleman are there to witness it. Naturally, Serge refuses to let the deed go unpunished.
That’s where he differs from his character, Dorsey says. “I have the impulse control Serge lacks,” he said. “But I still have to think these things that Serge does.”
Dorsey calls Serge a vessel through which all of those who take the high road when faced with the rudeness Dorsey believes is pervasive in modern society can live.
“Through Serge they are able to live out the things they would like to do.”