Happy New Year! This is the view from my office window in Key Largo - where I'll be spending most of my time in 2020 - when I'm not visiting my adorable new baby granddaughters, of course.
Like many writers, I feel terribly guilty for not posting on my blog more often, for not posting to the social media sites enough, for not coming up with scintillating, original, and fun content on a daily basis - in order to keep my list of followers and my 'likes' count growing. According to the people who know these things - this is vitally important to my career. Sigh. Some authors are really, really good at all that and manage to get their books written, participate in writers' organizations, and go out and promote their latest book. Some even have day jobs. It's exhausting to think about. I spent most of the first part of 2019 doing promo for my latest novel, JORDAN, a part-thriller, part-cautionary tale. It worked, and I'm very happy for all the accolades JORDAN received.
But I didn't get much else written in that first half of 2019. By the summer, I'd let much of the daily obligation of posting memes & fascinating (if only . . .) info everywhere fall by the wayside. Honestly, I'm just not that interesting on a daily basis anyway.
I'm working on two novels now. One is Book 2 of the JORDAN Trilogy. Book 2 takes us 30 years into the future, and Book 3 (To be written in 2021?) will take us 60 years ahead. So, I've been researching what our planet and we humans can expect to experience in the coming decades. (Spoiler Alert - it's not great.)
The second book is set in 1400s Toulouse, France. I'm deeeeep into the research for that one. Just about every aspect of life was different then, and I'm finding the research more difficult than I thought - because of two things. Toulouse suffered a huge fire in 1463 that destroyed between 1/2 and 2/3 of the city. In addition, during the French revolution, the people stormed every church, municipal hall, and library and destroyed every archive of paperwork they could find. Burned it all. Very little survives. So, the fact-finding for my novel has been slow, available in tiny bits found in arcane books and papers written by scholars and historians from all over - and rarely do they agree on the 'facts'.
My goal is to get book these books completed in 2020. Wish me luck? In the meantime, keep reading. Review the books you like? Be kind to authors - unless you've written a novel, you've no idea how much work, all the hours and hours and hours it takes. And take the time to recommend books to your family and friends. Encourage them to BUY the books, if they can. Authors deserve and need to be paid, just like everyone else. Thank you!
Naked Came the Florida Man by Tim Dorsey
William Morrow 326 Pages
Review by Victoria Landis
Serge Storm’s boundless enthusiasm for all things Florida is in full exposure in Naked Came the Florida Man.
As usual, the caffeine-fueled and hyper-happy Floridaphile Serge and his buddy, Coleman, explore the hidden gem areas of Florida, while Serge spouts fascinating and arcane facts about each, and Coleman fashions bongs from dollar store finds. Zora Neale Hurston, Stetson Kennedy, the infamous Florida Man, the deadly Lake O tidal wave from the 1928 hurricane, the annual Muck Bowl football game, lost gold coins, and even Mitzi the Dolphin enter into this story.
Along the way, Serge and Coleman adopt an ESA (emotional support animal) ferret and interact with average citizens, some of whom are victims of conniving con men. Serge, of course, cannot let such injustice stand. He exacts revenge on behalf of the good folks—and finds yet more ingenious ways to punish (eliminate) the bad guys.
Dorsey concentrates much of this story on Lake Okeechobee and the communities surrounding it. A sub-plot takes us into the depressing world of the children there, follows their lives of poverty, and explains why so many of the boys become major league football players. It’s heartening that the star of the sub-plot is actually a smart, capable, and determined girl who beats the odds. All this, of course, delightfully crashes broadside into Serge’s particular wheelhouse.
Our insane hero has survived another adventure, and we can’t wait for more.
I believe the only way to get through the slings and arrows life throws at all of us is to find the humor.