Tim Dorsey does Destin: Tales of his murderous character Serge Storms thrills Destin

Jessica Coker

Mentally ill Serge Storms has that murderous itch that even one of his infamous Home Depot trips can't shake and his trusted biographer is on hand to share more of his stories.

From journalist to novelist, author Tom Dorsey has kept readers in stitches — almost literally — for 15 books — with his anecdotes about fictitious character Storms who murders folks up-and-down the Florida peninsula.

Working for 16 years in the newspaper business as a crime writer, Dorsey has a story or two, and he's not afraid to draw on them for inspiration.

"I keep files of Florida police blotters to pull out on occasion," said Dorsey. The Florida-native told The Log that he likes being a Floridian, but the state spawns some strange behavior.

"I remember one story in a (Florida) paper years ago, where two people crawled into a Dumpster, only to get into a fight with two other people who were already in the Dumpster," Dorsey said.

Many — if not all of Storms’ murders are taken from the pages of Florida periodicals as well. According to Dorsey, the rest of the murderous ideas come from his mind and home improvement stores.

"When I finish a book, I usually have like a third left, so I started just walking the aisles of Home Depot looking at their supplies," said Dorsey. "I thought about what could — and how things could, be used to kill someone."

"Home Depot was OK with it; their sales increased," Dorsey added.

Dorsey's February "Panhandle Swing" includes visits to libraries throughout Okaloosa, Walton and Leon Counties, among others. Dorsey spoke to a packed house on Monday night at the Destin Library, fielding questions and promoting his most recent novel released in 2012, “Pineapple Grenade.”

For those who think Dorsey and Storms are too morbid for the everyday reader, Dorsey doesn't really care.

"If I dislike you, you must die," Dorsey said jokingly. "I may not use your name, but if you read it, you'd know it was you."

Dorsey said he has often written about neighbors he dislikes, but strangely, they've never given him any negative feedback.

"They don't read," he said. But, some of his neighbors have come to him, offering affirmative feedback, saying they too wish they had an avenue such as Storms to express anger toward their neighbors.

According to Dorsey, Storms is "an old school criminal," often even helping out good people. Consider him a modern-day-Floridian Robin Hood who sometimes kills people.

"Storms hates scams, and he hates people who take advantage of the elderly . . . and, well, he's in Florida, so he's busy," said Dorsey.

Recently moving into a new, unfamiliar market, Dorsey told the crowd at the library he has shown up on the radar of knitters. "

In Pinellas County, I was telling the group about my new market — cracking the knitting market — and this little old lady was sitting there knitting, of course," said Dorsey. "And, without stopping, or looking up, she said, 'I'm knitting a straight jacket.'"

"That meant a lot to me," joked Dorsey.

To learn more about Tim Dorsey visit timdorsey.com.