"This wacky, off-center sub-genre was being generated by real events."
In a scene right out of 'Pineapple Grenade,' the receptionist at KQED tries to tell me, but I'm oblivious. I've got my bag with the iPad for notes, and books and water and extra books in case something happens and I get stuck on my way home. I'm actually on time, having encountered no traffic as I motored up over Highway 17 and 280 doing well over the speed limit. I sign in and barely notice the guy sitting in the lobby. I'm still moving so fast it takes me a while to realize what she's saying.
My guest is here. No, my guest is right here, that is, over there. Sitting in the chair.
Never take anything for granted when you're dealing with Tim Dorsey, in print or in person. He's the sort of chameleon who slips in under the radar, re-arranges the real world, then, by the time you've noticed you're wearing your underwear on your head, is looking like a tourist with a camera in his hand.
And he did have a camera in his hand — but he did not have a driver. No, Tim Dorsey is a newsman by trade, by personality, by habit, and he takes himself everywhere and is always gathering data for his next gig. He took more photos at KQED than I did, and when we sat down to talk, I had the feeling that I was being observed very closely.
04-03-12 UPDATE:Podcast Update: Time to Read Episode 38 C. J. Box 'Force of Nature' and Tim Dorsey, 'Pineapple Grenade'
Click image for audio link.
Here's the thirty-eighth episode of my new series of podcasts, which I'm calling Time to Read. The podcasts/radio broadcasts will be of books worth your valuable reading time. I'll try to keep the reports under four minutes, for a radio-friendly format. If you want to run them on your show or podcast, let me know.
My hope is that in under four minutes I can offer readers a concise review and an opportunity to hear the author read from or speak about the work. I'm hoping to offer a new one every week.
"..it's hard to legitimately isolate characters..."
— C. J. Box
It's hard to ignore the title of C. J. Box's 'Force of Nature' when you're driving through an imminent rainstorm to get to the interview. In general, I prefer to perform interviews at KQED or KUSP, where the conditions are predictable and the sound is guaranteed to be good. But this was my second interview at Belmont Library, and I have to say that they have a great space there, with a nice fire where C. J. Box and I pulled up a couple of chairs and sat down to talk.
The comfort factor at Belmont Library made the conversation easy and fun, and so did Box. If you think that he might be more than a little like his character, Joe Pickett, recast as a mystery writer, you'd be right. But he's a crafty guy, who knows his work and how he accomplishes what he does — and how to talk about it without giving away the best bits that make reading it so much fun.
It seems to me that more than more, mystery writers seem to have journalism in their background, and not surprisingly, Box did quite a bit of research for this novel. As an interviewer, I always find it interesting when a writer talks about interviewing as part of his writing process. Box went out and found the people he needed to talk to to make 'Force of Nature' a convincing book on every level. Plus, his reading and his characters' reading are in fact worth his readers' valuable reading time.
05-04-13: Commentary : Reasons Not to Leave the House, Reality Check : The Truth Hurts Edition: 'Down the Up Escalator' by Barbara Garson, 'The Wolf and the Watchman' by Scott C. Johnson,'The Book of Woe' by Gary Greenberg, 'Confessions of a Sociopath' by M. E. Thomas