Sunday, November 15, 2009
ROGUE MALES: SUBJECT #10, RANDY WAYNE WHITE
(Author’s note: Rogue Males: Conversations & Confrontations About the Writing Life, is a collection of author interviews. It includes Elmore Leonard, Lee Child, Pete Dexter, James Ellroy, Daniel Woodrell, Craig Holden and James Crumley. Rogue Males also features an account of a trip to the desert to interview crime fiction greats Ken Bruen and James Sallis about the craft of writing. During the next few weeks, I’m sharing a little bit about each of the 16 writers featured in Rogue Males.)
Florida-based thriller writer Randy Wayne White has traveled extensively and spent many years as a fishing guide. He has written highly praised accounts of his travels, as well as a series of adventure novels under the pseudonym “Randy Striker.”
He has frequently appeared on television as a host and correspondent.
But White is best known for his crime fiction novels featuring marine biologist Doc Ford, a man with a nebulous and violent past linked to covert operations.
Ford’s rag-tag crew of misfit friends around Dinkin’s Bay, Florida, include his “drug-modified” chum Tomlinson, a guru of steadily-growing influence and following; he also has surprising computer skills. Tomlinson’s past — made hazy by his own spotty memory — is slowly being revealed to be at least as dark and bloody as Ford’s own.
White also owns a new rum bar inspired by his character. In the interview included in Rogue Males, White opens up on some of his experiences abroad, as well as his efforts to help revive a youth baseball league in Cuba originally started by Ernest Hemingway.
Shortly after the interview featured in Rogue Males was conducted, a category 4 hurricane struck the area of Florida where White makes his home. His house sustained severe damage. In 2006, White published the Doc Ford novel Dark Light, which explores the aftermath of a hurricane.
Randy Wayne White interview quote: “I’ve been all over the world. I was in Cambodia during its most recent revolution… Vietnam shortly after that… Cuba, Nicaragua after the war. I’ve never been anywhere where people didn’t like Americans. That’s just been my experience. I haven’t been in the Middle East in years, but I have been in many Muslim countries — Sumatra. It’s a dangerous world. I’ve been stabbed…shot at with intent…and I was in a hotel that got blown up.”
NEXT UP: LEE CHILD