Walkabout Publishing is a publishing firm who intended to publish Gary Troup's metafictional novel Bad Twin to an Australian market. Their senior editor, Christine DeVries, was apparently in frequent contact with Gary Troup, and invited him to Sydney to meet with her and her associates and discuss an advertising campaign. Troup would do so, but unfortunately would fly back to Los Angeles on Oceanic Flight 815.
Letters between Christine DeVries and Gary Troup were revealed on the Internet. They were lasted as amongst his last known correspondence.
Walkabout Publishing Christine DeVries, Senior Editor
August 16, 2004
Mr. Gary Troup
481 West 68th Street
NY NY 10023
Dear Mr. Troup,
I wanted to drop you a line to tell you how delighted I am with the draft of BAD TWIN. I think it's the cleverest, and the same time spookiest, thing you've done. Good move setting some scenes in Sydney and at the reef not to mention including such an appealing, if not necessarily trustworthy Aussie woman as a love interest. Your growing audience in our hemisphere will no doubt appreciate the local references. I am happy to tell you that we are planning a major promotional push for your book, and I am wondering if we could lure you to Sydney sometime soon, to meet with our marketing people and to work out some details of your publicity tour. We would insist, of course, on arranging your accommodations and covering your expenses, as well as trying our very best to show you a damn good time while you are with us! Please let me know if you are willing to make the journey.
Ms. Christine DeVries
4200 Queen Street
Sydney, New South Wales
August 23, 2004
Thanks so much for your kind note. Like every other sort of salesman, I rub my hands with glee at the thought of expanding my territory—and Australia is a big territory. Regarding my willingness to come to Sydney, you should know that I never miss a chance to visit your beautiful city—and if the trip is on the publisher's dime, so much the better. I trust that entertaining me will not be too difficult for you and your colleagues; just have a few bottles of your excellent Shiraz on hand at all times. Which reminds me, please don't call me Mr. Troup anymore, I write private eye books, not literary novels and I'm not to be taken too seriously. Let me know when it would be convenient to have me visit, early September would work for me.
Walkabout is an Australian term referring to the belief that Australian Aborigines "go walkabout" at the age of thirteen in the wilderness for six months as a rite of passage. They then trace the path of the ceremonial ancestors of their tribe, following the exact route that those ancestors took, and imitating in a fashion, their heroic deeds.