Before I start reporting to you on the process of self-publishing my book, Mr Middleton’s Teleporter, I thought I better give some background as to why I have decided to self-publish at all.
I wrote Mr Middleton’s Teleporter about eighteen months ago, not long after I moved to Sydney. I used to get the bus route from where I lived at the time, in North Bondi, to Taylor Square, Darlinghurst, where I used to get off and walk to Surry Hills, where I still work part-time as a researcher for a government arts body. Along the way, I would stare out the window and look at Oxford Street’s representative sample of the amazing array of what the capitalist world has to offer. I liked, in particular, looking at the window display for a shop called Satch at one of the places where the bus would stop for a group of children to get off and go to school. Satch always had very chic women’s clothes made from expensive fabrics which I could look at appreciatively from the bus window without having to feel squirmily inadequate at seeing the price tags up close. Next door was a chocolate cafe, which also looked quite appealing.
Anyway, I digress. Further along the Street, there is a really daggy, old 1970s brick building, which probably houses the last accountancy offices or other non-design type offerings on entire Street. In one of the lower windows of the brick building was a poster with a picture of a giant satellite dish. The text on the sign read “The largest teleport network in all Asia.”
“Teleport network?” The first time I saw that sign, I did a double-take. The bus kept roaring past, so I tried to crane my neck to check I had read that correctly, but it was too late, we had whizzed on past.
The next morning I was more prepared, less dreamy. The sign definitely said “teleport network.” What’s more, it was an old sign, had been hanging in the window long enough to grow dusty and sun-faded so that the colour of the blue sky in the poster looked like somewhat like the tired holiday ads in the old Israeli travel agency on Balaclava Street, where I used to live in Melbourne.
My brain instantly went on a happy little joy-ride into the possibility. Teleporting. How fantastic would that be?
A scribbled down my idea for the story on a few A4 Spiral Notebook pages, and a few weeks later, figured, what the heck? I might as well try and write it up as a story.
Which I did. After a few days, I had something I sort of liked. I put it aside for several months, then tried to write its ending. I was happy with it, but didn’t think it was really finished. I had other things to go on with, though, so I saved it and carried on.
A few months later, I was in Melbourne and caught up with a friend I liked a lot, but hadn’t seen in about five years. She is a very cool girl, and the coollest thing about her is that she doesn’t know how cool she is. In fact, in trying to find a link for her on the Internet just now, I discovered she just won an Australian Publishers Association Award for best children’s book cover design. And she never said anything! That’s how cool she is. Also, she is one of the few people I know with whom I can effortlessly exchange Cartman jokes and not feel misunderstood.
Anyway, when I got back to Sydney, I was thinking, my friend would enjoy this story. It wasn’t finished yet, in my books, but she might have a laugh, anyway. So I emailed it to her.
She got back to me, saying that she had stayed up all night reading it and that she loved it so much she wanted to know if I was ok with her passing it on to a friend of hers, who was one of the commissioning editors for one of the big publishing houses.
I was like, aaah! Hang on, let me polish it up! But by the time I got back to my friend, she had already passed it on to the editor.
All I could do, then, was wait….calmly, meditatively, getting on with my life….
aaah! x 100!
To be continued.