Well at least that’s what the Dymocks webshop is saying, so I ain’t gunna argue. And what a year it’s been in the lead up to Paramedico being published. For starters, a few industry folk were skeptical that a book submitted in May could be out by November, but together with publisher Melanie Ostel at Pier 9 and lots of late nights it was achieved.
Agoraphobics would have hated our book launch at The Vanguard, a beautiful cabaret venue in Newtown packed out by 8pm. We’re talking almost 200 people, not one expecting to sweat, or inhale the underarms of others, at a book launch. While we didn’t get any crowd-surfing, there was plenty of action and amusement in the form of a visiting Icelandic paramedic known only as ‘Svenni’ who instructed the audience in CPR disco moves to the Bee Gees hit ‘Stayin Alive’. In the popularity stakes he certainly outshone the author.
Since then, things have taken off, and I’m holding on for dear life. At work (yes, I still go) I hand over my autograph at city hospitals more often than I hand over injured patients. Indeed, it seems every ambo at least, not to mention doctors and nurses, have found the book enjoyable. This has been a terrific relief and helped in part by the facts that (a) I’ve tried in the book to avoid hero cliches so common in medical-themed entertainments and (b) the state ambulance service has declined to endorse the book for its many controversies, making it instantly more appealing to ordinary paramedics who relish scandal as much as any of us. It’s not only colleagues who I’m signing for, but patients. More than once already patients have asked me, ‘Oh, have you heard about this guy, a paramedic who went round the world riding on ambulances and has a book out?’ My reply, in compliance with SOPs about conflict of interest, is of course, ‘Never heard of him.’
The media has been good to the book, better than good so far. My article about female ambulance medics worldwide in this months Marie Claire magazine has generated plenty of interest and a spot on Channel Seven Sunrise, though painfully short, worked a treat. Took me two days though to get that makeup off. The highlight was a killer review in SMH Spectrum last Saturday, week out from Christmas however. All this has made a few of my colleagues wonder why I’m still mopping up blood, getting vomited on and called offensive words by drunk idiots on the backstreets of Darlinghurst. Keeping it real, I tell them. But in truth I’m also scratching my head. Maybe I should have written a book about a time-travelling kid with John Lennon spectacles.
If you live outside of Australia and New Zealand, don’t worry, the book will hopefully be released in Europe and the US sometime in 2012 with a special ‘extra’ Chapter on Hawaii if all goes well. Many of you have also supported our crowd-funding drive that will help us finish Paramedico – the film. Editor Alison Croft and myself are already in the throes of post production on this, and it should also be out early 2012. To those I owe a phone call or cup of coffee, you’ll hear from me in the new year. But for now, thanks again for your support, Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2012!