Gary Troup, a name known to fans of the hit TV drama “Lost,” has joined a special club that includes the likes of Ellen Rimbauer and Marcie Walsh: “authors” of books by television characters.
In a recent episode of the ABC hit show about plane crash survivors on a remote island, the con man Sawyer, played by Josh Holloway, is seen reading an advance copy of fellow passenger Gary Troup’s “Bad Twin.” Sawyer, an odd bookworm, describes it as a whodunit he’s anxious to finish.
Troup has been missing since the plane went down, but a copy of his book just happened to land a while back in the offices of Hyperion Books, which, like ABC, is owned by the Walt Disney Co. “Bad Twin,” billed as Troup’s “final novel before disappearing Oceanic Flight 815,” was published in May.
“We got this manuscript from this guy and we couldn’t reach him. He apparently got on this plane in Australia and has been lost at sea,” says Hyperion president Bob Miller, trying his best to play it straight.
“Gary Troup” is a true mystery man, his name an anagram for “Purgatory.” But someone claiming to be the author shows up in a promotional video linked to the “Bad Twin” page on Amazon.com.
ABC and Hyperion have had other joint projects. “The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer,” a prequel to the 2002 miniseries “Red Rose,” recorded the thoughts of a magnate’s wife trapped in a spooky Seattle mansion. “Ellen Rimbauer” was a best seller written by novelist Ridley Pearson, a good friend of the character’s inventor, Stephen King. Pearson also is rumored to have written “Bad Twin.”
With “Lost” attracting millions of viewers, Hyperion has big expectations for “Bad Twin,” announcing a first printing of 365,000. Appearing in the show gave the book a strong but unspectaular bump, from 311 to 67 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list.
“We’re hoping to see it grow from that as the show goes on,” Miller said.
AP television writer Lynn Elber contributed to this report.