Hot Key Books has today announced that they will publish a series of children’s books written by cycling champion and Britain’s most successful Olympian Sir Chris Hoy and author Joanna Nadin.
The series, FLYING FERGUS, will be illustrated fiction aimed at 5-8 year-olds. The first two books will be published in March 2016, with further titles in July, October and January 2017. The October fiction will be accompanied by a non-fiction book to encourage children to have fun cycling, keep safe, and record their cycling adventures.
Rights for six books were acquired by Emma Matthewson, Editor-at-Large at Hot Key, who previously edited the Harry Potter series at Bloomsbury. The deal was negotiated with Zoe King at The Blair Partnership for UK and Commonwealth rights. The books will be promoted with a major national marketing and PR campaign, including a website hub for the books and a tour of events across the UK.
The series will focus on Fergus; an ordinary boy with an extraordinary imagination. All Fergus wants for his ninth birthday is “The Sullivan Swift”, a top of the range bike that will ensure his success in the local time trials, but ever since his dad disappeared, years before, his mum and granddad have struggled financially to raise him and can’t afford such an expensive present. Instead he inherits his dad’s old rusty bike, but when he heads out to test it at the park with his best friend Daisy, he discovers there might be more to the bike than meets the eye…
Sir Chris Hoy is the most decorated Olympic cyclist of all time, with a total of seven Olympic medals: six gold and one silver, as well as 11 World and two Commonwealth titles. At the 2008 Olympics, Hoy became Scotland’s most successful Olympian and the first British athlete to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games since 1908.
Since retiring from professional cycling, Sir Chris was eager to devote his time, knowledge and experience in working with the next generation of cyclists. He has brought his experience to bear with the launch of his very own bike range: HOY Bikes, in partnership with Evans Cycles, where the line-up offers something for everyone from young riders up to the race-ready weekend warriors. Now with his series of books, Sir Chris hopes to continue to impassion the next generation of cyclists with stories that are all about that first taste of freedom that comes with your first bike, and the adventures that await you- the age at which you receive your first bike is often the age at which you start reading independently and stirring your imagination with reading, just as cycling can stir up a child’s imagination for adventure.
Sir Chris Hoy said: “Working with Jo has been fantastic and my hope is that Flying Fergus excites and inspires children, opening their eyes to the freedom and adventures two wheels can offer with just a little hard work.”
Emma Matthewson, Editor-at-Large said: “Sir Chris has already provided a lasting legacy of inspiration to young people with his tremendous list of achievements. What drew me to FLYING FERGUS was a genuine warmth and heart to the books and Sir Chris’s clear dedication to the next generation. We can’t wait to see young cyclists across the country enjoy reading about their new hero!”
Sir Chris will be writing the stories alongside Joanna Nadin, an award-winning author for children and teenagers, best known for her RACHEL RILEY series of books. She has been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize with PENNY DREADFUL IS A MAGNET FOR DISASTER and has been nominated for the “Queen of Teen” award three times.