Britain’s most successful Olympian Sir Chris Hoy is to team up with award-winning author Joanna Nadin to produce a series of books for children about cycling. The books will feature a character called “Flying Fergus” and will be aimed at 5-8 year-olds. Sir Chris joins a crowded market for children’s cycling books but his celebrity status will almost certainly ensure the mainstream success of the Flying Fergus series.
The first two books will be published in March 2016, with further titles in July and October of that year. Another book in the series will be released in January 2017. The series will also feature a non-fiction book to encourage children to have fun cycling, and record their cycling adventures.
The books will be promoted with a national marketing and PR campaign, including a standalone website for the series. There will also be a tour of events across the UK.
The synopsis is this: Fergus is 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 …
Since retiring from professional cycling, Sir Chris has been 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 Hoy Bikes, in partnership with Evans Cycles.
Sir Chris Hoy said:
“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.”
Rights for six books were acquired by Emma Matthewson, Editor-at-Large at Hot Key, who previously edited the Harry Potter series at Bloomsbury.
Nadin is best known for her Rachel Riley series of books.
Sir Chris won his first Olympic gold medal in Athens 2004. Four years later in Beijing he became the first Briton since 1908 to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games. In 2012, Chris won two gold medals at the Olympics in London, becoming Britain’s most successful Olympian with six gold medals and one silver. In December 2008, Chris was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and he received a knighthood in the 2009 New Year Honours List.