I’m starting to get the hang of this YouTube malarkey even if I do look like I’ve been tasered in every thumbnail. Here I am reading the opening to Princess BMX. Can you spot my ‘deliberate’ inside-outside mistake?
My friend Louie Stowell, author of Dragon in the Library and The Monster in the Lake, recently surprised me with some Princess BMX fanart. This got me thinking about how wonderful it would be to launch my new YouTube channel with a competition to get you drawing too.
So get your pencils out and tag me with your Princess BMX inspired illustrations to win a signed copy of the book plus your very own Tyson the Teabag.
Full details in the video above.
Not read the book? Download the first chapter here for your FanArt inspiration: https://mariebasting.com/resources/
* Competition closes Monday 1st June 2020. The judge’s decision is final. UK entries only – although I’d still love to see your fanart if you live somewhere else!
Six months. Yes, I repeat, six months. That’s a big fat half year since Princess BMX wheelied her way into the world. I’m saving all the words for book two, so here are some of the highlights in pictures.
It’s launch day and I wake up to find my social media streams full of BMX riding authors.
And then the reviews start to come in. Princess BMX is a Guardian Book of the Month!
Like that wasn’t exciting enough, I got to see my book on the shelf…
And on the table…
And in between a blog tour, signing books and chatting to booksellers, I celebrate with friends and family and take Tyson on holiday.
September was all about my #BeMoreBMX tour. Thank you to the wonderful booksellsers and librarians who took me out to meet readers.
And thank you to all the friends and family who came along to help me celebrate at my belated Biscotti themed Book Launch Party.
October leaves fell but Princess BMX soared.
I appeared at the Rochdale Festival of Literature and Ideas where I met the fantastic Mrs Wylie…
Who brought me some very interesting letters from my book pen pals.
November meant more school visits and I had my very own display in Salford libraries…
And I appeared at the Chicken House Roadshow with the fantastic Dan Smith and James Nicol.
I celebrated Princess BMX with SCBWI friends at the Mass Book Launch at our Winchester Conference…
Where I also won an Outstanding Contribution award.
And before I knew it, December was here and it was time for Christmas cheer with writer friends at Gladstone Library.
There was also some Christmas craziness with my Book Pen Pals.
January has been a mixed bag, with lurgy and tax returns and other boring stuff. But there’s still been time for fun…
So, yes, it’s been a mad six months. The camera has only captured the good times, but there were also wobbles and falls and moments of extreme debut fear. Thankfully, I had my SWAG friends to keep me on the BMX track. (Shame I didn’t have a shot of us all xxx)
And then there’s been you guys: family, friends, bloggers and other writers cheering me along the way. I can’t thank you enough. You are all extreme BMX!
With writing prompts, discussion notes and a detailed synopsis and author notes, the Princess BMX reading guide contains everything you’ll need to enjoy Princess BMX in the classroom.
The short chapters and fast moving action make it an ideal class reader, especially if exploring other Princesses to compare and contrast with, or if your class has an interest in BMX. It would also be a great addition to a class bookshelf as it would appeal to all and the sparkly cover is very inviting! I really enjoyed this book.
Princess BMX in the Classroom
Princess BMX was listed in the Gender Collective Best Books 2019 – a round up for the absolute best books for smashing stereotypes and is also recommended by BookTrust. Themes explored include:
• Fairy tales and fantasy stories
• Expectations & freedom of choice
• Biking, skating and extreme sports
• Feminism & rebellion
• Comedy & humour
• Friendship & teamwork
• Non-conformity & challenging stereotypes
To win a copy of Princess BMX and your very own Tyson complete with chair and bobble hat, head over to Twitter by clicking on the embedded Tweet below.
Competition ends 22nd September 2019 and is open to schools/teachers only.
More irrepressible fun runs through Princess BMX (Chicken House) by Marie Basting, illustrated by Flavia Sorrentino. In the fairytale land of Biscotti, Princess Ava already annoys her dad with her lack of regal decorum – when she finds a portal through to real-life Camden Lock and starts learning BMX stunts, what could possibly go wrong? Evil aunties and fairy godfathers called Nigel combine with a streak of feisty rebellion to create a daft and delicious fantasy.
The Guardian, August Children’s and teens roundup: the best new picture books and novel
Marie Basting is the author of Princess BMX, a true story which provides conclusive proof that magic is real and bikes are the new broomstick. OK, that is a big fat lie, but Marie mostly speaks the truth particularly on Tuesdays when she teaches synchronised swimming to mermaids and helps out at a shelter for homeless goblins.
On Wednesdays Marie hunts boggarts with her friend Zana the brave.
Princess BMX is Marie’s debut novel. But she plans to write lots more as soon as she has finished watching Adventure Time. Marie loves Adventure Time because, like Princess BMX, it is a kind of modern fairy tale, and Marie wants to show children that magic is everywhere even if it is sometimes hard to find. That sounds corny but trust me it is not as corny as Marie’s feet.
Marie posing with a BMX.
Marie first had the idea for Princess BMX while watching BMXers at the famous Undercroft skate park on the South Bank. When Marie was a kid, BMX was for boys and she wasn’t brave enough to try extreme sports anyway. Not being brave or confident enough was a bit of a theme for Marie, but the good news is she eventually got over this and decided she wouldn’t let fear hold her back anymore. She gave up her job and decided to write books. The bad news is Marie is absolutely rubbish at BMX. Hopefully, her books are better. You decide.
Marie at Undercroft Skate Park.
When Marie isn’t writing or watching the telly, you’ll probably find her mooching around Manchester with her husband, son and most unusual of pets, Polly Woo. As you can see, Polly is a very rare cross between a womble and a wookie.
Polly the Wookie Womble Woo.
Chewbacca is Polly’s favorite film star EVER but so far he has ignored her marriage proposals which Marie thinks is rather rude. Polly, however, won’t have a word said against Chewy and figures he’s too busy saving the galaxy to reply to her letters. Whatever you do, don’t get your relationship advice from Polly.
Like Chewy, Marie grew up in a galaxy far far away. Well, it was far away from Chewy at least. Born in Liverpool, to a fairy prince and a time travelling minstrel called Ethel, she moved to Runcorn when she was nine-years-old. Her brother has superhuman powers, but he is a bit shy so she can’t talk about them here. Her dog Snowie was the naughtiest dog ever and once interrupted a police dog display at her school. Marie, however, was always well behaved and denies ever locking her teacher in a cupboard. The last thing you should know about Marie is that she has zillions of cousins and every single one of them has webbed feet. If they eat after midnight nothing happens
Just one week to publication and I’m excited to share with you details of the Princess BMX blog tour:
You can also read more about my debut journey and the inspiration behind Princess BMX at Words and Pictures Magazine and Madge Eekal Reviews. Thank you to everyone who has or will be hosting a blog. It really is appreciated.
I promised in the run-up to the publication of Princess BMX, I’d tell you more about the book and the inspiration behind it. On that note, I’d like to share with you an interview I recently did for Words and Pictures, the SCBWI British Isles on-line magazine, about my debut journey.
Click on the link at the end of the page to find out more about my road to publication, my top tip for unpublished and unagented writers and to read the shocking revelation of how Princess BMX’s puppy Sir Jeffrey Bobbersons almost suffered death by microcorn.
A microcorn – I hear you say… Introducing Doreen!
Doreen the microcorn – a stumpy, mini unicorn – may be small but she has a big personality. And big teeth…they can munch their way through anything. She’s strong too. And clever, although her actions are usually more controlled by her stomach than her brain. With a bleat that can rival any goat and a tendency for headbutting, don’t expect Doreen to fade into the background.
And here’s the link to the Words and Pictures article. If you have any questions or comments about the article I’d love to hear them.