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!
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.
I recently went along to the opening round of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Manchester. Watching these world-class BMXers compete on my home ground was a real privilege. Such fun too. And seeing the athletes up close got me thinking again about how much we can learn from them. Here’s why we all need to be more like BMXers.
As an extreme sport, BMX racing obviously comes with its risks. The riders train hard in order to mitigate this, but they don’t let worrying about what can go wrong stop them.
I can’t imagine how the women waiting in the starting gate felt watching Saya Sakakibara lying flat on the floor unconscious after she came down in the first semi-final. Sure, they’ve seen this kind of thing before, but it had to be pretty off-putting watching her being stretchered off by the medics. Yet somehow they retained their focus. The buzzer sounded, the barrier crashed to the floor like a guillotine and they went for it.
They are no different from any of us who want to succeed. You have to put yourself out there and accept that failure might hurt – though for BMXers the pain can be physical as well as mental.
Saya will ride again. She may have had to sit out round two of the world championships, but she’s already talking about getting back on her bike. You don’t get to be five times world champion without an element of resilience. That’s the thing with BMXers, they keep trying. As the commentator repeatedly said, those who had not had a great day would refocus and be back on their bikes again in heat two. They’d cut their losses and get straight back in the saddle, hoping for better luck tomorrow.
Getting that Lucky Break
Because as much as BMX is about blood, sweat and tears, there’s also an element of luck involved, as Kye Whyte demonstrated when he crashed out of the semi finals, despite achieving the fastest time in the heats. Less than half an hour later, he was smiling again, supporting his team mates and signing autographs. A day later, he stormed the round two finals and took his first-ever world cup title.
Want to Know More?
Why we all need to be more like BMXers is one of the key themes of my schools and festival author talks. Linked to my own writing journey, this fun, interactive presentation focuses on the similarities between writers and BMXers, encouraging everyone to find the extreme sporting hero within.
Princess BMX now has a cover and I am so pleased with it. Illustrator Flavia Sorrentino has captured my feisty princess perfectly, and I love the whimsical nature of the cover design by Helen Crawford-White. Going to go away now and let the image speak for itself but you can find out more about Flavia and Helen by following the links above.