SIR Chris Hoy is to co-author a series of children’s books about the adventures of a budding young cyclist.
The first in the Flying Fergus series, which follows the fortunes of an ordinary boy with an extraordinary imagination, will be on the shelves by March next year.
“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”Sir Chris Hoy
The books have been co-written by award-winning author Joanna Nadin, with further titles expected to appear in July, October and January 2017, published by Hot Key Books.
All the eponymous 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 mother and grandfather 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 it than meets the eye.
Edinburgh-born Sir Chris is the most decorated Olympic cyclist of all time, but since retiring he has been turning his attention to other projects.
He will be hoping his books prove a huge hit with his own young son Callum, who was born 11 weeks early in October last year.
Sir Chris, who turned 39 earlier this week, said: “Working with Jo Nadin 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.”
He will also work on 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 Books, who edited the Harry Potter series at Bloomsbury.
The books will be promoted with a major marketing campaign, including a website and events across the UK.
Ms Matthewson 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.”
Ms Nadin, who has been honoured for her books directed at children and teenagers, is best known for her Rachel Riley series.
She has been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize for Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster and has been nominated for the Queen of Teen award three times.