Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up

Shortlisted for 2014 KOALA and YABBA Children's Choice Awards!

'Fans of Griffiths, Gleitzman and Jennings will be thrilled to have this in their collection ... What a great book.'

'Delightful and funny. Bancks has beautifully captured the essence of boyhood. Tom is a typical 21st-century schoolboy, following in the fine tradition of Ginger Meggs.'


'A serious dose of pant-wetting, cringe-worthy short stories 
and we love 'em!'
- DMag

'A nail-biting - no, make that toe-biting - thrill ride through one boy's life.'

'Tristan Banks books are really funny and I love them! My favourite book that he made was My life and other stuff I made up. In fact I was at his writers workshop at Warrigal Road State school. I definitely recommend his books for everyone.' -BJ, reader. 

Have you ever been kissed by a dog? Ever had to eat Vegemite off your sister's big toe? Have you had a job delivering teeth? Has a bloodthirsty magpie ever been out to get you? Ever woken up to discover that everything hovers? And have you eaten 67 hot dogs in ten minutes?

I have. I'm Tom Weekly. This book is full of my stories, jokes, cartoon characters, ideas for theme park rides and other stuff I've made up. It's where I pour out whatever's inside my head. It gets a bit weird sometimes but that’s how I roll.

Learn to draw My Life's Tom Weekly in this 41-second masterclass with illustrator, Gus Gordon.


Download 3 Colouring-In Pages:


Author note From Tristan Bancks 
All stories are part fact and part fiction. Even history is part fact and part fiction. Many of the stories in My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up sprang from things that have happened to me. I have then embellished those stories to make for a series of (hopefully) funny and surprising tales. 
I grew up reading Paul Jennings books like Unreal, Unbelieveable and Quirky Tails. I loved these books. Nobody else, at the time, was writing surprising, funny, odd tales for children quite like these. I have used my love of those stories to motivate the writing of my own stories. As a kid I always jotted my ideas down in exercise books and notebooks. I didn’t know what I would do with them but I just had to get them down. 
I encourage all kids to get their ideas down – ideas for stories, movies, inventions, video games, jokes, cartoon characters and just general thoughts on life. You never know when they might come in handy. This book looks and feels a bit like one of my notepads as a kid, with pictures and weird, funny stories and things that would make me laugh. A book like this is a space for a child to make their own, to come back to, and to feel safe to explore. I encourage children and young people, as soon as they can write, to have a book like this where they can be bold and adventurous without needing to be ‘right’ or having to prove anything to anybody.

Illustration by Gus Gordon
Illustrator note From Gus Gordon 
Tom Weekly reminded me very much of my 12-year-old self. It wasn’t too difficult a task to channel the random thoughts of that younger, fantastically na├»ve, enthusiastic, imaginative boy as it is pretty much how I am today. I still, like Tom, daydream about incredible situations and still have the propensity to think in a random, fractured manner, jumping from thought to thought with no real segue as if I am picking my thoughts out of a hat. Drawing for me was the most efficient way of communicating these unorganised ideas. Off-kilter illustrations and pointless list writing were a speciality of mine. I drew in every class, in every margin on everything and anything I had in front of me. This kind of fervour – the need to express myself through drawing – was how I approached the illustrations, or more specifically, how I saw Tom drawing them – a natural extension of his rambling imagination.

The subjects (awkward encounters, girls, gross bodily functions, eating) were also all too familiar to me. Whether it was a panicked list about an operation, escaping false teeth or a drawing of a floating poo, it all felt disturbingly normal. Obviously it was the same for Tom!
Illustration by Gus Gordon


petrie46 said...

love your stories

petrie46 said...

love it you sure do great writings

Tristan Bancks said...

Thanks Petrie46!

Keep reading.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tristen, your cool :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Tristen, you recently talked to my brother's class at school and from what I have heard from him, your a pretty cool cat. I have some ideas on books but, y'know, who cares right? So yeah, BYE.

Tristan Bancks said...

Thanks! And you should write those ideas out of your head and into the world. Get 'em down in a notebook! You never know when they'll come in handy. Do it.

Anonymous said...

hi tristan we just read your book my life and other stuuf i made up in my class and it was one of the funniest books i have ever read.

Anonymous said...

your books are awesome

Tristan Bancks said...

Thanks guys. You're too kind. Glad you loved 'My Life'. I'm about to write the second book. I better make it good. ;-) T

Anonymous said...

Hi Tristan. I was part of the extension writing class at the school you just visited, and I have a suggestion of what you could do with the attack of the star-nosed moles idea for the second "my life and other stuff I made up". You could possibly have a giant floating star-nosed mole nose with no body. It could be the master of all the star-nosed moles attacking. The only problem is fitting it into a short story like youw ere talking about in extension writing.

Thank you for visiting my school, you really helped my writing.

Tristan Bancks said...

Hey, that is a really creepy idea... the floating star-nosed mole with no body. As if star-nosed moles aren't creepy enough as it is. But brilliant! Genius! I want to use it! Or you can. Or both. Thanks for writing. T.

Brodie said...

hi tristian I love your books they are awesome and you also came to Jubilee today you are awesome

Brodstar3 said...

hi Tristan love your books. You came to jubilee today.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I was at book week at Tannum Sands State School, my group did the hover poo thing.

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