Tristan Bancks | Australian Children's & Teen Author | Kids' & YA Books: January 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Fall

New thriller novel out 29 may 2017. BUY IT here.

‘Suspense in spades. You will be utterly gripped by Sam's story.’ 
The Last Thirteen Author James Phelan

'Readers need to be prepared for a gamut of emotions in this highly recommended novel.' 
- Magpies Magazine

'A page-turning masterpiece for readers young and old.'
- Bookseller and Blogger, Simon MacDonald, Pages and Pages / Boomerang Books.

‘Bancks intelligently imbues The Fall with themes of family, male connection, resilience and mortality in an engaging, action-filled coming-of-age story that explores what it means to be a hero.’
- Braiden Asciak in B+P (Bookseller and Publisher) Magazine


In the middle of the night, Sam is woken by angry voices from the apartment above.

He goes to the window to see what's happening - only to hear a struggle, and see a body fall
from the sixth-floor balcony. Pushed, Sam thinks.

Sam goes to wake his father Harry, a crime reporter, but Harry is gone. And when Sam goes downstairs, the body is gone, too. But someone has seen Sam, and knows what he's witnessed.

The next twenty-four hours could be his last.

Recommended for ages 10+




The Fall was initially inspired by something I saw while on work experience with Channel Ten news when I was at school. The story wouldn't leave me alone.

The Drafting Process
The Fall is a 50,000-word novel. I actually wrote 120,000 words worth of scenes and chapters. I threw out 70,419 words in my attempt to find the story. That’s just on my laptop. On paper there would be perhaps another 100,000 words.

I wrote seven drafts of The Fall before delivering it to Kimberley Bennett my editor at Penguin Random House. Initially the story was set in Sydney and was about a kid whose mum was a TV newsreader. The events of the story played out while Sam was on work experience with one of her cameramen for a week during the school holidays. In later drafts, while I was travelling with my family, the story was set in Paris and the plot involved the French president and the underground Paris Catacombs. Eventually, it came back to Australia and I set myself the challenge of having the story take place mostly over a single day in one apartment building. For me that really helped focus the book and raise the tension and stakes.

I love movies and books set in a single location and over a short period of time. I love Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and the old black and white movie Twelve Angry Men. Tintin was an inspiration as well as the crime reporter comic books that Sam loves. I reread Danny the Champion of the World when I was thinking about the father-son relationship in The Fall. Sam and Harry’s relationship is much more problematic than Danny and his dad’s but I wanted to find some tenderness and connection in spite of the difficulties. I was also inspired by Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret which takes place mainly in and around a Parisian train station. I wanted the apartment building to feel like a character in the story in the way that the train station does in Hugo.





See The Fall Vision Board here


listen to the fall BOOK soundtrack ON SPOTIFY

(the music i listened to while writing the book.)

I always create a soundtrack for my books. I listen to that music over and over and over again as I write the book. The tone / feeling of the music creates the tone / feeling of the book. The music becomes inseparable from the story. I can’t listen to the radio or random music as I write because I find it too distracting. I listen to the lyrics too carefully. But I can listen to music that I’ve listened to many times before, handpicked music that feels like my story. Music without lyrics works well, too. Here's an image of The Fall soundtrack in case you can't see the embedded Spotify playlist above.



'The Fall has all the hallmarks of a gripping crime thriller ... The story rockets along with danger dogging Sam's every move ... Upper primary year students and beyond will be caught by the author's easy-to-read writing style and the fast pace at which this novel progresses. It will be a real hook for boys, particularly, at the age when some begin to disengage with literature ... Persistence, resilience and the male rite of passage are all strong themes ... Readers need to be prepared for a gamut of emotions in this highly recommended novel ... The Fall can only cement Bancks' growing reputation as an author of exciting fast-paced mystery.'

Full review of The Fall by Pages and Pages Bookshop and Boomerang Books marketing manager Simon MacDonald here.
Sam is a worthy protagonist. We warm to him because we understand the struggle that underpins his being – more than a boy but not yet a man, yearning for independence but needing the comfort of home and family. Above all, of course, we understand his need to chart his own course in life, to be the person he wants to be, and for those he cares about to be proud of him. He also has a crush on someone, and he kinda wants to impress them a bit, and I think we’ve all been there as well.
- CBCA Reading Time Magazine

The Fall review in B+P (Bookseller and Publisher) Magazine.

'The climax will have readers on the edge of their seats, with palms sweating as Sam and his father literally dodge bullets and escape their own deaths. With themes of trust, family/male relationships, resilience and courage this is another fine coming-of-age novel from a master storyteller... [He] writes everyday, all-too-human, imperfect characters and transforms them into inspirational heroes.'

Two Wolves REVIEWS

'Two Wolves recalls the great adventure stories of Jack London but with the gritty realism of 21st-century story-telling. Gripping and unpredictable, with a hero you won't forget.’ – John Boyne, author of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas

'The novel was perfect - praise I rarely give, in fact - taut, empathic and of a depth very rarely seen for that age group of boys in particular.' – Marj Osborne, Teacher-Librarian / Blogger

'A tense, hard-edged, no-holds-barred thriller.' - Anthony Horowitz, author Alex Rider series)

'I love this book. As a bookseller, I'm always asked for novels that: a) are Australian stories, and b) will get boys into reading. Two Wolves fits both of these bills perfectly. Ben is a relateable character and the story is so vivid I felt I was there. Genuinely tense and page turning without being violent or graphic, this will be going straight to the 'staff picks' wall in my shop. 5 out of 5 stars.' - Tayla Harrison, Collins Booksellers, Moonee Ponds.

'This engrossing novel captures the reader with the skill and narrative power of the descriptive writing, its intriguing plot, believable dialogue, family tensions, and Ben’s emotional and physical growth . . . Highly recommended for secondary readers as a gripping read, and for class discussion on many levels." - ChloĆ© Mauger, Magpies

'It's such a great book: well written, gripping, psychologically true and ethically complex. Fantastic characterisation (especially Ben & Olive, who is wonderfully well-drawn) and a truly exciting story. Loved it. I hope it sells by the truckload!’ - Judith Ridge, Westwords.

'While keeping the narrative exciting and fast-paced, Bancks poses moral dilemmas and choices which increase the depth and literary worth of the novel... Ben [is] flawed, realistic but a positive role-model for teen readers. - Joy Lawn, Boomerang Books.

'I predict that this will become a set novel in many secondary English and Media classrooms. Its sense of place, the action, the moral issues, the connections with other literature, its filmic potential – the list goes on. There are twenty pages of excellent teaching notes on the Random House website here.' - Megan Daley, Teacher-Librarian / Blogger at Children's Books Daily.

'I’m a huge fan of Tristan Bancks’s Mac Slater books and was excited to read his new one – it doesn’t disappoint. Two Wolves is a fantastic, suspenseful novel for readers aged 11 and up, and a book that will keep them reading well into the night!' - Katherine Dretzke, Readings Books, Hawthorn

Sue Warren, TL / blogger:
Miffy Farquharson TL / blogger:
Crew's Reviews:

'I loved reading Two Wolves! Thrilling, thought provoking & an adventure to boot. 
Well done - deserving of book cake.' - AJ Betts, author of Zac & Mia

‘A high stakes adventure that will keep you guessing and breathless until the very end. A moving family drama about the wild places of nature and the human heart, all rolled into one tense and powerful package.’ 
– Michael Gerard Bauer, author of Don't Call Me Ishmael


Monday, January 2, 2017

My Life & Other Weaponised Muffins

'A laugh a minute rip-roaring read for adults and children alike.' 
- CBCA Reading Time

Have you ever been trapped inside a runaway car? Have you sold head lice for fun and profit?
Is there someone in your class who will stop at nothing to kiss you?

'Like Dahl, Bancks is passionate about inspiring a love of reading in the young by placing fun 
at the centre of his storytelling.' - Andy Griffiths, Sydney Morning Herald

'Laugh-out-loud funny.' - Children's Books Daily on ABC 612 Radio Brisbane

My Life & Other Weaponised Muffins is illustrated by artist and madman Gus Gordon and it's the fifth book in our weird-funny-gross, semi-autobiographical My Life series starring Tom Weekly. It asks all of life's big questions. Stuff like...


Have you ever been trapped inside a runaway car? Have you broken a world record? Is there someone in your class who will stop at nothing to kiss you? Have you ever tricked your dog into doing your homework? Or found something seriously disgusting in your food? Have you sold head lice for fun and profit? Or has your mum ever used raspberry and white chocolate muffins as weapons of minor destruction?

I’m Tom Weekly and all of these things have happened to me. I’ve captured them here in stories, jokes, cartoons, quizzes and lists. Believe me, real life is weirder than anything you can make up.




Download and Print a Mask Just like the One Used By the Stinky Kid in the Trailer 

(Fun for Book Parades and Muffin Fights!)

Check out trailers for 
the other books in the series

I'm hitting the road Feb-August, bringing the stories to life in schools, libraries and festivals in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Newcastle, The Hunter, Armidale, Perth, Tasmania. I'll also be reaching lots of regional centres via Skype. Keep an eye on my Events page for details.

I hope that this is the best My Life book ever. I, rather modestly, think it is. Lewis Snow and his chronic nits are back. So is Stella Holling, and she has another devilish plan for getting Tom Weekly to kiss her.


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