Tristan Bancks is a children’s and teen author with a background in acting and filmmaking. His books include the My Life series, Mac Slater (Australia and US) and Two Wolves (On the Run in the US), a crime-mystery novel for middle-graders. Two Wolves won Honour Book in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. It also won the YABBA and KOALA Children’s Choice Awards. Tristan’s new books are My Life & Other Weaponised Muffins (2017), a fifth book of weird-funny-gross, semi-autobiographical short stories and The Fall (2017), a new thriller novel for ages 10+. My Life & Other Failed Experiments is due for release July 2018.
Tristan is a writer-ambassador for world-changing literacy charity Room to Read. He is excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create. You can connect with him, learn more about his books, play games, watch videos and help him try to change the world here at www.tristanbancks.com.
Sima and her family are pressed to the rough, cold ground among fifty others. They lie next to the tall fence designed to keep them in. The wires are cut one by one. When they make their escape, a guard raises the alarm. Shouting, smoke bombs, people tackled to the ground. In the chaos Sima loses her parents. Dad told her to run, so she does, hiding in a school and triggering a lockdown. A boy, Dan, finds her hiding in the toilet block. What should he do? Help her? Dob her in? She’s breaking the law, but is it right to lock kids up? And if he helps, should Sima trust him? Or run?
This moment, these decisions, will change their lives.
The Fall (2017)
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.
My Life & Other Weaponised Muffins (2017)
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.
Two Wolves (2014)
One afternoon, police officers show up at Ben Silver's front door. Minutes after they leave, his parents arrive home. Ben and his little sister Olive are bundled into the car and told they're going on a holiday. But are they? It doesn't take long for Ben to realise that his parents are in trouble. Ben's always dreamt of becoming a detective – his dad even calls him ‘Cop'. Now Ben gathers evidence and tries to uncover what his parents have done. The problem is, if he figures it out, what does he do? Tell someone? Or keep the secret and live life on the run?
Galactic Adventures: First Kids in Space (July 2011)
Dash Campbell has only ever had one dream. To go to space. But does he have what it takes to survive Space School? A gripping and inspiring space adventure for ages 9+. www.firstkidsinspace.com
My Life series (2011 to present)
Have you ever been kissed by a dog? Ever had to eat Vegemite off your sister's big toe? Has a bloodthirsty magpie ever been out to get you? Have you woken up to discover that everything hovers? And have you eaten 67 hot dogs in ten minutes? Tom Weekly has.
A rollicking book series jam-packed with funny short stories for ages 7+.
Mac Slater, Coolhunter 1: The Rules of Cool & Mac Slater 2: I Love NY (2008/09)
The Mac Slater books (Random House) are a rapid-fire read for grades 4 to 8, full of wild inventions, fast-paced action, and technology that kids can relate to. Extensive teachers' notes at www.tristanbancks.com.
Nit Boy 1: Liftoff and Nit Boy 2: Bugout (May 2009)
The Nit Boy series is for primary school aged children and it deals with the perennial problem of nits in a fast, funny and slightly disgusting way, with fantastic illustrations. These will grab even the most reluctant reader (www.nitboy.com).
it's yr life (June 2009)
YA novel for ages 14+. Co-written with Tempany Deckert, Tristan's co-star on Home and Away as a teenager. They re-teamed to write this suspenseful novel via email between his home in Byron Bay and Tempany's in L.A.
All of Tristan's talks can be delivered remotely via Skype. This is a great option for regional visits to cut down on travel costs. It is also a good option for an ongoing series of workshops and interactions with students. A brilliant use of the technology now available in most classrooms.
1. My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up
Autobiographical talk using anecdotes, images, video and the Web to trace how Tristanʼs books relate to his life story. From schoolboy in Sydneyʼs Blue Mountains to teen TV actor and presenter in Australia and London, through travel and university to filmmaking and life as an author. Discover the books Tristan loves to read, how he finds inspiration and how he makes a living telling stories for page and screen. Along the way, have lots of laughs, gain valuable tips on using your own life to inspire your stories and help create a weird, funny, gross short story for My Life book three.
2. Two Wolves
Tristanʼs middle-grade novel Two Wolves is a collision of Nature and technology. Discover why he wrote the book mostly outdoors and how he took pictures of real-life locations and gathered news stories to build the world of the book. Hear a short reading, see the TV news story book trailer, sample the soundtrack and get inspired to read, and even to write your own crime / mystery story.
3. Vision Boarding
One of Tristanʼs most popular talks. From soundtracks to storyboarding, movie trailers to animation, writing a book can be a totally 3D experience. See his Vision Board, which helps him create his books. Learn techniques on how you can fuse TV, the web, video, music, maps, apps and old-fashioned books to write your own stories.
NB: Tristan can tailor talks to address specific areas of the curriculum.
All of Tristanʼs talks and most of his workshops can be delivered remotely via Skype, Google Hangout and other video conferencing tools. A great option for regional visits to cut down on travel costs. It is also a good option for an ongoing series of workshops and interactions with students. A brilliant use of the technology now available in most classrooms.
1. Your Life & Other Stuff You Made Up
How can you use all the odd, boring, funny stuff that happens to you and turn it into excellent stories? Author Tristan Bancks used bits from his life to inspire his short story collections My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up and My Life & Other Stuff That Went Wrong. Like the time his sister made him eat Vegemite off her toe and the time he had his appendix removed just to get out of school detention. Learn how to mine your own life for cool, weird, funny stories that your friends and teachers will love.
2. Story Safari – An Outdoor Writing Adventure
Participants observe, experience and let the world around them rush onto the page. The forward-motion and physical exercise bring the writing experience alive, forging new and unexpected stories. Can be done in the school playground! http://bit.ly/xror8X (Inspired by Tristan’s writing process on his book Two Wolves.)
3. Tell Stories Like a Filmmaker
Discover storytelling tools that I learnt while working in TV & film. Find out how cinematic story tools can make writing more engaging and fun. Filmmaking tools help with worldbuilding, imagery, detail, voice, pacing and other important facets of storytelling.
4. Introduction to Short Story Writing
A hands-on 1–5-hour workshop discovering the basics of writing a short story:
Freewriting, Drafting, Rewriting, Detail and ensuring your idea fits short story form.
5. Writing From the Inside Out
In-depth writing workshop for very keen / talented writers aged 10+ wanting to take their work to the next level and excavate the stories locked inside them. This workshop goes beyond ʻGetting Startedʼ and plunges into Voice, Setting, Character Development, Conflict, Plotting, Analysis of Great Writersʼ Work and saying more by saying less.
'Detention' is a raw and authentic exploration of human connection. An unlikely union, Dan and Sima are confronted with some life-altering decisions as they are thrown into a very dangerous situation. The novel challenges readers to think about the complexities of a world that deems what is ‘moral’ and what is ‘legal’ as being polar opposites. It is affirming in its representation of a younger generation able to grapple with such contradiction and to stand up for what is right, and leaves readers with a sense of optimism that things might change. Tristan’s writing is gripping, his characters all-too real and his symbolic use of the Australian landscape is a powerful weapon he wields to make his readers look more closely at the world around them. In the classroom context, Detention is ideal for study in the 12-14 year age range. It has strong ties to the Australian Curriculum and its contemporary themes add a level of connection for both students and staff which will lead to discussion, debate and analysis.'
St Aidan's Anglican Girl's School - 2019St Aidan's Anglican Girl's School - 2019Tristan Bancks
Tristan Bancks was amazing. I would highly recommend him to any school (both primary and secondary) wanting an author to visit. He was entertaining, engaging and inspiring. Our students are loving all of his books and can't wait till his new book Detention is released in July. Already booking him for next year.
Beenleigh State High School - May 2019Beenleigh State High School - May 2019Tristan Bancks
Tristan Bancks is the Rolls Royce of visiting authors. He is dynamic in his presentations, well prepared and has something relevant and useful to help students improve their writing.
Canterbury College - August 2018Canterbury College - August 2018Tristan Bancks
Tristan delivered an engaging, informative and fun Skype talk for the Year 7 students on his novel, Two Wolves. The boys found it very useful and interactive. It was appreciated how Tristan allowed for varied student questions. Thank you.
St Joseph's College Gregory Terrace - August 2018St Joseph's College Gregory Terrace - August 2018Tristan Bancks
Tristan Bancks was amazing!!!!! Our staff and students thoroughly enjoyed the virtual presentation so very much and are eager to continue reading more of his books. It was wonderful for the students to see and listen to someone so passionate about writing.
Beenleigh State High School - June 2018Beenleigh State High School - June 2018Tristan Bancks