Author adventurer Alastair Humphreys, who recently became the pioneer of "microadventures" - a movement encouraging people to seek out short local adventures - has signed a two-book deal with Big Picture Press, an imprint of Templar.
Big Picture Press acquired two books from Humphreys in a deal with Jessica Willard of the David Higham agency.
Named as National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012, Humphreys' first big challenge was a four-year cycle ride round the world, totalling 46,000 miles through 60 countries and five continents. He has also walked across India, rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, run six marathons through the Sahara Desert, and crossed Iceland by foot and packraft.
Humphreys' book for children Great Adventurers will be illustrated by Canadian illustrator Kevin Ward and showcase "daring feats and exciting journeys" undertaken by, in the words of the author, "some of the most impressive, heroic, eccentric explorers who ever lived", including Apsley Cherry-Garrard (Scott’s Antarctic expedition), Michael Collins (astronaut), Nellie Bly (travelled solo around the world in under 80 days), and Felice Benuzzi (escaped prison to climb Mount Kenya). Each adventurer will be explored through a mixture of maps, quotes, diary extracts and comic strips. It publishes in April 2018.
The second title will be an illustrated "choose your own adventure" book featuring historical attempts to climb Mount Everest.
Lisa Edwards, publishing director at Templar, said: “Alastair is an adventurer that I’ve admired for a long time. I was transfixed by his two books about cycling around the world and have been personally inspired by his microadventuring campaign. I’m absolutely delighted to welcome him to Big Picture Press along with newcomer Kevin Ward.”
Humphreys added: “I had been chewing over this idea for a book for ages, but I knew that I would need a brilliant publishing team to make it work. I scoured the bookshops, looking for children's books that really caught my eye. Big Picture Press' books were consistently superb, so I went to speak to them. I am delighted that they took me on.”