Ashton woman conceives tale inspired by campervan adventures while nap trapped by new baby

Posted on - 22nd February, 2024 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, People, Preston News
Emilie Eccles and family
Emilie Eccles and her family love camper van adventures

A woman from Ashton-on-Ribble has ended up self-publishing a children’s book after becoming nap trapped by her new baby.


Emilie Eccles was on maternity leave in early 2023 when she started to write a poem about the family’s pending campervan adventures.

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Emilie said: “I didn’t really think much of it, but one evening my husband and I went out for a drink and I decided after a pint or two to read the poem to him. He got rather emotional about it and told me I should turn it into a children’s book.

“I laughed it off but fast forward another few weeks and we were having our first family holiday in Rhosneigr on Anglesey when I sent the book off to some publishers.

“I returned home to a few offers of contracts. However, they wanted me to contribute 50-50, which with being on maternity leave wasn’t really an option.”

Emilie Eccles has been attending markets with her van
Emilie has been attending markets with the family’s newest van, big burgundy Brenda

But in a fortuitous twist, Emilie realised she’d already found an illustrator who would help bring the project to life.

“Before leaving Anglesey I’d been flicking through the guest book when I noticed some gorgeous art work that I took a picture of.

“I found the artist – Sam Fletcher – on Instagram and messaged to ask if she would fancy illustrating a children’s book for me. Luckily, she was as excited as I was to bring this little poem to life.”

A lot of emails and a face-to-face visit later, and Emilie and Sam had everything needed to self-publish the book, titled Because my Parents have a Van.

The story features Betsy, a pink Type 2 bay window VW camper that Emilie’s Dad renovated when she was a teenager.

Emilie Eccles son Nate with Because my Parents have a Van
Nate with his mum’s book, Because my Parents have a Van

“The book is one of adventure, excitement and freedom and is especially personal to our family,” said Emilie.

“We’ve always loved our vans and being outdoors and now we have a little one we love reading stories to him too. I hope any child can read this book and have their heart and imagination filled with wonder.”

Emilie has been visiting markets with the book and Betsy, and is open to taking the van along to do readings in schools.

Read more: Tours, cars, farmers markets and more at Hoghton Tower in 2024

To find out more, follow Emilie at @littlevanventures on Instagram and Sam @raspberryspudwhistle on Instagram.

Because my Parents have a Van is available to purchase online for ÂŁ8.99.

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