Dolly’s diary drives onto bookshelves

Dolly's Diaries book launch with author Clare Bromley, illustrator Holly Blackman and project manager David Irvin. July 20th 2012 E30002N
Dolly's Diaries book launch with author Clare Bromley, illustrator Holly Blackman and project manager David Irvin. July 20th 2012 E30002N

A DIARY kept by youngsters staying in a local camper van on their holidays has inspired a new children’s book.

Ian Irvine hires out his VW from his Eastbourne base and, because of its popularity with families, he took to leaving a notebook inside for people to jot down details of all the fun days out they had.

Now those entries have been transformed in Dolly’s Diary, which hit the shelves late last month and is being touted as the first in a series of books about the van’s adventures.

He said, “We call the camper van Dolly and in the front we have a book called Dolly’s Diary where guests write of their experiences and adventures.

“It occurred to me one day that it would make a great children’s story book and indeed a series of books.

“The first book is based in Eastbourne and tells the tale of when Dolly meets her new owners – a little girl called Molly, her mum and dad and their dog Fergus.

“The book is aimed at five to seven year olds and describes seaside adventures such as kite flying, picnics, the Dotto train and more.

“As it is very difficult to get a publisher for children’s books it is being self published by my company, Eastbourne Holiday Cottages (which owns Dolly), and the idea is to have further books like Dolly Goes to London, Dolly goes to a wedding and Dolly goes to France.”

To help with the project, he recruited local writer Clare Bromley and illustrator Holly Blackman to turn his vision into reality and he believes they have more than done it justice.

He said, “Clare and Holly have done a great job bringing it to life and the feedback we have had so far has been brilliant.”

The trio took part in a book signing at Waterstones in Eastbourne and now have a website all about Dolly at www.dollysdiary.com.

Dolly’s Diary is available now at Waterstones as well as online at the above address, priced £6.99.

The camper van also has its own Twitter account. Simply follow @DollysInfo for regular updates.