Lancaster author writes heartwarming story for children to explain terminal illness
A photographer from Lancaster has written a children’s book with a heartwarming story to explain about parents or relatives with an illness after her mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Julianne Marie Bowers, 24, of Scotforth, Lancaster said: “About five years ago my mum Tina, formerly a mental health nurse, who is 53, was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. She had four young grandchildren at the time and was struggling to find a way to gently explain the situation to them.
“They were seeing her go through chemotherapy so I just wrote the story for my mum’s personal use to read to her grandchildren. It explains terminal illness and people passing away.
“My mum encouraged me to send it to a publisher and I actually had three offers from different publishers.
“I didn’t actually intend on publishing it at all. My book ‘To The Moon and Back’ will be released on July 30 with Austin Macauley publishers and will be available at WhSmith and Waterstones, as well as worldwide on Amazon. "The art work was taken from my hand made illustrations and re designed by the Austin Macauley publishers with the inspiration from my designs.
“I’ve never come across a book for children that explains terminal illness and people passing away so I thought it would help other people.
“My mum Tina is still battling on since she was diagnosed with cancer six years ago. The doctors gave her five years but she has lived another year beyond that.
“My mum has such a rare cancer, it is called carcinoid cancer in her lungs, she has 28 tumours in her lungs. It is a hormone based cancer. She had a bit of a sore chest and went to the doctors and that is when it was diagnosed.
“She is just so happy about the book, and her grandchildren love reading it.
“They say ‘when Nanny goes to sleep she will be the brightest star in the sky’.
“When I got the book she cried. It gives some control to her and it’s being able to explain to her grandchildren what is going on.
“My nieces and nephew are Isabelle, nine, Ella, seven, Esther, two and Louis, eight weeks old.
“She did some chemotherapy which is not a nice thing to see, and the book gave my nieces and nephew a bit more understanding of it.
“She didn’t want to hide it from them, she wanted to prepare them that if she does pass away they won’t be scared because they will know what’s going on.
“If it can help one other family then it will be worth writing the book.
“The book is about a granddaughter and her nanny, and they are actually flying pigs. Penny is upset she can’t fly like her nana can. They go on a trip to outer space and have a chat up in space. One day Penny’s nana will go to sleep.
“I’m a photographer and I’ve always been creative but it’s the first time I’ve ever written a book.
“It took me four weeks to write the book which has about 30 pages. I worked on it a lot.
“When my mum was 10 she won a competition for a story about flying pigs, so I’m putting my mum’s story into my book.
“The wings of the nana pig are black and white, which is the symbolic colour for carcinoid cancer, I just wanted some hidden special things in the book.
“Both my parents became amputees last year, my mum in January 2020 and my dad Alan, 57, in September 2020.
“Me and my sisters Claire, Hannah and Jessica are all helping my mum and dad, who each have a wheelchair.
“My sister found it quite emotional to read and she thought it was such a good idea to explain to the kids who were worried about their nana.
“It is their favourite book, they absolutely love the story and ask for it to be read to them every night.
“It’s so difficult to be in this situation and the book has helped my family and me, and will hopefully help others as well.”
Julianne’s book can be pre-ordered from www.amazon.co.uk and will be available on July 30 at WhSmith and Waterstones book stores, as well as online.