Virgin Atlantic Buys Dad’s Bedtime Story

There are lots of ways to make it as an author, but this is one success story we’ve never heard before. Stephen Holmes was just your average dad, who enjoyed making up bedtime stories for his kids.

Apparently one of them was a cut above, so he decided to give it the professional treatment, by enlisting an illustrator to render it a proper book. He then started selling it at local fairs. 

The book is called The Great Hot Air Balloon Adventureand it sees two neighborhood friends and a talking rabbit going on – well, a hot air balloon adventure! 

Image courtesy of

The book was a local hit, selling 500 out of 1,000 printed copies. Inspired by the book’s promising sales, Holmes was struck with an idea. He would offer the book to Virgin Atlantic, given founder Richard Branson’s affinity for hot air balloons. 

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In Holmes’s own words: “I thought Hot Air Balloon = Richard Branson. I was trying my luck. I was amazed to get such a quick response, and absolutely bowled over when they said they’d like to make an order”.

On the decision to purchase the book, the company says: 

“We were instantly charmed by Stephen’s endearing book, as well as the story behind it, and felt it would be a great hit with families on night time flights. It was the icing on the cake that Stephen is based in Haywards Heath, just around the corner from Virgin Atlantic’s HQ; we always like to support up-and-coming local talent where we can”.

And order they did. 2,000 copies, that are now being passed out as in-flight entertainment for younger passengers. 

At the request of his daughter, the author’s family will make a donation to Make A Wish for every copy sold. 


Featured image courtesy of Virgin Atlantic