Author writes her first book at the age of 76 about a ferret's buccaneering adventures in the Harborough countryside

And the book is already “flying off the shelves” at Waterstones in Harborough

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 12:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th May 2021, 12:40 pm
Elizabeth Swain is thrilled to have got her mini-epic Fred Ferret published.

A talented woman who lives near Market Harborough is delighted to have written her first book – at the age of 76.

Elizabeth Swain is thrilled to have got her mini-epic Fred Ferret published after many years of working in office jobs and clerical roles.

The fully-illustrated 57-page book about young Fred’s buccaneering adventures in the Harborough countryside is already “flying off the shelves” at Market Harborough bookshop Waterstones.

Elizabeth Swain.

“It’s been great fun writing all about Fred Ferret’s many antics and escapades over the last two years,” said Elizabeth, who lives in Kelmarsh.

“Imagining the scrapes and the fun and games he gets up to with all his new rural chums has given me something so fantastic to focus on and work at during the Covid pandemic.

“I never thought I’d be getting my first book published at my age but it’s been an absolute thrill.”

The mother-of-two was inspired to put pen to paper when her son Russell’s then wife challenged her to do it.

“She kept ferrets and was moaning that she had no money.

“So I told her to write a book about her ferrets and what they got up to,” said Elizabeth, who went to school at The Willows on Coventry Road, Market Harborough.

“She threw down the gauntlet for me to do it instead – and so I immediately picked up the challenge and got straight down to work!

“I conjured up young Fred living in a pen with his mum and dad and his two sisters.

“But he’s a very curious boy and he’s desperate to get out and see the world.

“And one day Fred makes a break for it and escapes,” said Elizabeth, whose book illustrator Russell Martin lives in Brixworth.

“He meets a whole range of new animals and makes friends with a rabbit – which would never happen in real life, of course.

“They get chased by a fox and he falls in a river.

“But this adorable little character comes through it all unscathed.

“And lo and behold he ends up back in his pen telling his spellbound sisters all about his amazing adventures out in the big wide world,” said Elizabeth, whose book costs £4.99 and is aimed at children aged seven and under.

The enthusiastic horse-rider and keen countryside lover said Fred Ferret is now being snapped up by people captivated and enchanted by her charismatic creature.

“Amazon have sold out a couple of times already.

“It’s also being stocked by Waterstones in Market Harborough and is being sold online by WH Smith,” said Elizabeth.

The inspired pensioner with a penchant for purple prose is already deep into her sequel to Fred Ferret.

“I’m about halfway through.

“As with the first book I’ve written the start and the end first before going on to fill in the middle and put the flesh on the bones,” said Elizabeth.

“All being well I’m looking forward to getting the follow-up published next March.

“I’ve had a brilliant time making friends with Fred, his family and his pals over the last year or two and I know one thing for sure – we’re not done just yet!”

You can find out more about the one and only Fred Ferret on the Pegasus Publisher website here: