North Elmham dad launches book

Darren Lewis is writing books inspired by his daughter Ellie's (6) love of stories. Picture: Ian Bur

Darren Lewis is writing books inspired by his daughter Ellie's (6) love of stories. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

For many fathers having a daughter makes it hard to say no to anything.

From a lift to a party or a dream wedding – Daddy's girls are hard to refuse.

But when a North Elmham man's six-year-old daughter asked him to write her a book, he knew he was in for a challenge.

Darren Lewis, 38, said he had always wanted to pen prose but after commuting weekly from Oxfordshire to Norfolk the creative juices had run dry and writers block remained.

But after taking redundancy from his job as a commercial manager in Banbury, Mr Lewis said he became inspired by the mid Norfolk countryside and began to write 'Ellie and the Rabbits', the first of a trilogy which has been self published on Amazon.

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'She had always asked me to write her a proper story – I tried but I always got stuck,' he said.

'Ellie and I always told each other stories, she's an avid reader, quite unbelievable already.

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'But after moving to Elmham I was relaxed and without the stress of work all the words just flowed out in two weeks.

'I was inspired by going for walks in Elmham and just being outside, that's where I do my thinking.

'It's such a lovely place and so quiet at night.

'I genuinely wouldn't have been able to write the book if I hadn't been living there.'

Mr Lewis' debut tells the tale of a young girl called Ellie who wanders off from a family picnic to discover large rabbits talking to each other at a meeting.

'Three years ago we were telling a story about kanagroos which would take her around the world on an adventure', he said.

'Ellie's interested in everything and is not frightened to get to know people and that's what inspired 'Ellie and the Rabbits'.'

Set in North Elmham, 'but more hilly', Mr Lewis writes that Ellie is turned into a rabbit and embarks on an adventure with the others.

Their quest is a time-travelling bid to save the world and re-populate it with more of the friendly animals.

With inspiration ranging from Terry Pratchett and Roald Dahl to the late Iain Banks Mr Lewis said Ellie's quest has an ethical message intertwined with the adventure story.

'The key message is the power of helping', Mr Lewis said.

'That our key reason to be here.'

Mr Lewis' book is available on Kindle and Android at

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