Ely businessman, who runs a sweetshop in the city, is inspired to write a book - about a sweetshop

The Curious Sweetshop front cover. First novel by Ely author

The Curious Sweetshop front cover. First novel by Ely author - Credit: Archant

An Ely businessman has been inspired to write a book about a sweet shop - after running his own sweet shop in the city.

David Learner, owner and manager of Mr Simms in Ely, has been inspired to publish a fantasy novel which has been four years in the making.

This is David’s first novel after a variety of roles, but it was the last four years, before the opening of Mr Simms, that provided the spur.

He spent three years at Waterstones in King’s Lynn and several months as assistant editor on a glossy magazine.

“I was surrounded by words,” he said. “Eventually, I guess, after exposure to many millions of them you start to rearrange some into the beginnings of a story.’

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It’s the success of Ely 501, the annual story writing challenge for children, that at last enabled David to write The Curious Sweetshop. “Ely 501 is now in its fifth year,” he said. “The extraordinary talent that surrounds us in our schools made me look at those incredible teachers who opened an enquiring mind when I was growing up.

“The book is a tribute to them all, both pupils and teachers alike.”

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The front cover photograph is by Newmarket photographer Rebecca Tibbs.

David’s book is available at Burrows Bookshop and Mr Simms Ely.

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