A Wadena octogenarian has emerged as the friskiest colt in a stable of authors published by a North Dakota small press.
"It Really Happened Here" by 81-year-old Ethelyn Pearson -- subtitled "Amazing Stories of Minnesota and the Dakotas" -- is the leader in sales among books released this year by McCleery & Sons Publishing of Gwinner, N.D., the company said this week.
"We're getting national press on some of our authors ... but Ethelyn Pearson leads in the sales figures for 2001," McCleery editor Steve Tweed said in a news release.
"As a coffee table-sized book, 'It Really Happened Here' leads in all sales categories throughout Minnesota," Tweed said.
Pearson, a newspaper and magazine writer, has chronicled some of the region's strangest stories, including an account of how women fought an 1888 Wadena fire.
The author will appear at a book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday at Book World in Westgate Mall in Brainerd-Baxter to promote her book.
"It Really Happened Here" is a compilation of quirky-but-true stories inspired by historical published accounts.
Pearson, with assistance from area historical societies, contributed most of the stories, but Tweed and another writer added some of their own for the compilation.
McCleery, a small on-demand publisher that specializes in regional history and art books, lists 15 books for sale on its Web site, including "It Really Happened Here."
The company issued 5,000 copies of Pearson's book in the original press run, and the book's sales have made it "one of the biggest selling projects ever undertaken by McCleery Publishing," the news release said.
Pearson has written for The Farmer, Christian Herald, business and insurance publications, and several lifestyle magazines nationwide, according to the company.
"Ethelyn is our biggest-seller," Tweed said. "What an amazing achievement for a senior."
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