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My First Time...with Libby Page

Libby Page graduated from The London College of Fashion with a BA in fashion journalism before going on to work as a journalist at The Guardian. After writing, her second passion is outdoor swimming. Libby lives in London, where she enjoys finding new swimming spots and pockets of community within the city.

She is also delighted (probably) to have discovered our little pocket of writing inspiration and will be joining us at The Riff Raff on Thursday 12th April to read from her amazing debut The Lido.

Get your tickets here >>

Libby Page. The Riff Raff

Here's the blurb for The Lido...

'Kate is a twenty-six-year-old riddled with anxiety and panic attacks who works for a local paper in Brixton, London, covering forgettably small stories. When she’s assigned to write about the closing of the local lido (an outdoor pool and recreation center), she meets Rosemary, an eighty-six-year-old widow who has swum at the lido daily since it opened its doors when she was a child. It was here Rosemary fell in love with her husband, George; here that she’s found communion during her marriage and since George’s death. The lido has been a cornerstone in nearly every part of Rosemary’s life. But when a local developer attempts to buy the lido for a posh new apartment complex, Rosemary’s fond memories and sense of community are under threat. As Kate dives deeper into the lido’s history—with the help of a charming photographer—she pieces together a portrait of the pool, and a portrait of a singular woman, Rosemary. What begins as a simple local interest story for Kate soon blossoms into a beautiful friendship that provides sustenance to both women as they galvanize the community to fight the lido’s closure. Meanwhile, Rosemary slowly, finally, begins to open up to Kate, transforming them both in ways they never knew possible.'

Read more My First Time interviews >>

Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book?

I’d had the idea for a few months but was unsure about actually starting and committing to it. I then went to Hay-on-Wye literary festival in 2015 and attended a talk by one of my favourite authors, Sarah Winman.

She spoke with such passion about writing and it resonated with me so much that when I left I decided to go for it and start my novel. That’s why it is particularly special for me that a quote from Sarah Winman is now on the front cover of my finished book!

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting to write your first book?

I suppose I could say that I wish I’d known everything would work out and that my book would get published. It certainly would have been nice to hear in difficult moments! But I actually think there’s something to be said for writing without the pressure of any expectations. I wrote The Lido for myself, because I wanted to and that gave me a certain freedom. Writing my f