A YOUNG Dorset author is eagerly awaiting the launch of her debut novel which has netted her ‘a six-figure sum’.

Libby Page, 25, of Gillingham, Dorset, will see her novel The Lido – about the friendship of two women, one a young journalist, the other an octogenarian, who fight to save an outdoor swimming pool – published on April 19. Its debut has already been tipped by Grazia magazine as one of the ‘biggest of the year’.

The Lido – which is part of a two-book contract with Orion publishing - sprang out of Libby’s time in Brixton, south London, where the nearby Brockwell Lido became favourite haunts.

“Brixton was a community which was under change; big chains moving in, expensive blocks of flats being built and I felt that we needed to protect these places and so the story started,” she said.

In order to get the novel moving she took the bold step of saving up and then quitting her job in marketing – she trained in fashion journalism – before moving to Paris for six weeks to write.

After her return Libby spent a year mailing out The Lido before it was snapped up by an agent in spring 2017 in the classic manner – from his slush pile. After making a few editorial adjustments the book was put up for sale and was sold in 14 territories.

Libby has now quit her job to write full-time but still makes time to visit the family home in Gillingham where she was educated at the local state school.

“People I knew at school are reaching out to me on Facebook to say congratulations because they knew I’d always wanted to be a writer and they were pleased for me,” said Libby. “Now I just want to shout it from the rooftops, that it IS possible, if it can happen to me it can happen to anybody, if you put in the time and dedication.”