FESTIVAL OF CHICHESTER: Lucy Foley at home-city festival

Lucy
Lucy

Hugely-successful new author Lucy Foley is delighted to appear in her home-city festival.

An Evening with Lucy Foley is at Waterstones Bookshop, The Dolphin & Anchor, West Street, Chichester on Monday, July 6 at 6pm – a chance to hear about The Book of Lost & Found, a book billed as the perfect read for fans of Victoria Hislop and Kate Morton.

Lucy was a pupil at Westbourne House near Chichester before going on to Portsmouth High. She grew up in Slindon where her parents still live.

“I grew up sailing on Chichester harbour! It’s lovely to be coming back for the festival,” says Lucy, who is hoping to release her second novel in February next year.

Lucy comes to writing on the back of working in publishing: “I was working on the other side as an editor, so it is quite funny to be on the other side now. I really appreciate a good edit! I have got a wonderful editor, so I really appreciate it more. I think a really good editor has a real sense of where the author is coming from, and for the author, it is a question of realising how much to put on the page, how much to reveal. You have obviously got everything in your head, but you need to be thinking how much can be transmuted as you write.”

Clearly she got it right. The response to the book has been excellent: “One of the things that has really surprised me is talking to readers who have read it and loved it. You just can’t really prepare yourself for that. You write in a bit of a vacuum, and then people that are close to you read it, and then your editor reads it, and then people you will never know read it, which is an amazing feeling. I love the fact it is out there. I finished writing it a year ago so I have a bit more distance from it now. There is a feeling that it is not so much mine. It is the readers’ as well.”

The book opens in the 1920s at a party for bright young things.

The paths of Tom and Alice collide against a haze of youthful, carefree exuberance. And so begins a love story that finds its feet by a lake one silvery moonlit evening . . .

“You have got two people you think are meeting for the first time, but you realise they have known each other since childhood and have not seen each other since. That’s the start of a love affair.

“But they keep being forced apart by their own decisions, by life, by history on the grand scale, but they keep trying to get back together and meet each other.

“In the 1980s, there is a young woman who thinks she has lost everything, but she has inherited this portrait that actually uncovers the love story in the past so she goes on this story of discovery.

“I really enjoyed moving back and forth in time. I have read books where the story in the past is a long way in the past and the characters are long gone, but what I found quite fun with this one was that the characters are young in the story in the past and are still alive in the story in the 1980s. It was really interesting to develop them through the years.”

For Lucy, a key moment is when Kate, the woman in the 80s, looks at the man in semi-darkness and despite his white hair begins to see him as he was all those years before…

Online: www.chichestertickets.co.uk. Box office: 01243 813595.

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