Horsham-based author’s second novel shoots to the top of the charts

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A Horsham-based author is celebrating the success of her second novel, which has shot to the top of the charts.

Lisa Brace's novel SWIM follows the life of Blackpool woman, Lucy Morton, in a novel that celebrates her triumphs.

Lucy Heaton, nee Morton, was a swimmer who competed in the Olympic Games in Paris in 1924.

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Now, one hundred years after her success, her story is being told in the fictional novel Swim, written by Lisa Brace, a former journalist for the West Sussex County Times.

Lisa Brace is an author from Horsham. Credit Chrissie Brooks PhotographyLisa Brace is an author from Horsham. Credit Chrissie Brooks Photography
Lisa Brace is an author from Horsham. Credit Chrissie Brooks Photography

Lisa saw Lucy’s medals being valued on the Antique’s Roadshow and as a swimmer herself felt compelled to find out more about the woman.

She said: “I was blown away by the success of this woman and assumed her story had been told far and wide, but as I researched her I found little had been written about her life. The further I dug, the more fascinating I found Lucy’s story.”

Lucy Morton began swimming when a teacher suggested to her father she took up the exercise due to being classed as ‘a bit of a dunce’. She began competing and was set to take part in the 1920 Olympic Games, only for it to be cancelled due to the First World War.

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By the time 1924 rolled around Lucy was considered a bit too old to take part, but was highly successful in her trials and made it to the British team.

On the eve of her Olympic final she was in a car accident with three other girls. Whether she won her race or not, you’ll have to buy the book, which has been meticulously researched.

Lisa added: “Whilst I have fictionalised aspects of Lucy’s life because I wanted this novel to reflect the era she was growing up in and competing, all of the competitions and results are correct. I’ve even made sure any woman mentioned in the Olympics scenes are the ones she actually competed with as I felt it important to celebrate all the women who were making waves at the time.”

Lucy Morton went on to become Lucy Heaton and taught hundreds of children how to swim in Blackpool, with many not knowing about her early career.

Swim is published by Blue Pier Books and is available from Waterstones, Amazon, and independent bookstores. Lisa is also selling signed copies if purchased directly from her, lisabrace.co.uk

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