Lorna Page’s first novel, a thriller entitled A Dangerous Weakness, was published when the author was 93 years old, at the instigation of her daughter-in-law.  Now 95, she lives near her birthplace, in Devon. She started writing, she says, "As soon as I could hold a pencil."

Short Story Collections

EBB and Flow
(Author House UK Ltd, 2009)

Reviewed by Sheila Cornelius

Interview with Lorna Page

The Short Review: How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?

Lorna Page: Ninety five years! Seriously, I've been writing and filing stories away all my life. For this collection I picked my favorites which include stories from the 1950s to 2009.

TSR: Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

LP: A writer never knows when inspiration is going to hit, and these stories simply came to me over my lifetime. I never dreamed they'd be in a collection. They were just the little jewels of my life.

TSR: How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?

LP: My son and his wife live with me, and we all read aloud to each other, so every time we had a dinner party the guests were read to after dinner. Depending on how each one was received by our dinner companions, we decided about its inclusion in Ebb and Flow. If they laughed it went in. If they cried it went in. If they were surprised it went in. And along the way we had some wonderful discussions.

TSR: What does the word "story" mean to you?

LP:  Everyone has a story. Some are spectacular, some are quietly impressive. My hope is that I can help lots of older people tell their stories before they can no longer do so.

TSR: Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?

LP:  No, but maybe that's why Keith loves Strangers and Alicia loves Gamblers Eponymous, And Carole loves Pink and Blue and Yellow and Green. My stories touch different people in different ways.

TSR: Is there anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?

LP: Yes! How can I keep my black hen from going broody and sitting on 13 eggs for a month - when I don't even have a rooster!

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

LP: Nice... good... wonderful... unbelievable... fabulous...

TSR: What are you working on now?

LP: Two novels are underway, and more short stories, but then there's the day to day business of being 94. Right now I'm reading a book about illicit drugs since one of the characters that came to me last night is a drug dealer, and I can't write about something that I don't know about.

TSR: What are the three most recent short story collections you've read?

LP: I love Frank O'Connor. Today I wanted a lie-in and picked it up and enjoyed it so much.
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