One of my favourite authors when I was young was K.M. Peyton… or so I thought but when I looked up information about her, following a review I read in the papers today of her latest novel, ‘Wild Lily’, I discovered that I must have come to her later, when I was an adult; she was born in 1929, and published some books during the 1950’s and 60’s, but I haven’t read any of them… so it must have been the ‘Flambards’ or the ‘Pennington’ novels which I first read.
Despite the amount of reading I do, I’m not a very good reader in some ways; I need a novel with a storyline, with characters, with action… and although I appreciate the quality of books such as those by Virginia Woolf, I struggle to read them… and I feel apologetic and annoyed with myself because, to be honest… I just don’t like them! it’s not the length or the amount of words, Wilkie Collins, Dickens, the Russian greats… I love them!
Peyton’s books are so readable and she rightly deserves the prizes and awards and accolades she has received. However, I don’t actually know very much about her; reading various articles, I discovered that she has always loved writing, from an early age, and has said that she ‘never decided to become a writer … I just was one‘. I’m not comparing myself to her, she is a published and successful author! However, like her, I would say that being a writer was never a decision, I’ve just always done it, and before I could write I made up stories. In another coincidence, she married an artist, and so did I (although mine is also a rock drummer!), she became a teacher, and so did I… but she managed to sell her stories, which, apart from a few published in a magazine when I was in my twenties, I have never done. She greatly influenced me in her clarity of narrating her stories, the vivid way she brought characters and backgrounds to life, and what i might call a ‘gripping’ read!
I’ve been looking at her web-site, and I’m interested (and amused) that I seems to have developed a similar way of writing to her, trying to write every day, doing a lot of thinking as well as writing, not making notes but keeping everything in my head… She doesn’t like rewriting – well nor do I but I spend a great deal of time doing so! I guess she has an editor to guide her, I only have myself! She also has always been interested, fascinated, perhaps even obsessed by horses… which I haven’t – my interests and fascinations vary and change!
Here is a link to her page: