Born on March 16th, William Mayne is one of England's most well-known authors. Born in Yorkshire, the son of a doctor, he spent his childhood at the choir school of Canterbury Cathedral. He left school at fourteen, knowing he wanted to be a writer, and worked for a short time at the British Broadcasting Corporation before writing full-time.
Many of his early books were written in the "boy's school" genre; A Swarm in May being the most notable example. Made into a movie in 1983, the story is that of a young chorister who must sing at the ceremony honoring a legendary choirboy who could control bees with his voice.
Mayne is noted for his fantasy and science fiction novels, particularly Earthfasts and the two books that followed. William Mayne was awarded the Carnegie Medal for A Grass Rope in 1957. His most recent novel, Animal Garden, was published in 2003.