9781906784164_bawd.jpgIf the 20 Under 40 list has you spooked, never fear–82-year-old novelist Myrrha Stanford-Smith has landed a book deal for a trilogy about the relationship between the great writers William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. After working her whole life as an actor and acting teacher, Stanford-Smith wrote her first novel late in life.

Here’s the grandmother’s reaction, from BBC News: “‘I had to put the phone down and ring them back as I was so taken aback by the whole thing,’ she said. ‘I’d been waiting for the manuscript to be sent back really, rejected. It was such a wonderful surprise,’”

The Wales-based writer sent her first novel The Great Lie to Honno Press–unexpectedly landing a three-book deal. Her publisher generated a fair amount of press over the deal. The publisher of Welsh women authors recently posted this note: “we have been overwhelmed with manuscripts and are currently not accepting any more until October 1st, 2010.”