Writer had dad’s work printed 22 years later

Peter Kelt with his daughter, Pamela. Picture submitted
Peter Kelt with his daughter, Pamela. Picture submitted

A devoted daughter has fulfilled her father’s lifelong ambition of becoming a published novelist - 22 years after his sudden and tragic death.

Peter Kelt died in 1992 aged just 59 and from a sudden tumour which left his family devastated.

Peter Kelt at his typewriter in the 1960s. Image by Pamela Kelt.

Peter Kelt at his typewriter in the 1960s. Image by Pamela Kelt.

His daughter, Kenilworth author and journalist Pamela Kelt, was given a box of his unread manuscripts just two years ago.

After leaving them sat unopened for over six months, she decided to delve in and read the hobby writer’s work for the very first time.

Pamela, 57, said the contents left her overwhelmed - and with no choice but to send the work to her publishers and see what she could do.

“My stepmother Maggie sent me a huge box full of his work, but I was too afraid to open it and it sat in the hall for months,” she said.

“It was Christmas Eve when my daughter Lauren said we had to finally open it and as soon as I had read the first page I knew this was great work and wanted it to be seen.”

The editing and publishing process took her just over a year and soon attracted major interest.

And once published, the novel quickly made it onto the top 20 Amazon thrillers list which Pamela said would have made her father “immensely proud”.

But his daughter said despite being close, it is only now that she has got to know a new side to her father through his writing which she never read a word of while he was alive.

Set in Spain, the Cold War thriller not only brought out characters and places which she recognised, but brought memories of her father flooding back.

“Nothing prepared me for that I would find, or how I would feel reading it all back,” the writer explained. I discovered so much about my father, and there were people and places in his writing that I remembered or that were part of our family. It is a fascinating read and other than tidying up the Spanish in the text and some editing, I didn’t change a word. It didn’t need it.

“It was a very emotional process but so fulfilling to see his work finally in print.”

Scottish-born Peter Kelt worked as a geography teacher and never opened his writing up to his family. Despite a few unsuccessful attempts to get recognition, his work was never published in his lifetime.

Pamela, who lives with her husband and daughter in Kenilworth, said he would have been “celebrating with the rest” at seeing it happen.

She now hopes to turn her attention to four other manuscripts and short stories written by her father - and even a half finished novel which she may attempt to complete in his style.

Visit pamkelt.blogspot.co.uk for full text details.