- The Journey of Josiah Taltatters (1953)
- The Stable that Stayed (1952)
- The Last Giant (1947)
- Once There Was Olga (1944)
- The Little Green Island (1942)
Payne was born in Natchez, Mississippi in 1899. She attended Natchez and Oklahoma public schools. She also attended Lucy Cobb Institute in Athens, Georgia. She lived at Cedar Grove Place from 1938 to 1972. The house and town are reflected in her stories.
She married Earl Waite Payne and had a daughter, Joan Balfour Payne.
Her books were illustrated by her daughter, Joan Balfour Payne. Her daughter then went on to write children’s stories as well. Joan Payne died in 1973 and her mother died in 1978.