The Literary Ladies' Guide to the Writing Life
Welcome to a site celebrating classic women authors who wrote in the English language. Here you’ll find their words of wisdom for readers and writers. Enjoy their life stories and quotations; learn more about their books; read their advice on the writing life; and enjoy contemporary voices on the writing process.
Dear Literary Ladies
Dear Literary Ladies,
Sometimes I wonder what I’m more afraid of—failure, or success? In its own way, the prospect of success seems daunting. And I know I’m not alone. Did any of you find the idea of actually succeeding as scary and incomprehensible as I do?
I never expected any sort of success with [To Kill a] Mockingbird. I didn’t expect the book to sell in the first place. I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of reviewers, but at the same time I sort of hoped that maybe someone would like it enough to give me encouragement. Public encouragement. I hoped for a little, as I said, but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I’d expected.
—Harper Lee, from a 1964 interview
Maud Hart Lovelace (April 26,1892 – March 11, 1980) was an American author best know for the Betsy-Tacy series of books for girls. Born and raised in Mankato, Minnesota, she enjoyed a happy childhood filled with friends, culture, and a loving family As soon as she could hold a pencil, she began writing stories and poems.
Maud Hart started her college studies the University of Minnesota, but shortly thereafter had to withdraw for health reasons. Escaping to the sun and warmth of California to rest and recover, she lost no time in selling her first story to the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine. Only 18 years old at that time, that bit of good fortune paved the way for her writing ambitions.
Once recuperated and back to her studies, Maud continued to write and sell stories. College seemed less of a drew. She dropped out for good and instead she traveled solo to Europe to gather inspiration for her writing. In the spring of 1917, upon returning to her home base, the Wakefield Publicity Bureau offered a steady day job. She was hired to replace Delos Lovelace, a young writer who was headed off First Officers Training Camp. At a dinner hosted to hand off the position, the two hit it off and were married before the year was out. Read More→