Literary Links

July/August 2003


Good News and Announcements

New Author added to our growing family--We recently designed pages for Blythe Gifford, historical author.  Learn about Blythe and her debut novel, The Knave and the Maiden, by clicking here. Check out more of our authors on our author page.

Victorian Research Guide--This 252-page guide, Researching the British Historical--The Victorian Era, is now available either in print format or CD-Rom.  For more information, click here. Or, if you're attending the Romance Writers of America conference in New York this July, we'll be selling the guide at the Moonlight Madness Bazaar Thursday night.  Look for us there!

RWA National Conference--July 16-19, 2003--New York--Romance Writers of America will hold its 23rd annual conference at the Hilton New York.   If you can't make the entire conference, be sure to stop in for the Literacy Autographing and meet your favorite authors on Wednesday, July 16, 2002 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. All proceeds go to literacy foundations. This event is open to the public, so tell all your friends.  For more information, see the RWA National web site at

Golden Pen Contest--July 17, 2003--The Golden Network Chapter of RWA will announce the winners of their Golden Pen Contest at the RWA National conference this evening. At that time, the Golden Network will also be awarding its newly-published authors their Alumni status certificates. 

Fire & Ice Contest--July 18, 2003--The Chicago-North Chapter of RWA will announce the winners of their fifth annual Fire & Ice contest during a special luncheon at the RWA National conference. Stay tuned to the Chicago-North web site to find out who wins! Click Here!


New On Literary Liaisons

There are many new additions to Literary Liaisons. After reading about them below, check them out on the web site.

Author Pages


Blythe Gifford






Various titles by Patricia Mae White, aka Pat White




Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies, & Society 1700-1880 by Antigone Clark and Joseph O'Kelly

Disraeli by Edgar Feuchtwanger

Last Days of Glory: The Death of Queen Victoria by Tony Rennell

Teller of Tales: The Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Daniel Stashower

The Writer's Digest Writing Clinic by Writer's Digest editors

Featured Title

(none this month due to time constraints)


The Video Library

A History of Britain


Researching the Romance


Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies, & Society 1700-1880 by Antigone Clark and Joseph O'Kelly

Disraeli by Edgar Feuchtwanger

Last Days of Glory: The Death of Queen Victoria by Tony Rennell

Teller of Tales: The Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Daniel Stashower

The Writer's Digest Writing Clinic by Writer's Digest editors



Writers' Resources Online


Bata Shoe Museum

Equine Info

The James Lind Library

Playbills from Edinburgh's Theatre Royal

Writer Beware


Feature Article 

Quitting is Not an Option

by Patricia Mae White


At some point in a writer’s career she may consider quitting.  The rejections are coming too often and are too brutal, the publisher she was writing for has folded, or the editor who has had her manuscript for over three years suddenly disappeared to join a traveling band of gypsies.

And that’s before the author is published.

Before I sold in 2002, I used to think, “That’s it, I’m done!”  I’d tell my online critique partners that writing was not for me, and it was high time I got a real job like working the concession stand at our local movie theater, (I’d do almost anything for a free movie).  I’m sure they thought, “Yeah, yeah, White.  Keep saying it if it makes you feel better.”

In truth, it did.  Saying “I quit” gave me a sense of power, a sense that I had control over my writing life.  After a few hours away from the computer, I’d find my way back into my office using the lamest excuses, “the cat’s stuck in the printer!” or “I’m expecting an important e-mail from Mel Gibson!”  I wanted desperately to write, but had been hurt by this often-disappointing business.  If this sounds familiar, I’d like to share some coping skills I’ve developed over the years.

I had been a six-time Golden Heart finalist and had a book sitting on an editor’s desk for more than two and a half years — yet I still hadn’t sold.  Here’s what I did to keep from losing my mind and throwing my computer out the second story window.

1)   Re-program your brain.  I remembered reading about how the brain is like a computer and processes whatever messages you feed it.  Therefore, I created a sign and posted it on my bulletin board:  “Quitting is not an option.”  Each morning I’d read those words, my brain would process it and I’d think, “Okay, what am I writing today?”

2)   Why do I write?  I had to go deep inside and figure out why I write in the first place.  For me it had to be a spiritual reason, not a monetary or an ego motivation.  Therefore I asked myself, “Sherman, (my nick-name) why do you write?”  Because I love it.  I listed all the reasons I write fiction:  to fly, to laugh, to experience new places and people, to get that “high” that only writing will give me.  What’s on your list?

3)  Don’t go it alone.  I scanned books on the writing life.  My favorites are “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott and Stephen King’s “On Writing.”  There is something very comforting in knowing that these accomplished authors also struggle through the process and endless rejections.

4)   What can you control?  I took a very big step away from the frenzy of “I need to be published” and accepted the fact that I had no control over whether or not my books were published.  All I had control over was writing a great book that only I could write.  My voice was special, unique.  My job was to use my voice and imagination to create magic.  After that, it was in Fate’s hands.

5)   Focus.  To that end, I had to focus on motivation, not desperation.  Desperation leads to stress, which greatly affects your writing.   I had to find ways to motivate myself to write my five to ten pages every day, regardless of getting three rejection letters that particular day.

6)   Surrender.  You can quit!  No, you can’t quit writing, but you CAN quit obsessing over the results.  Write your book, send it off, and let it go. 

7)   Support.  Besides finding support from books, I also found support in critique partners.  They know you well enough to know when you need encouragement more than a tough critique. 

8)   Think positive. In other words, if you’re hanging out with authors who enjoy feeling sorry for themselves, it’s time to cut and run.  Feeling blue does nothing to help your production of good pages, and can lead to depression.  “Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadows.”  This is another phrase I’ve got posted above my computer.  I suggest you do just that.

9)   Affirmations.  Whatever you send out into the universe is what kind of experience you’ll have in life.  I highly recommend setting goals and writing daily affirmations to help you reach those goals.  My favorite story is about my friend, Laurie Brown (THE NIGHT WE KISSED, Kensington, October 2003) who told me she started writing, “I will be a multi-published author” fifteen times every morning.  About six months later she had a two-book contract, and one of the books wasn’t even written!  What do you want from this writing life? A best-seller?  Ten best-sellers?  Write it down!

10) Take care of yourself.  Julia Cameron refers to this as a weekly “Artist’s Date.”  Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do.  Keep that list close and the next time you’re feeling down, pick one thing from that list and do it to bring your spirits up.  Also, keep special music in your boom box, you know the CD that always makes you swing your hips or sing out loud.   The right music is a fabulous way to brighten your spirits.  My current favorites are The Corrs “Live in Dublin” and U2’s “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.”

      Another highly recommended book is THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz.  I especially like the “Second Agreement” which says “Don’t take things personally.”  A thick skin can save your emotional life in this business. After all, once you sell you’re going to have to cope with reviews.  

      The most important lesson I’ve learned on this journey is to “Walk On” as Bono of U2 sings.  In other words, write the best book you can, send it out and let it go.  The tighter you hold onto things, like a rejection letter, the more it eats away at you.  Learning to detach is key. 

      And remember, you are not alone.

     After writing for seven and a half years, Pat sold her first book, PRACTICE MAKES MR. PERFECT (July 2003, writing as Patricia Mae White) to Silhouette Romance, and four months later sold her single title, GOT A HOLD ON YOU (August 2003, Romantic Times Top Pick) to Dorchester.   She said, “I quit!” many times during those seven years, but luckily always found her way back to her computer.  Send her an e-mail at or visit her website at:

For more of Pat's titles, visit our Fiction Bookstore.

Editor's Note

It is with great pleasure that I feature Patricia Mae White in this issue of our newsletter.  Pat, fellow writer and good friend, epitomizes the word 'perseverance.'  It is what sold her first novel, Practice Makes Mr. Perfect to Silhouette Romance.  But more important, it is what sold the book of her heart, Got a Hold on You, a contemporary romance set in the world of professional wrestling.  Pat knew from the beginning that Hold would be a hard sell.  But she persevered, kept faith, and finally realized her dream with Dorchester.  The feature article this month, Don't Quit, is from Pat.  If anyone knows about setbacks, she does, with this hard sell book.  Also, read more about hard sells from Pat in the July issue of Romance Writer's Report.  For more about Pat and her inspiring story, visit her web site at

--Michelle Hoppe

President, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.

Q&A Column

Q:  How can I find out more about a London newspaper that I have?  It's dated 9th Feb 1901 covering Queen Victoria's funeral, in good condition.


A:   There are several places to start your search. The first is Antique Price Guides. Here are a few titles you can find either at an online bookstore like, or at your local book store or library.

**The Insiders Guide to Old Books Magazines Newspapers and Trade Catalogs: 21000 Items Priced by Dealers and Collectors by Ronald S. Barlow, Ray Reynolds, Ron Barlow 
**Title International Antiques Price Guide, Publisher London: Miller; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.: Antique Collectors' Club
**Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price List 2003, 35th Edition

You might also find information by searching online auction sites like eBay or Sotheby's.

**BBC links to antique sites
**Christie's Auction House
**Sotheby's Auction House
**eBay Online Auctions

Or, you can ask an expert at a site like There is sometimes a small fee involved.


Good luck! Let us know if you find out anything.

Michelle Hoppe
President, Literary Liaisons

Historical Calendar of Events


Winston Churchill--British statesman

G. K. Chesterton--English author

W. Somerset Maugham--English author

Gustav Holst--English composer

Ernest Shackleton--British explorer

Herbert Hoover--U.S. statesman and politician

Robert Frost--American poet

Gertrude Stein--American poet





Benjamin Disraeli became Prime Minister of England.

The Prince of Wales visited France.

Britain annexed the Fiji Islands.

February 4--British troops under Garnet Joseph, Viscount Wolseley entered the Ashanti capital Coomassie, ending the second Ashanti War. 

January 13--Hundreds were injured after a charge of mounted police during a meeting of the unemployed at New York’s Tompkins Square, held to bring public attention to widespread poverty.

May 8--Massachusetts enacted the first effective 10-hour work day law for women.

September 17--New Orleans, Louisiana--Federal troops at put down a revolt by the White League against the black state government.

November 18--Cleveland, Ohio--The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was founded. 

December 7--Vicksburg, Mississippi--Seventy-five blacks were killed  in race riots.

The first Hutterite immigrants to America arrived at New York from Europe. The Bonhomme colony at Yankton, South Dakota, was founded, and will be followed by 200 colonies in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana, Washington, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan; the Hutterites now number 20,000.

Alfonso XII, son of Queen Isabella, proclaimed King of Spain.

Japanese troops invade Taiwan in April.

The Arts

"Woman Plucking Geese" by Max Liebermann

"La Loge" by Renoir


Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Phineas Redux by Anthony Trollope

Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo

La Tentation de Saint Antoine by Gustav Flaubert 


Methods of Ethics by Henry Sidgwick

The Encyclopedia of Wit and Wisdom by Josh Billings


Romances sans Paroles by Verlaine

Ode by Edgar O'Shaughnessy


"Libussa" by Franz Grillparzer in Vienna

"The Two Orphans" by Adolphe D'Emery in Paris


"Hungarian Dances" by Brahms

"Requiem" by Giuseppe Verdi


"Boris Godunov" by Petrovich Mussorgsky debuts in St. Petersburg's Maryinsky Theater

"Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss II

Verdi's "Requiem" debuted in Milan



Daily Life

The first Impressionist exhibition was held in Paris, the term 'impressionism' coming from Monet's "Impression: Sunrise"

The Paris Opera was completed.

The Union Generale des Postes was established in Berne, Switzerland.

E.T. Gerry of New York founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ASPCC) is organized in New York after social worker Etta Angel Wheeler finds a little girl wandering naked through the city’s slums after having been beaten, slashed, and turned out by her drunken foster mother. 

Civil marriage was made compulsory in Germany.

The first American zoo was established in Philadelphia.

Lawn tennis was patented under the name Sphairistike by British sportsman Walter Clopton Wingfield. The new game was introduced in Bermuda and from there into the United States by Mary E. Outerbridge.

April--New York’s Madison Square Garden opened under the name Barnum’s Hippodrome at the north end of the city’s 38-year-old Madison Square Park on Fifth Avenue. Showman P. T. Barnum then sold his lease to Patrick S. Gilmore, who renamed it Gilmore’s Garden and used it for flower shows, policemen’s balls, America’s first beauty contest, religious and temperance meetings, and the first Westminster Kennel Club Show.

May 14--Boston, Massachusetts--The first real football game wsa played, a variation of rugby. Harvard and McGill fielded teams of 11 men each who run with the ball as well as kicking it. Scrimmage lines and “downs” would not be introduced until the 1880s.

Turkey red wheat, hard, drought-resistant, and high-yielding, was introduced into the United States by German-speaking Mennonites from Russia’s Crimea.

An agricultural depression began after British farm wages fell, and farm workers strike in the east of England.  This  would lead to an exodus of farm workers into the growing mill towns.

The first shipment of Montana cattle for the East arrived at the railhead at Ogden in Utah Territory.

The Winnipeg Free Press began publication in Canada.

New York’s R. H. Macy Co. displayed its doll collection in the world’s first Christmas windows, beginning a tradition that other stores would follow.  

The U.S. public high school system won support from the Supreme Court which upheld the city’s right to establish a high school and to levy new taxes to support the school. 

The London School of Medicine for Women was founded by English physician Sophia Jex-Blake.  She would gain the legal right to practice medicine in Britain in 1877.

The University of Adelaide was founded in Australia.

Margarine was introduced into the United States.

The ice cream soda was invented at the semi-centennial celebration of Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute. Robert Green ran out of cream after making $6 per day selling a mixture of syrup, sweet cream, and carbonated water.  He substituted vanilla ice cream and by the time the exhibition ended, he was averaging more than $600 per day in sales.




Billroth discovered streptococci and staphylococci.

A. T. Still of Kansas founded osteopathy.

H. Solomon introduced pressure-cooking methods for canned foods, leading to a large-scale expansion of the industry.

The excavation of Olympia began, underwritten by the German government.

Silver was discovered at Oro City (Leadville) in Colorado Territory where the placer gold found in 1859 had long since been exhausted.

Levi Strauss blue jeans got copper rivets as the result of a joke about a prospector named Alkali who carried rock specimens in his pockets and has had his bibless overalls riveted by a blacksmith. The riveted denims sold at $13.50 per dozen.

A Minneapolis flour mill employing fluted chilled steel rollers in addition to conventional millstones was opened by C. C. Washburn.

Norwegian physician Arrnauer Gerhard Henrik Hansen discovered the leprosy bacillus. The disease would hereafter be called Hansen’s disease.

The Baltimore Eye & Ear Dispensary was founded by physicians who include local ophthalmologist Samuel Theobald,  who introduced the use of boric acid for treating eye infections. 

Improved surgical dressings were pioneered by East Orange, N.J., inventors Robert Wood Johnson and George J. Seabury, who manufactured an adhesive and medicated plaster with a rubber base.

July 2--The first bridge to span the Mississippi at St. Louis is tested by fourteen 50-ton locomotives loaded with coal and water. Three hundred thousand residents and visitors gathered to watch the collapse of “Eads’s Folly” but the bridge holds all 700 tons.

The Remington typewriter introduced by F. Remington & Sons Fire Arms Co. begins a revolution in written communication. But the $125 price of the Remington typewriter is more than a month’s rent for many substantial business firms and Remington produces only eight machines.

Belgian-American inventor Charles Joseph Van Depoele demonstrated the practicality of electric traction.

New York got its first electric streetcar but the system is hazardous and presents no immediate threat to the horsecar. 

English photochemist William Blanchard Bolton showed that nitrates can be washed out of photographic emulsions through a process that would be used hereafter in developing.

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