Cover_Vol2_CS5.inddStart the New Year reading the second volume of Collected Stories of Maud Hart Lovelace and Delos Lovelace. The new volume is a collection of 18 published short stories. The couple, independently and collaboratively, wrote and sold hundreds of short stories in their early careers. The stories in this volume show their early talent as writers. The book offers a fascinating series of short stories to read, including Maud’s first published short story, Number Eight: A Startling Adventure On A Midnight Car.

Number Eight is a story about a late night ride on a city street car one cold November evening. Friends Amy and Gertrude, along with their chaperone Mr. Morley, board a street car for the ride home after an evening of dinner and the theater. “I do not know how many hours it took us to return home, but well I remember the terrors of that wild wind. My mind was harrowed with doubt and fear, and in the murky darkness I seemed to see ever dancing before me the evil eyes of the man we had left on Number Eight.” The next morning when they read the newspaper headline, Amy and Gertrude understand what happened aboard the street car they had ridden the night before.

Maud Palmer Hart visited her grandparents and her Uncle Frank (Uncle Keith) in California in 1911. Maud told a fan that in 1911, her uncle “was ranching, not far from San Diego, and came to Grandma’s often, and was banging the piano and making me sing and (for he was a writer as well as an actor) helping me with my writing, brought me his typewriter, etc. I sold my first story there.'”

In another letter, Maud relates: “Uncle Frank Palmer, who lived then at El Cajon, took a great interest in my constant writing of stories and their consistent rejection by the magazines. He suggested that perhaps they failed to sell because they were hand-written. He loaned me his old Oliver typewriter…he tried to give it to me, but I refused the gift because I knew he liked to write stories, too. On this, I pecked out ‘Number Eight’ and sent it to the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine. My visit was just ending and soon Grandma and I took the train to Los Angeles. A newsboy came through our car and I bought a copy of the Times. I scrambled through the magazine section and there was ‘Number Eight!’. The moment I saw that story in print was one of the happiest of my very happy life.”

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