" 'If it were not impertinent to lecture one's publisher,' [Beatrix Potter told Harold Warne], thoroughly exasperated with his literary timidity, 'you are a great deal too much afraid of the public for whom I have never cared one tuppenny-button. I am sure that it is that attitude of mind which has enabled me to keep up the series. Most people, after one success, are so cringingly afraid of doing less well that they rub all the edge off their subsequent work.' "
Beatrix was writing to her publisher about The Tale of Mr. Tod, a departure from her previous books in that the principal characters were villains. Her original opening lines ran, 'I am quite tired of making goody goody books about nice people. I will make a story about two disagreeable people, called Tommy Brock and Mr. Tod.'
In the end a compromise was reached, 'Beatrix agreed to drop "goody goody books" and substituted "well-behaved" for "nice" ', but it's her self-assurance in the face of her publisher's conservatism which I find so interesting.
Again, this is from Beatrix Potter: The extraordinary life of a Victorian genius by Linda Lear.