Chatting with Jess Taylor at Creekside Cafe

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Welcome to Creekside Café, West Virginia author, Jess Taylor. It’s great to have you here. Jess and I met on The New Romance Café Facebook Group and we are both part of the upcoming spring romance anthology, “Love in Bloom.”

Jess: Thanks for this opportunity. It’s been great getting to know you. Can I just say I love your book titles…I’ve been waiting forever to tell you that in person. I don’t know where you got that idea from but those are cool!

Sherri: Thank you. Chrome Pink came about because of the Harley my character Rae Lynn restored for breast cancer. My mom was actually the inspiration for the title, she liked that country song, “Her favorite color is Chrome…” My mentor, Marni Graff uses color in the titles of her Nora Tierney cozy mysteries. I asked if she minded if I stole her idea. For the Leeward series, I wanted to blend a color with a metal. My daughter-in-law, Katelynn is the photographer for the cover of White Gold, she also helped me come up with the title. But enough about me, tell me about your books.

Jess: In talking about my books, there’s so many different things I’ve worked on as a ghostwriter, that really I can’t narrow down to one specific genre, but romance is definitely my favorite.  We all have to sign non-disclosure agreements in which we can’t really discuss the work or claim any ownership of content.  It’s a small price to pay though, to do the work I love.     

Sherri: What genre do you write?

Jess: I love romance.  There’s something about always having a happy ending that’s wildly comforting.  I also enjoy paranormal things.  Ghosts, vampires, swamp creatures, things that go bump in the night.  I love that gothic vibe.

As a writer, I think one of my large-scale goals is to contribute to diversity in literature. As a lesbian, I feel that despite large strides being made there’s still not enough representation or diversity in any media. I think that the romance genre could help that tremendously as everyone knows romance readers are the best readers in the world. They will stick by their writers though thick and thin and are really the best fans to have.

Sherri: I feel the same way, Jess. My characters are biracial, and their relationships are interracial because that is the world I live in. I want to promote characters who are as diverse and as multifaceted as the people I know.

You are single and a doggie mom, tell me about your fur-babies.

Jess: Hah! I am definitely single and ready to mingle as they say. All three of mine are rescue babies. There’s not a purebred amongst them though the oldest one…He’s a 12-year old Terrier mix, that looks like a Scottie dog, I call him Scruffington J. Bear to make him feel more regal. There’s also ten-year old Mugsie “Mugshot” because he’s twelve pounds of terror lol and my seven-year old pretty girl, Deliliah.

Sherri: Do any of your babies end up in your stories?

Jess: One did. It was an awesome Schauzner mix name Beau. His nickname was ‘Commander,’ though lol. I love making up little back stories about mine.

Sherri: When did you first know you were a writer?

Jess: I’ve been writing since I was an older teenage but didn’t really take it seriously until a few years ago.

Sherri: Are you a full-time writer or are you like me, you have to work a day job?

Jess: I currently work at a local pharmacy as a cashier in addition to my ghostwriting. During the day, whole day I’m at work in the pharmacy. Especially now–It’s flu season.

Sherri: When do you get time to write?

Jess: Definitely morning or late at night.

Sherri: Do you have a writing schedule or routine? Do you try to get a certain word count per day or week?

Jess: I really don’t have a writing schedule.  I do have a word count goal I meet every day though.  I do at least three thousand words a day, even on days when I don’t feel good, otherwise projects go unfinished.

Sherri: What is some of your favorite things about writing?

Jess: Oh it’s just fun.  I don’t know any other profession which allows for so much creativity.  I mean you get to constantly answer the question, “what’s next?” It’s really a dream gig.  I’m a lucky gal.

Sherri: What are your writing strengths and weaknesses?

Jess: I always catch myself asking, ‘what does that look like, what does that smell like, how does that feel?’ So, a big weakness is more details. Sometimes I assume because I can see it in my head everyone else can too. Strengths? I’m not really sure. I’ve been told before I do good dialogue.

Sherri: Help our readers get to know you. Who is Jess Taylor?

Jess: I’m 37 years old and have lived in West Virginia all my life. I am a geeky gal. I love comic books and I have been a reader from a young age. I’m also a big art buff and enjoy all kinds of movies, in particular classic movies. Currently I’m watching and loving The Orville and Sabrina the Teenage Witch lol!

I love hot dogs.  If there’s anyone who wants to sit in the parking lot of Dairy Queen or Sheetz with me and eat hot dogs now’s the time to come forward.

Sherri: Tell us a little about your story for the anthology.

Jess: For this story, I wanted to find some inspiration in the classics, so the title comes from that. I also wanted to show a bit about how sometimes reality doesn’t always match up with expectations, but there can be a happy ending even after you’ve given up hope. The title is The Rain Falls Mainly…

Sherri: The international spring romance anthology Jess and I are a part of is “Love in Bloom.” It comes out Friday, March 8, International Women’s Day. All of the proceeds will go to Breast Cancer Research Foundation. #BCRF

It is time to say good-bye, but don’t forget to check out Jess on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jess.taylor.5496, and pop over to The New Romance Café

if you want to talk books. For more information about BCRF I have included the history and mission statement from their website.

https://www.bcrf.org/

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer. We provide critical funding for cancer research worldwide to fuel advances in tumor biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, metastasis and survivorship.

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Since our founding in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder, BCRF has raised more than half a billion dollars for lifesaving research. Through a unique and streamlined grants program, we seek out the brightest minds in science and medicine and give them the necessary resources to pursue their best ideas. As a result, researchers are able to make discoveries and design new approaches to address all aspects of breast cancer—and do so in record time.

 “Our goal is to accelerate the breakthroughs bringing us closer to a cure to speed up the progress that will improve survivorship and quality of life for breast cancer patients today.” – Myra J. Biblowit, President & CEO

In 2018-2019, BCRF will award $63 million in annual grants nearly 300 scientists from top universities and medical institutions around the globe. In addition, BCRF has established the Evelyn H. Lauder Founder’s Fund, a multi-year international program dedicated to metastasis that is the first large-scale global effort to unravel the biology of metastasis, with more than $30 million earmarked to date. It is the largest privately funded project exclusively focused on metastasis in the world. But we still have more to do.

The thousands of women and men suffering from breast cancer today depend on us. No institution can conquer this disease alone. Together, we can.

It all started in 1993 at Evelyn Lauder’s kitchen table. 

Over a cup of coffee, Mrs. Lauder and her dear friend Dr. Larry Norton began a conversation that would, over time, change breast cancer history. Recognizing the power of research and its potential to change the lives of millions of women and men worldwide, they realized that to tackle this disease a new approach was critical.

At the time, a breast cancer diagnosis inspired fear and little hope. Scientific understanding of the nature of the disease and how it moved through the body was still nascent. Investigations on prevention strategies were fledgling, screening methods were limited and treatment options were few. 

Mrs. Lauder, along with Dr. Norton and her husband, Leonard, committed then and there to change that. They believed research was the way forward and founded BCRF on the belief that funding was the only obstacle standing between breast cancer and a cure. 

Years before, Mrs. Lauder was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and chose to channel her experience into action. A model of resolve, she took it upon herself in 1989 to help establish a state-of the-art breast and diagnostic center at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she was a board member.  The facility, known today as the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center, set a new global standard for cancer care offering the most up-to-date prevention, diagnosis and treatment services under one roof. 

In that same year, Mrs. Lauder created the signature pink ribbon with Alexandra Penney, then editor of SELF and launched the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign within The Estée Lauder Companies. The program distributed the ribbons, along with self-exam instruction cards, at Estée Lauder counters across the United States and around the world, helping to raise awareness about the importance of breast health and effectively placing breast cancer at the public forefront. 

Since then, Evelyn Lauder’s life’s mission has become ours: to rid the world of breast cancer. Today, BCRF stands as a testament to her fierce dedication, keen intuition and extraordinary vision. 

Evelyn H. Lauder, 1936 – 2011
BCRF Founder

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