Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Jenny Miller is Kathie from CA ! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address. (ckrumm@litfusegroup.com)
This week BJ Taylor  is in the Spotlight! To win a copy of her book, Charlie Bear, leave a comment on this post!

Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?

I’m originally a Midwesterner. I moved from Wisconsin to California more than 20 years ago. I like to say you can take the girl out of the Midwest, but you can’t take the Midwest out of the girl. And that’s especially true if you’d hear me speak! My husband Roger and I have four grown children and two grandchildren. We also work together in a small business. I’m blessed to be able to write in the mornings and work at my job in the afternoons, but there have been months-long stretches where we didn’t have office help and I had to work more than eight hours a day. This recently happened at the exact time when the CHARLIE BEAR book was contracted and due. I got up at 5 a.m. every day and wrote for three hours before going into the office.

And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…

I love inspirational stories. And I’ve discovered I love writing about dogs. They are such a valuable part of our lives. I like to include a dog in the books I write, sometimes more than one, and sometimes a kitty or two.

How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?

I was married and had children right out of high school, but I always wanted a college degree. Not a big one, just an Associate of Arts degree. So in the 90s I signed up for courses at a local community college. It was during that time that I chose an elective class, Creative Writing. It nurtured that love for language and the writing seed took root.

After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?

Something really cool happened to me. Remember John Gray and his “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” books? I was an admirer of his philosophy, so when he sent out a query to readers for their input to be included in his upcoming book, “Mars and Venus in Love,” I submitted six single-spaced pages of thoughts. (I know now that was WAY too much, single-spaced no less—but I was a rather inexperienced writer). They loved what I wrote, published most of it, and a fledging author with a little confidence was born. BTW, there was no byline, no payment, just the accomplishment, which looked great on my writer’s resume.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups?

I belong to three writers critique groups: two face-to-face and one online. I believe that sharing our writing with others can help to support, motivate, and encourage every member to success. There will be ups and downs, for instance non-acceptances, but the sting is not as painful when shared. And then there will be wonderful successes that are multiplied ten-fold when celebrated together. If not for my writers’ group members and our meetings, I may not have held myself accountable or accomplished all that I have in my writing career. And the funny thing is: every single member of the Sixteen Thumbs, the Marble Shapers, and the Night Writers has all been published.

Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.

When B.J. Taylor first gazed at CHARLIE BEAR’s photograph, she knew right away he was the dog for her, but this rescue dog came with a long list of behavioral issues and was nearly labeled “unadoptable.” B.J. and her husband Roger often doubted their sanity after adopting Charlie Bear, but he eventually sheds his headstrong ways and becomes a loving member of the family, ultimately changing three lives forever.

What’s on the book horizon for you?

A compilation of inspirational stories published in Chicken Soup books and other markets has been pulled together into SUNNY SIDE UP: Inspiring Stories for Tough Times / Women / Dog & Cat Lovers and is available on Amazon. I am also working on novels I like to call dog-lit (Chick Lit for Dog Lovers).

Last question, how can readers find you and your books?

Amazon Author Page

Direct link to CHARLIE BEAR book on Amazon

B.J. Taylor’s website

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