It is with great sadness that we’re writing here today to tell you that the wonderful medical romance author, Jennifer Taylor, has died after a long battle with multiple myeloma. She was courageous and generous to the end and she is greatly missed, not just in the medical romance family but also the Harlequin family and by her beloved readers.
Jennifer wrote 85 medical romance novels over almost thirty years, entertaining millions of readers and capturing their hearts with her heartwarming stories set mainly in GP surgeries, country hospitals, or in the Mediterranean, a place she loved.
A few of the medical romance authors have written tributes below and we invite you to leave your own in the comments section.
Fiona Lowe writes: I like to think of Jennifer at home with her beloved dog. Way way back in the day, before I was published, Jennifer was a driving push to highlight medical romances and as a ‘wanna-be author’, I commented on the new blog. I won a green leather keyring with gold lettering that said, ‘Medical Romance’ and it had a gold heart. As an aspiring author, I used that keyring every day as a talisman.
By the time I got published, I’d rubbed all the gold off the leather! When I sold to Harlequin Mills & Boon, I was so excited to be welcomed to the author group and ‘e-meet’ the woman who had organized the keyring. She was warm and welcoming and generous with her sage advice. I remember her sorrow when her beloved husband Bill died and I remember the quilt many of the authors contributed a square to when Jennifer’s first grandchild was born. Only two days before she died, Jennifer was contributing to our ‘staff room’ conversation. Recently, during a stay in hospital, she’d been cared for by a handsome, Rugby-playing doctor who she declared was perfect hero material and great research for a book. Vale, Jennifer. You are dearly missed.
Amy Andrews writes: I read Jennifer’s books long before I was ever privileged enough to know her as a person. Her’s (and Caroline Anderson’s) were the books I glommed when I was learning the craft of medical romance. When I finally made it into the medical romance author fold, Jennifer was so generous and supportive of me, especially in the beginning when everything was a little overwhelming. I couldn’t believe that this woman, whose books I had read and loved, was being my cheer squad. It was my great privilege to meet her on three separate occasions and I was very excited that she came to London last April when I was there for our medical authors high tea. I know it was a hike for her and was touched that she went to the effort.
Kate Hardy writes: I’m so sad that our dear friend Jennifer Taylor has died. I ‘knew’ her before I started writing for M&B, because I loved her books, and I was so thrilled to meet her in real life and discover that she was one of the nicest women you could ever know. In fact, I’ve been friends with her right since my very first M&B authors’ lunch, so we’re going back more than 15 years. I have an early pic here of some of the medical authors from 2003, which puts a lump in my throat, because out of the five of us Sheila Danton, Jennifer and Roger Sanderson are no longer with us, and Margaret Barker is frail. (This pic made our editor, Sheila Hodgson cry, too.)
Jennifer and I set up the email loop for the M&B medical authors, so we could get together and talk books, gorgeous men, medicine and inspiration – not to mention giving people a hug when it was needed and cheering on all the good times. And how amazing it was, in the days before broadband, to think that we could actually talk to people on the other side of the world!
My enduring memory of her is her laugh. That lovely Liverpudlian giggle. She was always so positive and upbeat (and down to earth – never any airs and graces with our Jennifer). Even when she was facing some really difficult personal challenges and ill health, she always found something good in life – she was absolutely inspirational. And she was always one of the first to put her hand up and say she’d come to a meet-up (such as here in London when Amy Andrews came all the way over from Australia and we had afternoon tea).
I was proud to be there when she got her award for her 75th book. Here we are beforehand – Caroline Anderson, Scarlet Wilson, Jennifer and Annie Claydon.
My daughter plays guitar and recently Jennifer told me how she met Paul McCartney as a teen. Her friend lived just down the road from him, and they went to the Cavern and everything. Even when you’ve known someone for years, they still have the capacity to surprise you! 🙂 The day she told me this was the last time I saw her. At the M&B lunch – here we are with Susan Carlisle.
Jennifer was one of the best. I’m grateful for all the years of friendship and laughter and hugs. And those memories are always going to be there.
Fiona McArthur writes: Jennifer was one of life’s kindest ladies and I feel blessed to have known her. We last emailed each other just two weeks before she died. The photo on the left below was taken in London 2011 just after we’d spent the weekend together in Paris. We took photos of each other next to the Louvre to say, ‘Yay! We were here’. 🙂
Caroline Anderson writes:
I was so sad to hear of Jennifer Taylor’s death, because our lives have touched intermittently for the last twenty-seven years. In that time, she’s been not only a fellow author but also, because she was warm, friendly and open and always, always kind, she’s also been a friend. I can’t believe she’s gone.
We only met up once a year, twice at the most, and always at author functions – most of which are a good excuse for a party and a lot of talking. Authors all over spend so much time locked up with their own thoughts, generating words, that having an opportunity to have a real conversation with real people is always a joy! And seeing Jennifer was ALWAYS a joy.
I remember one occasion when she’d travelled down to London with her husband for the author lunch and I was privileged to meet him. What struck me instantly was how like her he was – funny, gentle, kind, with a mischievous sense of humour so like hers. I was so sad for her when she lost him just a few years later. She dealt with his loss with quiet courage and great dignity, just as she dealt with everything life threw at her, and there have been some great sadnesses in her life, moments from which you don’t recover but simply soldier on.
That was Jennifer all over. She was always so positive, so genuinely pleased to see everyone, and although I knew she was fighting a running battle with her health, she never let it show, never moaned about it or let it interfere with getting on with her full and busy life.
I’m useless at taking photos of memorable events, but luckily I also share these special author moments with Kate Hardy, and she’s taken some great photos of us together, which I’ve been looking at again. They bring a lump to my throat, because I can’t believe she won’t be there next time, that there’ll never be a next time.
It was a privilege to know her, to share however slightly in her life, to feel the warmth of her smile, to hear her lovely laugh, and there will always be a place for her in my heart. Rest in peace, dear friend…
(Caroline with Kate Hardy, scattering rose petals in memory of Jennifer Taylor)
If you would like to share a Jennifer Taylor story– perhaps a book of hers touched you or maybe you met her– please leave a message in the comments.
Thank you for touching our lives in so many wonderful ways.
Rest in Peace.