Port teen writes books for a cause

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Taylor Sinett with her newest book. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

Taylor Sinett’s publishing career started with a drawing in her father’s office.

Sinett, a Sands Point resident and senior at Paul D. Schreiber High School, drew a weasel on an easel during camp one summer and gave it to her father. He hung it in his office, where it caught the eye of a client.

“A client came in and said ‘Your daughter should really write a book, that’s so cute,’” Sinett said. “So I did.”

Five years later, Sinett has raised more than $36,000 for a variety of charities through the sale of her books. She recently released her third book, “Furry and Fabulous: The Life and Times of Taylor Swift’s Cats,” this fall.

Her decision to donate the books’ sales to charity began with her first book— the one based on the drawing in her father’s office, with the Seuss-like title of “A Weasel on an Easel.”

“Instead of just writing a book to write a book, I decided to donate the proceeds to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America,” she said. “My cousin has colitis… and I wanted to help people like her. I wanted to do more than just sit by her hospital bed.”

Her first book went on to raise more than $10,000 for the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America. Her second book, “Jack on a Plaque,” raised more than $16,000 for Cohen Children’s Medical Center.

Her most recent book has already raised $10,000 for Companions in Courage, a charity for children overcoming illness or life-threatening obstacles, despite being released only two months ago. All of her books are available online for $20,

“Furry and Fabulous” is based on the real Meredith and Olivia, better known as the pet cats of pop singer Taylor Swift.

Sinett has seen the cats multiple times on Swift’s social media accounts, and thought they would make good characters for her book.

“I’ve never met them but they seem really goofy and klutzy,” she said with a laugh.

Although her first story was inspired by a drawing she did, Sinett said that in the process of producing a book, the words come first.

She starts with the idea and then writes out a rough outline of the plot, which she continues to refine over several drafts, she said. Once that is completed, she said, she begins the illustrations.

Sinett said “Furry and Fabulous” took her the longest to complete because the story was more complicated and she took more time with illustrations.

The process of creating a book, from first idea to finished product, took about a year to a year and a half, Sinett said.

As much as she enjoys the process of creating a new book, she said, her favorite part was reading her story to children in schools and hospitals.

“It’s really cool to read and see how (the children) react,” she said. “After I read, sometimes I get to do fun activities with the kids or… they’ll draw little characters. I get to see my story come to life and watch people engage with it and get excited, which is fun.”

Sinett said she was considering studying public relations or marketing when she goes to college next fall. But she also wants to continue writing and illustrating her own books.

“I don’t think I’m going to make a career out of being an author,” she said. “But I love to write. It’s a fun hobby. I hope to keep writing books and continue donating to more foundations.”

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