Jess Wells

Author of Modern and Historical Fiction, Instructor in the Craft

Jess's books

War and Peace

5 of 5 stars

So glad I finally was able to read/​hear this book, all 43 discs unabridged, while commuting to work. He has a wonderful sense of irony, of humor, a jaded eye to the aristocracy. Marvelous ability to describe emotions in a single line. Lo...

Dear Life: Stories

5 of 5 stars

Tremendous work, though the prose is a little sparse for my taste. Nice to see a combination of both open-ended and concluded short stories. And I'm still thrilled that a short story writer has won the Nobel Prize.

The Luminaries

5 of 5 stars

Engaging, great use of language, and a fast-paced whodunit that I couldn't put down.


Cigarette Use in Movies Rises 72%

January 9, 2018

Tags: Modern Life

At first, I thought it was just because I was watching period dramas and that it lent verisimilitude to the piece to have a character smoke a cigarette, but the more frequent the occurrence, the more suspicious I became and yes, in fact it’s true: the incidences of tobacco use in movies has increased 72% according to a Center for Disease Control report issued in July 2017! And it is up 43% in the youth-focused films. Women are smoking as they sit on sofas, when they walk through the kitchen pondering. Characters are chain smoking, using cigarettes as a pause in the dialogue. Men smoke cigarettes in cars.

And the CDC again reiterated that “there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and the initiation of smoking.” Children exposed to visuals of smoking are 2 to 3 times more likely to start to smoke and I think it has an effect on adults as well.

I should time it in the next movie and see how many minutes between visions of someone lighting up. I lend my voice in protest: remove all tobacco from all forms of entertainment.

Freedom of Speech but Are We Really Free?

Recently in San Francisco there were petitioners outside the grocery store to repeal a new law in San Francisco that prohibited the sale of flavored E cigarettes. I refused to sign it and the man holding the clipboard said, “what about our freedom to choose?” My reply is that when the tobacco industry spends $5.6 billion annually on marketing, we’re not really free to make true choices.

Another disturbing phenomenon has developed regarding cigarettes: The Washington Post recently reported that while the national smoking rate “has fallen to historical lows, with just 15% of adults still smoking… the socioeconomic gap has never been bigger… Among the nation’s less educated people – those with a high school equivalency diploma – the smoking rate remains more than 40% according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today, rural residents are diagnosed with lung cancer at rates 18 to 20 percent above those of city dwellers.”

#tobaccofreekids, #JessWells, #smoking

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"What really ties the stories together is Wells' wry sensibilities and lyrical prose. She mixes tragedy and comedy to great effect; producing stories that feel true as if it were gossip heard first hand." - Review
Historical Fiction
The early adulthood of Christine de Pizan, called "artfully captured with economy and delicacy [that] comes across beautifully in this well-written and researched work." - The Historical Novels Review
"Historical events…are elegantly woven into the plot. The well-rounded characters, constant action, and captivating subject matter unite (in The Mandrake Broom) to enlighten as well as infuriate as the atrocities of the time period become real through Wells’ vivid writing…. Reminiscent of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon series, Jess Wells’ third novel belongs on everyone’s reading list”– The Historical Novels Review