What was the thing that influenced you to start writing?
My grandmother was a writer and I am sure that is what made me want to write. I began writing poetry in my teens, and what drove that was trauma. I remember enjoying poems when I was very young. There was a nursery rhyme I loved, Doctor Fell. I do not like thee, Doctor Fell, the reason why - I cannot tell; but this I know, and know full well, I do not like thee, Doctor Fell. I imagine that those three things were what influenced me to start writing.
Tell me your success stories in terms of publishing/self publishing?
My debut novel, Soul Destruction: Unforgivable, was published in April 2013 by Caffeine Nights. A literary agency is now representing the translation rights; so hopefully, there will be more news to come on that. Soul Destruction: Unforgivable is the first novel in the Soul Destruction series. My main character is Shelley Hansard, a heroin addicted and crack psychotic London call girl. In this first book, she and her friends, Tara and Nicole, discover that the same client sent to them by a madam, Marianne, has raped them all, and they plot revenge on the rapist.
Last year, I published on Amazon In Her Own Words... Interview with a London Call Girl, which is the unedited transcript from a video interview I undertook with a woman who worked as a call girl in London for my research into prostitution in the late 1990s. The woman I interviewed, referred to as Q, was a very dear friend of mine during that time in my life. Sadly, she is no longer alive so all the royalties from that publication are donated to Beyond the Streets, a charity working to end sexual exploitation.
What are your top writing tips for any aspiring writer?
I can only say what has worked for me. After years of writing and never completing a novel, this time, I seriously invested in reading about writing. I think I read more than a dozen books on all aspects of novel writing (plot and structure, description and setting, characterisation, dialogue, editing etc.) while writing Soul Destruction: Unforgivable. It’s also extremely important not to give up, as I had done so many times before. As I constantly doubt my ability to write, I can become frozen. So carrying on writing is essential.
What are you working on now?
I must get on with writing the second book in the Soul Destruction series. I began writing book two some time ago, but then became sidetracked with Soul Destruction Diary, a spin-off series to Soul Destruction that I started writing on my blog last year. Currently, my time is spent a great deal in non-fiction for human rights campaigning and activism. The Merseyside model, treating crimes against people in prostitution as hate crimes, is something I would like to see become UK wide. More about that campaign can be read here http://ruthjacobs.co.uk/2013/03/04/cry-for-the-merseyside-model-crimes-against-sex-workers-must-be-treated-as-hate-crimes-uk-wide/ and for anyone in the UK, please sign and share the HM Government e-petition here http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/49040/.
What do you draw on for inspiration?
Mostly my own life, which has been rather colourful as well as tragic. I like stealing things from other people too, words and phrases or anecdotes that I can turn into something else. There’s a funny story, which wasn’t funny at all at the time, that I’ve been thinking I’d like to use in my next novel. I had a boyfriend when I was seventeen and I don’t think he could find a way to break up with me. So insanely he told me he was dying and only had a short time to live. We’re friends on Facebook and Twitter now - he didn’t die, and he apologised and made a kind gesture to try to make up for it. But back then (more than twenty years ago) I was completely heartbroken. I was besotted with him. And apart from the time (perhaps a couple of years or more!) it took me to get over him, he also left me with the bill to pay the rent on the digs we’d been staying in.
Please tell me anything else you'd like the reader to know about you.
Although I write fiction, my work is very real. It’s important to me when writing about prostitution that it isn’t glamorized as it so often is in other books, films and on television. I want to show it for what it is. I have seen so much of that life, and known a great many women who have lived it, and although most have survived, they are still paying a price emotionally, psychologically and for some, physically too. It’s a dangerous and traumatic way to earn money. Most women in prostitution have been abused as children. Most women in prostitution have suffered rape multiple times. And most women in prostitution meet the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder. I share many similarities in this, and I hope that enables me to keep my characters real, and my stories true to life. That’s very important to me. Until now, the message sent to society about prostitution at the level of being a call girl has been incorrect. I want to show the truth.
Thank you Ruth!
Important News... Soul Destruction: Unforgivable is free to download from Friday 24 May until Monday 27 May! (See links below)
Soul Destruction is available in the following formats:
Paperback on Amazon US, just click here!
Kindle Amazon US, just click here!
Paperback Amazon UK, just click here!
Kindle Amazon UK, just click here!
Caffeine Nights Paperback, just click here! and
Caffeine Nights ebook, just click here!
In Her Own Words... Interview with a London Call Girl is available in the following formats:
Kindle Amazon US by clicking here!
Kindle Amazon UK if you click here!