Browsing articles from "December, 2012"

Bob’s Tips To Ensure Everyone Has A Safe & Enjoyable Christmas

Christmas is a time for everyone to celebrate and have fun but it can also provide opportunities for criminals.
I just want to remind people to follow a number of simple steps which will help prevent your homes from being targeted.
  • Leave it till the last minute to put Christmas presents out under the tree and don’t leave them in view of a window.
  • If you are buying or receiving valuable gifts such as bikes, mobiles or electrical items register them for free at www.immobilise.com. Doing this can assist the police in returning your property should it be lost or stolen.
  • Refrain from keeping large amounts of cash at home.
  • A secure home will reduce the chance of a burglary. Make sure windows and doors are locked and remove keys from sight every time you leave the house.
  • When you go out at night make it appear that someone is home. Draw the curtains and leave a light on. You could always put a lamp or radio on a timer switch.
  • Dispose of packaging carefully by breaking it down before putting it in the bin. Empty boxes left outside can advertise that you have nice new goods inside.
  • If you are going away for Christmas – Inform trusted neighbours that you are away and ask if they will keep an eye on your property and collect your post.
  • Avoid leaving valuables in your vehicle, especially sat navs and electrical items. If you must make sure they are not on display, store in the boot and make sure the car is locked.

Be safe! Have fun!

Merry Christmas!

Bob

 

Dec 16, 2012

Carol’s ‘Close Up’ with Darren E Laws – Author and Publisher who is Trained To Kill!

Carol Bridgestock

 

Today I’m very privileged to interview our very own Santa Claus … Let me explain.

Darren E Laws is not just a fantastic author in his own right and successful in public relations but he is also the CEO of Caffeine Nights Publishing. Three years ago Bob and I submitted our second novel in the Dylan series to his publishing house and let’s just say the rest is history. Caffeine Nights publish fiction for the Heart and the Head and any of their readers will know they do just that.  We feel honored to be amongst their stable of authors.

You will read very little about Darren E Laws on the web or anywhere else come to that. So come with me and let’s try to find out what makes this very private man tick…

Darren E Laws

 ’Sir’.

Darren looks at me with a raised eyebrow and a quizzical smile on his lips.  I grin.  

Tell me about life your life before you started working. What did the young Darren E Laws get up to?

As a teenage I was trained to kill and have subsequently used that skill numerous times to good effect. :) It was training which stood me in good stead as a fiction author who dabbles on the darker side of life’s psyche. I was mad enough to join the Territorial Army and foolishly chose the Royal Marine Commandos. I learnt how to dismantle and reassemble a SLR (Self Loading Rifle) blindfolded. A strange skill but one which I could manage quite ably. I lasted about six months before sense took over and I decided that the world would be a safer place without my soldering skills. I remember a lot of running with backpacks, wading chest deep in frozen lakes on Salisbury Plain, eating horrendous dried food. I think my Chicken Supreme with Chocolate Custard is still remembered to this day. In my defence, it was pitch dark, we were soaking, had not eaten nor slept in 20 hours and were no too choosy.

Who gave you your inspiration to write your first novel? The person who gave me faith in myself is Natalie, my wife. Having someone who believes and supports you is a great motivator.

I believe you wanted to be a writer since you were a teenager, is that right? A couple of days before my first novel was published I was rooting about in our loft and came across a diary I don’t even remember writing. Inside it said that one day I would love to be a novelist. I always used to scribble and write stories so the seed was sown early I guess.

How has life experiences affected your writing? Life influences everything a writes puts down on paper in some way or another. If it doesn’t then there is something wrong. For me, growing up in London’s east end it meant using your imagination in so many ways. We were written off and forgotten by society and to escape and make something of your life you had to be autodidactic, adaptable, ambitious beyond academic, resolute or a criminal.

‘Turtle Island’, a crime thriller was your first published novel that was picked up by an American publisher. When will we see the second in the trilogy ‘Dark Country’ published? It’s been a long time coming due to my work with setting up and running Caffeine Nights. I have been writing it for over five years and its 97% there. I expect it to be out in 2013 though I haven’t set a date yet. I dread to think when the third book will be out, especially as there will be another leftfield novel in-between.

‘Tripping’, the second novel published is a surreal black comedy described as ‘chick noir’. What reactions expected or otherwise did you get when that was published – being so different from ‘Turtle Island’? I like confounding expectations, especially my own. I know people are intelligent enough to take a book for what it is and the world is big enough to find new readers in different genres.

How has your perception of publishers changed since being one yourself? Totally. Sadly many of the things which I thought were wrong with the industry were confirmed pretty quickly and continue to be reinforced on a daily basis. There are many great people out there working to move things forward but the industry is sown up by a cartel intent on keeping it an old boys club. Caffeine Nights is there to irritate the hell out of them every now and then.

Tell me a little about bit about your publishing company? Caffeine Nights is dedicated to becoming a platform and outlet for authors who have great books but been neglected by the industry. Our goal has never changed. We published fiction aimed at the heart and the head…

Why did you want to be a publisher? I ask myself that often in the wee hours when I can’t sleep or when I run into the same old class driven BS that permeates the business. However, the simple answer is to show the publishing world what it is missing.

How do you decide what titles to publish? It’s a simple criterion; do I like the books, do I like the authors, do I think we can work together? The novel has to grab me at some level. I have to engage with the characters and care about them. If that doesn’t happen it’s highly likely that it won’t make it onto our list. Even if it does that is not the end of the story (pardon the pun), there are at least 3 books that I would have loved to have published but I found for one reason or another I could not work with the author. I guess I can be difficult.

What do you look for in a good submission? I look for passion in the submission itself. Anyone who sends me an email saying ‘when are you open for submissions’ or ‘will you please look at my novel’ has little chance or inspiring me to read their work. I had one submission that simply said ‘spread the love’…I love the delete button on my computer.

Is the synopsis, letter or blub the real ‘breaker’ as our creative writing teachers tell us? The approach is as vital as the quality of the work. I have little time for people who waste my time. I want your passion, talent and commitment.

If you could work with any author in the world who would it be? There are a number of authors I would love to sign and work with in that sense, but writing is a solitary process for me so in terms of writing with anybody it just wouldn’t work. There is an artist I would love to work with in the sense of publishing, and that is Ben Drew, better known as Plan B. He is a great story teller and comes from my neck of the woods and I am sure that he has a great novel in him.

EBooks and digital publishing is the future but do you wonder if the industry is losing its roots in the high street or is there room for both? The industry is going through a revolution and will continue to be affected by the impact of digital for another 5 to 10 years. What will be left of the high street by then will be anyone’s guess. Bookshops may go the way of record shops. Many do little to help themselves, sadly.

Where do you see yourself/the publishing industry in five years time? Bookshops need to radically rethink their offering to survive and open up to change. They also need to embrace local talent and see the benefits of how the community of readers and writers can bring added value to their business. In five years time digital will be the established norm but paper books will still be with us. Publishers need to know who their readers are and use social media to talk directly with them. Where do I see myself and Caffeine Nights in five years? I may be close to completing my Georgina O’Neil trilogy and Caffeine Nights will go from strength to strength. It would be great to have a few bestsellers by then, some film and TV deals and be respected in the industry.

Darren Laws is a workaholic, I know, you give to your authors 110% of yourself and we in the Caffeine Nights stable are very lucky to have that personal touch and contact with you. How on earth do you manage your time to fit in the writing, publishing and your work as a public relations professional? I’ll sleep when I’m dead :-)

How much difference do you think a good cover makes? This is an interesting question as clearly many very successful self-published titles have covers which really suck but sell really well. For me, it is important to have something which relates to the story and looks great. I am very proud of the quality and standard of covers we consistently produce and have Wills to thank for being able to interpret my ramblings so darned well.

What about the title? A good title is as important and works in relation to a great cover. It’s the authors hook. The blurb is your elevator pitch, your sixty second sell.

What do you think makes a good book sell? I could be cynical and say heaps of money and a slick marketing plan which is true for the big six, but us wee minnows have to be prepared to play the long game and continue to build an audience over a period of time. This doesn’t interest the larger publishers. I would love to say great writing, but many great books are overlooked and many crap ones with huge marketing budgets become million sellers.

What makes you angry about the current publishing industry? Running into greed, apathy and unrealistic attitudes especially from book stores. Many book stores complain about their lot since the advent of digital and eBooks eroding their bottom line but still refuse to stock books, even on a sale or return basis, or host book signing events. This is the only industry where the supplier takes all the risks and still we are met with apathy on many occasions, and sadly independent book shops are the worst offenders. We had one store recently tell us that they could not host a book signing with one of our authors unless we could guarantee 80 sales. This attitude will see them go the way of the dinosaur pretty quickly. This was a local book store that should be encouraging (at no financial risk to themselves) local author events and promoting them to their community. It is a sad indictment on the industry today. Pretentiousness is another of my bug bears. There is a heck of a lot of it. People who strive to think they are above other people through class, position or social standing. I also have little time for people who act as though the world owes them a favour or have a complete sense of humour bypass. Give me talent, graft and sheer bloody minded determined ambition any day.

How important do you think social media is? Vital for all publishers but more so for small publishers. It’s great being able to engage with people who buy and read our books. We have much to learn from them and if we listen, we can be the sort of publisher they deserve.

www.caffeine-nights.com

www.facebook.com/CaffeineNights

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/caffeinenights/

www.twitter.com/caffeinenights

What are the biggest problems facing publishers these days? There’s no real bogeyman lurking that we don’t know about; we all face different challenges. I think the majority of the industry has got to grips with digital and is quite savvy with its social media offering. For smaller publishers we can be at an advantage as we can react to change and adapt quicker. For instance our back catalogues are invariably much smaller, so converting to new formats or platforms is easier. Caffeine Nights biggest challenge is getting wider distribution into stores and it is something I will be working hard to rectify in 2013.

What do you consider your best accomplishment? Waking up.

It’s nearly 2013. If I could grant you one wish what would it be? I would ask for it to be given to my wife, Natalie.

Ten books you want to read/re read on your desert island before you’re rescued?

I could easily list all our books on Caffeine Nights and many of them should be there but it would be like picking your favourite child. So I have ignored this and returned to books which formed me as a reader. I have many books I have enjoyed reading and rarely if ever, returned to them so being stranded would give me a chance to re-visit old friends. I would love to have a list of many literary classics including Shakespeare, Hardy, Austen and their ilk but these are all books I thoroughly enjoyed. In no particular order.

  • The Rats – James Herbert. I read this when I was about 12 and it thrilled me. Primarily because some of the book was set in east London and it was a good, bloody horror. I subsequently read all of James Herbert’s books and met the man at a few book signings. I still have the books.
  • Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk. I read this before seeing the film and thought it was un-filmable and a great book.  A very funny and a biting satire on the consumer age and the fragility of man. David Fincher produced a fantastic visulisation of the book that is near pitch perfect. Palahniuk is tremendously funny and often stretches his readers by adopting challenging writing styles but he is always worth reading.
  • Heart of a Dog – Mikhail Bulgakov – Written in 1925, the language of the translation I read really sizzled and totally engrossed me in a very dark satire of communism. It’s not the sort of book I normally read but was recommended to me and I was blown away by it. I am sure much of the satire shot over my head but the story was truly fascinating.
  • Jaws – Peter Benchley – I read this after seeing Spielberg’s wonderful film which still stands up. The book I recall was quite different from the film adaptation and is sitting less than a foot away from me on a pile of books to re-read. Benchley died young and I think was haunted by the success of that bloody shark.
  • Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow – Peter Hoeg  – This novel introduced me to Scandinavian fiction. It’s a great read. Part detective fiction, part cultural observation and definitely Scandinavian. The pervading atmosphere conjured by Hoeg is something which many authors from the region seem to excel in. I love Smilla Jaspersen. She is a cold character who distances herself from life and is absorbed by her work as a scientist specializing in snow. Smilla is drawn into an investigation of the death of a young boy she befriends. The Boy’s mother is an alcoholic Inuit and his death leads Smilla to discovering a conspiracy by a large drilling company which has contaminated water with a lethal parasite. This also led to the death of the boy’s father. Hoeg is not afraid to let the reader try to work out what happened and it is a book which makes you think as you read it.
  • Casino Royale – Ian Fleming – I recently picked this up and read the first page and was immediately drawn in. Fleming paints with words and the book seemed as fresh and vibrant as the recent remake starring Daniel Craig. It’s on my list of books I want to read.
  •  The Man Who Smiled – Henning Mankell. More bleak Scandinavian fiction featuring Mankell’s lead detective Kurt Wallander. A man with more flaws than a high-rise apartment. I found this a slow paced burner but definitely worth sticking with. A little too bleak at times and I do wonder what even the smallest injection of humour might do to this sort of psychological thriller.
  • Dreamcatcher – Stephen King – A simply wonderful and barkingly mad book. I love King’s writing in this. Although King aficionados probably don’t rate this book, it kept me enthralled on a number of journeys to London about 10 years ago.
  • A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens – The ultimate ghost and redemption story. Although only a short story usually found bundled in a selection of Dickens short story collections, this story grabbed my attention as a boy and I try to read it every year at Christmas.  Dickens is another author that captures atmosphere and creates scenes while passing on social comment with biting comment on the times of the day.
  • American Psycho – Brett Easton Ellis – Definitely a book for the X-Factor generation. A savage satire written so skillfully to entice and engage you in the action of Ellis’s protagonist, Patrick Bateman. Ellis poses many questions about modern society that are still pertinent, even though this book was written over 20 years ago. The pace of the novel make it a real page turner and stomach churner, however it is a must read.

If should you want to read more Darren’s blog site is him having a rant about publishing: http://darrenlaws.blogspot.com

 Thanks Darren. You’re a pleasure to work with and great to interview! Have a lovely Christmas and we’re looking forward to a very exciting year with Caffeine Nights Publishing.

Watch this space everyone for the new titles! :-)

Carol x

 

 

Bob’s Tips to motorists to help prevent car crime during the festive season

 
 
Bob’s Tips to motorists to help prevent car crime during the festive season
 
With Christmas coming and the possibility that cars may have more items of value in them, police are reminding motorists to make sure they always lock and secure vehicles, no matter how short a time it is being left.
Most offences of theft from vehicle are opportunist. If valuable possessions (e.g. handbags, laptops, sat navs, iPods, mobile phones, cameras) are left on show inside a vehicle, it is much more likely to be targeted by thieves.
Even items of little value, such as shopping bags and clothing, may tempt a potential thief to break into the vehicle to see whether they contain anything worth stealing.
Statistics show that  a high percentage of all theft from motor vehicles is committed by car thieves exploiting an insecurity like an unlocked door or open window. A lower percentage however,  is still committed by smashing a window to reach items left on display.
Offences can take place during the day or night, with a significant proportion relating to vehicles parked on driveways in addition to when parked on the street or in a public car park.
The following section contains crime prevention and reduction advice for motorists and car park owners that will assist police and partners to reduce this type of vehicle crime.
 
Advice:
  • Avoid leaving your purchases and presents in you vehicle. If you must make sure they are not on display, store in the boot and make sure the car is locked
  • Keep your car keys safe. Do not leave them inside your car or in the ignition.
  • Don’t leave your keys in a coat pocket.
  • Sports changing rooms can be targeted by thieves who look for car keys left in coat pockets.
  • Make sure that your keys are not visible to other people.
  • Always make sure your car doors and windows are locked.
  • Park your car in a garage.
  • If you don’t have a garage, try to park in a well-lit, open place.
  • When using a car park, choose one that is well-supervised, has entry and exit points, good lighting and security. Avoid parking in dark spots.
  • Consider fitting security devices that are approved by either Thatcham or Sold Secure.
  • All security devices should be fitted by a professional.
  • If it’s portable, take the sat nav with you together with the support cradle and suction pads.
  • Wipe away any marks left by the suction pads as thieves will look out for these.
  • Don’t leave your equipment in the glove compartment – thieves usually check here first.
  • Consider fitting GPS or VHF tracking devices.
 

Bob’s December Rant! Ever the Optimist or am I just a Grumpy Old Man!

Bob’s December Rant!

Anyone who knows me is aware that I am an optimist. Well I’ve had to be since I’ve seen the worst of man’s inhumanity to man over my thirty year police career. Twenty eight of those years were in the Criminal Investigation Department, so I really did see it at its worst, at times. But I’ve always tried to look on the bright side of life, even in the darkest hour of a murder investigation.

Today however I am beginning to struggle to comprehend some of ‘our’ actions as I read today’s newspapers, or am I simply becoming a grumpy old man?

A coalition Government I know was never going to be ideal, but the idea was surely that they pulled together? Maybe no one actually told them that? As for the opposition, they simply aren’t. MP’s have never had less credibility and they continue to fail to impress. Members continue to lose numerous laptops. They are spending millions abroad –  £15 million on Columbian flatulent cows, and talking about wind over £60 million in assisting other countries to develop geo-thermal and wind power. Under the budget heading ‘International Aid’ we hand out millions but do we see value for our money. Where is the investment in the UK?

Talking of VFM (value for money) – who the hell came up with the following ideas?

  A ‘Fair Access Tsar’ to encourage the elite Universities to ‘let-in’ a wider range of students. Two days a week, working from home – earning £45,OOO per annum.

Police Commissioners – they’re now selecting deputies at an even greater expense. I thought the idea was to make this role a ‘one man’ post instead of several on a committee? These people can also keep their second jobs I hear but only two members of the public were allowed to apply.  Is anyone going to be upfront and tell us what other perks will be available to them? Once again this appears to be something that once again the majority didn’t vote for, and still don’t agree with, but hey, who cares – not the ones getting the salary for sure.

Big businesses don’t pay tax for years which is only now identified or action taken, can you imagine if that had been you or I not paying our dues?

We can’t even stop people outside the UK making millions by bombarding the British public with daily ‘nuisance’ telephone calls about PPI monies allegedly owed.

Neither can we evict from our Country major terrorists or Criminals. Human rights have been around for a long time, what happened to forward planning?

The old chestnut of ‘Decriminalisation of Drugs’ comes to the fore suggesting ‘A Royal Commission’. Come on everyone knows the destruction caused by drugs, so wouldn’t this be a licence to kill? The lower level drugs have and will remain the gateway to the more destructive drugs such as heroin, cocaine etc, etc and I have seen the ‘fall out’ many, many times. People suggest that ‘some’ drugs are no worse than cigarettes and alcohol but we also know really the misery they cause. They are regularly used in mitigation for committing crime, ‘It was to feed a habit or it was because they had taken a cocktail of drink or drugs,’ the defence solicitor will say.  Rubbish, they’re adults they know the consequences of their actions and should be held to account for it like anyone else.’

We have a duty of care. Do we really want to decriminalise drugs?  Some states in America have done and now sell marijuana flavoured lollipops to children or introduce drugs into lip balm? Is this what we want, a catalyst to addiction? Will they become used in everyday products? The war against drugs will always be difficult but it is necessary and we should continue to disrupt and destroy the importation. Not everything from America is good.

The Government needs to start listening to the majority, only then can they assist the minority. We need more investment at home, re-boot the housing market and not just for first time buyers.  We know that this market has a knock on effect for all industry. Put more Police on the streets not build further hierarchy and let’s create deterrents that make people think twice about offending in the UK. Giving cautions in some cases is just a mockery, ask any police officer.

 Imprisonment should mean just that. I see if you’re in prison you can go out daily using the prison as a B & B. Prison is supposed to be a last resort a punishment. It has become home for numerous prolific re- offenders simply returning to the hive when they can’t cope or don’t want to cope in the outside world.

Well I’ve got all that off my chest so that must be a Positive.

All that remains is to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and very best wishes for 2013.

 Bob

 

 

 

Carol’s ‘Close Up’ Today with Author Ruth Jacobs!

My ‘Close Up’ today is with Ruth Jacobs and I am very excited to tell you she has joined us in the stable of authors at Caffeine Nights Publishers! I’ve never met Ruth before so let’s find out more about her together shall we? :-)

 Ruth Jacobs 

 

 Hello Ruth, Lovely to meet you! Tell me how on earth do you manage to juggle working and writing?

And looking after my children too! I usually write in the evenings, which is the only time I can write as I work in the daytime. But it’s a good time of day for me as I am not a morning person, and usually wake up properly sometime in the evening, so it’s the best time for my writing, especially creativity. However, for editing, proofreading, and rewriting work, I try not to do it too late because accuracy is essential, so I don’t feel confident doing that if I’m tired.

What inspired you to write a novel in the first place?

I first began writing a novel when I was sixteen years old. Traumatic experiences inspired that novel, and the inspiration for my debut novel, Soul Destruction: Unforgivable, which is being published next year, has also been traumatic experiences.

Who do you admire in the literary world? Who do you consider your mentor?

I’ve read so many books, but because of a misspent youth involving drug addiction and overdoses, and also having posttraumatic stress disorder, I have a terrible memory. I know what I’ve read mainly because I’ve got the books on my bookshelf. There will also be more, but those books I’ve either given away or leant and they’ve been unreturned. I can remember being really taken by Martin Amis at one time and, at another time, Martina Cole but I can’t remember what any of their novels were about even though I might have read most or all of their work available at the time. However, although I don’t remember consciously, I do believe that what I have read has an impact on my writing, but that it’s at a subconscious level – kind of how when you can’t remember the words to a song, then when you hear the tune, suddenly, you can sing the words. So, they were stored in the memory but not immediately accessible.

Where do you work? Do you have a regular pattern or routine?

I tend to type on the sofa with my laptop on my lap. The only issue with that is that my rather large Lurcher thinks he’s a lapdog sometimes and gets between me and the laptop. That’s when I have to stretch over him to type. I don’t have a routine at all right now, but living with bipolar disorder means that whenever I am in mania, I am so much more productive in every area of my life, which includes my writing. Although it feels amazing at the time, after every high, there’s a terrible low. The lows are hard to live through.

What are you working on now?

I’m doing a final re-reading of my debut novel, Soul Destruction: Unforgivable, as the publishers, Caffeine Nights, will begin working on it mid-December. After that, I have the Soul Destruction Diary to continue, which is currently available to read on my blog: www.soul-destruction.com. I also have the second book in the Soul Destruction series to complete.

Now we’ve got to know you a little better share something with us that nobody else knows about Ruth…

There is nothing about me that nobody knows already. Actually, something new is that I’m developing a regular desire for chocolate spread sandwiches. No one knows that yet. I’ve only just realised it myself.

Who would you like to share a cup of coffee and a natter with?

Immediately, my grandmothers and my favourite great auntie came into mind, but I’ll need to wait until I get to heaven, if there is one.

How do you relax?

I used to watch TV but for the last few months or longer, I’ve rarely had the TV on. One of my friends calls it “electric diazepam” and I think it can work like that sometimes, so I’ve turned it on more recently since she reminded me it had that effect.

If you won the lottery what would you spend it on?

I’d start a charity that operated a centre where women who want to exit prostitution can get holistic help that will enable them to gain a new life, a new job, provide trauma and other specialist therapies such as eye-movement therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder, treatment for getting clean off drugs and/or alcohol if addiction is an issue for them, legal help in getting their children back if they’ve lost them to the care system, assistance and support for housing issues, debt management advice and guidance, further education and training (or access to it), and more that I can’t think of right now and also on which I’d want to consult with experts in the field. I’d like the centre to be able to provide onsite, or at least provide access to, services for absolutely every need the women have. I’d also buy myself a new car, and pay off my mortgage, and take the family on holiday. I’d have to give some of the money to my sister but her share might come with a caveat that she only receives it if she works in my charity centre. She’s an English teacher, and a brilliant one, teaching foreign students many of whom are asylum seekers here in the UK. So I’d want her with me, but maybe that’s rather manipulative of me.

Are you a savoury or sweets girl?

Sweets every time.

Mmm…  just like me! :-)

What do you have in your handbag right now?

Thank goodness I am using a small bag currently as it might take more than a page if I was using one of my larger handbags. There’s tobacco, Rizla paper and cigarette filters because I’m a smoker of liquorice roll ups. Lots of scraps of paper and receipts. A few broken lighters that I must get round to binning. My keys – I always keep them in there, otherwise I leave them around the house and they’re lost due to my bad memory. Too many lip-glosses, and ladies’ things I’d rather not mention.

What’s your earliest memory? 

Sometime when I was still being fed by my mum and couldn’t yet talk. I think I was talking at about a year old, so I was very young. She was feeding me baby food and I knew she was putting the savoury food on the spoon then dipping it into the desert to hide the savoury food. I must have eaten it thinking it was the only way to get desert. She did it because apparently, I wouldn’t eat savoury food.

What has been your favourite year and why?

2002, which is the year my twin sons were born.

What’s your favourite smell?

Agent Provocateur perfume with the exception of nighttime during which I prefer lavender.

What was the last thing you laughed at?

I laughed at myself this afternoon as I was outside talking to my dog, and realised how much I talk to him.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

I was recently told something I hope will become a mantra to me: Some things belong in hell and it’s best to leave them there.

What’s your favourite film as a child and an adult?

As a very young child, my favourite film was Grease, then as a teenager it was The Wall. As an adult, it’s so hard to call as my memory has worsened over the years I find it hard to remember what films I’ve actually seen. In fact, I can watch a film and perhaps it won’t even be until near the end when I will suddenly remember that I’ve seen the film before and some of the scenes fall into place in my mind. I think in recent years, one film that has had a big impact on me is Hard Candy.

Who was the most famous person you have worked with and what were they really like?

Noel Edmonds who read out my letter on Swap Shop in the 1980s in which I had written about a huge hole running through a loaf of bread that was made by the brand with the logo  “Bread wi’ nowt taken out”. I wasn’t impressed as he said my surname wrong on TV and ruined my fifteen minutes (or seconds) of fame.

Beyond the Streets charity means a lot to you doesn’t it Ruth? I see you have donated all royalties from one of your books, tell me more.

In Her Own Words… Interview with a London Call Girl’ is available to download from Amazon and you’re right all royalties will be donated to Beyond the Streets, a charity helping women exit prostitution. The publication is 77p from Amazon UK here & 99c from Amazon US here. It is also available worldwide.

 Thank you so very much for talking to me today. I hope we will meet up real soon and get to know each other even better!

Good Luck with ‘Unforgivable’. We’ll all definately look out for it!

Ta ra for now!

Carol :-)