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 :-)

 

3 Comments

  • A great,no holds barred, interview. They’re the best ones.
    Welcome to Caffeine Nights Ruth.

  • Thanks so much, Harry :)

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