Allow me to present to you Ruth Jacobs, the author of In Her Own Words … Interview with a London Call Girl, which is a charity publication with all royalties being donated to Beyond the Streets, a charity that helps women exit prostitution. For 99c it can be downloaded from Amazon US and for 77p it can be downloaded from Amazon UK. It is also available worldwide. You can see the trailer here, and on her blog http://www.soul-destruction.com you can read Soul Destruction Diary as a series of blog posts. Soul Destruction – the book is on its way, so we’ll keep an eye on her.
Hi, Ruth – in your own words: who is Ruth Jacobs?
Right now, I’m in the midst of a bad episode of bipolar and posttraumatic stress disorder so I would say I am a tragic character. Although the trauma I’ve experienced in my life is primarily what inspires my writing and enables me to make characters and events real (I hope). On a happier day, I would say I am blessed. I have come through a great deal in my life and have a peaceful life in the countryside. I am lucky to have two wonderful children, an adorable dog, a great family, and some very special friends.
I am not going to ask you how you see the writer as your work explicitly shows us, why you do what you do, what you’d like to achieve …
As well as telling gripping stories with realistic characters, I want my writing to have a greater impact. With my fictional series of Soul Destruction novels, I show the dark world and the harsh reality of life as a call girl, dispelling the ‘happy hooker’ myth. With my charity publication, that is also my aim. I would like to change the stigma some of society has against women who work in prostitution so they are better understood, and not judged and looked down on. 75% of women who work as prostitutes have been sexually and physically abused as children, 70% have been raped multiple times and 67% meet the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder.
When did you realise you were a writer?
I started writing at around thirteen or so. I wrote poetry then. I didn’t consider myself a writer at the time, but writing has often felt an important part of my life. Although there have been years when I have not written at all.
And if you didn’t write, you would …?
Have numerous stories swimming around in my head.
Your kind of writing demands a special kind of commitment and research, working outside the comfort of your writing room, meeting special people who experienced hell and came back … Where does your courage and energy come from?
My courage and energy comes from the desire to tell authentic stories and show the truth about life as a call girl. I have been through a great deal of trauma myself, so I can draw a lot on my own experience. Although often that can be painful to put myself back in an horrific situation to ensure I write accurately how a character is feeling and what they are thinking during a rape or a sexual assault for example. I did my research in prostitution in the late 1990s and some of those women became friends. Most of my closest friends have had painful lives too.
Your eBook In Her Own Words … is just out, what are you working on at the moment?
I am in the middle of writing Soul Destruction Diary, which is a spin-off from my debut novel, Soul Destruction. The Diary is available to read on my blog. However, as I am suffering more severe PTSD and bipolar symptoms currently, I am unable to write, but hopefully, that will change very soon and I will be back writing regular diary posts on the blog.
We can find you on Facebook and Twitter – how important are they to your writing?
Twitter has been quite useful but I would say Facebook has been indispensible for me as a writer. Not only have I become part of various writing communities online and built up a network of supportive fellow writers, but my existing friends, as well as my new writing friends, have shared links to my blog, book trailers, interviews, and my charity publication among others. I owe a great deal to my friends, new and old, on Facebook for their support because without them, I don’t believe I would be where I am now.
I’m on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rujacobs
And there is a Soul Destruction Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SoulDestructionSeries
You can find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RuthFJacobs
How would you describe your writing style?
Someone else asked me that recently too. I said minimalist, but I’m not sure really. Authentic might be a better term. I write from my heart and put everything I have into whatever I am working on.
How does Ruth Jacobs’ typical workday look like?
I do the school run, work from home most days (though one day a week in London) in the field of information security, I then write in the evenings. I rarely turn on the television but I am very easily distracted by Facebook and sometimes Twitter and other blogs too.
Which writers inspire you most?
I couldn’t say because my memory is terrible, partly from PTSD but also probably from my drug addiction in the 1990s, and the countless overdoses I took back then. I remember what writers I have read (probably because most of their books are on the shelves in my study) but I can’t remember the stories or their style.
If I was a young writer, just starting out, what would you advise me?
Keep writing and don’t let people put you down. Easier said than done sometimes, but it’s important to keep your head up and keep going.
Thank you very much, Ruth!