Saturday, May 11, 2013

"Soul Destruction: Unforgivable" by Ruth Jacobs - Interview and Giveaway

NOTE: This book is suitable for adults only

Soul Destruction: Unforgivable
by Ruth Jacobs

Congratulations to Ruth Jacobs on the release of her debut novel, Soul Destruction: Unforgivable. You can read my 5-BD (the Books Direct equivalent of stars) review in my previous blog post. Today, I interview Ruth and give you the chance to win one of two eBook copies of Soul Destruction: Unforgivable in the giveaway below. UK readers can also enter Ruth's Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win one of three paperback copies.

Interview With the Author
Hi Ruth, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book Soul Destruction: Unforgivable.

Which writers have influenced you the most?
I am not sure I can answer that. Like some of my characters, I have posttraumatic stress disorder and have done for much of my life. This has a huge impact on my memory. Although I remember reading certain books, perhaps partly because they are in the study with bent spines, I don’t remember the stories. I read more before I had my children, and at that time I remember enjoying Martin Amis and Irvine Welsh, I loved Junky by William Burroughs and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, but couldn’t tell you exactly why, though I would guess it was because I was so deep into my own addiction at the time.

What age group do you recommend your book for?
It’s crime fiction, so that would be for adults.

What sparked the idea for this book?
I studied prostitution in the late 1990s. For my research at the time, I interviewed women working as call girls in London. One was a very dear friend who is no longer alive. Since that time in my life, I’d had an idea in my mind for a book.

Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
For me, in this case, it was both at the same time. However, Soul Destruction: Unforgivable was originally meant to go off in a very different direction. During a relatively early stage in the book, the characters led me elsewhere and I had to be true to them and the story, and follow. What was planned to be the first book in the Soul Destruction series is now set to be the third. From my own experience, I’ve also found that during the writing process, the character’s story develops, grows, and can change too.

What was the hardest part to write in this book?
The subjects that I write about in this book, and the future books I have planned for the series, mean that for me to write authentically for the characters, at times, I need to put myself back in some horrific situations. There are times when I can dip in and out, but other times, I can find myself stuck in a painful place.

How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I have many hopes with this book, but I feel as a fiction writer, all I can do is put the book out there, and then people will take from it what they want. In general, with all my work, both fiction and non-fiction, I want society to see people in prostitution as normal human beings, which they very much are. I want to get rid of the stigma against people prostitution. The shame and guilt society reaps on them and which is so undeserved. I have seen how prostitution is a dangerous and traumatic way to earn money. And that’s why it’s so important to me to show it for what it is. Equally, for those who are in the sex trade, which makes them extremely vulnerable, I want them to be safe, and that is what drives my charity and human rights non-fiction work in this area.

How long did it take you to write this book?
About a year, I think, or perhaps more - that’s my bad memory.

What is your writing routine?
I really don’t have one currently, but I need to get back to the one I used to have. I used to sit every evening and write. Recently, I have been more involved with non-fiction and human rights issues, but I will be back to writing the second book in the Soul Destruction series very soon.

How did you get your book published?
I was very fortunate to be accepted by Caffeine Nights publishers.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Keep writing. I think (and hope) it’s a skill like playing the piano; you get better the more you practice.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Spending time with my family, friends and my lovely dog, Alfred.

What does your family think of your writing?
My children like their mother being a writer. Though they are upset that they’re too young to read anything I’ve written.

Please tell us a bit about your childhood. Did you enjoy school?
I was a quiet child who turned wild in her teens. I did okay at school, but considering I was a regular truant, I could have done much better if I’d been present.

Did you like reading?
Yes, I’m sure did, when I was very young. I think I particularly liked poetry.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
My Grandma Clara was a writer, and I guess I wanted to be like her. I loved listening to her stories. I remember saying, “carry on with the story,” whenever she would stop. I think those stories might have been about the olden days, as we used to call them.

Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
For sure, that’s one reason my work is dark, but there are many others too.

What was your favorite book growing up?
I really don’t remember well enough. I have a memory of being taken with The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird, so perhaps both of those books. My favourite class was Latin and I enjoyed the books we read - I think they were mainly Virgil.

Who were your favorite authors?
As child, I really can’t remember.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Yes, I do and I love hearing from my readers. I am grateful when they contact me via my websites, through Facebook and Twitter. We have all kinds of conversations about anything from writing, through to drug addiction, and some have bravely shared their own stories of being in prostitution.

What can we look forward to from you in the future?
There is currently Soul Destruction Diary: Inescapable, and the first few chapters can be read on my blog. The Diary series is a spin-off series from Soul Destruction. I have a number of books planned for both series and will be getting back to writing book two in the Soul Destruction series very soon. I may write another short story or two as well. And right now, I am working on a human rights campaign to push for the Merseyside model to be made UK wide. More information on that can be read here.

Thanks again for joining us, Ruth. I thoroughly enjoyed your book and I'm sure everyone else will, too. Thanks also for donating two copies of your book for our giveaway. I wish you every success for the future.

Book Trailer

Enter the giveaway to win one of two eBook copies of Soul Destruction: Unforgivable.