Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ARTISTIC PROCESS?
Esther Jacoby: Finding time. I hold a fulltime job in a managerial capacity, and my time to write is limited. And when I have time, I do not always feel like writing.
Romelia: DOES YOUR FAMILY SUPPORT YOUR CAREER AS A WRITER?
Esther Jacoby: I live with my Grandmother, and she does not understand what it means. She allows me ‘some time’ and I tell her I use that to write, but she thinks that a hobby that does not pay is not worth much. She does not see the sense. My mother seems to brag about my books, but I do not see that reflected in sales. My friends I have chosen so that they understand when I take time out and away from them to immerse myself in my imagination.
Romelia: IF YOU HAD TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY AS A CHILD OR TEENAGER TO BECOME A BETTER WRITER AS AN ADULT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Esther Jacoby: I would have read even more and more widely!
Romelia: HOW LONG ON AVERAGE DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?
Esther Jacoby: That goes from a few weeks to over a year. The one I am working on now stopped growing and has been a WIP for over a year. I still want to finish, though!
Romelia: DO YOU BELIEVE IN WRITER’S BLOCK?
Esther Jacoby: I do, but it is something we need to work to overcome. Sometimes, I fear the blank page, but once the first words start to flow, that fear is overcome.
Romelia: AT WHAT POINT DO YOU THINK SOMEONE SHOULD CALL THEMSELVES A WRITER?
Esther Jacoby: When writing becomes a passion that cannot be disregarded any longer, when every step we take means you are thinking about how any given situation can be turned into a story, every dialogue overheard becomes a snippet for your next masterpiece. I do not hang this title up on sales or reviews.
Romelia: WHAT DIFFERENCE DO YOU SEE BETWEEN A WRITER AND AN AUTHOR?
Esther Jacoby: None, not really. Is there supposed to be a difference?
Romelia: HOW DO YOU PROCESS AND DEAL WITH NEGATIVE BOOK REVIEWS?
Esther Jacoby: I don’t think I have had any yet. Depending on mood of the day, I might cry, or wipe it off like raindrops on my shoulder and given time would think about what was said. I hope I would take it for a tool to improve.
Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR WRITING PROCESS?
Esther Jacoby: Getting the finished work out and appreciated.
Romelia: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING OR WHEN DID YOU START?
Esther Jacoby: I started as a child, in primary school. As a teenager, I did not write as much, having my head full of other things. As an adult, I started on and off, always dreaming of finishing my first book. I did this in my 30s, but since about 2014, I call myself a writer, an author with about one work out each year since.
Romelia: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A WRITER WORKING ON THEIR FIRST BOOK?
Esther Jacoby: Keep going, keep reading what you have written repeatedly, and read it out loud to listen out for kinks in the flow.
Romelia: WHAT, TO YOU, ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF GOOD WRITING?
Esther Jacoby: A good story with believable characters, and good grammar.
Romelia: WHAT COMES FIRST FOR YOU – THE PLOT OR THE CHARACTERS – AND WHY?
Esther Jacoby: The plot generally comes first, the characters bring it to live. I usually have a scene around which I create people and places and from that, the process takes off.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU DEVELOP YOUR PLOT AND CHARACTERS?
Esther Jacoby: As it goes. I might pen a few ideas, like a roadmap, but might veer off the track as I go along. When I wrote New Life Cottage, the characters took over and there is one particular scene that I wrote in a trance, and when I was finished, I thought … what was that? Where did that come from? It came from the character: to her, this made sense. It also changed the flow of the scenes that came after.
Romelia: WHEN DID YOU FIRST CALL YOURSELF A WRITER?
Esther Jacoby: Around the time when New Life Cottage came out, 2015.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA AS AN AUTHOR?
Esther Jacoby: I am here to write, and only slowly get to truly understand that I have to market my wares. I use FB, sometimes Twitter and LinkedIn. I feel uncomfortable at times, and wish someone would take this over for me, but then I realize that I know best what I have written and why, and so am the most qualified to talk about it.
Romelia: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE PART OF PUBLISHING?
Esther Jacoby: The marketing. I love the creative side of publishing, choosing covers and layouts and things, but once I hit the send-button, I wish that was it…
Romelia: WHAT WOULD SAY YOU TO AN AUTHOR WHO WANTED TO DESIGN THEIR OWN COVER?
Esther Jacoby: There will always be people who hate it, so go for your own gut feel.
Romelia: HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN AND WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE?
Esther Jacoby: 5 with only my name (my short stories and poems appear in collaborations). My favorite one … depends. It swings between New Life Cottage and Boy in the Wardrobe.
Romelia: WHAT PART OF THE BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE HARDEST TIME WRITING?
Esther Jacoby: New Life Cottage flowed real easy, so there really was no hard part during writing.
Romelia: WHAT PART OF THE BOOK WAS THE MOST FUN TO WRITE?
Esther Jacoby: It was most fun to let the characters take over and create their own storyline.
Romelia: WHICH OF THE CHARACTERS DO YOU RELATE TO THE MOST AND WHY?
Esther Jacoby: All 3 women are someone I know very well, and in a way, they all are me, so I don’t have just one I relate to …
Romelia: IF YOU’RE PLANNING A SEQUEL. CAN YOU SHARE A TINY BIT ABOUT YOUR PLANS FOR IT?
Esther Jacoby: There will be no sequel to this one, it is finished the way it is.
Romelia: TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT YOUR ADULT LIFE.
Esther Jacoby: If I wrote my biography, nobody would believe it.
Romelia: describe yourself in a few sentences. Tell us something we do not know about you and something you hate about the world.
Esther Jacoby: This is difficult. I am very private and what I share is only top of the iceberg. So … after all the hardships and disappointments, I believe in love and soul mates. I hate people being ugly to each other, lying, cheating, bullying. The world would be a much better place if we all treated each other just a little bit better.