AUTHOR INTERVIEW 30


Esther Jacoby

Germany

Age 53



Esther is an international woman.  By day a Safety Manager, she spends her spare time writing novels,  short stories and now has started on poems.  Originally from Germany, she has spent most of her life in the English speaking world, and writes in English in the first instance.  Nowadays, she is also working on translations so that her writing can be found in both languages.
Esther had trouble learning to read: she was one of the last ones in her class to do so.  But once she did, she started to write.  None of her earlier stories survived, and after a long hiatus, in 2013, she started back at a story that had kept her mind occupied for a long time.  The Cottage was written and released in 2015.  Since then, she has managed a new novel or collection of short stories every year: in 2016, the Boy in the Wardrobe followed, in 2017 came the Wait.  After the tragic suicide of her cousin, 2018 saw the release of Musings on Death and Dying – a collection of short stories.  2019 has seen the release of Musings and The Cottage in German.  New projects are delayed due to the translations.  2020 has seen her taking part in a project that required her to write a horror story – not something she usually occupies herself with, but a nice departure from norm and proof that with a little imagination, she can manage even that.
Her WIP, For the Love of Harry, is further delayed due to the impact of COVID-19 and the increased demands that puts on her day job, but that and further work is slowly taking shape and will be available in 2021 without doubt.
New Life Cottage – a story of revenge when three friends figure out that they share more than their friendship.  There is murder in this story, and violence, but also love and respect.
The Boy in the Wardrobe – is based on real life events of a young man from El Salvador who gets into trouble with the local gang and has to hide before he is saved and finds a new life an a different world.
The Wait – the story of a strong love connection between a married couple who get separated during a future war in the Middle East.
Musings on Death and Dying – short stories where death plays a part in each and every one of them.  Some are funny, some are strange or sad.
To come: For the Love of Harry – a Grandson tries to find out why his Grandfather changed his tune.  Set in Louisiana, this is about music and never truly knowing the people around us.
 

Friendship – Loyalty – Trust
 
Hatred – Betrayal – Loss
 
Do not let the child-like cover fool you:  This is the hard hitting story of Natalie, Gabi and Samantha.  They discover that more than simple friendship unites them.  Together, they embark on a gruesome journey that will stretch their faith in each other and in themselves.  Will their friendship survive?

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.

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