I read her book, Scrag - Up the Hill Backwards, in turn. Or maybe it was the other way round. What the hell, it doesn't matter. What matters is her book.
With carefully chosen words, Jes lets you experience a part of her life - a life none of us would wish for, and few would have survived. Jes lived to tell the tale: gritty, gripping and brutally honest, but still filled with hope and an unyielding love for life. The result is one of those rare books everyone should read at least once.
Thank you, Jes.
That's her, or as much of her as she wants the world to see:
I went and asked her a few questions. She answered. Here's what she had to say:
Who are you?
Jesamine James. Author of Scrag – Up the Hill Backwards and a few other tales that haven't been published yet.
Where are you?
I am currently in the real world, as I've been banned from much of Cyberworld recently.
How are you?
“I'm fine, but I always say that.” - And clever enough to throw in a quote from my book.
Why did you write Scrag – Up the Hill Backwards?
This is a tricky question, as there are at least three answers that immediately jump to mind.
Firstly, I wanted to bring awareness to teachers, parents and other child carers of some of the signs of child abuse. Not the usual stereotypical signs, but the more extreme reactions that some children display. My hope was that someone will recognise a problem and intervene in some way.
Secondly, I wanted to warn potential paedophiles and child abusers of a few things they might want to consider before embarking on a grooming campaign. Such as, the anger and retribution the child will carry for all their life, the fact that the child will grow up one day and be out of their control, that the abuser will spend his life looking over one shoulder with the knowledge that the child/adult could, at any time, walk into a police station and be believed.
Thirdly, to get it all out of my head. Now it's in a book, I can put it on a high shelf, leave it there and have a clear mind.
Is there a song you would associate with your book?
It has to be David Bowie's Up The Hill Backwards. Well it's in the title, after all.
All the chapters are David Bowie song titles, so you could listen to a wide variety of tunes while reading the book.
What are you currently working on?
I've got a lot of first drafts and unfinished stories. I haven't found my genre yet. I like to write what can best be described as weird, shocking and thought provoking fiction. I can fit into most genres, Sci fi, comedy, crime, psychological, even children's fiction. I mix genres too, which makes me very hard to label. I don't care to be labelled though.
I avoid writing and reading Erotica and Romance. I'm too cynical and they make me pukey.
My next book is a novella and I can't tell you much about it without spoiling the plot.
Why are you a writer?
I've always written articles, letters and read and reviewed other people's work.
The turning point was while I was the Landlady of a pub. A customer asked me why I worked so hard and whether I really enjoyed the long hours and the brawls. I said I did, but I think he could tell by my face that it was wearing me down.
A few days later he brought me in a book called The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart which I read, taking on board what it was subliminally telling me.
Then the guy asked me what I really wanted to do.
I told him I wanted to be a writer.
Soon after, I received a fountain pen as a present and the rest is history.
So at this point I would like to thank both Luke Rhinehart and the very attractive Irish fella who changed my life.
What is your favorite book of all time?
It has to be Hero of the Underworld by Jimmy Boyle.
I read this book at a bad time in my life when I was contemplating going to the police.
I loved the story, but the ending made me mad. I was so disappointed with it, but realised that I was going to spend my life feeling the same disappointment about myself.
Within a day or two of finishing that book, I walked into a police station and my own Biographical novel will tell you the rest.
Who is your favourite author?
That'll be Roald Dahl and I'm not talking about his children's books.
He's written many adult books, short stories and those that were used for The Tales of the Unexpected TV series.
Some of his stories are so clever and you don't see the ending coming. Others you can dwell on for hours afterwards before you hit on a deeper meaning.
Isaac Asimov is another favourite. I love all old science-fiction. Those written in the '40s and '50s fascinate me with their foresight. It's only nowadays that they can really, truly be appreciated.
What is the stupidest question you've ever been asked?
Would you like a drink?