Spotlight On Writers - LJ Jacobs, interview at

Spotlight On Writers – LJ Jacobs

Spotlight On Writers

LJ Jacobs


  1. Where do you originate from?

I was born in England and raised in the rural hills of Wales. To this day, I still live on the luscious Welsh border, and cross back and forth to England regularly – just to remind myself of greatness!

The Roman city of Chester is my birth town and the greatest city in the whole of the UK – maybe even the world. It’s steeped in a great deal of history – not only from the Roman era, but also the English civil war.

It has a huge cathedral that feels like it could swallow you up; a spacious green and pleasant looking field that used to be a plague pit; old buildings that were bricked up while whole families, still alive and twitching but infected with the plague, perished in suffocating darkness; Charles I’s lookout tower that he hid in while Cromwell was on the advance! And last, but not least, an ancient amphitheatre. And all that is encased in a complete Roman wall around its perimeter. Only the second city in England with a complete Roman wall – the other being York.

It is a city filled with ghosts – and if you walk down one of its many cobble streets late in the evening, as the sun starts to sink low behind the ancient dusty buildings, you may be lucky enough to glimpse an apparition in one of the crooked windows looking down from above.

I know I have…

  1. What do you cherish most about the place you call home?

The thing I cherish most about my home is my family – my beautiful and supportive wife and our gorgeous, cheeky little boy. It sounds corny, I know, but family is what makes a home. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, as long as you are with the ones you love and the ones who love you, then you’ll always be home.

I don’t take my situation for granted, though, for I know I’m one of the lucky ones.

My family means so much to me that my pen name is made up of all our names. My name is Lee, my wife’s is Joanne and our son is Jacob. Hence LJ Jacobs! (I just hope if royalties start flowing in, they don’t ask for a cut!)

  1. What ignites your creativity?

My main source of inspiration comes from classic short stories and films. I adore Poe and Hemingway. Hemingway especially. He may not have been the greatest writer ever, but he most certainly had the greatest style. He told the reader so much with the least number of words and that’s a gift.

Style is important in writing. It’s like painting – you want to have your own bag of tools and tricks, and to keep perfecting how you use them, so readers will notice you amongst a host of other great scribblers. That’s what I strive for – a style of my own. Whether I’ll ever get there is another matter.

  1. Do you have a favorite word and could you incorporate it into a poetic phrase?

My favourite word is free. With the drawn out ‘ee’, it literally sounds like it’s escaping from the mouth.

Not bound by society’s chains
Nor feasted upon like carcass remains
The happiest wholesome person I see
Is the one who knows they are free

  1. What is your pet peeve?

My pet peeve is academic snobbery – especially in the writing world. I don’t believe there are rights and wrongs in language – for it is a constantly evolving thing. The English language isn’t set in stone. It has rules, sure, but they can be broken – and all the better for it sometimes. It’s not like Maths or Physics – those subjects are concrete. If we just listen to stuffy people who are set in their ways, we’ll never have another stylist like Hemingway!

  1. How would you describe the essence of LJ Jacobs?

I’m not an academic person, but I think just by knuckling down and working hard you can accomplish anything. That’s my belief, anyway, and that’s how I write – one or two paragraphs at a time (one foot in front of the other), and after a week you can have a complete story, it’s as simple as that. But you must put in the graft. That’s what’s in my soul – a good work ethic instilled in me by my parents, bless them!

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This publication is part 407 of 409 in the series Spotlight On Writers