The Brilliant Minds at PG&E

Someone at Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) came up with a brilliant idea: rather than causing or contributing to damaging fires when the weather turns dry and windy, they will shut off power to over 800,000 of its customers. For how long? They don’t know—it...
Governor Newsom, why should I bother voting?

Governor Newsom, why should I bother voting?

California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced plans to sign an executive order suspending the death penalty. While there hasn’t been an execution in the state since 2006, there are over 700 inmates on death row. How serious is the governor about this? He ordered that...

Current Trends in Publishing: Where do authors go from here?

If there’s one article you read about publishing this year, this should be it ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN SUSPENSE MAGAZINE (November/December 2018 issue) By Alan Jacobson and Peter Hildick-Smith USA Today bestselling author Alan Jacobson has been writing novels...
David Wright: dealt a hand, forced to play it

David Wright: dealt a hand, forced to play it

I’ve been a Mets fan for 49 years. (I feel old just typing that.) I’ve seen scores of players come and go. Some made their mark, while most didn’t. David Wright obviously did—not only in the record books but in the hearts of baseball fans, Mets fans, and his fellow...

Naming characters

Choosing the proper names for my characters is something I have focused on my entire career–which now spans more than two decades. I remember reading books early on where the character names were so close to one another that I got mixed up who was who. As a...

The Climax, Alan Jacobson-style

Both readers and authors know how important the beginning of a book is: if it doesn’t grab you right away, there are other things you could be spending your time doing. Conversely, the ending is the last impression that you leave the reader with, so obviously that’s...
Fidelity. Bravery. Integrity. FBI.

Fidelity. Bravery. Integrity. FBI.

As part of the ongoing research for my new book, I spent a few hours last week meeting with the Special Agent in Charge at one of the FBI’s busiest, and largest, field divisions in the country. And although I’ve been working closely with the Bureau for almost a...

Government waste is not a partisan issue

I saw an article yesterday about Vice President Pence flying cross-country on Air Force Two to attend the San Francisco 49ers game. Only he left during the national anthem–before the game began. And he told his secret service detail to keep the cars where they...
Evil Exposed

Evil Exposed

The Darkness of Evil: what happens when a daughter discovers her dad is a serial killer? A couple of years ago I started wondering what it would be like for a daughter to discover that her father is a heinous murderer of women. What would she feel? Denial?...
Drop that weapon! You’re on Candid Camera

Drop that weapon! You’re on Candid Camera

With the recent spate of clashes between law enforcement officers and citizens, many civil rights experts have stated that the outcome of the police investigation would’ve been different had the defendant possessed a video recording of the encounter. On the surface,...
Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard

“Hey. Can I share something with you?” Writing dialogue takes years of practice. I developed the ear during an experimental theater workshop during my English undergraduate studies at Queens College (that’s Queens as in New York, not England). My professor, Richard...

Tracking license plates: no outrage?

In an almost prescient news story, it was disclosed this week that US citizens have been tracked using license plate data by private companies. As I stated in my earlier blog post regarding former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the metadata collected by the NSA for...

Giving publishers a Kickstart

When Norwood Press first told me they were thinking about doing a crowd funding campaign for my next hardcover, I knew nothing about Kickstarter. During the next several months, they concluded it presented an extraordinary opportunity to remake the publishing...
Snowden: hero or traitor?

Snowden: hero or traitor?

I’m going to come right out and say it: Edward Snowden is a criminal. Now, some may argue, he’s concerned about America and the government’s violation of our privacy, so he’s a hero, standing up for the average American who’s been violated. But Snowden, himself, has...

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