Interview: Untangling the Black Web by T. F. Jacobs

My guest today on what Cathy Read Next is T. F. Jacobs, author of Untangling the Black Web, an exciting political thriller involving corruption in the US medical system. I’m thrilled to bring you an interview with the author in which he talks about the inspiration behind the book and his approach to writing.

WinAnd T. F. Jacobs is offering one lucky reader the opportunity to win their own copy of Untangling the Black Web – paperback (US) or ebook (INTL).

To enter the giveaway click here.

The giveaway closes 12.00am GMT on 19th November 2017

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Untangling the Black WebAbout the Book

When David’s wife dies at the hands of a corrupt medical system, David is out for justice. With his skills as a lawyer and his position inside the biggest health insurance company in America – American True Care – he plans to bring down the system, from the inside.

David begins to work his way up the company while recruiting a clandestine team to build a covert case against American True Care. But this is a dangerous game and the players have ties to the highest levels of government. Propped up by lobbyists, senators, congressmen, and even the White House, American True Care will do whatever it takes to keep hold of its power.

As the web of deception and danger tightens around David and his team, they begin to realize that to win they have to risk it all – even their lives.

Format: eBook, paperback (252 pp.)   Publisher:
Published: 10th October 2017               Genre: Thriller

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Find Untangling the Black Web on Goodreads

Interview with T. F. Jacobs, author of Untangling the Black Web

Without giving too much away, can you tell me a bit about Untangling the Black Web?

I’d love to. Untangling the Black Web is about a man, David Higgins, who works for the largest health insurance company in the US. When his wife dies due to questionable medical practices that aren’t covered under his insurance plan, David decides to take on the system from the inside. He puts together a team of insiders and begins to work his way up the insurance company to a lobbyist position, where he works with senators and congressmen. But these are powerful people with dangerous ties. It becomes a race to build an incriminating case he can take to court before he and his team are found out.

What was the inspiration for the book?

There are some big issues in healthcare across the world and specifically in the US, and a lot of the issues stem from areas most people don’t focus on. I wanted to raise awareness about some of the things happening behind the scenes in regards to lobbying, contract loopholes, unregulated costs, lack of transparency, etc. I also wanted to make sure I presented these issues in a fun and exciting manner that made people interested in reading it.

The US health care system has been in the news a lot recently. Was it difficult tackling an issue that is the focus of such political debate?      

Yes! A big yes to this question. Everyone has their opinion on the matter one way or another. I was very careful to take a middle approach that didn’t take a political side one way or another. We can still raise awareness to the issues without taking sides, and I hope I did that in an entertaining way.

You’ve chosen an arresting title for the book. How did you come up with it?

Thank you, the title was one of the first things that came to me. The American Healthcare system is so complex with so many interconnected pieces, that to me, it seems like one big, dark spider’s web.

What was the biggest challenge you encountered when writing the book?

The research was a challenge for me. I like to write fast and exciting stories, and often the research slows me down. There was a lot to get right when it comes to healthcare, doctors, insurance, and lobbying.

Untangling the Black Web is your first published novel. Can you tell us about your writing journey?

Untangling the Black Web is actually my second book. My first is in a much different genre, and the two reader bases don’t mix. But as far as the process goes, I wrote the book in a little less than a month. For some reason everything was flowing. I went through two editors, and then started looking at how to get it out. I reached out to a few agents and actually had several requests to read the manuscript, but something I kept hearing was that Amazon publishing and self publishing dominate the market for political thrillers and other thrillers of the likes. So I found out about Kindle Scout, which is a competition if you will, where writers can submit their books, and after a 30 day campaign, Amazon will give you a definitive yes or no. Somewhere between 1-3% of books end up being selected for a publishing contract through the Amazon Imprint, Kindle Press. I was hopeful, but not optimistic given the odds, but a couple days after the campaign I was ecstatic to learn they’d selected Untangling the Black Web for publication.

To what extent has your background in marketing and advertising been helpful when promoting your book?

Marketing is everything when it comes to a book’s success. There are all sorts of avenues to pursue, like social media, search engine ads, blogs, and grassroots getting the word out. The book has done well so far, but my goal is to gather as many readers as possible, so there is still a ways to go.

Do you have a special place to write or any writing rituals?

I try to write in the first hours of the day before the day fully begins. Writing at home can be difficult because of how easy it is to get distracted, so I prefer to get out to a park or coffee shop.

Which other writers do you admire?

Blake Crouch is great when it comes to keeping you turning the pages. The late Stieg Larsson of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series is one of my all time favourites. I also enjoy psychological thrillers like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Such rich characters.

What are you working on next?

I’m actually working on a psychological thriller that I’ve just finished and am starting the editing process on. I’m super excited about it, so we’ll see what happens.

Thanks for those fascinating answers to my questions.  I’m sure the lucky winner of the giveaway will be thrilled to read Untangling the Black Web

T F JacobsAbout the Author

T.F. Jacobs writes stories, that as a reader, he’d want to pick up and never put down. Fast-paced stories tackling hot-button issues with twists and turns to keep you guessing till the end. Before focusing his career on writing, he worked in marketing and advertising. When Jacobs isn’t working on a book, you’ll find him at one of Southern California’s many beautiful beaches.

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