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An Interview with Jacob Schmidt

Even though I created Jacob Schmidt, it's not often that I get to sit down with him for an interview. It was a very enlightening experience for me.

Photo courtesy of "Photography 33" at Can Stock Photo

Me: I’m going to start out by letting you ask me a question.

Jacob: You mean role reversal?

Me: Yes.

Jacob: OK. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?

Me: I’m sorry. You already asked your question.

Jacob: (ponders and then laughs) I see what you did there.

Me: Why don’t you just say the first thing that pops into your head.

Jacob: I’m a family man.

Me: And your career?

Jacob: Will always come second, though I put a lot of time and effort into both.

Me: Would you do anything for your family?

Jacob: No.

Me: That’s a little surprising to hear.

Jacob: I just mean it in the most literal way. For example, I wouldn’t set off a nuclear bomb.

Me: Are you referring to The Strain?

Jacob: The what?

Me: It’s a television show based on a series of books by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

Jacob: Never heard of it.

Me: Between family and your job, you probably don’t watch much television.

Jacob: I didn’t say that.

Me: (feeling awkward) Never mind then. Let’s move on to something else.

Jacob: Sounds good.

Me: You’re a former police officer?

Jacob: Yes.

Me: Did you like it?

Jacob: Yes.

Me: But you eventually left it to start your own private investigation business?

Jacob: Yes.

Me: How is it different from being a cop?

Jacob: It’s harder. I have less resources available to me, and I don’t even carry a gun.

Me. Why the change then?

Jacob: Family. I have a more flexible schedule.

Me: And you have a business partner?

Jacob: Yes. Dinah Peterson. She worked the crime lab when I was a detective.

Me: A very attractive woman. You two must have hit it off?

Jacob: What are you implying?

Me: Uh. You must have worked well together at the department. Why else would you go into business together?

Jacob: Exactly. We worked a case during the apocalypse a few years ago (read Children of the Snow due out this winter).

Me: I remember that. I’m glad things are back to normal now.

Jacob: Normal is a relative term.

Me: I suppose. I’ve heard some of your cases are anything but typical.

Jacob: That’s true.

Me: Do you mind sharing?

Jacob: I do, but only out of fear of being institutionalized.

Me: That crazy?

Jacob: Yes.

Me: Even so, I’m offering you an opportunity for shameless promotion here.

Jacob: (shrugs) I guess I can leave out the finer details.

Me: That works for me.

Jacob: One was a cold case. Murder (read Pursuing the Dead due out in 2017).

Me: Fair enough.

Jacob: Our most recent case was a complex one. Too many things to touch on, but it took our business to another level (read Window of Fire due out in the not-so-distant future).

Me: I see. Ever heard of Jack Reacher?

Jacob: Yes

Me: How would you compare yourself to him?

Jacob: We’re completely different. I’m an average guy. He’s much bigger.

Me: Forget the physical traits then.

Jacob: We’re still different. He’s former military and possesses an elite tactical and combative skill set.

Me: Then what sets you apart from the others?

Jacob: Honestly?

Me: Yes.

Jacob: Nothing. Like a lot of others, I get the job done. That’s all I can do, and it’s all I ask of myself.

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