Bestselling author and journalist Chip Jacobs

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Bestselling author and journalist Chip Jacobs is available for interview to discuss the history of the landmark Colorado Street Bridge, which has become known as “The Suicide Bridge” and is now the centerpiece of his debut historical novel Arroyo. Arroyo hit the Los Angeles Times bestseller’s list in December: https://rarebirdbooks.com/

Chip’s previous non-fiction books include Strange As It Seems: the Impossible Life of Gordon Zahler, The People’s Republic of Chemicals and the international bestselling Smogtown: the Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles (both with William J. Kelly), The Ascension of Jerry, and the stories collection The Vicodin Thieves. His reporting has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, the Daily News of Los Angeles, L.A. Weekly, The New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg View, the Pasadena Weekly, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, newgeography.com and other publications.

Chip is available for interview throughout December and January. For more information, please visit: https://www.ChipJacobs.com

To schedule an interview, please contact: Heather Huzovic, 646.972.0033 or heather.huzovic@gmail.com

Bestselling Author Chip Jacobs Releases New Historical Novel Arroyo, Centered Around
California’s Landmark Colorado Street Bridge, “The Suicide Bridge”

Set against two distinct epochs in the history of Pasadena, California, award-winning writer and debut novelist Chip Jacobs writes in Arroyo the parallel stories of a young inventor and his clairvoyant dog in 1913 and 1993. In both lives, they are drawn to the landmark Colorado Street Bridge, or “Suicide Bridge,” as the locals call it, which suffered a lethal collapse during construction but still opened to fanfare in the early twentieth century automobile age. When the refurbished structure commemorates its 80th birthday, one of the planet’s best-known small towns is virtually unrecognizable from its romanticized, and somewhat invented, past. (Historical Fiction, Rare Bird Books, October 15, 2019, ISBN: 9781644280287, $26.00, Hardcover)

Wrought with warmth and wit, Jacobs’ vividly descriptive debut novel digs into Pasadena’s most mysterious structure and the city itself. In their exploits around what was then America’s highest, longest roadway, Nick Chance and his impish mutt interact with some of the big personalities from the Progressive Age, including Teddy Roosevelt, Upton Sinclair, Charles Fletcher Lummis, and Lilly and Adolphus Busch, whose gardens were once tabbed the “eighth wonder of the world.” They cavort and often sow chaos at Cawston Ostrich Farm, the Mount Lowe Railway, the Hotel Green and even the Doo Dah Parade.

But it’s the secrets and turmoil around the concrete arches over the Arroyo Seco, and what it means for Nick’s destiny, that propels this story of fable versus fact. While unearthing the truth about the Colorado Street Bridge, in all its eye-catching grandeur and unavoidable darkness, the characters of Arroyo paint a vivid picture of how the home of the Rose Bowl got its dramatic start.

For more information, please visit: https://www.ChipJacobs.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chip Jacobs is an award-winning author and journalist with Arroyo as his debut novel. His previous non-fiction books include Strange As It Seems: the Impossible Life of Gordon Zahler, The People’s Republic of Chemicals and the international bestselling Smogtown: the Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles (both with William J. Kelly), The Ascension of Jerry, and the stories collection The Vicodin Thieves. He has also contributed to anthologies, including the bestselling Los Angeles in the 1970s: Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine. His reporting has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Daily News, CNN, The New York Times, Bloomberg, L.A Weekly, among others.

Jacobs’ books have been honored by the Independent Book Publishers (IPPY) Awards, the Indies Book of the Year awards, the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, the Shanghai Book Awards, the Southern California Book Festival, and elsewhere. He and his subjects have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Slate, Wired, Marketplace, and C-Span, among others. His reporting has garnered seven Los Angeles Press Club/Southern California Journalism awards, as well as one from the California Newspaper Publisher Association the Los Angeles Times.

On the journalism side, Jacobs’ reporting has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, the Daily News of Los Angeles, L.A. Weekly, The New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg View, the Pasadena Weekly, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, newgeography.com and other publications. His stories have prompted investigations by the California Attorney General and other agencies, triggered Congressional action on environmental fraud, contributed to the prosecution of a Los Angeles Councilman, exposed graft at the region’s transit and redevelopment authorities, inspired laws relating to water pollution and state-owned housing, and re-opened the unsolved murder case of a former mayor. He’s also explored the Tommy’s Burgers empire, defense contracting abuses, neighborhood dumpsters, drug thefts at real estate open houses, crusading grandmothers, and a dorky mogul’s revenge. For his efforts, he’s won seven Los Angeles Press Club // Southern California Journalism Awards, as well as ones from the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and The Los Angeles Times.

Jacobs grew up in northeast Pasadena. In 1985, he graduated from the University of Southern California with BAs in journalism and international relations. In 1988, he earned his MA in international relations, emphasizing national security affairs, from The American University in Washington, D.C.. Jacobs broke into journalism in 1990 at The Los Angeles Business Journal. His passions include Trojan football, life as a Beatles/Led Zeppelin/Squeeze-maniac, electric guitar, forgotten literature, running and super-sugary breakfast cereals. He lives in Southern California with his wife, a USC public relations professor, and their two children.

Praise from earlier works…

Smogtown

“(A) remarkably entertaining and informative chronicle of the birth and — so far — inexorable evolution of smog… This book is just amazing, a gripping story well told” —Booklist (starred review and one of the top environmental books of the year)

“Style delivers substance in true Hollywood fashion, with character-driven plots draped in glamour and sensation… the history of smog has never been so sexy” — Los Angeles Times

“(An) environmental page-turner” — Kirkus

The People’s Republic of Chemicals

“(The authors) do an outstanding job of showing the causes and effects of the interdependency between American consumers and Chinese manufacturers. The result is a well-rounded portrait” — Foreword magazine (five-star review and among best climate change solution books)

“The Smogtown authors return with a look at China’s air pollution problem, and it is a doozy… The prose is sharp, vivid, and direct, leading readers through hard-hitting chapters … a surprisingly enjoyable read.” — Booklist (starred review and one of the top sustainability books of the year)

Strange As It Seems

“Jacobs… is an exceptional storyteller, and his lively look at the extraordinary career of Gordon Zahler… is a peculiar page-turner. Zahler… achieved success on the margins of show business despite a spinal injury … Jacobs … craft(s) an imaginative biography about this unusual figure, who carved out a distinct place in post-WWII Hollywood — Publisher’s Weekly

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