Author James Alexander Thom believes that in order to talk or write about something accurately, you have to experience it. This belief has led him to travel the entire rout of the Lewis and Clark Expedition while writing From Sea to Shining Sea, to wade the icy waters of the Wabash for his first novel Long Knife, and to trace Mary Ingles' 1,000 mile trek through the wilderness for Follow the River.
Thom was born in Gosport, a small Indiana town southwest of the state capital. In his early years, he was a reporter for the Indianapolis Star.
"Even then I knew that my heart and mind were in the things I wanted to say in a book," he explained.
Thom is a graduate of Butler University and a U.S. Marine Corp Korean War Veteran. He served as editor for the Saturday Evening Post in Indianapolis and Communications Director for the Indiana State Trade Association. He is a member of the Indiana University Journalism School in Bloomington and recipient of the Western Writers of America Golden Spur Award.
His wife, Dark Rain, is a member of the Shawnee National Tribe, and he is an honorary member of the tribe. They live 30 minutes outside of Bloomington in a log cabin fashioned straight out of one of his novels.
Thom wrote seven novels which have sold more than 2 million copies. Follow the River is now in it's 37th printing and still sells 30,000-40,000 copies a year. His most recent book is The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction, a non-fiction book about his proven writing process.
"My philosophy of writing about the past is in my motto: 'Once upon a time, it was now," noted Thom.
Tuesday, October 30
Lunch with the author at Henry County Historical Society Museum at 1 pm (this is a ticketed event... tickets are $15 available in advance at the museum or library)
Discussion with the James Alexander Thom and his wife, Dark Rain, at 6:30 pm in the Library's auditorium.