find a comfortable perch under a 300-year-old white oak tree at their home in Whitehall. As a child
James Thom used to climb this tree.
In the early days, James Thom was a reporter and columnist at the Indianapolis Star. "Even then I knew that my heart and mind were in the things I wanted to say in books," says Thom.
He began a journey that took him back to his native Owen County, where he built a his log cabin home with his own hands. The journey also took him through swamps and forests to research Long Knife, a novel about Revolutionary War.
One thing that sets Thom apart is his commitment to research, something he takes very seriously. He believes that in order to talk or write about something accurately you have to experience it. Therefore, one can find him hiking old Indian trails and canoeing Mid-western rivers recreating the experience of travel.
He traveled the entire route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition while writiing From Sea to Shining Sea to Sea convey the experience of the frontier soldiers in Long Knife, his first historical novel, he mastered the use of eighteehth-century tools and weapons and waded the icy waters of the wabash. During his research for Follow the River he traced Mary Ingles' 1000 mile escape from the Shawnee Indians. He traveled the Ohio, Kanawha and New Rivers and lived off the land to accurately recreate her story.
James Thom is also often at work as an environmental spokesman. Dark Rain is always at his side in this work.
"Whenever I begin work on a new book, I am reborn into a new world."
James Alexander Thom is Indiana's best selling author. His seven novels have sold more than 2 million copies. Follow the River, the story of a young Virginia woman capture by and subsequent 1000 mile escape from the Shawnee Indians, is now in its 37th printing and still sells 30,000-40,000 copies a year. James Alexander Thom lives with his wife, Dark Rain, a Shawnee in a 130-year-old cabin he moves and reconstructed. Dark Rain is the author of The Shawnee:Kohkumthena's Grandchildren