Home » Uncategorized » Up Close and Personal with Mike Thomas, author of ‘The Mysterious Treasure of Jerry Lee Thorton’

Up Close and Personal with Mike Thomas, author of ‘The Mysterious Treasure of Jerry Lee Thorton’


The Mysterious Treasure of Jerry Lee Thorton


What does a guy do when his best friend starts doing things that are completely out of character? In the case of Luke McAllister, you can’t do anything – until you figure out exactly what it is that is different.
The fact that his best friend is a girl complicates matters a heap. Nothing makes sense when RaeNell Stephens, the girl that has “the best curve ball he’s ever seen”, starts blushing and acting like a durned female. All of this at the beginning of the ‘summer to end all summers’ too. This is the summer that Luke, RaeNell, and their friend Farley Midkiff set out to locate, and cash in on a rogue Civil War soldier’s stolen one million dollar Union payroll.

Undaunted by thousands of scholars and fortune seekers having looked unsuccessfully for the treasure for a hundred years, the three twelve-year-old friends search diligently for themselves. What they find is an adventure that leads them on a spiraling path of discovery.

They discover newness in themselves, their families, and the closeness of a small southern community in the process. Luke wrestles with his morality, ethics, and his slowly emerging awareness of the difference between boys and girls. He also discovers that his late father left him an incredibly large legacy of duty, fidelity and caring for those around him.

The telling of the story takes place in imaginary New Caledonia County, NC in 1966. The deep rural traditions, vernacular, and ways of life of the region and community are portrayed in great detail as the story unfolds.

This is an adventure story, but it is also a story about making good decisions whether you want to or not… It is also a story of relationships. Family and community are underscored, but there is an underlying theme of male/female relationships. It’s really okay for boys and girls to be buddies without always having to be boyfriends and girlfriends. It is also a story about innocence. NOT innocence lost, but innocence maintained.

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Up Close

The thing about me is that I enjoy nearly everything. I write, sure, but I do many other things as well. I work full time, do some charity work for a foundation, play with woodworking, teach adult reading, tutor math and read voraciously. I also force myself to write at least 5,000 words EVERY day. And I like it… most of the time anyway.

When I first get up in the morning, I check all the news outlets for what’s been happening while I was asleep, check the email, and reread yesterday’s writing output.

The most important thing in my life is continuing to move forward. I can’t get stale. There has to be something compelling going on at all times.

I love to travel to anywhere there is a bed and a restaurant. I have visited over six hundred cities in forty different countries in my wanderings, and for the life of me I couldn’t pick just one favorite.

In my spare time, I wonder what I would do if I actually had some free time.

One thing I learned about life was that if you want to do something, GO DO IT. Sitting around staring off into space will never get you anywhere much. Planning is good, but if all you do is plan, and don’t put the plan into action, it’s all worthless. Talking to others, getting input, and ideas is good, but if all you do is talk, then you’ll never get anything else done.

I have also learned that actually getting goals accomplished is sometimes pretty hard work. Just GO DO IT…

The sole mission I am on this earth is to try to figure out what my sole mission on this earth is… I have considered this conundrum my whole life without any real answers.

One little known fact about me that might surprise you is I have edited 131 books for various publishers over the years. I don’t usually edit for individuals, because I don’t have enough time to hold hands through the process, and bolster fragile egos.

My favorite time of day is that period between dark and light in the mornings. The world is at peace, and everything appears pristine and ready for a new day.

It’s what the old-timers referred to as “glomming day”. (Gloaming usually refers to night, but I have heard the term “glomming day” used for dawn my whole life).

I love to write about familiar, friendly relationships that demand little from all involved. These relationships are the basis of society. Sometimes I think we work too hard to develop relationships rather than just letting them grow and happen… This includes ALL relationships, from casual to intimate.

The most difficult aspect about writing is getting someone, anyone, to read your stuff. You can write like the illegitimate child of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Willa Cather, but agents don’t want to mess with you unless you can prove that you’re going to make them some money. Forget getting a publisher to read your stuff. Without an agent you can BE F. Scott Fitzgerald, and publishers will want to talk to your agent only. 

My most favorite aspect about writing is finally getting someone, anyone, to read your stuff. It is also immensely gratifying to have a reader just say something simple like: “I enjoyed that story a lot.”

When I became a published author for the first time, I dedicated the book to “The Woman That Taught Me To Write… That was my Mom…

The inspiration behind my book comes from living a simple life on a beautiful river, and communicating that to others. Also the inspiration comes from the easy relationships I had growing up.  

The most asked question about my book is “Is there really such a place as Caledonia, NC?” The real truth of that is ‘no’. However Caledonia, and New Caledonia County and the people that live there are composites of the small towns and counties where I grew up. With that said, there are few places in my experience that find such rich and eccentric personalities. No one could make up these folks as well as real life presented them.


Mike Thomas is a southern writer. He grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina where he learned a lot about family, traditions, and the genteel lifestyle most southerners enjoy. The richly eccentric folks of his youth have become his characters in today’s books and stories.

Mike began as a newswriter, editor, columnist, reporter, and speechwriter before switching to the role of Critical Care Registered Nurse. He traveled nearly every corner of the world as a vagabond contract nurse before resettling in North Carolina a few years ago.
He lives with Bobby, his desktop computer, and Rachel his laptop, in Halifax County, NC.

“That’s all I need,” He says, “Just my computers and a bit of focus. Then we can make up worlds we could only have dreamed of last week.”

You can visit him at www.mikethomas-writer.com 




The Mysterious Treasure of Jerry Lee Thorton Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule


Monday, August 5 – Book featured at Margay Leah Justice

Wednesday, August 7 – Book featured at Between the Pages

Friday, August 9 – Book featured at Book Marketing Buzz

Tuesday, August 13 – Guest blogging at Beauty in Ruins

Wednesday, August 14 – Guest blogging at The Writer’s Life

Friday, August 16 – Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book

Monday, August 19 – Book reviewed at Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks

Tuesday, August 20 – Guest blogging at The Story Behind the Book

Wednesday, August 21 – Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Friday, August 23 – Interviewed at Literal Exposure

Monday, August 26 – Book featured at Plug Your Book

Tuesday, August 27 – 1st chapter reveal at As the Pages Turn

Wednesday, August 28 – Interviewed at Between the Covers

Friday, August 30 – Interviewed at Review From Here

Wednesday, September 4 – Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish

Thursday, September 5 – Guest blogging at Between the Covers

Monday, September 9 – Interviewed at Broowaha

Wednesday, September 11 – Interviewed at Beyond the Books

Thursday, September 12 – Guest blogging at Straight From the Authors Mouth

Friday, September 13 – Guest blogging and 1st chapter reveal Queen of All She Reads

Monday, September 16 – Book reviewed at Create with Joy

Monday, September 16 – Book featured at My Book Addiction and More

Tuesday, September 17 – Guest blogging at She Writes

Thursday,September 19 – Interviewed at As the Pages Turn

Monday, September 23 – Guest blogging at Allvoices

Tuesday, September 24 – Interviewed at Blogher

Wednesday, September 25 – Book reviewed and interviewed at Authors and Readers Book Corner

Thursday, September 26 – Book featured at Cheryl’s Book Nook

Friday, September 27 – Book reviewed at Blooming with Books

Monday, September 30 – Book featured at A Room Without Books is Empty


Pump Up Your Book


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