Micheal E. Jimerson - Well-Paced Thriller

Micheal E. Jimerson - Well-Paced Thriller
Draw A Line cover

Micheal E. Jimerson is the sixth generation to live on his family farm in the Oakland Community of Rusk County, Texas. Micheal and his wife Mona raise their son, David, on the same property. Micheal graduated from the Baylor University School of Law in 1993. Pro Bono work for the Kilgore Crisis Center and other victim advocacy groups lead him to be elected office as the County and District Attorney of Rusk County, Texas. He has appeared in documentaries such as Cold Case, On Death Row, Snapped, On the Case, and an article in the Texas Lawyer.  As our Author of the Day, he tells us all about his book, "Draw A Hard Line."

Please give us a short introduction to what "Draw A Hard Line" is about.

"Draw A Hard Line" is primarily a cowboy detective mystery, though the series includes courtroom thriller subplots. In a fast-paced modern world with changing social norms, E.J. Kane must question the traditional codes of his heritage. He must embrace the truth and reject false values to draw the hard lines necessary to forge the future.

What inspired you to write "Draw A Hard Line"? Was there anything in particular that made you want to tackle this?

I needed an escape from my day job as an elected prosecutor, which I love, but it confronts me with a world of senseless evil. Unlike crime fiction, real crime never makes rational sense. I also wanted to write a courtroom thriller that followed basic procedures and evidence rules. For me, real courtroom drama trumps most novels.

How does your background as a Texas attorney influence the narrative?

I have amassed knowledge on forensic evidence, specifically what science can accomplish versus fiction. I also know some great attorneys and dedicated investigators, including some iconic rangers. For me, real courtroom drama trumps most novels.

Can you tell us more about the setting of the Big Thicket National Preserve and how it plays a role in the story?

I’ve read Joe R. Lansdale’s "The Thicket," which is truly great literature, and I'm proud to point out he hails from my part of the world. However, I didn’t care for the portrayal of the Big Thicket's enormous convergence of ecosystems. I concede that I didn’t capture the mystery of such a primitive and fascinating setting. My mother’s family hails from the Thicket, and my relatives regaled me with stories of backwoods people living with alligators, hurricanes, and cottonmouths.

Tell us more about E.J. Kane. What makes him tick?

He is the quintessential Western hero, meaning he is out of time and place in the modern world. Not all past values are laudable, as we can all point to some undemocratic elements. E.J. struggles to balance those time-tested truths with deciding which norms to reject as out of step with the truly egalitarian society we all strive to create.

The book deals with heavy themes such as racism, drug addiction, and sex trafficking. How did you balance these intense topics within the framework of a mystery thriller?

Aren’t these issues that we all struggle to address daily, especially in law enforcement? I’m certainly not highbrow or literary by any means, yet isn’t all fiction, even genre fiction, meant to add to the human condition in some small way?

Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?

I grew up on a farm, so I know about cattle and raising vegetables. I can also qualify as a world-champion dad cheering for his son playing baseball.

Could you describe your writing process for this book? Did you encounter any particular challenges?

I outline, though I often change the entire story like a pantser. The more I write, the more pronounced this habit becomes.

How did you research the various legal and forensic elements that are crucial to the plot?

I draw from real-life cases, though I jumble the events to avoid embarrassing any victims or singling out any of the citizens accused.

"Draw A Hard Line" is the second book in the E.J. Kane series. How does it build on the events of the first book, "White Gold"?

You can read it as a standalone because I recap the pertinent events. I intend for it to be a trilogy, meaning there is a plot for each novel which is part of an overall story arc for the series.

Draw A Hard Line
Micheal E. Jimerson

A racist killer uses the resources of his Aryan gang to falsify an innocence claim, intending to use fraudulent evidence to gain his release from prison. Only the original trial team, cowboy detective E.J. Kane and his former prosecutor ex-wife Rebecca Johnson, refuse to surrender to injustice. An unrelated suicide holds the key to unraveling a massive conundrum of DNA evidence.