Media Room

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Tom Patton, publisher of The Island Times (, recently interviewed me about our Detective Clay Randall Thriller Series and the 2015 Florida Book Award for Perception of Power.


May 9, 2016

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Cop-turned-author finds himself in character

Florida Times-Union Shorelines

March 26, 2016 

By Amanda Williamson (

Similarities between Bruce Thomason and the main character in his crime thriller series stand out to those who know him — more than 20 years on the police force, a love of bicycle riding — but Thomason says Clay Randall has a mind of his own. Instead, he attributes the shared likeness to a common writer’s tactic: write what you know. Thomason certainly has.

All three of his novels follow Detective Randall, who works on the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, as he solves the challenges placed before him. Already, he has taken down corrupt politicians, rogue former cops, drug rings and serial killers. The fast-paced, action-packed novels reflect Thomason’s eye to detail and research. He spent 45 years in city government, including more than 21 years as the police chief in Jacksonville Beach, and said he garnered ideas from his experience serving on the thin blue line.

“A lot of things that I write are mostly true,” Thomason said. “But I fictionalized them a little bit so that I didn’t just copy headlines.”

While his first two novels took relatively little time, writing on his third, “Perception of Power,” spanned five years. His wife, Jackie, who doubles as his content editor, said she probably read the novel seven times.

“This has been a joint venture from the beginning,” Jackie Thomason said. “That can generate a lot of discussion when we have a difference of opinion.”

But, their efforts paid off.

He won the 2015 Florida Book Award Bronze Medal for popular fiction. This ranks him behind “After the Fall” by Patricia Gussin and “The Pride of Justice” by Marti Green in popular fiction, but among such authors as Cynthia Barnett, whose novel “Mirage” was listed by the Tampa Bay Times as a book every Floridian should read.

“It’s just a great honor to be awarded a medal that includes New York Times bestsellers in the past winners,” Thomason said. “We certainly don’t consider ourselves at that level. Not yet. We hope to get there one day, but just to be included is very exciting.”

Originally from Texas, Thomason spent five years working on the police force in Dayton, Ohio. But, when he began a search for his next job as police chief, he found Jacksonville Beach. He took over command of the police department in 1991 and immediately started to implement programs to improve the area’s quality of life. He helped create the Community Assisted Policing Effort (CAPE) in Pablo Beach, South; Downtown CAPE; the first Citizen Police Academy in northeast Florida; the Citizens on Patrol program; and the Community Response Team. His retirement came on Oct. 9, 2012, exactly 45 years after he started his career in law enforcement as a civilian dispatcher.

It was during those years at Jacksonville Beach Thomason started his writing career. In 2007, he wanted to craft something for his grandchildren’s Christmas gift — something different and more important than just another video game. So, he gave them all super powers and wrote a story in which they had to rescue Santa from his evil second cousin who wanted to keep all the milk and cookies for himself.

The novel whetted Thomason’s writing appetite.

He said other authors have told him there are two styles of writing used to create a novel. The first, he said, involves the author creating an outline and detailing as much about the novel as possible. The other, which Thomason said he uses, is a seat-of-your-pants style. He starts with a general idea of where the novel will begin and where it will end. Then, he sits down at the computer. He compares his writing experience to sitting in the corner of a scene with his computer and recording the action as it unfolds.

“Some scenes lay out differently than anything I had imagined,” Thomason said. “It’s the strangest and most exhilarating thing for me.”

Currently, he is 50 pages into the next Randall adventure.

While writing “Perception of Power,” Thomason took a break to run for and win Seat 4 on the Jacksonville Beach City Council. He still holds the position. He said it hasn’t influenced his writing style or time too much.

Many of Thomason’s ideas come to him while he is out riding his bicycle, a passion his character Randall shares. The beginning of “Perception of Power” shows Randall as he rides his bicycle through a late March rain to a convenience store. Within moments, the friendly chatter between Randall and the cashier is interrupted by a homeless individual — a sight not too uncommon out at the beach.

“My wife says [Clay Randall] is me, but I have to argue it is not,” Thomason said. “But I guess there are parts of him that are.”

April 12, 2016

Florida Times-Union Shorelines


Check out the nice article by Amanda Williamson about the Detective Clay Randall thriller series.

March 26, 2016

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Five-Star Review for The Six O’clock Rule

The Six O’Clock Rule: “If you’re thinking of doing something that might make you look like a dumbass on the six o’clock news, here’s a tip. Don’t.” 

The setting is Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The Six O’Clock Rule begins with an action packed shoot out. I was hooked from the first page. I eagerly turned the pages to see what would happen next. The plot is exquisitely well developed and believable. Bruce Thomason is a master at character development. He has included enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing to the last page. Fans will be thrilled with the latest Clay Randall mystery.

Anne Boling November 8, 2015

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Gold Medal for The Six O’clock Rule

Jacksonville Beach, FL – THE SIX O’CLOCK RULE, the second novel by Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Bruce Thomason, has won a Gold Medal in the 2011 Readers Favorite National Book Awards Competition in the FICTION-THRILLER genre. The novel was also recognized as a FINALIST in the FICTION-SUSPENSE category. In addition, The Six O’clock Rule received a FIVE-STAR Review by Readers Favorite, the highest rating given.

November 8, 2015