Thomas Tye grew up in a small town in Ohio. After high school, he traveled for several years, studying in Japan and spending time in Australia, New Zealand, and Alaska, as well. Upon returning to the Continental United States, he enrolled in the University of Cincinnati to pursue a degree in Asian studies. While completing his coursework, Thomas studied writing in England and backpacked through East Africa - where he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro at 23-years-old. To work his way through university, Thomas worked part-time as a bartender, landscaper, caterer, remodeler, and English teacher for non-native speakers.
After graduating from university, Thomas’ travels included backpacking the Republic of Panama, helping to rebuild a Buddhist temple in Nepal, and hiking the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in the Himalayas. By this time, Thomas was writing short stories whenever he could and gathering research for what he knew was manifesting into a much larger work. Finding Jack 420 was born in the Himalayas, yet it would take 12 years for it to become what it is today.
Returning to the United States, Thomas took a job as a diver for the company of the father of a woman he had met in the Republic of Panama. He spent that summer in the mountains of Idaho, diving and writing Finding Jack 420. However, when the diving company closed, he found himself back home in Ohio. He was working odd jobs in Cincinnati when the Indonesian tsunami hit on December 26, 2004. With nothing to hold him in the States, Thomas hitchhiked aboard an NGO plane to Asia.
Boarding the plane, Thomas thought he was heading to Indonesia, but, after a quick and terrifying stop in Nigeria, he ended up in Sri Lanka where he traveled with a doctor and a photographer from the New York Times into Tamil-controlled territory to set up a medical clinic. Thomas lived in Sri Lanka and Thailand, bouncing back and forth for a year and a half, becoming a more experienced diver and building what is now Jack’s Place, home to the main character of Finding Jack 420. He lived and worked in South Korea for 10 years as an English teacher, with multiple excursions around the world, including a short stint in Spain studying film. Thomas has now been living overseas for almost 13 years. Currently, he resides in Japan.