One of his books, "Summer of Pearls", won the 2000 Spur Award for Best Western Novel from the Western Writers of America. Two others have been nominated for the award. Four of his novels comprise an untitled Western saga that has been compared to the work of Louis L'Amour. In 2015, an omnibus edition, Summer of Pearls and Spanish Blood, was released by Tor Books.
As a performer, Mike Blakely has toured extensively on his own and with his band and has made 16 tours to Europe. He currently performs mostly at festivals, house concerts, and private parties, most of them in Texas. He holds monthly concerts at his ranch near Llano.
He has released eleven CDs on his own label, mostly featuring his own songs. His songs have also been recorded by artists such as Johnny Bush, Flaco Jiménez, Raul Malo, Gary P. Nunn, Johnny Rodriguez, and Red Steagall. In 2007, his story song "The Last Wild White Buffalo" won the first-ever Spur Award for Best Western Song. Members of the Western Writers of America named three of his songs as being among the Top 100 Western songs of all time: "The Last Wild White Buffalo", "The Last Comanche Moon", and "The Old Cantina".
Mike Blakely grew up on a ranch in Wharton County, Texas, where he helped his father tend cattle. He says he "has always wanted to live in the country, have his own place, be his own boss, and hunt and fish." From an early age, he also wanted to be a fiction writer. He served as a helicopter mechanic in the U.S. Air Force, after which he earned a degree in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. His literary influences include one of his early English teachers, as well as J. Frank Dobie, Elmer Kelton, and Norman Zollinger. He is a past president of the Western Writers of America.
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- "What are the Chances". Kirkus Reviews. 2013-08-01. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
- Blakely, Annie. "About Mike". Peace of Land. Archived from the original on 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
- Mort, John. "Western Sagas". NoveList. EBSCO Information Services. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
- "Mike Blakely - About". Mike Blakely website. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
- Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.