Archive for Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Library reading program starts with McCoy, ‘Hellfire Canyon’ author

November 12, 2008

Author Max McCoy will be speaking at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Tonganoxie Public Library.

This event will kickoff the library’s annual Adult Winter Reading Program.

Native Kansan McCoy is an award-winning novelist, journalist and screenwriter. He won the Spur award this year from the Western Writers of America for his novel, “Hellfire Canyon.” It's the story of a 13-year-old boy and his mother who walk across Missouri during the Civil War and become part of the gang led by Alf Bolin, the notorious Ozark serial killer.

“Hellfire Canyon” also was named a Kansas 2008 Notable Book.

McCoy is the author of 15 other books, including four original Indiana Jones adventures for LucasFilm and the novelization of Steven Spielberg’s “Into the West.” His fiction debut, “The Sixth Rider,” about the 1892 raid on Coffeyville’s banks by the Dalton Gang, was published by Doubleday and named best first novel by the Western Writers.

USA Today has described his writing as “powerful.” In addition to westerns and historical fiction, McCoy also writes contemporary adventures. Publishers Weekly called his novel, “The Moon Pool,” an “intelligent thriller ... tightly drawn characters, a vile villain and a satisfying, thought-provoking conclusion make this a compelling read.”

McCoy grew up in Baxter Springs and most of his books are set in Kansas or Missouri. He began his career in journalism at the Pittsburg Morning Sun and wrote for pulp magazines such as True Detective and Front-Page Detective. Most recently, he was the investigative writer for the Joplin Globe. He has won first-place awards in investigative journalism for his stories on serial killers and hate groups.

His latest book “I, Quantrill” (Signet 2008), is set during the last few weeks of the noted guerrilla's life. McCoy's an assistant professor of journalism at Emporia State University and is at work on a nonfiction book about meteorite hunters in Kansas. He is also writing the sequel to “Hellfire Canyon.”

Library director Royce Kitts reminds readers that it is not too late to sign up for adult winter reading and register for prizes.

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