Max McCoy is an award-winning author and journalist.
He's the author of more than twenty books, including four original Indiana Jones adventures and three Ophelia Wylde paranormal mysteries. Of Grave Concern, the first mystery, was named a Kansas Notable Book by the State Library of Kansas.
He won the Spur Award in 2011 from the Western Writers of America for Damnation Road, the last book in the Hellfire western noir trilogy. Set in Oklahoma Territory at the turn of the last century, the book concludes the story of irascible outlaw Jacob Gamble, who is now nearing fifty and confronted by a new west of telephones, smokeless powder, and moving pictures. The first book in trilogy, Hellfire Canyon, which introduced Jacob Gamble at age 13 and is set largely during the Civil War, also won a Spur and was also named a Kansas Notable Book.
He wrote the novelization of Steven Spielberg’s epic miniseries Into the West. He's also the author of The Moon Pool, which Publishers Weekly called an “intelligent thriller… tightly drawn characters, a vile villain and a satisfying, thought-provoking conclusion make this a compelling read.”
McCoy is a professor of journalism at Emporia State University and the director of the Ad Astra Writers Conference, which will be held Oct. 28-29, 2017, at the ESU-KC Metro campus. He got his start at an ESU writing workshop, the second annual Tallgrass workshop, in 1987, and met local author Don Coldsmith, and Greg Tobin, then an editor with Doubleday. Tobin later signed McCoy as a Doubleday author. McCoy’s first novel, The Sixth Rider, inspired by the 1892 Dalton raid on Coffeyville, won the 1992 Medicine Pipe/Spur Award for best first novel from WWA.
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. Most recently, he was the investigative writer for The Joplin (Mo) Globe. He has won first-place awards in investigative reporting for his longform narratives on serial killers and hate groups. He has also written for The New Territory, The Wilson Quarterly, American Photographer, True West, and Fortean Times.