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Max is an award-winning Kansas novelist. His books include four original Indiana Jones adventures, licensed by LucasFilm and published by Random House, and he wrote the novelization of Steven Spielberg's epic miniseries, Into the West. He's also the author of the Ophelia Wylde series of paranormal mysteries. Of Grave Concern, the first novel, was named a 2014 Kansas notable book by the State Library of Kansas. McCoy has won three Spur awards from the Western Writers of America for best novel, most recently in 2011, for Damnation Road. Hellfire Canyon, another Spur winner, was also named a Kansas Notable Book. McCoy is a native Kansan, and most of his books take place in Kansas or Missouri. Above is the cover of The Moon Pool, a techno thriller set against the background of cave diving, which Publisher's Weekly called an “intelligent thriller… tightly drawn characters, a vile villain and a satisfying, thought-provoking conclusion make this a compelling read.” He teaches at Emporia State Univesity, where he directs the Tallgrass Writing Workshop.


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Max has won awards from the Associated Press Managing Editors and other groups for his longform reporting on unsolved murders, serial killers, and hate groups. In addition to his work as an investigative writer for The Joplin Globe, McCoy has written for publications as diverse as True Detective, American Photographer, Fortean Times, and The Wilson Quarterly. He teaches journalism at Emporia State, in east central Kansas, where he specializes in investigative reporting, nonfiction narrative, and Free Speech issues. He's currently working on a book, with a literary journalistic approach, about the natural and cultural history of the Arkansas River, from the headwaters to the plains.


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Max's current book project (for the University Press of Kansas) is a biography of the Arkansas River, from the headwaters down to the plains. He's hiked, biked, kayaked and occassionally swam the river in his journey from the Continental Divide above Leadville, Colorado, to the state line below Wichita, Kansas. Along the way, he's panned for gold, run rapids, spent Christmas Eve in a the snow by the side of the river, and dowsed for graves at a terrorial prison cemetery. The river adventure is the most recent in a series of immersive creative nonfiction projects that have included reporting on the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to inteviewing serial killers on death row to meteorite hunting in Kansas. Another ongoing project is an investigative biography of Mark Twain's literary executor, Albert Bigelow Paine.



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Max McCoy