His journalism career began at the age of 20 as the police
reporter for The Pittsburg Morning Sun. In 1983 he won the
H.G. Roberts First Amendment Freedom Award. As an investigative
reporter, McCoy won honors from the Inland Daily Press Association
for his series on Kansas's first nuclear power plant and the
rate consumers would eventually pay for it; and on the high
incidence of lung cancer among those living in the old Tri-State
lead mining district of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. In
1986 McCoy was one of two American journalists chosen by a
consortium of American and Japanese newspapers to spend a
month in Japan to interview and photograph the survivors of
the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. McCoy left
daily journalism in the late 1980s to finish his undergraduate
degree and to pursue a fiction writing career.
His first novel, The Sixth Rider, based on the 1892 Dalton
raid on Coffeyville, was published by Doubleday in 1991. It
was named Best First Novel by the Western Writers of America.
He graduated from Pittsburg State University in 1988 with
a BA in Communication, and from Emporia (KS) State University
in 1993 with an MA in English. His second novel, Sons of Fire,
was published by Doubleday in 1993 and was a finalist for
Novel of the Year by Western Writers of America. McCoy won
the Oxbow Award for the short story, "Spoils of War," a Civil
War tale about a 10-year-old boy who walks with his mother
to a federal prison camp in northeastern Missouri, seeking
the release of the boy's father. In June 1995, Bantam published
The Wild Rider as a mass-market original. McCoy has also written
four original Indiana Jones adventures for Bantam/Lucasfilm:
Indiana Jones and the Philosopher's Stone (1995); Indiana
Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs (1996); and Indiana Jones and
the Hollow Earth (1997). Indiana Jones and the Secret of the
Sphinx, the last of the McCoy cycle of novels about the 1930s
hero, was published in Februrary 1999.
McCoy's latest book is Jesse: A Novel of the Outlaw Jesse
James, published in July 1999 by Bantam.
McCoy is a member of Mensa, the high IQ society, the Western
Writers of America, and the Science-fiction and Fantasy Writers
of America, Inc. His hobbies include scuba diving and black
powder weapons. He is an adjunct faculty member and writing
instructor at Missouri Southern State College and Labette
Community College. He lives in Pittsburg, Kansas.