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Max McCoy

#29: “We Need the Indiana Jones Character”, Says Novelist Max McCoy

Just like in our last episode, today’s guest is not a filmmaker but a novelist. In our last episode, I spoke to Rob MacGregor who wrote several Indiana Jones novels at the beginning of the Nineties – this time, I’m talking to writer Max McCoy who continued the series from 1995 to 1999 with four original Indiana Jones stories, starting with INDIANA JONES AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE and continuing with INDIANA JONES AND THE DINOSAUR EGGS, THE HOLLOW EARTH and THE SECRET OF THE SPHINX.

Before his Indy series, Max had already written several novels in the Western genre, including THE SIXTH RIDER, SONS OF FIRE and its sequel HOME TO TEXAS and THE WILD RIDER. After the Indiana Jones books, he wrote several other Western novels like HELLFIRE CANYON, DAMNATION ROAD or the Ophelia Wylde Paranormal Mystery series and the Ghost Rifle series, but also thrillers like HINTERLAND, non-fiction books like ELEVATIONS: A PERSONAL EXPLORATION OF THE ARKANSAS RIVER, and the novelization of the Steven Spielberg-produced TV series INTO THE WEST. Max has won not only several awards for his novels, including three Spur Awards, but also for his investigative reporting – because in his other career, Max also works as a journalist and for many years taught as a professor of journalism at Emporia State University in Kansas.

In our conversation, Max recalls how he became involved with the world of Indiana Jones, and how he distilled the ideas of George Lucas into a series of stories that feel very close to the original Indy movies. He discusses the importance and the appeal of the Indy character, the input from Lucasfilm and some ideas that didn’t make it into his novels. He also talks about his research process, his literary influences, and much more.

The interview was conducted in connection with our German-language podcast Lichtspielplatz, so if you speak German, please check out episode #64, which features an in-depth discussion of the Indiana Jones novels by Rob MacGregor, Max McCoy and Wolfgang Hohlbein. Also, make sure to listen to my interview with Rob MacGregor here on Talking Pictures – the novelist who six original Indiana Jones novels in the early 90’s.

So without any further ado, here’s Max McCoy!

The mp3 file can be downloaded HERE.

Photos courtesy of Max McCoy
Editing: Christoph Schwarz
Music: Clark Kent

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