Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Paul McComas  

Pen Name: None

Genre:

Born: in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Paul McComas has lived in Evanston, Illinois since 1983.

Biographical and Professional Information

McComas teaches fiction writing both in his own workshop-style class and through the adult education program at Northwestern University, which in 2004 awarded him the Norris Student Center Director’s Award. He is also an instructor in Film Studies/Screenwriting in the same program, and he teaches writing and literature at the graduate level as an adjunct faculty member at National-Louis University, where he won an Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award in 2007. In addition, he teaches at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Academy, in both the Film and Humanities programs. Paul teaches writing one week a year through Lawrence University's Bjorklunden Continuing-Ed Program in Door County, WI, and has been a Visiting Artist at 20 universities, academies, and performing-arts high schools across the country. He lectures nationwide about writing, literature, and film. Along with the books he has written, McComas has also edited two anthologies, ''First Person Imperfect'' (2003) and ''Further Persons Imperfect'' (2007). A portion of the proceeds from these books benefits Boys Hope/Girls Hope, a not-for-profit network of group homes for high-potential, at-risk Chicago-area youth; both were published with grants from Northwestern University. In other charitable work: he is a member of the National Leadership Committe of the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, was the founder and director of the teen-suicide-prevention program Rock Against Depression from 1995-99, received a Distinguished Service Award from the Mental Health Association in 1996, and donated his 100th pint of blood in 2011.Paul also wrote the Forewords for William F. Nolan's ''Ships in the Night'' (2005, Capra Press), Gary McLouth's ''Do No Harm'' (2011, West Main Productions), Brian L. Cox's ''Birthday Presence'' (2012, iUniverse/Two Worlds Productions), Jerry Jaffe's ''One More Time'', Jennie Darling (2012, iUniverse), Jane Abatangelo's ''It Wasn't Always Like This'' (2013, iUniverse), and Rachel Waxman's ''The Crickhowell School for the Muses'' (2013, Daniel & Daniel).


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

TWENTY QUESTIONS
ISBN: 1564742385

Daniel & Daniel Publishers. 2015

The stories in this debut collection about young urbanites raise more questions than answers. Questions about desire, heartbreak, hope, madness, physical scars and emotional healing, the delirium of romance and the fleetingness of youth.

UNPLUGGGED
ISBN: 188028460X

Daniel & Daniel Publishers. 2015

Dayna Clay struggles through the final concert of a wildly successful tour. Tormented by an ever-deepening depression, the 27-year-old rocker hands her guitar to a fan and beats a retreat. Forfeiting her career, she sets out incognito for parts unknown and winds up in the Badlands of South Dakota. Her growing connection to the land and the people she meets there begins to heal the wounds of an abusive childhood.
But Dayna's disappearance only fuels her skyrocketing record sales. Laboring to choose between two lives, she finds herself stranded in the wilderness she has come to love. Saved from a suicide attempt earlier by nature, she now may perish by the very same hand.

Planet of the Dates
ISBN: 1579621600

The Permanent Press. 2008

Planet of the Dates follows the exploits of Phil Corcoran, a girl-crazed Milwaukee teen stumbling toward adulthood in the summer of 1980. Phil's personal transition coincides with a cultural shift: from Carter to Reagan

from disco to punk

from the last gasp of the Age of Aquarius to the era of Greed is good. As the story unfolds, Phil, himself very much a product of the 70's, winds up ushering in the new decade in some apt and telling ways. The book's rich cast of characters is anchored by a classic love triangle: the naive yet willful Phil, a sci-fi fanatic and budding Super-8 auteur whose hormones and heart fuel myriad schemes for obtaining hot sex and true love (in no particular order)

Stefanie Slocum, the clever teen actress-in-training who auditions our young hero for the role of first-ever boyfriend

and Cheryl Jantz, the dazed yet desirable stoner-girl who's way too cool for the likes of Phil. . .or is she? The story builds to an audacious, near-epic climax that must be read to be believed. But believe it you shall, recognizing with a chill and a chuckle that this upside-down world is, in fact, our own world, and has been all along!

Unforgettable: Harrowing Futures, Horrors, & (Dark) Humor
ISBN: 1456566407

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2011

SECOND PLACE, MIDWEST BOOK AWARDS. Includes TWO sneak previews from Logan’s Journey, the first Logan novel in one-third of a century, co-written with Logan’s Run author William F. Nolan! From aliens to zombies, from prehistoric monsters to monstrously conceived tomorrows, this collection comprises Paul McComas’ fifty best speculative-fiction, horror, and dark-comic works -- most of them never before published. You’ll encounter “Nessie” and nuclear apocalypse

voodoo and vampires

androids and ax murderers

death curses and dystopias

cognizant, conniving corporations and “Collies in Space” . . . plus ice worlds and werewolves and eels, oh my! Ingenious, heartfelt, and always entertaining, Unforgettable is the thinking person’s, the feeling person’s, and the snickering person’s “genre book,” all in one -- as well as an eclectic, audacious, ever-surprising celebration of the human imagination. “McComas is a one-man powerhouse, an author-magician, a wizard with words whose range is unlimited

Unforgettable is a stunning performance, a literary tour de force, a wild ride that will leave you breathless. There has never been a book like this. Never.” William F. Nolan, author of Logan’s Run “It’s all here: a fertile imagination, an utter lack of pretension, let-it-all-hang-out honesty, serious purpose, perverse playfulness -- and even fearlessness.” Eric Greene, author of “Planet of the Apes” as American Myth, from his Foreword “This compilation is the ‘unforgettable’ party we all want to attend. Allow host Paul McComas to stretch your mind, make you laugh out loud, and keep you thinking long after you’ve read the last page.” Joy Ward, author of Haint “You’ll be hooked, shocked, and amused by this vast, delightful offering from one of our country’s most versatile and endearing artists. In short, Unforgettable--is.” William Hart, author of Never Fade Away


Awards

-- Midwest Book Awards Silver Prize for ''Unforgettable'', 2012

-- One Book, One Highland Park/Ray Bradbury Award for Best Short Story for "Levitation", 2011

-- Finalist, Guild Literary Complex of Chicago Short Fiction Contest for "Viceroy Girls", 2011

-- Third Prize, The Writers' Place National Feature-Length Screenplay Contest for his screen adaptation of ''Unplugged'', 2007

-- Best Original Teleplay, Philo T. Farnsworth Awards, Alliance for Community Media/Central States, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, & 2010

-- Book of the Year (one of six novels selected) for ''Unplugged'' from Christian Century Magazine, 2002