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Historical Epic Entwines Past and Present in a Man’s Search for Meaning
From:
Norman McCombs, Inventor & Author of 'A Reason to Be' Norman McCombs, Inventor & Author of 'A Reason to Be'
na , NY
Wednesday, July 15, 2020


Historical Epic Entwines Past and Present in a Man’s Search for Meaning
 

New York, NY – How does the past affect the present? How do the decisions our ancestors made centuries ago affect our lives now? What is our reason to be? These are all questions debut author Norman McCombs asks in his gripping historical novel A Reason to Be, a poignant tale of loss, hope, and the transcendent power of the love that binds us to one another.

A critically acclaimed White House National Medal of Technology and Innovation winner, McCombs tells the semi-autobiographical story of Douglas McCombs, an accomplished engineer and recent widower who is driven to discover the truth of who he is by studying the people and places he comes from. After losing his wife to a battle with Alzheimer's, Douglas is left devastated until a chance encounter with a sharp, compassionate librarian named Suzy Hamilton on the steps of the New York Public Library shakes him from the throes of grief.

With Suzy's help, Douglas takes up genealogy and begins an investigation into his Scottish lineage that takes the reader on a sprawling journey through time. As he traces his ancestry through generations, Douglas manages to discover not only the roots he was searching for, but also a brand-new reason to be.


"A Reason to Be is a brilliant, cerebral narrative of a man's journey to discover who he is within the stunning breadth of history." —Rachel Song, Songbird, 5-stars


McCombs has over two hundred patents worldwide, primarily for air separation technology used for a myriad of oxygen applications around the world.

In 2011, as McCombs stood outside the East Wing of the White House before receiving the National Medal of Technology from President Obama, he asked himself a simple question: How did I come from the circumstances of my birth to the steps of the White House? That moment prompted McCombs to search for deeper connections to his ancestry. Like Douglas, these remarkable ancestors stretch back to legendary highland clan chiefs, American war generals, humble farmers, and family men.

McCombs was born in Amherst, New York, where he met his late wife, Grace. Like Douglas' fictional wife Hope, Grace's prolonged battle with Alzheimer's and her eventual death led McCombs into a deep depression until a close friend aided him in receiving the help he needed. After recovering from his depression, McCombs left western New York and began to write A Reason to Be.

Equal parts love story, historical epic, and journey to self-discovery, A Reason to Be resonates at the heart of what it means to be human. It inspires us to discover who we are and where we came from, joining past with present, loss with love, and imbibes us with a brilliant hope for who we can become. As Douglas says in the novel: "We're more than our blood lines. We're love lines. Love is what flows down the generations. Love is what collects and gathers in force and momentum and strength. Love."


"A Reason to Be is an exhilarating exploration into exactly why we are here and the never-ending journey to find and give love." —John J. Kelly, Detroit Free Press, 5-stars



A Reason to Be: A Novel, ISBN 978-1626347335 (Hardcover) $17.95, 2020, Greenleaf Book Group, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Book-A-Million, and Porchlight.


Norman McCombs was born in Amherst, New York, in a home built by his immigrant father. He graduated from Amherst Central High School where he met his late wife, Grace. Norman went on to earn an AASEE from ECTI, along with a BSME and an ScD from the State University of New York at Buffalo, while serving in the New York State National Guard.

He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, which honored him with the EDISON Medal, their highest patent award. He has received numerous awards for technical achievement, including the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama for developing the portable oxygen concentrator credited with saving and extending the lives of millions with lung diseases.

As Norman stood outside the East Wing of the White House, he asked himself a simple question: How did I come from the circumstances of my birth to the steps of the White House? That moment prompted Norman to search for deeper connections to his ancestry.

Norman has over two hundred patents worldwide, primarily for air separation technology used for a myriad of oxygen applications around the world. He is also an Officier Commandeur of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, as well as a sculptor, classical guitarist, and an avid fan of opera and the fine arts.

You can find more information on Norman McCombs at NormanMcCombs.com.


Media Contact: For a review copy of A Reason to Be or to arrange an interview with Norman McCombs, contact Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications Book Marketing at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on twitter @abookpublicist

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Scott Lorenz
Group: Westwind Communications
Dateline: Plymouth, MI United States
Direct Phone: 734-667-2098
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