Monday, November 8, 2010

Paul McCusker's Thanksgiving Visit

By Mary Vee

Christian writers make us laugh, whisk us to new places, scare us, keep us up late at night, and show us how others handled problems.

My family has listened to hundreds of Odyssey radio programs. At the end of many programs, Chris says, "And don't forget to ask for a copy of today's episode. It's called (title).  Adventures in Odyssey is a production of Focus on the Family, (title of the show) was written by Paul McCusker.

Paul McCusker has written many books for kids and teens.  I asked him to join us today and share a Thanksgiving moment.

Please welcome Paul McCusker author of:
Adventures in Odyssey Novels
Each book holds four novels based on the popular radio drama. Essential reading for your young Odyssey fan.

Adventures in Odyssey: Passages
A six-book series in which regular kids from the town of Odyssey travel to the mysterious land of Marus, and become integral to tales that reflect stories from the Bible

The Time Thriller Trilogy:
Three teen thrillers that explore the town of Fawltline, where time shifts and people get lost in it. It's up to Jeff and his eccentric Uncle Malcolm to solve the mysteries and get everyone back where they belong


Mr. McCusker, please tell us what you're thankful for.

I'm thankful for the English teachers who put their time and energy into teaching me subjects like sentence structure, grammar, Mark Twain, poetry, William Shakespeare, essays, Raymond Chandler, and dialogue. While they were doing that, they didn't discourage me from the frivolous reading I sneaked in during some of the classes, study halls or sports activities - the paperback thrillers and science fiction and mysteries and horror. It was as if they thought reading was important enough, even though I wasn't pursuing the classics.

At the time, I had no idea they were planting seeds in my brain and heart that would eventually grow into something beautiful and life-changing. There isn't a single word or sentence that I write now that doesn't point back to their influence in my life.

They were so diligent, applying praise and correction however need. And, while their praise was always appreciated, I was grateful for notes like "I know you can do better than this" because it told me that they were paying attention and really believed I COULD do better than I was doing. They seemed to notice that behind my crude efforts to communicate there was something worth encouraging. And they did encourage me. Sometimes openly, to my embarrassment. Sometimes pushing me to take on more than I thought I could.

So I want to thank Miss Stegner, Mrs. Baker, Mr. Jack, Mrs. Calhoun and the many others who invested themselves in my life - wherever you are.

[Note: I'm attaching a photo I'm particularly proud of: when I bumped into Neil Simon in London back in 1997.]

 All the best,

Paul McCusker

Neil Simon is an American playwrite and screenwriter. He won the Pulitzer prize for drama in 1991. Some of his plays are: The Odd Couple, Their Playing Our Song, I Ought to Be in Pictures, The Good Doctor, The Sunshine boys, and The Star Spangled Gir.

What message do you have for Paul McCusker?

Paul McCusker's web site is:

Here are some of his books:


  1. Hello Paul McCusker,
    Thank you for your radio broadcasts and books. My children traveled often with us, choosing to listen and learn from your stories. "Hurry, turn the redio, Adventures in Oddessy is coming on!" We would hear them say.

    I am currently an elementary teacher in the kindergarten level. What would you advise to help teachers entice young children into a more enthusiastic reading and writing, or to deepen their understanding?

    Marcia McConnell
    Kindergarten Teacher

  2. My family LOVES AIO. We own them all, except for the very latest one, which we just haven't gotten yet. It is pretty much all my familiy listens to! Thanks for being here Paul, it is a pleasure to know a bit more about you. As I am a bit star struck. :)

  3. Thanks for stopping by Mrs. McConnell's class. I will make sure Paul McCusker sees your comment and question:)

  4. Casey,
    I'm gathering all comments that have come through various means, FB, the blog, and email, and will send them all to Paul McCusker:)
    Thanks for stopping by:)


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