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Norman McCombs, Author of ‘A Reason to Be,’ Featured on Sirius XM’s ‘Mom Talk Radio’ with Michelle Jerson

By: Get News

New York, NY, USA – July 20, 2021 – Norman McCombs, author of the epic historical novel A Reason to Be, was interviewed by Michelle Jerson on Sirius XM’s Mom Talk Radio. A multifaceted broadcaster, Michelle has spent almost fifteen years in major market radio and television on both the local and national level. Michelle Jerson is a lifestyle expert and the founder, host and writer for Passport Mommy; formerly Passport Romance. She started Passport Romance to merge her love of her travel with her expertise as a relationship talk show host as a way to share her explorations and insight with her listeners.

Based on his own family history, in A Reason to Be the author guides the reader through 500-years of history going from the Highlands of Scotland to struggle and success after emigrating to the U.S. Jerson introduced McCombs this way: “Every once in a while, we have a guest on who is just so impressive and has done just so much incredible work. Whether it be something in the Mom space, whether it be an author that really helps shape the rest of us by reading their works.” She related McComb’s stellar achievements in science and then asked why he wrote A Reason to Be?

“When I was young, I wrote a great deal,” McCombs related with all seriousness, “I had to make a choice to go into science and engineering or into the arts, and I chose science and engineering always intending to go back to writing. My wife and I, Grace, lived a charmed life, blessed, until she contracted Alhzeimers after 53 years of marriage. We were high school sweethearts. When I finally lost her my life fell apart.”

Severe depression took hold and for years McCombs viewed himself as having No Reason to Be. Taking a cue from a good friend, he began writing again and a book began to take shape; one that literally gave Norman McCombs A Reason to Be. Friends, the true friends still around, offered encouragement and a local librarian, met while ancestry researching, ended up becoming his “new life partner.” She is fictionalized in the book and a vital part of both stories. In this time of uncertainty, McCombs’ wisdom and insight holds value for us all!

Listen to the whole interview

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 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

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 Book Trailer

A five-minute audio book sample, including a bit of Scottish brogue, can be heard at

“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, Author, 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

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 or by phone at 734-667-2090.

Follow Lorenz on twitter @abookpublicist.

Media Contact
Company Name: Westwind Communications Book Marketing
Contact Person: Scott Lorenz
Email: Send Email
Phone: 734-667-2090
Country: United States

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