By Kari Hawkins, USAG RedstoneAugust 2, 2010
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- High school boredom and daydreaming were the seeds to success for a Bravo Company private whose fantasy novel is so popular that it's hard to find copies these days.
While Pvt. Malcolm R. Green completes his studies to become a combat land missile systems repairer at the Ordnance Munitions and Electronics Maintenance School, his novel - "Black Light: Faded Beginnings" - is a hot commodity in worldwide fantasy markets. The book is listed out of stock on Amazon and other websites, although it can still be found on the publisher's website.
And, that, for author Malcolm R. Green is sweet satisfaction for making it through a lackluster high school career at three different schools in Georgia.
"I was always bored in class and I ended up daydreaming a lot," Green said. "The daydreams seemed kind of cool to me. So I started writing them down. Then I started developing them into a story and it turned out all right."
"Black Light" actually published on Sept. 12, 2009, Green's second day at basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. A naturally quiet guy, this 22-year-old Soldier didn't broadcast his status as a newly published author among his cadre.
"It was kind of hard bringing up in conversation that I had published a book without it sounding like I was being a boastful jerk," Green said. "I don't like attention that much."
But, during basic, each Soldier had to write a 300-word essay about their battle buddy. In the course of that project, Green's battle buddy discovered the news of "Black Light." About four weeks later, the battle buddy had a copy of it.
"That was the end of me trying to fade into the background," Green said. "A lot of people in basic latched on to the book immediately. They passed it around."
Judging from the worn pages of Green's only copy of "Black Light," it has also made the rounds at Bravo Company.
"I have a copy here that a few people have read," he said.
"Black Light" is the first in a series of three books that center around a main character named Valendar, who must search for three stones of the human makeup that will bring back the human race several years after it has been destroyed. Besides his task, Valendar also struggles with the powers of darkness and light that he carries within, and contends with many different clans of creatures who suffer from a disease that also threatens their extinction.
"I enjoyed writing this book because it was all mine. It was my ideas and I got to implement them in any way I wanted to," Green said. "Both the main character and his leading lady have powers that make them interesting. They have to choose to become evil or good. I enjoyed writing this, but I also enjoyed reading it over and over again."
Green admitted that his main character is a lot more talkative and outgoing than the book's author. The book has a lot of Christian-based undertones as the characters struggle with good and evil.
"The second book will be a lot darker," Green said. "It will be more in-depth with the main character and the leading lady. The main character will be exploring the new Earth he is in while also trying to complete his quest. The third book will be about completing the quest and coming to terms with the fight of good versus evil that is inside him."
Green was working at Sears and going to Albany State University when he decided to search for a publisher for the story that came from his daydreams. He settled on PublishAmerica Inc. because they didn't charge new authors to publish their books.
"They said to send them three chapters and they would decide if they wanted to publish it," he recalled. "Then they gave me a six-month deadline."
Green will leave Redstone for Fort Hood, Texas, on Aug. 5. He hopes to be able to work in some free time during his first assignment to work on his second book.
"I've already got four chapters in two notebooks," he said. "I am going to put more detail in the second book. And some of my Army experiences may find their way into the story."
To order "Black Light," visit the PublishAmerica website at http://www.publishamerica.net.