I grew up in Waterbury Connecticut. It is a small New England town with the picturesque downtown green containing statues and small monuments celebrating the country and the sacrifices made by the local populous in times of war. When I was growing up, Waterbury was just shedding its manufacturing roots. The local factories that attracted so many to migrate to Waterbury in the early to mid 20th century were just starting to disappear. I grew up in the seventies, where crime and drugs were making their introduction into the town. Seeing the transition from hardworking, tight knit families to families trying to survive the onslaught of unemployment, crime and drugs is one of the motivators that shaped my writing voice. My family survived, but had its challenges, and the Osguards, the main characters in my book, Homecoming, are based on a loose adaptation of that survival, set in a science fiction fantasy world.
I conceived Osguards when I was young traveling to Jacksonville, North Carolina for a family reunion. There I met relatives I never knew I had from all parts of the country. The reunion was held on land that was the plantation my forefathers and mothers worked. More spectacular, we were celebrating being a family on that very land. It was so surreal and fascinating at the same time. I took that feeling and created the Osguards. Back then, I was fascinated by science fiction stories on T.V. in the movies and in books, so I placed my characters in a science fiction setting. I made up stories about two sisters running away from a war on their planet only to be trapped in the antebellum south. Their descendants are then plucked from Earth and given the reigns to a universal peacekeeping organization…like a U.N of space. I would play these stories in my head on long car rides during family trips down south or when I was alone during the day and had nothing to do. To me at the time, this was just daydreaming; a way to pass the time.
When I was in high school, I enrolled in creative writing classes. There I took the Osguards and used them to spawn a couple of my projects. Osguards were a family discovering their rich history and the awesome responsibility that history brought them. Boy, did I get razzed by the other students, but the teacher commended me for well thought out and very creative characters.
During my time at the U.S. Air Force Academy, on those long lonely nights, wondering what the hell did I get myself into, those characters and those scenes lulled me to sleep and gave me encouragement to put up with the rigors of the coming day. This continued well into my adult life. These characters and the action sequence, I placed them in, began to invade my dreams at night, where I no longer controlled the outcome. Now they were telling me the story. They were old friends, and I welcomed them as part of a peaceful night’s rest.
One day, in 2000, I had a setback in my Air Force career. At which time, I received some sound advice. Do something to keep your mind busy. So I decided to write down the stories that plagued me. Every day for three months, after work, I would lock myself in the office and type away at the keyboard. Until one day I emerged from the dark pit of imagination and dropped on the kitchen table a 450 page manuscript. I felt a sense of accomplishment.
I wrote the first draft of Homecoming in 2000. Now after eleven years, over a dozen edits, two publishing attempts, three editions and countless hours of work, Homecoming is now nationally recognized by the 2011 Hollywood Book Festival with an Honorable Mention and a 5-star rating from the Midwest Book Review. Over the years, I’ve received some glowing support and calls for more adventures with the Osguards. I also found I had more to write. Therefore, I continued the series with Revelations, Armageddon and Revenge.
In summary, my life experience, my family and friends as well as the need to tell a story with positive protagonists, is the story behind the book.
Malcolm Dylan Petteway is a senior military analyst, a retired military officer and a twenty-year veteran of the United States Air Force. He flew B-52’s as an Electronic Warfare Officer and has 3,000 flight hours and 300 combat hours. In his distinguished career, Malcolm has used his knowledge in the art of war, military weapons and combat defenses in planning over 400 combat sorties. Besides his Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters and numerous other awards, Malcolm is the recipient of the U.S. Air Force Air Medal and the U.S. Air Force Air Achievement Medal for his actions during Operation Enduring Freedom. Malcolm Petteway is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and California State University.
His latest book is Homecoming – Osguards: Guardians of the Universe (Book 1).
You can visit Malcolm at http://www.ragebooks.net.