MUSKEGON, Mich. — Every time a sporting event is played, a different story is written. Just like a book, there's buildup, suspense, a climax and then a conclusion.
A former Muskegon Big Reds football player spent his high school career writing two stories — one on the gridiron, helping add another championship chapter to the most storied prep football program in the state, and another that's led to him becoming a published author.
Nathaniel Malone didn't have everything handed to him while he was growing up in Muskegon.
"When I was younger, we didn't always have a TV so my grandma would take me to the public library every single day so I could read a new book," said Nathaniel, 20, and 2019 graduate of Muskegon High School. "My love for writing didn't start when I was a kid, but my love for reading did."
As Nathaniel moved through junior high and then into high school, he says he had a vivid imagination and writing became natural and easy for him.
"Reading brought me into writing because it helped my vocabulary and gave me inspiration to write," he said.
Nathaniel would write essays for fun and have his teachers review them.
"What I really want to do is get into some kind of job that has to do with writing," Nathaniel said.
In 2017, while helping the Big Reds win the MHSAA Division 3 state football championship, the former nose guard says he started writing a story.
"I was just writing down stuff for fun and when I was doing it, I just wanted to keep going," Nathaniel added. "I'd write a page, then put it away, then came back to it again when I had a new idea.
"Then I thought, 'Let me put some chapters into this; maybe I can make something out of it.'"
Three years later, Nathaniel finished the book and gave it a title.
"It's called, 'The Suspect,'" said Nathaniel. "It's about a boy named Calvin, and the reason it's called The Suspect is because he's both the suspect and the victim."
In late 2020, Nathaniel sent a copy of the book to Dorrance Publishing in Pittsburgh, PA.
"They decided to publish my book," Nathaniel said.
In early February of this year, Nathaniel received a box from his publisher containing several copies of the book, complete with his name on the cover and his bio on the back.
"I'm proud of myself, but I don't believe anybody can pat themselves on the back until they're done," Nathaniel said. "I have so many more ideas and I plan to write many more books."
Nathaniel learned on the football field that the people who can't be stopped are the ones who usually win.
Nathaniel Malone doesn't plan to stop writing anytime soon.
"If no one's laughing at your dreams, then your dreams aren't big enough," said Nathaniel. "It says in the Bible that 'Faith without work is dead.' You can't just sit there and wish things would happen; you got to go make it happen."
Nathaniel says 'The Suspect' will be available to purchase on the usual platforms where books are sold.
Each copy will cost $11.
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