Bryan Boyett didn’t originally intend to become an author. But his friend Jonathan Joye’s journey through United States Marine Corps recruit training led Boyett to publish his first book, “A New Beginning: A Journey of Faith through USMC Boot Camp,” several years ago.
Boyett’s inspiration was recently rekindled after hearing the story of Joye’s grandfather, Lt. Vincent Malone, who was a World War II fighter pilot. Malone’s story paved the way for Boyett’s second book, “Lieutenant Vincent ‘Vinny’ Malone: The Man, The Machines and The Missions,” which was officially released on April 16.
“I’ve always been interested in writing but didn’t know where to go with it,” said Boyett, who won a small scholarship through an essay contest years ago. “This young man (Joye) did it for me, and when I saw (his grandfather’s) mission reports and started talking to the family, it inspired me again.”
The book is broken up into three parts. The first segment, “The Man,” is a mini-biography of Malone that concentrates on his early life and what led him to the war. The second, “The Machines,” is a documentary-like focus on the aircraft Malone flew during combat.
The third and final segment, “The Missions,” consists of two parts – excerpts from Malone’s autobiographical war journal in his own words and a third-person retelling of his final 10 missions in chronological order, which makes up nearly one-half of the book.
The most challenging thing about writing the book, Boyett said, was writing about someone he’d never met. Because Malone had been dead for more than 30 years, Boyett had to draw from interviews with Malone’s family members, pages of his journal and documents about the aircraft and the missions.
Boyett also ended up rewriting the portion on the final 10 missions. He originally wrote the section as a first-person retelling from Malone’s perspective, but changed it to third person at the request of Malone’s family.
“That was challenging, rewriting from first person to third person,” Boyett said. Nevertheless, he wanted to respect the wishes of Malone’s family and ended up enjoying the challenge of putting the book together. “It was exciting, a lot of research … It was quite a labor of love, and I really enjoyed it.”
The book also includes an afterward with reflections from Malone’s children, as well as numerous photos from his life after the war. Boyett said his favorite things about writing the book included connecting with the people who knew Malone, researching and looking at the photos.
“I really get excited about working with a World War II historical retrospective,” Boyett said. “… Just finding all those great facts out, it gets my creative juices going.”
Boyett, who lives in Charlotte near Matthews, doesn’t have any immediate plans for another book, but he enjoys military history and serving as an inspirational speaker. Although he’s never been in the military, Boyett has two younger brothers who’ve had careers in the U.S. Air Force – something he said could possibly pave the way for a future book.
“There’ll be something to come out of the woodwork, just like this last book did,” Boyett said. “I’ll just keep my eyes and ears open.”
The book is available for purchase at Amazon.com. Find more information at www.bryanboyett.webs.com.