Carlow basketball player publishes first novel

PITTSBURGH – Dating back to his time at Northgate High School, Malcolm Randall knew he wanted to write a book.

Randall, a junior creative writing major and forward on the basketball team at Carlow University, fulfilled that goal in the fall of 2021. On Oct. 16, his first novel, titled “Sheriff Sebastian Part 1: The Boy,” was published and available for sale on Amazon.

“I had very high aspirations to do this. It really came back to when I was in high school,” said Randall.

During his senior year at Northgate, Randall took an AP English class in which his teacher, Mr. Smith, opened Randall’s eyes to the possibility of becoming an author.

“The way he taught his class, with the fundamentals of storytelling, I was so encouraged by that that I really wanted to try to write my own story,” detailed Randall.

As a result, he began to pen a story based on Harry Potter, but soon realized that he did not like how it was coming together.

“I just needed to find my own ideas – what will make people want to read this, but at the same time, I want to love it too,” he noted.

He found some of those ideas in the summer of 2020. With ample time to watch movies during the pandemic, Randall found inspiration from a quartet of films. Those movies consisted of three DC films – Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice ultimate edition, and Justice League director’s cut – as well as Dolittle, in which a doctor has the ability to communicate with animals.

“I really wanted to write a book, but I didn’t know where to start at first,” he revealed. “Eventually, I put two and two together and it just came to my mind, so I started writing it.”

He created drawings of a multitude of characters and ultimately settled on a drawing of a boy named Sebastian around whom he wanted to base the story. As a result, Randall dedicated a considerable amount of time to crafting a story throughout the summer.

There was still something missing, though, so Randall added a twist to the plot when he revisited the story this summer.

“Originally, the story was going to be the same thing like Dolittle. I didn’t like that concept, so let’s make him a superhero,” said Randall of Sebastian.

Despite working a summer job and continuing to develop his skills on the hardwood, Randall dedicated time to rewrite his original story, and the result was a novel that Randall referred to as “epic.”

The novel is 62 pages and is the first installment in a four-part story. Randall is optimistic that he will publish the subsequent books once per year, and then has his sights set on a spinoff series that would take place in the same universe.

Since the novel’s release, Randall has received considerable support from his family and friends. Carlow men’s basketball head coach Tim Keefer posted his congratulations on Twitter and also attended Randall’s book signing earlier in November at Northgate High School, which was a surreal moment for the Bellevue native.

“I didn’t really imagine that I would publish my first novel and immediately after I’m going to have a book signing,” said Randall.

“Sheriff Sebastian Part 1: The Boy” can be purchased as paperback or via Kindle on, or through Randall’s personal blog.

Watch this story on WTAE-Pittsburgh

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