By Dan Levy
When Leo J. Maloney was finally able to tell his family that he’d spent his professional life in Black Ops for the United States, you can imagine how they might have reacted. “My family didn’t know about what I did until very late. When I first told my daughter, she just looked at me like I had nine heads.”
Maloney explained that sharing his stories with others gave his daughter what she needed, “Last September, when I had my book launch for TERMINATION ORDERS (Maloney’s debut novel), I read a chapter from it, then there was a Q&A session. People were asking me things that she never asked me. All of a sudden, she put her sunglasses on. Then, every once in a while, she’d take her hand and bring it up under her eye.
“When it was done, I walked up to her, ‘Are you okay?’ She said, ‘You know Dad, I had no idea the sacrifices you made.’ That was really a touching moment between her and I.”
In his first novel, Maloney introduced us to Dan Morgan a Black Operative that this very much Maloney, maybe with fewer grey hairs. In Maloney’s second novel, which launched August 27, 2013, Dan Morgan is back in SILENT ASSASSIN. This time, Morgan is pulled in when every other option has failed. His mission is to find Nikolai Novokoff, a ruthless KGB officer turned international arms dealer. He will locate the weapons of mass destruction the rogue terrorist is threatening to unleash on the world, and terminate with extreme prejudice.
To keep novels like SILENT ASSASSIN relevant, yet true to life, Maloney combines people that he knew, and situations he experienced, with today’s headlines. Maloney noted, “I know what can happen and what can’t. If I think it’s so far out there, I won’t (write) it.” That holds true for plot, as well as character, “I try to keep (Morgan) true to who I was and what I did.”
Despite reading everything Ian Fleming ever wrote, Maloney was not going to make Dan Morgan the near super-hero that readers find in the pages of James Bond novels. In fact, one of Maloney’s favorite SILENT ASSASSIN scenes involves one of the biggest chinks in Dan Morgan’s armor. Like Maloney, Morgan,”…has got this thing about needles. He doesn’t care how small they are or how big they are; he doesn’t like needles.”
The growing base of Dan Morgan fans will be glad to know that Maloney just finished writing BLACK SKIES, the third in the series. In that novel, Morgan finds himself breaking his daughter into the family business at a time when he Secretary of State has gone missing—or has he? “It’s going to take on a whole different look, I think, than SILENT ASSASSIN. It’s more aggressive.”
You might think that with Maloney’s life experience, he’d have no problem getting a black ops-based thriller through the publishing process and onto bookshelves. Not so. Maloney persevered the same journey that most first-time writers turned first-time authors take. “You have to believe in yourself. You can’t be afraid of people saying ‘no’ or pushing you away.”
But Maloney added insight many published authors don’t share, “You have to have a marketable book. You have to live in the real world. You want to get the straight dope from people. But if there are enough people who know what they’re talking about, and they tell you you’ve got something, then go for it.”
Leo Maloney served as a deep cover black operative contractor for a clandestine government agency, accepting highly secretive missions throughout the world. He has also served as a police officer/detective and is still a licensed private investigator in Massachusetts and Florida. Leo has also acted in independent films and T.V. commercials. He has ten movies to his credit, either as an actor, producer, technical advisor, or assistant director.
To learn more about Leo, please visit his website.