April 24, 2014
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Published Authors Flourish In The Park

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February 17, 2011
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By John Singleton
One pens fictional tales of characters who struggle to establish an identity, the other writes non-fictional works grounded in the source of all identity. Ron Malfi and Steve Mitchell are both family men and published authors with enduring ties to Severna Park.
“All my stories pivot on the idea of identity,” relates Malfi a 1995 graduate of Severna Park High School. “My characters often battle an internal conflict or physical disability that leads to a defining moment.”

Malfi’s latest book, The Ascent, is a thriller about a group of men who set out to scale the Himalayas. After his wife is killed, protagonist Tim Overleigh attempts to put his life back together by traveling to the Sanctuary of the Gods in Nepal, but the climb turns unexpectedly deadly and the Tibetan folklore and mysticism is cold comfort to those who have been lured into the Canyon of Souls by a most sinister host.
“The Ascent is the strongest thing I’ve written to date. The book hit me all at once,” added the Arnold resident. “I was out one day cutting my lawn and the idea for The Ascent came to me. I believe my writing is getting tighter with each story.”
Growing up in Severna Park, Malfi attended Folger-McKinsey Elementary School and Severna Park Middle School, before graduating from SPHS and then Towson University in 1999. In 2002 he was a freelance writer for the Severna Park Voice where he penned stories on the local music scene and oyster beds in the Chesapeake Bay. Today, Malfi and his wife of six years, Deborah, have a four-month-old daughter and they live in Mago Vista.
Other books by Ron Malfi include “Via Dolorosa,” “Nature of Monsters,” and “Shamrock Alley,” which is being optioned for a feature film in Hollywood.
Describing a harrowing journey of an existential nature, Youth Pastor Stephen J. Mitchell wrote “The College Battlefield,” a manifesto aimed at preparing teenagers for the spiritual tests they will face in college. From Ferris Buehler to the Wizard of Oz to I Am Legend, Mitchell tackles drinking, drugs, sex and skipping class using pop-culture iconography to frame moral dilemmas and capture the attention of young readers.
“From the moment my school guidance counselor called me in to start thinking about colleges, I started freaking out,” added Mitchell, who works at Trinity Bible Church in Severna Park. “College has the potential to be the best years of your life. My book prepares students for the temptations, pressures and intellectual attacks that begin shortly after their families drop them off.”
Mitchell’s book includes much research, taking readers back to 1636 when America’s first universities were formed. At Harvard, students were required to study the Old and New Testament; Princeton’s original purpose was to educate from a Christian worldview; and Yale’s charter was to train its students in the Word of God. The author makes it clear many American universities have strayed far from their roots.
“We don’t have to be alone. We don’t have to isolate ourselves spiritually when we go off to college,” summarized Pastor Steve, who makes his home with wife Cassandra in Severna Park. “Find yourself a Christian college group that meets regularly, join a strong Bible believing Church, and stay connected with the true source of your identity – Jesus Christ,” he concluded.
To order a copy of one of Ron Malfi’s or Steve Mitchell’s books, visit www.amazon.com.


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