VERVEGIRL: Are there any authors out there that influenced your style of writing?
MALCOM RANDALL: One author that comes directly to mind is my mentor, Cornelia McDonald, the author of I Wanna Tell You My Story. Although regularly beaten by her father and publicly ridiculed for her tall stature, dark skin and big lips, Cornelia was determined to find her place in life. That search introduced her to her indelible beauty. She has taken her message around the world, bringing hope to the masses. Her wisdom nurtures the profundity of my soul.
VG: The Malchemist is your first published book. How does it feel to achieve that goal?
MR: Publishing my first collection of poetry is an absolute blessing. I have faced more than my share of adversity. So many moments, I have felt absolutely alone in the belief of my value as a person. But even in my deepest despair, a small voice in my mind would say, “You are so special. Don’t give in and one day you will encourage others who are hurting.” This would help me get up, brush myself off and give life another try. It isn’t how many times you fall; it is how many times you get back up. The only mistakes are those we don’t learn from. Now I am provided the opportunity to share these lessons with young people.
VG: Do you enjoy traveling and coming across different cultures? If so, where do you like to go?
MR: I love traveling. I was fortunate to be a driver for ten Tibetan monks for four years. I drove over 234,000 miles and to every state in the continental U.S. I also drove cross country through Canada during that time. Canada was breathtaking and remains one of my favorite places on earth. I am inspired by the cultural diversity there. I also visited India. I have always been fascinated by Indian culture and cuisine. My dream is to visit Tibet. My life was changed by the time I spent with the Tibetan monks. I pray we see a free Tibet in our lifetime.
VG: Any advice to teens out there who have been bullied? What should they do about it now?
MR: You see just because you cut a piece of metal in the shape of a sword blade, does not make it a sword. You must temper the steel by repeatedly heating it up in a fire, hammering it flat, and submerging it in water. These extreme conditions turn the metal into a powerful blade. It is the same with a soul. Put one foot in front of the other. Hold your head up high and know that it does get better.
VG: Based on your biography, there had been certain unfortunate events that happened in your life. Did it change your perspective towards writing?
MR: Writing is a cathartic process. A lifetime of struggles and overcoming those struggles gave me an arsenal of experience to approach my devastation with. I used this book as a way to bring awareness to bullying and suicide prevention. I want to stand for the weak. I want to scream for the voiceless. If my words can give even one person strength to give face their fears, my dream for this book is achieved.
VG: What are some words of wisdom you’d like to share with those who need inspiration?
MR: Don’t feel like you have to be perfect. The beauty of being human is that we are all imperfect. Be gentle with yourself. Learn to celebrate who you are. When I am feeling down, I go out and look for opportunities to make people smile. Kindness is the key to beauty. You are beautiful, now get out there and own it!
VG: What can we expect from your next project?
MR: I already have a few projects completed. I love the surprise factor, so I don’t want to give it away just yet. But I will tell you there is more poetry in the works. I also love music and dance so there will be a lot of that on the way. The focus will be sharing joy.
About Malcolm Randall
A native of Lockhart, South Carolina, Malcolm Randall started off as an improvisational dancer. He studied dance at The University of Florida, and received various scholarships to four local dance academies. He then moved to New York City and got his start at the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
His one man poetry show was featured on broadway at The Here Arts Center. Several Years later, he joins The Mystical Art of Tibet on their world tour, but developed a keen interest in studying yoga in India. Personal and family crisis led him to write The Malchemist and it is a tribute to the loved ones he has lost, as well as a tribute to himself.