Donny O’Malley Press Kit– Click to download the pdf
Donny O’Malley has led a wild and interesting life. His strict, Roman Catholic Altar boy up bringing set him up for an unconventional life of deviance, discipline, sex, violence, parties, adventure, and service to others. Donny has been the skinny, shy, bullied-nerd, the benchwarmer, the kid stuck in the friend zone, and the depressed kid who considered suicide, only to grow into- the outgoing egomaniac, the class clown, the bully hunter, the team captain, the fraternity president, the U.S. Marine Infantry Officer, the decorated combat veteran, the bestselling self-published author, the adventure sport athlete, and the founder and president of a large veteran non-profit using humor and camaraderie to prevent veteran suicide- that he is today.
Donny entertains and educates audiences through public speaking, acting, comedy, photography, writing, and self-deprecating humor-with the intent of using laughter to bring light to serious issues.
Donny believes that laughter can keep people alive, and that the power of an entertainer lies with their ability to influence their audience in a positive way.
His first book, “Embarrassing Confessions of a Marine Lieutenant,” was #1 in the Afghan War category for two months. It reached as high as #1 in Military History, and #4 in all of Humor, both very large and challenging book categories.
Donny O’Malley is a pseudonym for Danny Maher, because let’s be real, no one is born with a name that cool….
FAQs about Donny
Why did you join the Marines?
When I was 6 years old I watched the movie “Platoon,” which is a terrible tragedy about a Marines in Vietnam, and I walked away from the movie yelling happily “I WANNA BE A MARINE!”
At 8 years old I started wearing crew cuts, dog tags, combat boots, and t-shirts that said “Mess with the best, die like the rest,” and other war-mongering-motard-shirts that I still wear to this day.
When I was in middle school art class we were told to draw what made us happy. While all my peers were drawing horses, rainbows, farms, and Michael Jordan, I drew skulls on fire, battles, helicopters, hand grenades, and Marines stepping on dead bodies.
Then when I was 17 I heard a rumor that our country was attacked by terrorists. Airplanes or something, right? I dunno, I’ve never really watched the news. But yeah, that was the icing on the cake. I really just wanted to kill bad guys and lead men in battle. Oh, and pick up girls while wearing the dress blues; that was a big selling point.
Why did you want to be in the Infantry?
I wanted to maintain the ability to look my father in the eyes for the rest of my life. My dad was a Marine grunt, and grunts are pretty arrogant, so while my dad tried to convince me not to join the Marines, he said the best Marine Corps experience is in the Infantry. Plus being a grunt is the easiest job in the Corps. Shoot guns, go camping, clean weapons, get hammered, pick up girls, repeat.
What was the best part about being a Marine?
Being surrounded by grunts- the most impressive, aggressive, professional, hilarious, demented, psychotic, and badass mutherfuckers on the planet. Infantry Marines make me happy with their existence. They’re like aliens- they don’t belong here on Earth. That’s why being in an Infantry battalion is like being on another planet. Everything in the battalion is different from the rest of planet Earth. Planet Earth is whatever, Planet Infantry though…. That’s the planet I was born to be on.
Don’t get me wrong-
I love all Marines, grunt or POG, because I’ve met plenty of POGs who would have been amazing grunts, but got fucked by their recruiter because their recruiter needed to fill a COMM spot. I’ve also met plenty of grunts who had no interest in the Infantry, but their recruiter needed to fill a grunt spot. But that’s fine, those guys are the ones on working parties all four years of their only enlistment, and the rest of Planet Infantry likes it that way.
Why did you start writing?
I’ve always been a storyteller. I’m that guy at a party with 6 guys around listening to me tell a self-deprecating story that puts everyone on the ground in laughter.
I’m a nutcase- I do wild, funny, and embarrassing shit, and I enjoy entertaining people with my stories. Guys have always appreciated that I’m so willing to be honest and self-deprecate for their amusement. I think it makes them feel like they can connect to me and trust me.
Writing is a way for me to entertain and connect with lots of people. I enjoy writing something that makes others laugh, feel better, teaches them something, or causes them to connect to me. I love people, and each connection I make with someone through my writing is special to me.
I want to use my writing to build an audience, then once I have an audience, I’ll bring them together to influence them in a positive way. I want to influence positive cultural change.
My long term plan is for film to be my main medium, so once I have an audience and a lot of money, I plan to make the most epic films about the Marine Corps that have ever been made. And of course, my entire production crew will be full of veterans.
Who was this book written for?
I wrote this book for every enlisted man who volunteered to hunt and kill the enemies of the United States. I wrote the book for the men who know what it’s like to hunt and be hunted. For men who have watched humans get maimed, both enemy and friendly, and then came home to laugh about it. Most specifically, I wrote it for guys like my friend Art, who lost his legs to an IED in Sangin, and needed a good laugh every now and then to cope with the things that ate him up inside.
What do you want veterans to get out of your book?
I want combat veterans to laugh at the things that might be eating them up inside. I want them to feel like they are normal, their emotions are expected, and that they are not alone in their own heads with their demons. We’re all in it together, and the only way we will stay alive is if we get together with our brothers. We must reach out to every person we served with in battle and make sure those connections stay alive.
How is your book different from other war memoirs?
Most war books are written with civilian military history readers as their target audience. Each author writes his a war memoir hoping to get the attention of other authors and influential people, and uses those connections for financial and career advancement. (It’s fine, everybody needs to make a living.)
Most war books, but ESPECIALLY war books written by Officers, don’t get read by the enlisted. The Officer memoirs usually follow a pretty cookie cutter story of- hard training, good leadership, love for their troops, and then success in battle. They write as a professional, for professionals.
I wrote the polar opposite, and I held nothing back. Nothing.
I’m certain that hundreds of thousands of warriors have at one point fantasized about killing their superior officer, and yet- no one has written about it, until now. I’m certain that thousands of warriors have fantasized about having sexual relations with the combat reporters attached to their units- but no one has written about it, until now.
I’m certain that hundreds of thousands of warriors have become so numb to killing and death during war that they didn’t care about killing civilians by mistake- but no one dared to write those horrible thoughts, until now.
I wrote the things that we don’t talk about, the things that we repressed because we didn’t think anyone would understand them, the things we repressed so that we weren’t viewed as sociopaths- and most guys who read my book are glad I did, because they NEEDED someone to come out and say it. They needed to know they weren’t alone.
Someone needed to write the truth about what goes on in our heads. I finally did it, and as a result my job options are now limited to low level sales and day labor construction.
What’s the next step for you?
I want to smash this book in the faces of the American public with a powerful publicity campaign, make them see our reality, and then build a massive audience. I want to be a NYT bestseller, with all my books in every military exchange in the world, then I want the Marines to petition to put my book on the Commandants reading list. (That will never happen, but I want the petition to happen for fun)
I’m going to donate 10% of profits to my non-profit organization, Irreverent Warriors Inc, and then I’ll use the rest to make sketch comedy for veterans. My next step after this book is film. I recently created a YouTube channel and got the ball rolling with a viral video titled “First Female to complete Infantry Officer Course discovered to have penis.” You can expect more hits in the coming months.
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