Thursday, September 29, 2022

Ole Miss Lecturer Shares His Christian Journey in Self-Published Books

David Waddell hosted a book signing at Frank and Marlee's last Wednesday.
David Waddell hosted a book signing at Frank and Marlee’s last Wednesday.

Those seeking for a good read on Christianity need look no further than within the pages of a book that relates the mishaps and short comings in today’s society with those within the Bible.

David Waddell, a lecturer in Recreation Administration at the University of Mississippi, held a book signing last Wednesday to highlight the release of his newest book: “Holiday Biblical Characters.”

Waddell faced many events in his lifetime that he felt could be used to inspire others. To channel the energy of those events positively, he wrote a book to relate himself to characters in the Bible.

He spoke of his motivation in writing the book, revealing that though he sometimes struggled in his journey with God, he is adamant about steering the lives of others in a positive light.

Waddell reads an excerpt from "Characters in the Bible."
Waddell reads an excerpt from “Holiday Biblical Characters.”

“What motivates me is helping others,” Waddell said. “All of my books are about failures in my life and how God has used them. So, this is an inspirational book, instilling a sense of hope. No matter how much you screw up, you’re always okay.”

Waddell wrote a book prior to the release of “Holiday Biblical Characters” titled “Characters of the Bible.” The events that led him to launch his career as an author began with heart troubles that he said started about three years ago.

“After I was told I had heart trouble, I did a funny thing on Facebook naming the top ten reasons I was glad I had heart trouble,” Waddell said. “It dealt with things like knowing people in the medical field who were friends who came to help me, and the fact that life is short. I encouraged everyone to forgive quickly and not hold grudges because you never know when the last breath will be.”

A fellow friend of Waddell’s encouraged him to print the article and compile it into a book for her birthday. His reaction was of surprise, for he did it primarily for his enjoyment.

“I asked her ‘Why do you want this?’” Waddell said, “She told me that it was good stuff. I had written for church newsletters but I’d never published a book before.”

This encouragement led Waddell to publish his first book which opened the door for the release of his second one. Waddell did all marketing himself, with the help of Angie Barmer, a dear friend of 10 years.

“I met him 10 years ago,” Barmer said, “at this same place, shooting pool. I told him that I wanted to learn about freelance publicizing and that’s when I started the journey with him. I learned how to publicize on my own, with the help of prior journalistic skills. We went to every bookstore in Memphis and gave out business cards and just tried to get his book to as many bookstores as we could.”

Waddell’s process for publishing his first book lasted one year. His second was roughly nine months.

“I was advised by an author that has had several books published through the traditional method,” Waddell said. “He told me that the best path was probably to go with self-publishing. So, I did. I chose WestBow Publishing. I contacted them, sent them a manuscript, and sent my self publishing fee. The books went through a bunch of editing but I wanted a polished book.”

Waddell has found self-publishing to be quite beneficial, proving that it only takes persistence and dedication to market your own work.

“I have found that in self-publishing you pretty much market yourself,” Waddell said. “Last summer I went to Minnesota and turned left, got to Washington, turned left, visited my mom in San Francisco and turned left again. Then, I came back home. I stopped at bookstores in each state on the way and dropped off copies of my book.”

Waddell is currently working on two more books.

“The third is basically done,” Waddell said. “It just needs re-editing and rewording. It will be about worship, based on the kings of Israel and Judah, staying consistent with the character theme. Even the fourth one is about The Pharisees. I’m really picking on people in the bible more than anything.”

Waddell plans to continue his spiritual journey in authorship. He looks to continue inspiring people through his mistakes, opening a never ending door of self-redemption.

“Ten years from now, I’m going to be retired from teaching,” Waddell said, “And I think this is going to be my main hobby. I’ll take my retirement check and travel, give books away, try to do more book signings, and write more books.”

For more information regarding Waddell’s book visit his Facebook page at Characters of the Bible or his website www.dwaddell7.com.


Mia Sims is a HottyToddy.com intern. She can be reached at masims@go.olemiss.edu.

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