By Del Duduit
Well, it’s here.
What started out in a burger joint in Cincinnati near Great American Ball Park is now a reality.
My first book, Buckeye Believer; 40 Days of Devotions for The Ohio State Faithful, will be officially launched April 21. The devotional, based on memorable moments in OSU football history, may be pre-ordered for Kindle here. An Amazon link to purchase print copies will be available soon.
There is also a new tab on this website that has information about the book called — you guessed it — Buckeye Believer.
We have also created a Facebook page for the book. You can follow it here. There is a cool trailer on the site Cody Morehead created.
In late June 2017, I was in the Queen City with my wife, Angie, to meet some friends for a Reds/Cubs game. Before the first pitch, my literary agent, Cyle Young, and his kids sat with us and enjoyed a late lunch.
There we talked about a host of topics, including an idea for this book getting ready to launch.
This brainstorming conversation blossomed into a series of future and unlimited book possibilities. I recently signed a five-book deal with a publishing house, and we anticipate some big news soon on another project.
But Buckeye Believer will always hold a special place in my heart because it’s my first one to be published.
The journey has been fun, albeit stressful at times, with some confusion sprinkled in at places.
Cody did a bang-up job on the cover and some video trailers, and my publisher, Meaghan Burnett, has produced a quality product and tolerated me bothering her at odd times. Thank you.
If you know me, then you know I usually don’t get my hopes up, in fear of disappointment. If I don’t expect much, then I won’t be let down. However, I am excited about this book because of all the support I have received over the past several weeks. My outlook has changed.
“Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men.” PSALM 31: 19
I don’t want to leave anyone out, but thanks to Cyle, Cody, Michelle, Beckie, Rhonda, Bethany, Cody, Cherrilynn, Scott, Cristel, Meaghan, David, (this list could include 200 more names) for all the helpful tips and prayers over the past year.
A big thank you to Jim Tressel for his support of this book.
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Jim is the president of Youngstown State University and is revered in Columbus. He coached the Ohio State Buckeyes from 2001-2010 and brought home a BCS National Championship in 2003.
I previously didn’t know him personally, but last fall, I thought to myself, “Why not aim high?” I reached out to his executive administrative assistant, Cindy, one day and left a message. A few days later, I called back and spoke to her about my request. About a week later, my phone rang while I was driving through Jackson, Ohio. “This is Jim Tressel, how can I help you?” I was more than excited. I was impressed and humbled he returned the call.
We spoke briefly, and he agreed to look at a few samples from the book and let me know if he would consider writing the foreword.
I sent him some follow-up texts over the next few weeks, but he didn’t respond. Again, my low expectations kicked into gear.
Finally, one Saturday morning in October, I texted him again: “Coach: Anxious to hear your feedback. Let me know your thoughts after you read them.”
Within a minute, I received a response: “Will get on it!!”
I thought to myself; “Wow, this is cool.”
A month later, I was in Cincinnati at the Ohio Christian Writers Conference where my publisher told me she needed a yes or no from Jim. I reached back out to Cindy and asked her to let Jim know it was crunch time.
The next weekend, I was in Columbus at an Ohio State/Michigan State game when I received a text from Jim letting me know the samples looked good, and he was onboard to write the foreword. I’m still amazed that God saw fit for this to happen.
Just like that, he agreed. And he’s done more to help me. The following week, I traveled to Youngstown to have our picture taken together for the back cover. And recently, I asked him to shoot a 10-second video promo for the book, and he did! You can see it below.
“But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” HEBREWS 13: 16
Jim didn’t know me from Adam, but he does now. He went above and beyond to help me, and he’s a busy guy.
I want to thank Jim and his executive assistant, Cindy, for their help.
Just think, all of this happened because I made a phone call and asked him for his help. Since that time last September, I have thought a great deal about what transpired. Gret things can happen if you take time to respond to a message.
I’ve learned to take requests of my time more serious — and lately, I’ve been swamped — but in a good way.
Who knows? Maybe one day, a stranger will ask me to write a foreword for a book. I’ll certainly take Jim’s approach and listen and see where it goes. He encouraged me to focus on helping others.
What about you? Will you help someone you don’t know? Are you a Buckeye Believer?
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.