Local Writers

Published on October 9th, 2019 | by TLV News


Taylor, Mississippi Resident Secures Top 10 Spot in Global Author Academy Awards

Holiday Biblical Characters, written by David Waddell, a Taylor, Mississippi, resident and the University of Mississippi lecturer in Sport and Recreation Administration, has been nominated for a 2019 Author Academy Award, an honor bestowed for literary merit and publishing excellence in the writing and publishing industry.

Waddell’s book is up for an award in the General Nonfiction category. The book demonstrates the similarities of sin, silliness, and stupidity the author shares in life with characters from the biblical stories of Christmas and Easter. The stories offer hope that one is never so bad that God can’t love them or use them in service.

“Hundreds of books from authors throughout the world are up for an Author Academy Award,” said Kary Oberbrunner, founder of Author Academy Elite and the Author Academy Awards. “Our goal is to help further connect this global community of authors, maintain excellence and integrity of the book publishing industry, and raise awareness that the stories being told and the authors who write them are worth our attention.”

Authors of all kinds—indie (self-published), traditional, or collaborative published—are being considered for the award in one of sixteen categories. Entries are being reviewed and evaluated on popular vote, social contribution, and overall presentation (cover, content, flow, and originality) by the Academy’s voting membership comprised of best-selling authors, literary agents, and industry leaders.

If interested in supporting Waddell and participating in the popular vote portion of the award evaluation, go to http://authoracademyawards.com/ and scroll to the “Ready to Vote?” section. Once there, click through to the 6th of sixteen options, the General Nonfiction category, then find and click on Holiday Biblical Characters.

As a top ten finalist in General Nonfiction, Waddell will be in attendance to present his book synopsis at the Author Academy Awards Red Carpet Session on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio. Winners will be announced later that evening at the Author Academy Awards Ceremony where they will be invited to give an acceptance speech.

We reached out to Waddell for a quick chat about his writing process:

How long have you been writing, and what inspired you to start?
I began writing following some heart trouble in 2012. I used Facebook to share my top ten reasons I was glad to have heart difficulties. The reasons included items like friends that assisted in defining medical terms or obtaining second opinions for no cost and letting go of grudges. Several people commented, but one friend, in particular, asked if I would put the writing in book form for her birthday. I found a company that would format it into a hardback book for her birthday. I made spiral notebook copies for family and friends who I mentioned in the ten reasons. Those that read the book, as well as the Facebook posts, started asking me when I was going to write a book. 
The inspiration for the first book came in realizing how some people have deified biblical characters when they are as human as any of us. As I looked at the lives of these characters, I began seeing similarities in the sinful, silly, or stupid choices they made and the ones I’ve made in my life.

How do you research your books?
Much of my research comes from being raised in the church, twenty years of staff leadership in churches, and personal study. I have familiarity with numerous stories and characters in the Bible. Beyond that, I study the characters in various Bible commentaries and internet studies. My last book, which dealt with lessons about worship from the kings of Judah and Israel, created more research time than the first two books combined.

Because your books are based on characters from the Bible, what aspects of these characters do you consider to be archetypal, and which are products of your own creativity?
I see many biblical characters playing the role of ordinary people with a tendency to mess up. Despite our faux pas, failures, and foul-ups, God continues to love us and use us in His service. In finding similarities, I confess that I often see some of the evil aspects of my life play out as they did for biblical characters. Some similarities come from my creativity. For example, I find a similarity in a Christmas trip with a pregnant wife to the trip Joseph and Mary took to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Another example is in the emphasis placed on numbers attending a church service, and King David’s desire to take a census to determine the measurement of his power. 
A recurring theme found in the lives of biblical characters as well as in my life is that of the second chance, creating something out of nothing, and defeating that which holds us back the most. In some stories, the theme is carried out in tragedy; however, in my stories, comedy rules.

Who is your favorite character?
I feel I identify a lot with the apostle Peter. He was quick to rely on his strengths and would speak before thinking. Both of those traits get the two of us in various challenging situations. As I review the table of contents in the first two books, it’s easy to see that he and I have a lot in common.

What would you hope that readers take from your books?
I hope that readers would recognize the grace and hope God offers in their lives. The things we do are no worse or no better than those stories told in the best-selling book of all time. God still redeems those who others consider beyond hope. While we may not make it as a Bible study character, there are those in our lives who will enjoy and learn from our stories. 

Where can people learn more about you and your work?
People can learn more about me and my work at the following sites: http://www.davidwaddell.biz and http://www.facebook.com/justlikebiblicalpeople.

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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