It is my pleasure to introduce you to award winning journalist, sports writer, author, and speaker, Del Duduit.
Del, we’re excited to hear about your newly released books featuring the stories of #MLB and #NFL stars. But first, can you please tell us a bit about yourself, your family, and your writing background?
My wife Angie and I have been married for 32 years. We have two sons who are both ministers and have their own families. We have two wonderful daughters-in-law, one step-granddaughter and a grandson due in May.
My first job out of college was a sports writer for the Portsmouth Daily Times. I worked for four other newspapers, one radio station and two television stations.
I have been a pharmaceutical sales representative the past 13 years. I continue to write for some magazines such as Sports Spectrum.
Three years ago, I wrote a manuscript and was introduced to the Christian writing world where I met my agent, Cyle Young. Since then, I have broadened my platform and write for Southern Ohio Christian Voice, Sports Spectrum, Clubhouse Magazine, The Christian View On-Line Magazine and have appeared on Todd Starnes’ website.
I see you’ve written for Athletes in Action too. You also won two Associated
Press Awards, one for a column you wrote about your interview with Boston Celtic’s Larry Bird, and you received the Outstanding Author Award at the Ohio Christian Writers Conference in 2017.
Recently you Tweeted, “When you think it’s over, it’s actually a new beginning.”
That sounds like there is a story there. Will you please share with us what you were referring to?
That was actually a quote I saw online from CS Lewis. It sounded good — LOL.
My take on that quote means it’s never too late to make a difference. When one door closes, another will open. It tells me to have patience, get out of the way and wait for the next opportunity.
When did you become a Christian and can you tell us about your faith journey?
My sophomore year in high school, when I was 16, my brother invited me to church. I went and it was explained to me that I needed a savior. I heard the Gospel that night and made the commitment to be a follower of Jesus. I’d always tinkered with God, but never made a commitment. I wasn’t a hoodlum, but I was a sinner. A lot is offered out there but none of it satisfied. I saw my need and decided to act on it and gave my heart to Him. It was the best thing I’ve ever done.
I met my wife at church too. She was and still is the church pianist—we dated for four years and got married. She is my rock and one of the reasons I am where I am today. She sings with her family, my sons preach, and now I write as a ministry.
I, like everyone, have had my shares of struggles, but I know that God does deliver and provide in His timing. I don’t think I would have gotten through some things without God. The things that happened to me when I was a young man I questioned, but now know they were there for me to learn and help me on this new journey.
Congratulations are in order. Your debut book, Buckeyes Believer: 40 Days of Devotions for the Ohio State Faithful, which released in 2018, is a Selah Award finalist, and you just released Dugout Devotions: Inspirational Hits from MLB’s Best. Your latest book, First Down Devotions, Inspirations from NFL’s Best, releases August 5th. Can you tell us about them?
We hear a lot about the negative antics by some pro players. There are a lot of good athletes in professional sports. I talk to those men and women who are making a positive impact.
Buckeye Believer was hatched with my agent Cyle when we were in Cincinnati for a Reds game. We sat over lunch and he said it would be a good idea. I started working on it, and a few months later it was on the market. I was able to secure a well-known name to write the foreword and that was a blessing.
Dugout Devotions came about at the Florida Christian Writers Conference two years ago. It was proposed to me by a publisher so I went to work on the idea.
Dugout Devotions features my personal interviews with many of Major League Baseball’s best players and their inspirational stories. It also contains many well-known players and former players in the league. Read about Kershaw, Pujols, Judge, Dozier, Zobrist and many more. New Hope Publishers liked it so much they wanted a National Football League version too. Bengal Believer, is 40 Who Dey Votions for the Cincinnati Faithful. I take moments in Bengal history, relive the moment and apply a life lesson.
I’m honored that my friend and Pirates coach Clint Hurdle endorsed Dugout Devotions. His inspirational story is featured in chapter 24. Get your copy 👇https://t.co/RlZTgh3Hhp…https://t.co/Ph1rh1bODO#newhopepublishers #dugoutdevotions pic.twitter.com/rA2ZPaNt1P
— Del Duduit (@delduduit) March 3, 2019
Join Del & Clint Hurdle May 4 @ the Barnes & Noble on the Waterfront in Pittsburgh. We will be signing my book #DugoutDevotions from 9-11:30 am. #Piratesbaseball #pittsburghpirates #booksigning #newhopepublishers
Did you envision yourself writing devotionals in your early writing days?
Not at all. My agent, Cyle, proposed the idea because it’s a great way to relate to an audience and have an effective Christian witness at the same time. I had to take some classes at conferences to learn how to write them.
I still have other ideas for books I want to write—but for now, I’m writing devotions. I have contracts for 10 in all.
What ages are your devotionals geared toward and are they relatable for those not of the Christian faith?
Yes indeed—the general market and teenagers will relate to these books. The target age is 14 and up, mainly men. But a lot of women bought Buckeye Believer for their husbands, etc.. Anyone who enjoys sports will like these. They use well-known athletes with a common theme of overcoming struggles. They are meant to inspire and point toward Christ at the same time. Anyone who is a fan of #MLB or #NFL or a particular team will enjoy recalling some of the great moments I point out, and hopefully the lesson that follows.
You may order copies of Del’s books here:
— Del Duduit (@delduduit) March 22, 2019
Is it difficult for you to secure interviews with pro-athletes?
Not as hard as you might think. I have retained my press credentials from when I was a sports writer so I can enter a clubhouse or locker room of any team in MLB, NFL, etc. The hardest part is waiting for the person to become available. I only have a few moments with them so I have to make them count.
How has hearing and writing the faith stories of all these Christian pro-athletes affected you? Any struggles or highlights of the journey you’d like to share?
It has helped me a great deal in a few ways.
- Most of their stories are common struggles that we all face so I can relate to them. They are not these super humans who never struggle.
- It has helped me in my personal time with the Lord. I have had to research more than ever the scriptures to coincide with each devotion I write. So my time spent in the Word has increased because of these books.
- I have implemented a few things a couple of managers do, such as form a personal board of advisors to keep each accountable in life. These are four men I know who I speak with on a regular basis. We share our struggles and our victories and help and listen to each other.
Author Del Duduit shares how writing the devotional Dugout Devotions strengthened his own faith. Listen in on episode three of the Iron Stream Podcast. Available now from all of your favorite podcast providers. #mlb #faith #baseball pic.twitter.com/Y6sNYT8REj
— Iron Stream Media (@IronStreamMedia) March 25, 2019
— Iron Stream Media (@IronStreamMedia) March 22, 2019
On your website, delduduit .com you state, “A writing ministry has saved me in many ways from myself. I have a tendency to self-destruct, and my writing pulls me back in to reality…For many years, life got in the way, and I either wrote sporadically or not at all…It was do or die time for me.”
Can you share with us a bit about your statements and what was the catalyst that made you get serious with your writing?
When I would try to take control of any situation it usually fell apart. When I started to write as a ministry, I had to depend on the Lord for it all. I had to surrender it all over to Him. I had to learn to trust people too and that is hard for me because I like to make sure things are done my way.
I could not have been given 10 book contracts in my first year of writing if I tried. I had to let go and let others and God take care of it. I had to sit back, listen, observe and do what He told me to do. When my agent tells me to do something, I do as I’m told.
Like a lot of people, I thought my job was everything and I focused on that for a while and it got me nothing. Now, I work to live and not the other way around. It provides flexibility to chase my dreams of writing.
My wife encouraged me to begin my blog, My New Chapter, three years ago and has supported me through it all. If it wasn’t for her, I’d still be searching for a way to help and minister. Her ideas and guidance means everything to me. She is first editor, critic and fan.
Other than Jesus, your family, sports, and your writing, what are some other things you are passionate about?
Well, when I do find some time, we enjoy traveling together. I like to golf but must admit that hasn’t happened lately.
I’ve been too busy with my writing and books. My wife and I are active in social causes and politics in our community.
Now we are getting prepared to be grandparents again and that will be a main priority.
You and your wife Angie are co-editors of Southern Ohio Christian Voice, a division of One Christian Voice, an online newspaper with a growing national presence. How did you get involved with OCV and what is your mission for your division?
We met Rhonda Krill, who presides over OCV at the Florida Christian Writers Conference two years ago. We hit it off and she invited us to become involved with Ohio. She is amazing and her vision is second to none.
Keeping Christ at the forefront of all we write and report, Southern Ohio Christian Voice exists to share relevant information with Christians in addition to providing inspirational and fun content for living.
Promoting Christ by promoting the good things Christians are doing to share the love of God with our world is also a big part of our purpose.
We put Christ first in all that we publish and promote, keeping in mind that whatever news is going on in our world, our ultimate purpose is to glorify God.
You’ve had some opportunities to speak and teach lately, can you tell us about them?
I’ve been invited to be on faculty at some Christian writing conferences through Serious Writer, Inc. and that is fun. I teach courses on how to conduct an interview with a famous person and get support from them for the books.
I also speak to various groups about my books, such as Kiwanis clubs; a few schools have invited me to speak at breakfasts too. It’s fun and a way to tell my story at the same time. I like to encourage anyone to always have a dream or expect the unexpected because I never imagined I’d become a published author at 51.
You said in one of your Tweets that you used to stutter. I’m dumbfounded as you are so well spoken and confident when you speak. What happened?
I did, and still do on occasion—back in high school it was very noticeable and bad. I turned to sports as an outlet and excelled because I didn’t have to talk. I couldn’t ask girls out or anything.
I took a job that put me in front of people and I had to overcome the obstacle. I did seek the Lord’s help but addressed it head on. When I took a job as a radio news director, my program manager helped me with some exercises that improved my speaking.
It’s been a personal challenge that I didn’t want to lose. I got to the point where I was tired of being embarrassed and took charge of it. Prayer, confidence and determination were the keys.
That is so inspiring, Del.
Do you have any other books in the works?
- Bengal Believer is due out any time.
- First Down Devotions will release Aug. 5
- Redlegs Believer has been turned in to a publisher.
- Browns Believer has been turned in to a publisher.
- Michigan Motivations, (with Cyle Young), has been turned in to a publisher—out in 2020.
- Indians Inspirations, (with Michelle Medlock Adams), will be completed soon—out in 2020.
- Cavs Believer under contract.
- Three more I cannot comment on yet.
- One that is written and shopping.
How are you so prolific? Do you have a writing routine, a preferred place to write?
Thank you. I don’t have a routine. I write well on deadline from my old days as a news reporter. I like to write in my office at home with the Keurig close. Since I have a day job I write mostly at night.
Do you ever struggle with procrastination as a writer?
Oh yes, I love a good deadline. I do my best work when I have to produce. I do prioritize well and am a binge writer.
What three pieces of advice do you have for writers?
- Start writing
- Go to a conference and network with other writers
- Put aside any ego and listen to your editors and agents
Who inspires you?
My wife inspires me a lot.
My boys, even though they don’t know it—I enjoy watching them be husbands.
Do you have a favorite quote and a favorite scripture?
Life is hard. It’s harder if you’re stupid. —John Wayne
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 KKJV
I like this quote of yours.
We’re all human explorers searching for safe passage through the perils of living. —Del Duduit
Each episode of Del’s Discoveries examines the lives of people of faith overcoming adversity.
Why do you write?
Why? —It’s my ministry. For years I wanted to do something like this but never knew what to do. It’s an outlet for me too. It is my personal therapy because I can put a thought down on paper better than any other way. My wife sings and plays piano, both of my sons preach. The only thing I can do that God has blessed me with is an avenue to write. God has answered my prayer for a ministry. He has opened the flood gates the last two years.
Thank you for your faithfulness to your call, Del. And remember, God formed the universe with words.
There is power in the words we speak and write. Use them for God, for good. May you minister to many.
Thank you for sharing your story and books with us, Del. I appreciate your testimony, your example as a family man, zeal for impacting others for Christ, and heart to shine the light on others and encourage. Your tenacity and bold stands for righteousness inspire. —God bless you.
The pen is mightier than the sword— Edward Bulwer-Lytton
You may pick up copies of Del’s books for yourself, or as a gift for the sports fans in your life at the links below. One of Del’s books would make a great Easter or Father’s Day, or any day, gift! —And don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon once you’ve read them too! 🙂
You can also catch Del live on PJNET at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday Nights!
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© 2019 Rachael M Colby Tattoo It On Your Heart