Contractor Pens Children’s Book

February 2013, Vol. 68 No. 2
James Ezell.

James Ezell, president of contracting company Southern Diversified Technologies, has spent most of his working life building telecommunications systems.

However, for the past several years when Ezell has taken off his hard hat, he has put on the cap of a writer working on a book.

The result, Daddy, Do Cowboys Pray? was recently published by New Book Publishing. The book targets children nine -12 years of age, but is expected to appeal to younger children who enjoy having stories read to them.

The book’s primary character is a young boy named Zeke, who is seeking answers about life and is especially curious about prayer -- who prays, why do they pray and what kind of results does praying bring? Do tough guys like Zeke’s cowboy heroes pray?

To find the answers, Zeke’s father takes him on a trip to a working ranch and the book centers around surprises encountered during the journey and lessons learned.

Ezell said inspiration for the book came seven years ago from questions asked by his son.

“I looked for something he could read to help him understand about prayer and couldn’t find anything on the subject for children,” he said. “I wrote down ideas and made an outline and put the project on my prayer list. I thought about writing one.”

Progress was slow. Ezell jotted down incidents that could go in the story, but the idea kept being shifted to the next year’s prayer list.

“I’d never tried to do anything like this,” he continued. “I teach Sunday School and I’m comfortable with that, but this was different. I said, ‘Lord, help me get uncomfortable so I can do this.’”

As the story began to take shape, Ezell first saw it as a book he could self-publish, print a few copies, and give to friends.

“But I believed it could go beyond that,” he said “That this was something that could extend my ministry.”

Ezell said he soon learned breaking into publishing is not easy. He sought a publisher and after about six months selected one, using the company’s editing services to complete the book and now its sales and marketing services to promote and sell it.

Daddy, Do Cowboys Pray? is available from New Book Publishing, www.newbookpublishing.com.