Houma native and author, Chris Yandle, returns to the area on Jan. 19 for a book signing at Zack’s Frozen Yogurt, 1297 St. Charles Street.
“Lucky Enough: A Year of a Dad’s Daily Notes of Encouragement and Life Lessons to His Daughter” is the first non-academic publication for the Vandebilt Catholic-graduate, but he has had an extensive professional writing career while working in public relations for several NCAA Division I college athletics programs, including a victorious Heisman Trophy campaign in 2011 for the then quarterback at Baylor, Robert Griffin III. In 2015, he also co-wrote “Developing Successful Social Media Plans in Sport Organizations”—a college textbook.
It was always his desire, however, to release a non-academic book, and the heart of “Lucky Enough” started in August of 2017, in the form of daily notes to his daughter, Addison, that she would read at lunch. Three or four months into the school year, Addison’s teachers and principal took notice and shared the daily words of encouragement with others at the school.
“I originally started writing on little Ziploc baggies, and somebody suggested, ‘Oh, well you should push that to Ziploc.’ I’m like, ‘That’s a major corporation; they’re not going to pay any attention to me,’” the Mandeville-resident said. “And then one day we ran out of Ziplocs, and I started riding on little Post-it notes and was able to write more, get a little bit more into it and a little artsy, if I wanted to.”
People around Yandle also suggested he gather all of the notes and make it into a book. He then contacted a former college classmate of his who was copy editor, and after guidance and connections from her, Yandle said the project really took off.
“It was a dream to write a book; I never really knew what I was going to write,” Yandle said. “When I started to sit down and write this, I think I wrote the nuts and bolts of it in like three weeks, and it’s a 200-page book.”
“Lucky Enough”, which is now available on the Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million websites, features not only the notes to Addison during her time in fourth grade but also Yandle’s introspection and writing prompts—which help the communication between parent and child.
“It was always easier for me to write things,” Yandle explained. “That was my main goal in this book: to show that not only are there thoughts, ideas and encouraging life lessons—that we’ve all experienced—that can be applied to anybody, but it’s also to show that you’re not the only parent or child that can communicate better by writing things down rather than saying them verbally.”
The book signing at Zack’s next Saturday is from 1 to 3 p.m. Yandle will have a limited number of the paperbacks on hand, which he will sell for $10 each.
“…I never thought that writing these notes to my daughter Addison would blow up into anything or that anyone, outside of family and friends that follow me on Twitter/Facebook, would really gravitate to it,” Yandle said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much it’s taken…But if one person finds it to be of use to them and their family, then it’s a bestseller to me.” •