There's more to life than hunting pheasants with his father and brother on a weekend morning for Caleb Hoverson, of Burlington.
Caleb, who is 14, has spent a bit of time reading and studying a Bible and a Concordance during the past year and a half. The time has not been spent in vain. He's taken the time to put devotional thoughts together for pages in a book, "God Calls Us To ..."
"My grandma prompted the idea," Caleb said.
Ruth Overvold, of Minot, left, waits for Caleb Hoverson,14, of Burlington, to sign his book, “God Calls Us To ... “ for her on Sept. 22 at Gideon’s Trumpet in the Dakota Square Mall in Minot. Hoverson will be present at a book-signing event today from 1 to 3 p.m. at Main Street Books, 106 S. Main St., Minot.
"She called me up one day and said 'How would you like to write a book together?' " That was in the fall of 2010 and the 84-page book was completed in the spring of this year, Caleb added.
Grandma, who is Marlys Hoverson, of Petersburg, selected the topics and they were placed in a recipe box alphabetically. Caleb's "job" was to write about each topic.
"For each letter of the alphabet I had a card for the verses and a card for the notes and what I had written. When I was done with that topic I would hand them over to grandma and she would type it up on the computer," Caleb said. "She pretty much edited it."
Caleb and his grandmother worked on the proofreading of the book together and a few manuscripts were made and given to relatives and friends before the book was finalized.
"When I saw the manuscript I thought, 'Wow, this is really well written,' " Caleb's father, the Rev. Jeff Hoverson, pastor of Living Word Lutheran Church in Minot, said. "I encouraged him to publish it. I knew he was doing the book but I wasn't really paying attention to the wording and how he was writing it. I just thought it would be a neat thing for him and his grandmother to do together."
Hoverson said when he saw the content he acknowledged "it was really rich, mature and unique. It really glorified God, so we decided to publish it."
The manuscript for the A-Z devotional for day-to-day godliness was sent to Xulon Press, a Christian publishing company, to be printed. About 550 books were printed by Xulon. Prior to the printing, Marlys Hoverson printed 100 copies and had them spiral bound.
"At first we handed the book out to friends," Caleb said. "That was last May. That was our original intent to make it and give it to friends and family, but then we decided to sell it. Our first sale was at Stump Lake, south of Lakota, at a threshing bee in September. Since then about 200 books have been sold.
Caleb has done some book-signing events and plans to do more closer to Christmas. His books are available at Gideon's Trumpet, Main Street Books and Home Sweet Home, all in Minot.
Records of sales are now handled by Caleb. "Grandma keeps track of sales on her end and sends the money to me so I can record the sales," Caleb said.
Caleb's brother, John, said, "It's pretty exciting to have Caleb's name in print." He (John) doesn't have his own copy of the book yet, he said with a smile, but the family does use the book together for devotions. Caleb and John are the two oldest children in the Hoverson family; there are four younger children.
Caleb, a ninth-grader, said that writing the book has enriched many skills in his life. The young entrepreneur has gained writing and math experience. He has also been able to converse with the public during his book-signing events. "It's been an enriching experience. I've learned a lot about marketing," he said.
"I have a new appreciation for authors and the labor of love they put into their writings. My prayer is that this book will impact others for Christ," JoAnn Hoverson, who is Caleb's mother, said. "I am very proud of Caleb."
Caleb won't graduate from high school for a few years so he hasn't set any definite goals.
He said, "I might work in the oil field or do something so I can build up a good savings. I don't know if I want to get into politics or writing, maybe a fiction book."
"Mom likes the book, too," Caleb said. "She drives me around to the stores and helps me in that area."
Caleb is homeschooled by his parents at Solomon's Academy, the family name for their school at Burlington. "Mom and Dad are the teachers. Dad teaches the math," he said.
"I also teach hunting and chores," his father added with a chuckle.