Jimmy Wayne Brings ‘Paper Angels’ to Life With New Book
In June, Jimmy Wayne announced via Twitter he had signed a book deal with Howard Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. Details on the book have been kept under wraps since he tweeted a picture of himself signing the final contract, but now, Jimmy reveals exclusively to The Boot the concept of the book. It will be a fictional story inspired by his childhood.
Abandoned at a young age by his father and growing up in foster care due to his mother being in prison, Jimmy and his sister, Patricia, were both recipients of the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program. The Angel Tree sets up camp in shopping malls across the country every holiday season, helping bring Christmas gifts to underprivileged kids.
"I knew I had to do something to raise awareness for the program, because I was a recipient of the Angel Tree when I was a kid," Jimmy tells The Boot. "Had it not been for those people sponsoring me and my sister, we wouldn't have gotten anything for Christmas ever."
Jimmy and Nashville songwriter Don Sampson penned a tear-jerking tune titled 'Paper Angels' which he recorded and released in 2004. The song was awarded with the William Booth Award from the Salvation Army, making Jimmy the youngest recipient of the honor.
Although 'Paper Angels' still gets heavy rotation on radio around Christmas time, Jimmy felt the message needed to be talked about more. That determination led to his new book deal to write a fresh story based on his experiences as a child.
"I've always said, and I keep saying it over and over: today's news is tomorrow's fish wrapping paper," Jimmy notes. "There's new and old for a reason. You've got to keep coming up with stuff. I wanted to keep pushing this Paper Angel campaign – not just at Christmas time, but all year round. It's a part of my whole story. It's an extension of the story."
Negotiations on Jimmy's new book deal began over a year ago, prior to the singer walking halfway across America on his project Meet Me Halfway campaign, which raised money and awareness for teen homelessness. The book, 'Paper Angels,' will be co-authored with well-known novelist Travis Thrasher, who is called "the Nicholas Sparks of Christian fiction" by Christian Retailing Magazine.
"We really hit it off," Jimmy says of his relationship with Travis. "He's funny. He and I laughed one day until my face was hurting. He's a good Christian guy, too. This is something that I've always wanted to do, and I'm thrilled to be able to work with someone like Travis on the project."