Dr. Dennis E. Hensley has signed a multiple book deal with Whittaker House Publishing Company to write a series of contemporary novels. Hensley’s first novel for Whittaker, titled Pseudonym, will arrive in stores in January of 2016. He and his coauthor, Diana Savage of Maple Valley, Washington, are currently working on its sequel, tentatively titled Exposure.
Hensley explains, “The gist of Pseudonym is that a young female writer, Sheila Davis, is declared legally dead upon disappearing after a plane crash. Resurfacing six months later, she discovers that her whole life has been erased. Her husband has spent the insurance money he received for her supposed death, and he has sold their home, remarried, and moved elsewhere. Seeing this as an opportunity to start her life anew, Sheila takes on the identity of Dove Alexander, the pen name she has used in writing her novels. And that’s when the complications set in . . . big time.”
This is Hensley’s eighth novel, but his 55th published book. He has written eight textbooks on aspects of professional writing, five devotional books, several books on literary analysis, as well as books on theology, financial management, goal setting, personal motivation, the military, and public relations. He holds four college degrees in communications, including a Ph.D. in English from Ball State University. He is chairman of the Department of Professional Writing at Taylor, where he holds the rank of full professor.
“Writers get ideas from myriad sources,” says Dr. Hensley. “Some years ago a small private aircraft collided with a commercial jet over the skies of Oklahoma. The jet crashed into an oil field and caused an enormous fireball. Everything was incinerated. It made me wonder what would have happened if someone had been booked on that flight but had missed getting onboard. Legally, that person would be dead, and there would be no surviving evidence to prove otherwise. For writers, those kind of what-if scenarios are the sources from whence plots are hatched.”
Hensley maintains a busy schedule of teaching classes and serving as chairman of the department of professional writing at Taylor, but he finds time to write all year, not just during summer breaks. He keeps Tuesdays clear on his calendar so that he can write, edit, and promote his books and articles and short stories. Jokingly, he says, “I need to keep my name in front of the public because I don’t want my students to think I cannot practice what I teach.”
Hensley is a recipient of the Indiana University “Award for Teaching Excellence,” the Elizabeth Sherrill Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing and Speaking, and the Dorothy Hamilton Memorial Writing Award. He has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor in England at Oxford University and York St. John University, and in America at Regent University, Moody Bible Institute, and Florida State University, among many others.