Taylor University professor Dennis E. Hensley’s latest book, Finding Success with Your Dream Writing Projects (Bold Vision Books), is his tenth writing textbook. Dr. Hensley joined the Taylor faculty in 1997 as a member of the English department at the Fort Wayne campus. In 2009 he came to the Upland campus to become chair of the newly formed Department of Professional Writing.
“During my 20 years at Taylor the world of publishing has altered drastically, so I’ve had to write new books to keep up with developments,” notes Hensley. “My first textbook, Writing for Profit (Thomas Nelson Co., 1985), was published before the advent of ebooks, the Internet, smart phones, and online publishing. All of those elements are given major attention in my new book.”
Most of Dr. Hensley’s writing books stay in print because many are on very specialized topics. For example, his book Teach Yourself Grammar and Style in 24 Hours (Macmillan, 2000) does not go out of print because it covers such basic topics as spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and style. Similarly, his book How to Write What You Love and Make a Living at It (Random House, 2000) focuses on developing creativity, managing time as a writer, understanding the copyright laws, and mastering the art of interviewing, all topics that stay in vogue. The only thing that has changed is that many of these earlier books have now been made available as online downloadable texts.
“I write a monthly column on aspects of professional writing for Christian Communicator magazine,” says Hensley. “This keeps me on the cutting edge of what is developing in publishing. Also, I write a weekly blog in which I share insights on writing and marketing (www.dochensley.com). I draw information from literary agents, successful authors, editors, and publishers. My new book is chocked full of such contemporary insights on this business.”
Dr. Hensley is the author of 63 published books, including ten novels, the latest of which is Pseudonym (Whitaker Publishing House, 2016). He holds four degrees in communication, including a Ph.D. in English from Ball State University. At Taylor, professional writing has recently become an academic concentration in the all-new Communication Department.