Hello dear readers! Today I am happy to introduce Dennis Hensley, author of The Man Who could Transfuse Time! He’s here to answer some questions and promote his new book. It is truly different than anything I’ve ever read – you’ll see my thoughts on the blog tomorrow!
ABOUT THE BOOK
He holds the power to make the young old and the old young again.
One night amid the tremors of death in the intensive care unit, Nurse Peggy Chandlar witnesses an incredible phenomenon that compels her to find out what really happened to Dr. Francis Anderson.
Ian Moore is pursued by those who would exploit his gift for their own selfish and destructive means. Hunted and threatened, he is forced to risk his life as time rapidly slips away. When the use of his powers gives Dr. Anderson new life, his years of hiding may have come to an end.
Haunted by the fear he will die before he can find someone worthy enough to possess the power of the gift, Ian sees only one solution. In a last, desperate attempt, he must risk a plan that will either bless or curse mankind forever.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis E. Hensley is the author of more than 60 books. He holds a Ph.D. in English and is a professor of professional writing at Taylor University. Dr. Hensley served in the United States Army and was awarded six medals for service in Viet Nam. He has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Oxford University and at York St. John University in England and at Indiana University and Regent University and other colleges in America. He and his wife Rose have two grown married children and four grandchildren.
For more information see www.bythevinepress.com.
Welcome to the blog! You’ve written several books and short stories. Do you find it easier to write as time goes by?
Naturally, writers who stay at their craft do, indeed, improve with experience and time. I certainly hope that has been the case in my career. For example, as a young newspaper reporter for The Muncie Star, I had my articles butchered by editors for the first four months I worked on assignments. However, the following two years they hardly made a mark because I had mastered the skills of researching, checking, writing, and proofreading my own articles. The same can be said of my other work. My first novels were edited quite severely, whereas my more recent novels need very few changes once I get to the final draft stage.
But, what I need to explain is that I am constantly re-inventing myself as a working writer, which means I have to begin at ground level and work toward gaining skills in a new genre, new medium, or new format. Case in point, in 1985 I decided to become a romance novelist, which stunned all of my writing friends. I knew nothing about that genre. So, I read romances, analyzed them, took workshops from romance writers, and allowed my early drafts to be edited by editors who worked with this genre. Eventually, I wrote a series of three romance novels that were published by Harvest House under my pen name of Leslie Holden. Today, those novels have been given new covers and have been re-released by Whitaker House Publishers under my real name. In like manner, throughout the years I’ve had to learn how to write movie scripts, online magazine articles, and webinar training materials. All of that was new at some point, which meant I was not skilled at it. But, with time and effort and determination, I became good at it. No writer ever “arrives” as a master of all writing opportunities. We constantly study and practice to expand and improve our abilities.
Where did the inspiration come for in writing The Man Who Could Transfuse Time?
That was the result of several overlapping writing assignments I had. I was hired to write a major feature for a national magazine about people who were born with such superpowers as having perfect pitch or a photographic memory or being ambidextrous. I discovered these individuals felt that had been blessed and cursed because they were so out-of-step with everyone else in society. I made a note to myself to ponder whether it would be desirable to be one of these gifted individuals.
I next landed a contract to write a book about aspects of time management, so I interviewed many people who were experts on organization, goal setting, and prioritizing. One thing they all told me is that they wished they had the ability to go back in time and be 30 years younger knowing what they know now. Oh, they assured me, they would make much better decisions about money, love, education, career choices, and friendships. I made a note to myself to ponder whether it would be good to have a young body but an old mind.
It all came together one night in church when a pastor started to talk about spiritual gifts and how God grants them to specific individuals. That made everything click in my mind for the plot of the novel—what if someone had a unique gift (a human superpower) and it enabled him to make the young older and the old younger. It would be someone who could transfuse time between other people. Thus, I created Ian Moore and launched into writing this novel.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you do instead?
Writing is a big part of my life, but not all of it. I now have written 64 published books, more than 150 short stories, and 3,500 magazine and newspaper articles, so writing has always been my dominant career passion. However, for the past 21 years I also have worked full-time as a professor at Taylor University, where I direct the professional writing concentration in the Department of Communication. I teach three writing classes per semester, serve on faculty committees, attend chapel three times per week, and do student advising. Fortunately, the university wants me to continue to be a working writer, so each Tuesday my day is clear of teaching so that I can work at home or in my office on writing projects.
Additionally, I teach at six or eight writing workshops and conferences every year. For example, in the coming months I will be teaching at Write to Publish (June), the Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference (June), the Taylor University Christian Writers Conference (August), and the Maranatha Christian Writers Conference (September). I also prepare and present writing webinars through the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild. I teach an adult Sunday school class each week at Wallen Baptist Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I spend quality time with my four grandkids. And my wife Rose and I love to travel, having been to 26 countries during the past ten years.
Where are your favorite writing spots?
I have a home office on the second floor of my house in Fort Wayne. It has a writing table, two different chairs, three massive bookshelves, three filing cabinets, a computer desk with a word processor and screen and surround sound speakers and a color printer, plus a window for natural lighting and two large lamps, and some wall hangings that display my doctor’s degree and a few of my writing awards. I also have a huge poster on a bulletin board of my literary hero, Jack London, whose life and writings were the focus of my doctoral dissertation. This is where I write on weekends, holiday breaks, and during summer when college is not in session.
As mentioned before, during the academic year I write in my office at Taylor University. I have an excellent computer system, plenty of bookcases and filing cabinets, big windows, a very comfortable chair, and an expansive desk with lots of drawers.
What about your favorite reading spot?
I am a functional reader. By that I mean, I grasp all chances to read. When I am driving my car, I listen to books on tape. When I ride an exercise bike or walk on a treadmill, I listen to recorded books. I keep dog-eared paperbacks in my valise so that I can read if I have to wait at the barbershop or at a dentist’s office. I scan the morning newspaper during breakfast (yes, the print edition). Should I find myself on vacation or on a long-distance flight, I often have a pile of magazines that I flip through. I tear out articles I might want to file for future reference and I throw away the rest of the magazine. And, naturally, every academic year I read and grade mountains of student essays, articles, interviews, and short stories.
Can you tell us about an interesting research project?
Even though The Man Who Could Transfuse Time can be labeled science fiction, I have striven diligently to make the plot seem plausible. To that end I studied all aspects of how the human body ages. For example, there is a disease called progeria that causes children to age seven times faster than normal. So, I consulted with geneticists and researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Mayo Clinic, and the Cleveland Clinic as to what they have learned about this disorder. I wove information about that research into my plot to add an element of veracity.
Additionally, I consulted with noted theologians to get their opinions as to why certain people are born with special gifts. Several told me they believe it may be caused by the emergence of special genes that originated with Adam before the fall. Adam named all the animals on earth, meaning he had a very creative mind and a phenomenal memory. He could work without sweating, getting blisters, or feeling sore muscles. Again, this was material I worked into the plot of my novel, making readers nod and think that, based on that theory, it was somewhat feasible that someone such as my character Ian Moore could actually become a reality one day.
What is on your current TBR list?
My wife Rose and I are great fans of Canadian author Alan Bradley’s novels featuring sleuth Flavia de Luce. They are hilariously funny and very intriguing. We read each one that comes out. I also enjoy reading Dave Barry’s nonfiction books, although I’m not a fan of his novels (too crude). I wrote a reference book titled Jack London’s Masterplots in which I summarized all of his 29 novels, three stage plays, and 190 short stories, but I still go back and reread Jack’s writings. He was an absolute master of descriptive writing and was great at narrative momentum. Believe it or not, I also read other writers’ and teachers’ books on writing, always open to helpful tips and advice. In fact, I’ve read Stein on Writing three times from cover to cover. At present, I’m reading America the Ingenious: How a Nation of Dreamers, Immigrants, and Tinkerers Changed the World by Kevin Baker.
What are your next writing projects? Any sequels?
Yes, several sequels. I am working on a trilogy of motivational books that have nonfiction teaching chapters followed by short stories in which Jesus is on the earth in the 21st century running a business. The first was Jesus in the 9 to 5, and the second was Jesus in All Four Seasons, and currently I’m at work on the concluding book, Jesus in the Yesterday, Today and Forever. In 2016 I coauthored a novel titled Pseudonym with Diana Savage, and we are currently half-way finished with writing a sequel to it. I also wrote a writing textbook that came out in 2017 titled Finding Success with Your Dream Writing Projects, and I’m putting the final touches on a companion volume that will come out later this year. And, naturally, if The Man Who Could Transfuse Time is successful, I will want to write a sequel to it. I already have many ideas for such a novel. People can follow my writing career at dochensley.com.
Thank you so much for talking with me today!
To celebrate this new release, By The Vine Press is having a special giveaway!
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