Today we’d like to introduce you to Dennis Haynes.
Dennis, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am an Authorpreneur who writes and runs a publishing company aimed at shedding light on topics not often discussed and assisting others to reach their dreams of becoming a published writer.
I first started to consider myself as a writer, oddly enough, after I completed a homework assignment in the 8th grade. We were tasked with a creative writing assignment and I wrote a poem titled “I Wonder” that was later published in Who’s Who in Poetry. At the time, however, I was also heavily into playing basketball and just knew I was going to go on to play as a professional; so the writer in me has subsided. (Spoiler alert: I stopped growing and didn’t go pro – as an athlete)
Still, the writer in me knew that it was always a dream (goal) of mine to write a book. I honestly just imagined it happening much later in life. However, I also understood that time is vital and that everybody doesn’t always get a “later in life”, so I wanted to write this book now.
One day while talking with my beloved cousin, Keturah, I stumbled upon this concept and title that truly touched me and spoke to me. Companies with my desire to help build my community, I buried my head in research that I felt would accomplish this goal through words and worked tirelessly for three years to complete this book. It focuses on America’s history, good and bad, and the importance of reading and self-education. The title of my first self-published book is “Wanna Hide Something From a N*gga, Put It In a Book”.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Being an author is a journey! Being a Black male author with not many other authors around to help guide you makes that journey that much harder. Now add to that my tendency to be a perfectionist in my writing and you can imagine some of the hurdles that have to be faced. Rewrite after rewrite, and draft after draft, it can sometimes become discouraging and seem like the writing part will never end and you really want to have this finished book ready to share with the world. Having the discipline and being able to look big picture can sometimes become hard, to say the least.
And that’s just the writing aspect of it all. After writing the book, self-published, or indie, authors still have to figure out the best ways to share their books with the world. So with a title like mine, my book is not always welcomed at different bookstores, venues, and even different publications.
We’ve all heard the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, that’s exactly what I face many times over. So many people judge my book purely based on the title and it’s use of the “N word.” They don’t give me nor my book a chance at all. I’ve even had a woman get on stage, look directly at me, and tell me how no one should be using the “N word” after she had just walked right by me, gave me a smug look, and turned her head away from me. She didn’t stop to discuss this with me one on one; she decided to judge me and my book right then and there, and go on stage to negate anything me and my book stood for before she even knew a thing about us. And this is just one of many situations that have made my journey to pursue my passion as a writer not so easy.
Still, even with all the struggles and hurdles, being able to understand the end goal and having that big picture perspective has made it all worth it. I’ve been able to pursue my passion, live this journey as an author, and have an impact on my readers and society in general.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
The name of my publishing company is Black Light Project Publishing and, like a true black light, our mission to shed light on and uncover different things that aren’t typically seen. More specifically, the goal is to bring attention to the issues in the community that they wanna hide from us. We uncover what’s holding our communities back and we build the community up by educating and spreading knowledge.
In addition, my company’s goal is to help create more readers and writers. There are so many people out there with stories they want to tell and share with the world, and the world needs those stories too. My aim is to help them along the way and guide new writers so they can bypass the missteps I’ve made and be on the right path towards getting their word out into the world.
Thus far, I’m most proud of embarking on this journey as a writer despite the hurdles and the many people who did, and still do, doubt me. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the country and share my book and journey with others and have been able to encourage others on their journey, instead of being a negative influence in their lives.
What were you like growing up?
In regards to my interests growing up, I was highly fascinated with sports. You could easily find me either watching or playing almost all of the time, and at one point I was even playing for three different basketball teams at the same time. I played for my school team, AAU traveling ball, and I played at the park by my house, and they all served different purposes and I honestly loved it all. I was always one to take on a challenge and give my absolute best to accomplish my goals, whether it be in school, on the basketball court, or just day to day tasks. I always wanted to do my best and be the best.
Another huge interest of mine growing up, and still is now, was music. I’m a true Hip Hop head at heart and I love the sound and lyrics that many of Hip Hop’s true lyricists put out into the world. The more I learned about the music and ultimately the music business, the more I was fascinated. Ironically, I sometimes view my publishing company like a new record label putting out impactful works of art while growing and looking to add more talent to the team.
As the oldest of four siblings, I grew up with this sense of responsibility for others – primarily my younger siblings and cousins. That sense of responsibility continued to grow to expand to my friends and teammates, and ultimately to my overall community.
- “Wanna Hide Something From a N*gga, Put It In a Book” is available on Amazon and at WannaHideSomething.com for $14.99.
- The eBook version of “Wanna Hide Something From a N*gga, Put It In a Book” is also available on Amazon for $9.99
- Website: WannaHideSomething.com
- Email: WannaHideSomething@gmail.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/dhaynestheauthor
- Facebook: Facebook.com/dhaynestheauthor
- Twitter: Twitter.com/haynestheauthor