Dai Henley, HWS Member, Author and Self-Publisher

Unwilling to let himself dwindle after the sale of his business, Dai enrolled on an Autobiography Writing Course. Following a four year schedule of writing, reading aloud, accepting constructive criticism and advice, he published his autobiography. His own advice is to remember your passion for your writing and to stand up for it.

As a reader of crime fiction, he found himself constantly struck by the lack of plausibility in many of the characters that he was reading. By then, he had caught the ‘writing bug’. So, he was determined to write his own crime story. At the same time a news headline caught his eye. He was incensed enough to imagine the horror of being personally involved in such an atrocity. “What if this happened to your own mother?” he says. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

dai with his latest novelphoto2

Well, Dai did think about it. He then embarked on a busily active and fascinating research project becoming learned in our legal system and our justice system. He likens the writing of a novel to the creation of a patchwork quilt – stitching scenes together and then unpicking and re-sewing.

Finally, Blazing Obsession was completed. When it came to publishing, Dai applied the same in-depth research into finding the best route for him. After having quizzed various agents at festivals and talks, he came to the conclusion that the odds on achieving acceptance by one of them and then their securing publication were slim. Very Slim!

So, Dai took the step towards self-publishing. But, he stresses, it takes investment. If a writer is chasing Best Seller’s lists and Top Tens then they must be prepared to source the best partnerships available. Satisfaction with the look and quality of his book ensured the natural step was publishing. Dai chose Matador to do this and has not looked back since.

One thing that self-publishing has banished to bad memories is the receiving of rejections. “I don’t care how thick-skinned you are” he says, “rejections hurt”. And of course, with self-publishing there are no rejections. Dai treated the members to just a couple of five-star reviews for Blazing Obsession. And he left us with one final piece of advice:

Invest in your writing. It is your passion.

Many thanks, Dai and good luck, although you don’t sound like you need it.


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