Born Dennis Wayne Gillespie on October 28, 1963, in Crescent City, Florida, D. Wayne was the 5th oldest of eight children. His father Hosea Gillespie was a migrant worker while his mother, Ann, was a Homemaker. D. Wayne credits his father with instilling in him a passion for writing.
Growing up in the mid 60’s through the 70’s, D. Wayne was fully aware of the racial and economic divide in his community. When he was in elementary school, his 3rd grade teacher asked the class to stand up and share what their father did for a living. D. Wayne was nervous because he knew his peers would tease and judge him. When his turn came, D. Wayne stood up with embarrassment and told the class that his father was a migrant worker who picked oranges for a living. D. Wayne would always remember that day and how horrible he felt inside. He was ashamed, because he knew his peers didn’t see being a migrant worker as an honorable profession.
Defying the Odds
At Florida Memorial University, D. Wayne defied the stereotypical expectations and received a degree in business. He became an educator, coach, and later a High School administrator. D. Wayne thought those were respectable accolades but after his daughter was born he realized that it wasn’t enough. He had yet to fulfill his purpose. He wanted his daughter Brooke to be proud if she was ever asked what her father did for a living. So, D. Wayne began to write, knowing that if his daughter could say that her father was an author, she would never have to feel the way he felt so many years ago.
Literary Star in the Making
D. Wayne discovered his passion for writing and saw it through with his first novel Jasmine. D. Wayne’s father passed away before his daughter got a chance to know him but he is still able to tell her how his father shaped his life. D. Wayne is proud of the man his father was. His father supported a household with a wife and eight children while maintaining his dignity as a man despite society’s criticisms.
An Inspiration to All
D. Wayne could find his purpose through his experiences in life and with the guidance of his father. He hopes to inspire his own daughter as well as anyone who has ever felt less than what was expected of them. D. Wayne wants his daughter to be proud of the legacy he will leave behind. In the end, it was who his father was and what he did for a living that inspired him to write.