Dear Readers, we have Dennis Jernigan back with book two in the Bren
Welcome back, Dennis. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
There are several reasons I write
the kind of books I do. I want to leave a legacy for my children and
grandchildren and all who follow me. My hope is that they would see beyond the
allegorical nature of the writings and see the qualities by which I tried to
live my life and then apply those same principles for living to their own
lives. In addition, my desire is that all who read the books be challenged to
realize and discover the reason for their existence - their purpose - their
destiny. Above all, I want the reader to feel that good has triumphed over evil
and that the same is possible in their own lives.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in
The happiest day of my life
cannot be boiled down to one moment in time. My wedding day. The births of my
nine children. The wonderful experience of getting to know my grandchildren and
writing these books for them. The first time I realized people all over the
world were singing my songs in worship to the Lord. Hearing from people who
have read one of my books and how God used it to change their lives. Too many
days to choose from!
How has being published changed your life?
Honestly, on one hand it hasn’t,
as I try to live my life the same regardless of my success - or failure. Yet,
it has changed in the fact that knowing others are watching my life from afar
makes me want to be the best example of Jesus Christ I can be.
What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading through a
novel I am working on, but the most recent books I have read are very different
from one another. One is a book on leadership called Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro. Another is the journey out of
homosexuality by author Rosario Butterfield and is called Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. One I am reading in segments is
called Learning to Tell Yourself the
Truth by William Backus.
They all sound interesting. What is your current work in progress?
Currently, I am working on the
first novel in a series for my grandchildren. The new series is an offshoot of
my series The Chronicles of Bren. The new series is called The Bairn of Bren.
Bairn is a Scottish word for children. In theses stories, my grandchildren are
taking up the matters of their parents before them, fighting for the freedom
and peace of Bren. My grandchildren are the heroes in these stories! In
addition, I am working on music for Book Three in the Bren series. Each book
has its own collection of songs for the journey that can be heard and
downloaded at www.thechroniclesofbren.com
What would be your dream vacation?
I have two dream vacations. One
would be to tour Iceland and
the Norse countries of Europe. Another would
be to tour Europe’s castles and the RhineRiver region and wind up with a scuba
dive somewhere near Greece.
I’m one-half Scandanavian, so I’d love to visit that part of the world,
too. How do you choose your settings for each book?
In many ways, the settings of my
stories are inspired by the place where I live. When people hear that I live in
think “flat and boring.” Not so. We live among tree-covered hills near a
flowing river. I have a large forest on my property that informs the country
settings of my stories. In my studio, I have a statue of a dragon and a
cardboard castle that I will place in front of me when I write there! I feel
like a kid again when I write these stories…and I want children of all ages to
enjoy the journeys.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
One of my hobbies involves
creating a real land
of Bren for my
grandchildren. In one area of my forest I have cleared over 2 miles of trails.
My plan is to fill the land with statues of fantasy creatures. I enjoy fishing
for bass in my ponds and I thoroughly enjoy driving my grandchildren around the
property on my John Deere Gator!
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome
I have too many adventures and
stories in my mind to ever write them all down. I believe our God is so massive
that I will never lack for creativity. My goal? To try and see my life from
God’s point of view - and I write accordingly.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Do not be afraid to color outside
the lines…to take the reader on an adventure that has never been experienced
before. Another would be this: the more you write, the better you will become
at writing. Psalm 45:1 in the NASB says,
“My heart overflows with a good
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready
I believe that if I walk
relationally with Father God and am ready at all times to write down the words
He inspires in my mind that He is more than willing to pour that inspiration
our upon me. Believe you can hear Him and be ready to write down what He
says…and watch the creativity flow!
Tell us about the featured book.
Book two in my fantasy series is
called The Chronicles of Bren, Sacrifice. Our protagonist, Lee
Jennings, is a couple of years older when he finds himself transported back to
the land of Bren in a most unusual way (though seen before in The Wizard of Oz, the story of transport
is based on a real-life episode from my life on the farm. You’ll have to read
the end of the book to find out that I was not merely paying homage to The Wizard of Oz!). Once in Bren, he
discovers that he is now in his early 50s and that he is now the high king of
Bren. Wondering aloud as to how he got to that age and position, King
Leonolis/Lee is met by a presence - the Voice - who takes him on a journey of
re-living his life…and the discovery of all the sacrifice involved in getting
him to the place of prestige and power he now finds himself. In Sacrifice,
the reader gets to experience Leonolis falling in love, the saga of the dragon
wars, the loss of a dear friend, the birth of his own children, and many other
adventures along the way! Taking the lessons learned from his adventures in
book one, Leonolis learns many new and valuable lessons along the way. As
always, he faces many dangers and encounters with many fantastic beings. The
ending of this book is my favorite simply because it really happened!
Please give us the first page of the book.
Mighty Rushing Wind
Lee had gone out early that day
to rake the hay his father had mowed the day before. As always, he tended to
get lost in his own thoughts, daydreaming and daydreaming for hours on end.
More often than not, his dreams ventured off into long forgotten memories of a
land far, far away. His memories of the land of Bren,
for all intents and purposes, were like quickly vanishing wisps of smoke that
lingered briefly around his head throughout the day, never quite lighting for
long in his mind’s eye. Such days spent trying to recall those memories was
like trying to speak a well-known word but having a lapse of mental capacity to
actually commit the words to speech. He never quite got there, but it wasn’t
for lack of trying!
The days spent in search of those
almost remembered adventures went by far too quickly for Lee. On one hand, the
monotony of going round and round those hay fields was not monotonous at all,
but on the other hand, he often came away mentally exhausted from trying to
recall what could not be recalled.
Lee was a year older since
returning from Bren. Everyone could see the change. No one could understand how
such a formerly weak, fearful boy could suddenly be transformed, as if overnight,
into a confident, strong-of-character young man. Respected by his peers for
standing up to the bullies that day and equally respected by his elders because
of his work ethic and strong, manly way he looked everyone in the eye, Lee was
growing into his manhood. Growing into it well.
Still, if only people knew the
inner turmoil he faced. Even though he had the respect of the other boys, the
teasing continued. He just no longer gave the tormentors the satisfaction of a
response other than to shrug his shoulders and walk away. Mostly his turmoil was
a cacophony of messages bombarding his brain. His body was changing from that
of a boy to a man—and when he had tried to talk with his dad about it, his dad
had seemed more embarrassed than Lee, walking awkwardly away from the
conversation. Lee had just assumed that this subject was off-limits—which made
him feel ungrounded in his identity, even if he did carry himself more
confidently on the outside.
Coupling those thoughts with the
struggle to remember all he had experienced in Bren—at least he thought the
land had been called Bren—left him mentally exhausted more often than not, but
even this served him well. He
figured that he spent too much time trying to figure things out if it tuckered
him out that much. Even as a young man, he attained the wisdom to enjoy the
journey and to live his life as an adventure. Trying to figure things out, he
rightly asserted to himself, would work out in the proper time. Crazy as it may
sound, he felt like he had some special purpose in life—like a kingly calling
he told himself. Funny, but that thought seemed right to him.
As his thoughts were once again
drifting back to a horse he had once known somewhere in his dreams, his mind
was suddenly jolted back into the present. He had been so enthralled in his
daydreams that he hadn’t even felt the wind come up or sensed the dark clouds that
had drifted over the farm. As the first drops of rain began to pour, Lee
stopped the tractor and began to turn the handles that would lift the rake
teeth high enough above the ground so as to not drag as he high-tailed it home.
Disengaging the rake’s gears so the teeth would no longer rotate, he jumped
back into the tractor seat and at that very moment, lightning struck so close
to him that he froze in fear, his skin growing as pale as the light seemed to
be growing around him.
Lightning. Bad news for anyone
trapped in an open field. He knew what his dad had taught him. “At the first
sign of lightning, get off the tractor and get inside.” This warning had been
indelibly burned into his senses the day he saw that old milk cow get hit by a bolt
from the blue. One moment the cow had been peacefully grazing and the next she
laid dead where she stood only a second before.
And that day there had been no
rain and no wind, just one single bolt from the clouds to the ground! But this
was different! Lightning was now dancing all around him in the sky and, as if
in some crazed choreography, stepping around the field amid deafening claps of
thunder. Lee knew this was bad. How could he have been so foolish as to never
see it coming?
That really draws my interest to find out what happens next. How can readers
find you on the Internet?
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