Welcome back, Dennis.
God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the
After I complete book one of the series The Bairn of Bren, I
will begin working on a new recording of worship music as a ministry tool for
the body of Christ. In addition, I am currently writing songs for the journey
for book three of The Chronicles of Bren series called Generations. I have
already written and released my autobiography, Sing Over Me, but plan to release another volume of my personal
story. This time, rather than detailing the pain and sorrow and deliverance
from the bondage of sin, I will recount the many good memories of growing up on
a farm in Oklahoma and the joy I experienced with my family even in the midst
of the pain I experienced along the way.
I’m eager to read
that one, too. Tell us a little about your family.
My wife, Melinda, and I have been married for 32+ years and
have nine children. No, we are not Mormon or Catholic, they’re not adopted…and,
yes, we know what causes that! Our children are all grown now and are blessing
us with grandchildren. We currently have 6 grandchildren and are expecting 2
more by September!
Has your writing
changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I think writing has made me much more observant of the
techniques and intricacies of story-telling. Writing has caused me to delve
into the personal lives of my favorite writers in order to see how their lives
informed their writing. I love to read about the lives of others, especially if
their stories are inspiring!
What are you working
on right now?
I am currently working on a new recording of worship music
and am in the process of writing songs for the journey of book three of The
Chronicles of Bren. The music for books one and two can be found at www.thechroniclesofbren.com. In
addition, I am working on a new series - an offshoot of the Bren saga - called
The Bairn of Bren. These stories are written for my grandchildren, my
grandchildren being the main characters.
interests do you have?
I love to go to movies that involve adventure, fantasy,
sci-fi, or true stories…as long as they are not rated R. Other interests
include writing music, fishing, driving around the countryside with no end goal
in mind…other than the sheer joy of adventure! I thoroughly enjoy being with my
wife, my children, and especially my grandchildren!
We’re just coming off
the July 4th holiday. James and I spent a lot of time with our
children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. What a joy! How do you choose
your settings for each book?
Where I live has a lot to do with it. In addition, I decided
where I want to go in my adventure/fantasy writing and allow the final
destination in the journey to dictate the setting.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person,
who would it be and why?
I would love to spend an evening with C.S. Lewis and delve
into how he came to faith and all the inspiration behind The Chronicles of Narnia. On the music side of my life, I would
love to spend an evening with Keith Green!
Keith Green’s music
greatly influenced my life, just as yours has. What is the one thing you wish
you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I had not waited so long to begin! As with anything
one wants to become adept at, practice is required. Just as I used to spend
hour upon hour, day after day, year after year at the piano, I learned to do
the same with my writing! The more you write, the better writer you become.
What new lessons is
the Lord teaching you right now?
I do not call myself or define myself by my past or by my
temptations or by my failures. I am defined by my Maker. That is a truth I have
been living by for years. Now the Lord is taking me deeper in that concept in
this manner: 1 Corinthians 5:16 encourages us to recognize no one according to
the flesh. What does that mean for me personally? When I see another person, I
am learning to not judge them by their demeanor or appearance or attitude, but
according to how God sees them. If they are lost, I see them as a potential
born-again believer/follower of Jesus Christ. If they are angry, I see them as
a potential person of peace, etc.
A big turning point
in my life was when I asked God to help me see other people the way He does. It’s
amazing what you see. What are the three best things you can tell other authors
to do to be successful?
Keep writing. Write from a kingdom point of view - trying to
see every situation and circumstance from the King’s perspective. Write for the
joy of writing and trust the Lord to get your books/writing to the right
people. For a book to have an impact it need only affect one other life!
That is so true! Tell
us about the featured book.
Books one and two chronicle the formative years of
Lee/Leonolis. Book three, The Chronicles of Bren, Generations is the
collective stories of the children of High King Leonolis Queen Abila! Each of
the nine children have their own unique adventures spelled out within the pages
of this book. Each name has the same meaning of the names of my real children
and each story involves my view of and vision for the life of each of my
children. Allegorical, the stories each involve certain aspects of good
character and the wisdom of making right choices and the consequences of not.
As always, each drill is endowed with a specific magical gift or power from the
realm and each adventure takes many twists and turns and is filled with
encounters with fantastical beasts and creatures. I thoroughly enjoyed writing
these sagas and found it difficult to rein them in so as to allow time for each
child’s adventure! My goal is to ultimately bless my children and the reader
with the blessings of purpose, identity, and destiny.
Please give us the
first page of the book.
The Last Time
It had been three years since Lee had last been to Bren. He
was 17 now and, try as he might, could still not bring himself to the full
understanding of why he had the recurring dreams of a place he could not even
name. Yet, whenever those thoughts came - and they came daily – he felt somehow
more confident and more joyful than any other time of the day. This, of course,
only made him long to understand his daydreams of battle and horses and fair
maidens and dragons and elves and wizards and creatures beyond imagination! And
beyond these fantastical dreams, he saw through to the Voice of something
greater than himself - some One - who seemed to be telling him, “Son, this is
your destiny…Walk in it….” As usual, the lack of understanding sent his mind
careening into even more daydreams of that far away land and, as usual, simultaneously
left him feeling more of who he was meant to be! Yet, he still did not know
quite what that meant!
Most if Lee’s days were spent like that now. Regardless of
whether he was working with his father’s cattle or working in the hay field or
playing basketball or doing his chores around the house, such thoughts were
always near the surface of his thought and it did not take much to cause them
to leap to the surface and into Lee’s conscious life. During such episodes, he
found it best to get away from people and simply work with his hands while
sorting through his thoughts. Couple that with the little tell-tale mysteries
that kept cropping up in his mind and you have the making of one confused
boy-man who was determined to discover what it all meant. The little tell-tale
mysteries were actually more like signs from…somewhere…or from someone. At
first, Lee had thought they were simply coincidental to his thoughts, but the
more they kept occurring the more credence he began to give them. Half-wondering
if he was losing his mind and half-wondering where these signs would take him,
he began to see them everywhere! Today was especially like that.
The first time he had wondered such thoughts was the day he
went fishing at the big pond in the back pasture. As was his custom, Lee was in
the practice of noticing the signs of life around him. From the sounds and
sights of the various bird species to the numbers and kinds of snakes he
encountered from time to time in the pasture, he was able to discern their
movements and anticipate their reaction to his intrusion. Without being able to
put two and two together, Lee was quite adept at drawing animals to himself and
was excellent at recognizing tracks and habits of most animals he had come in
contact with on the farm…like he could understand them! Sound familiar?! And he
didn’t even know why. He simply accepted it as a gift and was careful to tell
no one for fear they might think him a bit mental!
That day, in the cow path leading up the north side of the
pond bank, he noticed a track he had not seen before. Although he recognized it
as a reptilian forepaw print, it was the unusual size of the print that left
Lee wondering. He was used to seeing the colorful Mountain Boomer lizards
scurrying around on hot summer days, but their tracks were no more than a
fraction of an inch in scope. These tracks were enormous - like dinosaur size
footprints! At first, Lee thought someone was playing a trick on him - that the
print was fabricated by someone else. Looking around, Lee could find no other
human footprints, but did find three more giant reptile prints. And then he
noticed that a spot in the green grass blanketing the pond bank seemed to be
burned. Singed to bare ground! Like a dragon had been there. Still, he thought
to himself what a good trick someone is playing on me - but he could never
shake the possibility that what he had seen just might be reality!
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