D.L. Jennings enjoys the journey to ‘Awaken the Three’ » Albuquerque Journal

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D.L. Jennings recently released the second installment of his Highglade series, “Awaken the Three.” (Courtesy of Dave Jennings)

D.L. Jennings is quarantining at Fort Bliss before his six-month deployment.

The author is using this time to not only get ready for deployment, but celebrate the release of his second novel, “Awaken the Three.”

The novel is the second in the Highglade series. It is available at online booksellers.

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“Obviously, I’m extremely excited about the release,” he says. “I’ll get to share the launch of book two, and it will be the highlight of my year.”

Jennings’ anticipation is different this time around.

Sure, he knows exactly what to expect with a book release.

With “Awaken the Three,” he’s grown as both a person and author.

“That’s the best part, to see the direction that the story goes and how readers will connect with it,” he says.

It took Jennings 10 years to write “The Gift of Shaper,” and a lot of the novel was written while he was based at Cannon Air Force Base, near Clovis. The book was released in 2018.

“Awaken the Three” has taken him two years to complete – and just like the first, Jennings wrote it while being deployed all over the world.

Jennings spent 14 years in the Air Force – 10 of which were in special operations.

He started off as a linguist and was stationed in Nebraska, Florida, North Carolina and New Mexico.

While deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and several countries in Africa, he used his downtime to continue working on the novels.

“That’s what the deployments are for,” he quips. “I assure you that I work double time while on deployment. I get my job done, then I take the rest of the time to write.”

“Awaken the Three,” continues the war between good and evil, with both sides vying for control of the keys to creation and destruction.

Battles rage in the north as cities are sieged in the name of the god of creation, the Breaker of the Dawn, and the mysterious Tribes of the Sun in the south seek help from the god of death, the Holder of the Dead.

“It was so much fun,” he says about writing the second installment of the series. “It involved a lot of me going back into the first book and taking snippets from the book and applying them to the plot. ‘Awaken the Three’ is taken from a sentence in the first book. Being a discovery writer, I had a rough road map of where to go.”

Jennings is already working on the third installment of the book.

There is no real method to his madness.

“Nothing I do makes sense,” he says with a laugh. “I have adult-onset ADD, and I don’t know how to function.”

As a child, Jennings would dream up worlds in his head while he played “Dungeons & Dragons” and read comic books.

His father is a writer, and the talent rubbed off on him.

“I was one of those kids who daydreamt in school,” he says. “The regular world didn’t appeal to me. I was focused on the fantastic.”

Since the book was released on Aug. 11, Jennings has been humbled by the responses to his series.

“The first new pieces of fan art have been coming in,” he says. “It’s really funny, because that’s how I found the artist for the second book. It was through a fan art. I got a piece sent to me, and I was blown away. He and I actually went to school in the eighth grade. We reconnected in Ohio in 2018 over Thanksgiving.”

Of course, Jennings would love to see the series jump from page to screen.

“That’s another dream,” he says. “There’s so much of this world still left in my head. I can’t wait to see where it goes next.”

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