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July 2nd, 2011

Author Interview: Daniel Arenson

In this week's installment of Author Interviews, let's welcome Daniel Arenson to the hot seat. Daniel is the author of several great fantasy novels, including Firefly Island, The Gods of Dream, The Eye of the Wizard, Flaming Dove, and now the Blood of Requiem. He has fantastic covers and a very comforting narrating style.

Daniel and I have been friends for a little over a year. We met over at the Kindleboards, and he's one of the nicest guys in the world.

SS: Let's talk about your writing beginnings. How did you get your start as a writer and, ultimately, as an author?

DA: When I was fourteen, I wrote my first piece of fiction. It was a science fiction novella about a post-apocalyptic world. Robots had taken over the world, and hunted humans to near extinction. The last few humans living in hiding in a jungle, where they bought the 'bots. I think The Terminator inspired me.

SS: Firefly Island was your first novel. How has your writing evolved from FI through to Blood of Requiem?

DA: When it comes to monsters, swords, magic, and all that good fantasy stuff... I think my writing is more polished, but ultimately comes from the same place. However, I'm a lot better at writing drama and emotion. I wrote Firefly Island when I was nineteen, and had no idea how to write the romantic scenes. Today I'm in my thirties, and can do a better job writing about relationships, love, and melodrama. There are still lots of monsters, swords, and magic.

SS: Laila had me on my knees right away. How did you come up with the half angel/half devil hottie? (Laila, for those that don't know, is the protagonist in Flaming Dove)

DA: She also has an Uzi. And a pet wolf. Don't forget those two important elements. I don't know what inspired Laila. I wanted to write a dark fantasy about heaven and hell, and Laila seemed the perfect protagonist. I also think she looks smashing on the cover.

SS: You've been writing standalone titles for the past few years. Now you're dipping your toe into a series, starting with BoR. How is this experience going, and how is it different to writing standalones?

DA:I love writing a series. It allows me to create a much larger story arc, a good thing for an epic fantasy writer. "Blood of Requiem", the first "Song of Dragons" novel, is my most successful book yet. It seems readers love series too. The second book, "Tears of Requiem", will be released this fall.

SS: Floofie knows all, doesn't she?

DA: Floofie is a BOY. Romy is very angry at you.

SS: The Gods of Dream, in my eyes, is quite possibly the most deep thing that you've written (I have yet to get to BoR). What inspired you to delve deep into this world (literally)?

DA: "The Gods of Dream" is about escaping into a world of fantasy. I wrote it thinking about people who are ill, or disabled, or lonely, who couldn't enjoy the world we do. I wanted to write a comforting fantasy novel they can escape into... which is, in turn, about escaping hardships into fantasy worlds.

SS: Obviously, you're deep in the first draft of the later Requiem titles. What's next after that, and will you hold Mike Crane to writing a full-length novel?

After "Song of Dragons"? No idea. Maybe I can retire to a nice tropical island, if enough people buy the books. I'll let Crane visit after he finally writes a novel; i.e., never.

SS: Who inspired you while you were a youth in Israel, and later, the United States?

DA: I've moved between countries several times, and currently live in Canada. What inspired me hasn't changed. I loved reading books as a little one, as a teenager, and now as an adult. I want to create my own stories and share them with as many people as possible.

Thanks for stopping by, Daniel! Folks, you can check Daniel's website at DanielArenson.com. He's incredibly talented. Check him out!

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