Monday, December 27, 2010
Guest Author Interview: Daniel Arenson
Please welcome today's guest author Daniel Arenson! Daniel is the author of Firefly Island, Flaming Dove, and newly released this week The Gods of Dream.
EJ: When did you begin writing?
Daniel: I wrote my first story when I was fifteen years old. It was a fantasy about reptilian creatures who destroy a castle, and a squire who escapes the carnage and goes on a quest to defeat the creatures’ master. It wasn’t great literature, and thankfully the manuscript has been lost to the ages. I’ve been writing (and hopefully improving) since then.
In 1998, when I was eighteen, I sold my first story. The ezine that bought it paid me $28. I continued writing and selling short stories for the next few years. In 2007, Five Star Publishing (an imprint of Gale) released my first novel, Firefly Island, in hardcover. I’ve been focusing on my career as a novelist since.
EJ: What brought you to the paranormal genre?
Daniel: I was inspired to write Flaming Dove, a story of angels and demons battling for the Holy Land, after a trip to Israel. I visited a Crusader’s fort on the beach, and thought about how men fought over this land for thousands of years, how even Heaven and Hell are prophesised to one day war here. I decided to write a novel about Armageddon, but not the story we’re used to. In my book, Heaven will not win the battle of Armageddon. The hosts of demons and angels will beat each other into a bloody standstill that rolls into a long, endless war of attrition. This premise not only fascinates me, it also parallels aspects of the current situation in the Middle East.
I decided to make my main character half angel, half demon, torn between both worlds. I thought this, too, could make a powerful statement and create powerful drama.
Finally, I love the visual aspect of this setting – the bat wings, the fire, the visions of countless angels and demons battling in the skies, war amid crumbling desert ruins, a mix of ancient swords and modern guns…. It’s fun and visceral.
EJ: If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?
Daniel: I’d choose to be able to read minds. I think that would be more powerful than any other talent. Information is true power, after all. And I'd win all my poker games.
EJ: Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.
Daniel: I’d like to quote author David Dalglish, speaking about my novel Flaming Dove: "It's really very simple: if you want to read about angels tossing around godlight and demons lashing whips and shooting fire while super-powerful archangels and archdemons blow up half the world trying to crush each other....well, here you go."
EJ: If your book(s) were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?
Daniel: Laila, the main character, is half angel, half demon. She is dark, torn, haunted, an outcast. She is also very strong, and is deadly with her Uzi and grenades. I would cast Mila Kunis to play her – I think she can portray Laila as being outwardly tough but inwardly vulnerable.
Beelzebub, a fallen angel, is the main antagonist to Laila. He is also her former lover. He’s a hopeless womanizer, the charismatic leader of Hell, and more of an anti-hero than a true villain. I’m not sure who should play him; it would have to be somebody Laila would both love and hate. My female friends suggest Johnny Depp or Clive Owen, and I trust them.
The archangel Michael, the leader of Heaven’s hosts, mentors and trains Laila to fight Beelzebub. He’s a flawed hero, a character who fights on the side of good, but who struggled with internal doubt and fear. He tries to be honourable in this war, but finds himself jaded, and doesn’t hesitate to lie when necessary. He is gruff, taciturn, and world weary. Possibly Russell Crowe could play him well, showing a tired old warrior who’s still got some fight in him, but who carries a weight of much horror and bloodshed.
Flaming Dove by Daniel Arenson
Outcast from Hell. Banished from Heaven. Lost on Earth.The battle of Armageddon was finally fought... and ended with no clear victor. Upon the mountain, the armies of Hell and Heaven beat each other into a bloody, uneasy standstill, leaving the Earth in ruins. Armageddon should have ended with Heaven winning, ushering in an era of peace. That's what the prophecies said. Instead, the two armies--one of angels, one of demons--hunker down in the scorched planet, lick their wounds, and gear up for a prolonged war with no end in sight.In this chaos of warring armies and ruined landscapes, Laila doesn't want to take sides. Her mother was an angel, her father a demon; she is outcast from both camps. And yet both armies need her, for with her mixed blood, Laila can become the ultimate spy... or ultimate soldier. As the armies of Heaven and Hell pursue her, Laila's only war is within her heart--a struggle between her demonic and heavenly blood.
Thank you Daniel for joining us here today at From the Shadows!
To learn more about Daniel Arenson and his books, please visit his website.
Check out E.J.'s review of Flaming Dove by Daniel Arenson here.
E.J. Stevens is the author of the Spirit Guide young adult paranormal romance series, the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series, and the award-winning Ivy Granger urban fantasy series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines.