Monday, July 26, 2010

Daniel Arenson Interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write? 

My days are hectic, filled with endless things to do.  A couple times a week, usually on weekends, I'll escape to a local coffee shop.  In the summer I'll sit by the window and order an iced drink.  In the winter I sit by the fireplace with a hot mug of coffee.  I can then tune out the hectic, busy, fast-faced real world, and escape into whatever fantasy novel I'm currently writing.  I'll also occassionally sit out on my apartment's balcony, look over the city from the tenth floor, and write a scene in the breeze.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

I wrote "Firefly Island", my first novel, on a laptop.  I sat outside in the garden, overlooking a forest, and wrote for a few months.

Later this year, I'm releasing "Flaming Dove", my second novel.  I wrote this one longhand at various coffeeshops across the city, though I did all the editing and revising on a computer.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

History and mythology inspire me.  There's a lot of both in "Firefly Island".  I love reading history books, and have loved them from a young age, and I've always been fascinated with fairytales, legends, and myths.  Many people comment that "Firefly Island" has both a historic and fairytale feel.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

No.  Some sessions I produce more words than others, but I don't force any pace or goal.  A novel should move fluidly; some scenes might be a breeze to write, others require more thought.  I'd say that on average, in a writing session I write 1000-2000 words.

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?

Five Star Publishing printed my fantasy novel "Firefly Island" in 2007.  They commissioned some fantastic artwork for it.  However, the ebook version of "Firefly Island" is indie, and has its own cover art.  A very talented artist created the ebook's cover.  I don't create my own covers; I leave that to the professionals.  However, in both cases I described to the artist what I wanted, more or less, and then gave him artistic license to mold my ideas into something that looks great.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

I don't think I chose to be a writer.  I can't imagine not writing.  I suspect most writers would say the same.

At the risk of sounding self-important, I think writing great stories, and sharing them with the world, is a noble pursuit.  I've loved books all my life; I can't imagine my childhood, youth, or current life without them.  Books taught me so much, got me through many hard times, and brought entire worlds to me.  When I grew up, I knew I had to carry that torch, to create my own stories, inspire readers the way other authors inspired me.  When I write, I know I'm doing something worthwhile and contributing to a legacy of literature.  

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

Yes.  I own a Kobo ereader and love it.  I've made the switch to ebooks.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

I have many favorite authors.  Within speculative fiction, my genre, I enjoy the works of Roger Zelazny, George R. R. Martin, Tolkien, Heinlein, Asimov, Mike Resnick, Weis and Hickman, Dean Koontz, and many others.  Currently I'm reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

I'm not a big book trailer guy.  Trailers are great for movies.  For books, we have excerpts.  Authors are weavers of written words, and we create images with these words.  Why do we need video trailers?  We are novelists.  We respect and carry on a proud tradition that goes back centuries.  We don't have to immitate Hollywood.


10: How did you come up with the title of your book?

My title is simple.  I was looking for something short and snappy.  I didn't need anything too literary or fancy, just a couple words that say it all.  "Firefly Island" does the trick.

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

Later this year, I plan to release a dark fantasy novel titled "Flaming Dove".  It tells of Laila, half demon, half angel, outcast in the years following Armageddon.  Keep on the lookout for it.

1 comment:

  1. Great interview, guys.

    As for book trailers...I wasn't too hot on them until I tried one. It was so fun putting it together, and the happiness I felt when it all fell in line and became something cool was great.

    Of course, it isn't for every book...mainly because you have to actually have pictures in order to do it.

    Anywho, I love this Arenson guy. He's quite cool.