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November 22, 2010

Interview: Daniel Arenson (+Giveaway)

** The winner is Jaidis **

Hi everyone! Please welcome Daniel Arenson, author of Flaming Dove, who came here to answer some of my questions about his book.

Can you tell us a little bit about Flaming Dove?

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.

Who is your favorite character from Flaming Dove?

I enjoyed writing about Laila, the main character, and Beelzebub, the antagonist. Laila is half angel, half demon. She's dark, tortured, and deadly with her Uzi. In her own words: "I am Laila, of the night. I have walked through godlight and through darkness. I have fought demons and I have slain angels. I am Laila, of the shadows. I have hidden and run, and I have stood up and striven. I am Laila, of tears and blood, of sins and of piety. I am Laila, outcast from Hell, banished from Heaven. I am alone, in darkness. I am Laila, of light and of fire. I am fallen. I rise again."

I enjoyed writing the outcast, the character who is powerful and deadly, but secretely vulnerable.
Beelzebub was also fun to write. He's a fallen angel and the ruler of Hell. He's also Laila's former lover. He now fights Laila for the throne of Hell, but he's not truly a villain, and still has feelings for Laila. He's suave, intelligent, witty, a hopeless womanizer, but also carries old pain within him. He's very much an anti-hero. Pitting him against Laila created lots of drama and emotion to explore in the novel.

What/Who was your inspiration to write this book?

I decided to write Flaming Dove after a visit to Israel. I discovered a crumbling old Crusader fort beside the sea, and thought about how men fought for so long over the Holy Land. I decided to write a novel about Heaven and Hell themselves battling here. I set the first chapter in this old seaside fort, now an outpost of angels battling demons.

I decided to give my book a few twists. First of all, Flaming Dove is set years after the epic battle of Armageddon. Heaven was foretold to win that battle, but instead, it ended at a stalemate. Both camps -- Heaven and Hell -- are now hunkered down and fighting an endless war of attrition.

To give things another twist, I decided to give my angels and demons human personalities. Angels are not always pure and pious; they have doubts, fears, flaws. My demons, too, are not stock characters of evil. I gave them human qualities too; they can feel compassion, love, longing. I feel that this gives my story a new depth, and makes it more interesting than just another "good vs. evil" fantasy.

Finally, I decided to make my main character a half breed. Her father was a demon, her mother an angel, and she is outcast from both camps. This allowed me to explore themes of alienation and loneliness.
I think, in some ways, the wars of Heaven and Hell in Flaming Dove mirror the wars of us humans.

Are you going to write a sequel?

If there is enough demand for it. If you want a sequel, let me know! Send me an email (, spread the word about Flaming Dove, post an Amazon review... once I hear enough voices wanting more, I'll write more.

Can you recommend us a book?

If you're looking for another novel by yours truly, you can try my fantasy novel Firefly Island. This novel was first released in 2007, and is about a slave girl who fights a cruel king made of stone.

If you'd like to read fantasy novels by other authors, I recommend exploring the works of George R. R. Martin, Roger Zelazny, J.R.R. Tolkien, Weis and Hickman, Mike Resnick, and many others. In fact, I have a list of some recommended fantasy novels on my website. Drop by and take a look:

Thank you so much Daniel, for taking the time to answer these questions :D

If you want to know more about this author or his books, check out his links:

Flaming Dove at the Kindle store
Flaming Dove paperback


I have some amazon-money that I don't think I'll be spending, so I was thinking, why not use it to giveaway an awesome book for my readers?

So, I'm going to giveaway 1 ebook of Flaming Dove to 1 lucky winner (via Amazon - You would be able to read the ebook on your registered Kindle device or any free Kindle reading application, you just need to have an email address.) (more info here)

- Read this interview and leave a meaningful comment with your email address. (and your extra points).
- Follow my blog.

Extras: (leave them in the same comment)
- Leave a comment on my review of Flaming Dove +1
- Tweet about this giveaway +1 (leave link)
- Link this giveaway at your blog / facebook +1 (leave link)

It's International and it ends November 30, 2010. I'm going to pick the winner via


  1. Great interview. I thought it was neat that he visited Israel. I would like to visit one day. Please enter me in contest. Sounds like a really good book.

  2. Flaming Dove.... You had me at the title. The review and author's bio were only icing on the cake. A halfbreed angel/demon sounds like a fascinating character.

  3. Nice interview; it has gotten me very intrigued about the book. I love the idea of humanized angels!

  4. I love this concept of good and evil battling with each other... If I don't win, I will be buying a copy for sure!

    emilyking630 at yahoo dot com



  5. I love the cover - beautiful! Firefly Island sound like a great read too.

    baychriz at gmail dot com

  6. I'm really looking forward to reading Flaming Dove! I have an interview with Daniel Arenson over on my blog too. If you wanna check it out, the link is

    I'm following via Networked Blogs (Brandy Kurtz)

    brandy_jolene at yahoo dot com