Reprinted from The Website of Joan Reeves, August 2008, (READING Page & WORDPLAY, website subscription newsletter.
Welcome, Daniel Arenson. Thanks for taking the time from your schedule to share some time with us.
Readers, Daniel is the author of FIREFLY ISLAND, a fantasy novel published by Five Star Publishing, an imprint of Gale Cengage (formerly Thomson Gale). Here's the information you need in order to ask your local library to order his book if it hasn't already done so or for you to purchase it from your favorite online source.
by Daniel Arenson
Purchase from publisher: 1-800-877-4253 (Fax 1-800-414-5043). Email: email@example.com or go to their website http://www.gale.com/fivestar
Joan: How many years from first manuscript to first sale?
Daniel: I started writing seriously when I was about 16 years old. I sold my first story when I was 18. It was titled "Worms Believe in God", and it's been lost to the ages. My first fantasy novel, FIREFLY ISLAND, was published last year.
Joan: What has been your best experience as a published author?
Daniel: The best moments are when people email me, telling me that they loved my fantasy novel FIREFLY ISLAND. To me, these are worth a lot more than "official" reviews.
Joan: What has been your worst experience as a published author?
Daniel: When FIREFLY ISLAND became available for pre-order, Amazon placed an "available at" date which was too early. When that date arrived, Amazon automatically emailed everyone who pre-ordered the book, telling them that FIREFLY ISLAND was still unavailable, and offered a link where they can cancel their order. Luckily, Amazon received their books a couple days later, and shipped them out. Very few people canceled their orders, so all ended relatively well.
Joan: What has surprised you most as a professional writer?
Daniel: Promoting books is more work than I expected.
Joan: If you could write any story, without regard to it selling or any of those other business issues, what would you write?
Daniel: I'm writing what I love right now - fantasy which offers epic adventures, but also deals with relevant "real world" issues. I write the type of fiction I myself would like to read. I wouldn't write fiction just because "it sells."
Joan: What do you love about your career?
Daniel: Creating stories and sharing them with readers. It's not about any money or prestige (real or imaginary); it's about the writing itself.
Joan: What do you hate about your career?
Daniel: That the world of publishing is full of connections and networking. In many ways, it's about who you know. If all you have is a great manuscript, and no connections, selling and promoting your book is a tough job. Many great manuscripts get overlooked because of this.
Joan: If you got a big 6-figure advance for a book, what's the first thing you'd buy for yourself?
Daniel: Even in a hypothetical fantasy, I can't get a 7-figure advance? Oh well.... In any case, the first thing I'd spend the money on is a big book launch party, with lots of food and drinks.
Joan: What is the best advice you can give beginning writers?
Daniel: Keep studying the craft. That's a fancy way of saying that I have no one, single piece of advice; there is so much to learn. I've written a bunch of "writing advice" articles on my website. You can find them at http://www.DanielArenson.com.
Joan: What would you like readers to know?
Daniel: I'd like readers to know about my website, http://www.DanielArenson.com, where they can find those writing tips, free stories, learn about FIREFLY ISLAND, and a bunch more stuff.
Thanks again for sharing these thoughts with us, Daniel, and best of luck with your writing.
Readers, next month my author guest will be mystery and romantic suspense author Terry Odell.