Daniel Arenson - Exciting, Heartbreaking and Triumphant Space Opera
Daniel Arenson is a bookworm, proud geek, and USA Today bestselling author of fantasy and science fiction. His novels have sold over a million copies. The Huffington Post has called his writing "full of soul." He's written over eighty novels. As our Author of the Day, he tells us about the first book in his Earthrise series, The Heirs of Earth.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Heirs of Earth is about.
Children of Earthrise is a story of exodus. Of humanity lost among the stars. Of one man rising to lead our people home.
In 2016, the Earthrise series became a surprise bestseller, captivating hundreds of thousands of readers around the world. Set two thousand years later, Children of Earthrise begins a new story, one for both new readers and old fans.
What inspired you to write a story in which Earth is so distant, that humans haven't seen it in many generations?
I wanted to write a story about trying to find a lost home. There have been many communities in our world who've lost their homes and gone into exile. This is a story of all humans losing our homeworld and struggling to find it again. There is something powerful about that story to me.
Who are "The Heirs of Earth" and what makes them special?
The title, The Heirs of Earth, refers to an organization of humans in exile. The group tries to find and rescue humans who've been scattered across the galaxy following the destruction of Earth. Many of these humans are isolated, alone, and in danger, and the Heirs come to save them. Their ultimate goal is to collect the human survivors, who've been scattered across a thousand worlds, unite them, and find Earth.
Humans are considered terrorists by aliens in this book. Why?
In the series, humans have lost Earth and been exiled to many worlds. The story is a sad one familiar to us from our own world. We've seen many communities -- Native Americans, Tibetans, and others -- uprooted from their homes and cast into exile, where they often face danger and discrimination. Without a homeworld, humans in this story are exiled and in danger, but they struggle to unite and find their lost planet.
The Earthrise series became a surprise bestseller in 2016. Please tell us more about this.
I wrote the novel Earth Alone in 2016. It sold hundreds of thousands of copies, becoming my bestselling work. It's still one of my favorite books among those I've written. Earth Alone then expanded into a 15-book series I call Earthrise: The Original Series. Since then, I wrote additional series set in the Earthrise novel: A Prayer for Earthrise, Soldiers of Earthrise, and Children of Earthrise. You can, if you choose, read them in that order -- or in any order you like. They all share a common theme: humanity struggling to survive in a dangerous galaxy.
You can learn more about the Earthrise universe here: https://danielarenson.com/EarthriseUniverse.aspx
What did you have the most fun with when you wrote The Heirs of Earth?
The most fun part was writing about Rowan Emery, one of the main characters. She's a huge dork like me. She loves The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Dragonlance, and other geeky franchises from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She lives in the 4000s, but she's been isolated from the rest of humanity, living alone in the HVAC system of an alien space station. She has a collection of ancient movies and books from two thousand years earlier. Her entire knowledge of humanity comes from them. As a result, she became a huge geek, and I had lots of fun writing about her.
Which characters are your personal favorites in this book and why?
As mentioned above, Rowan is a favorite. But I also loved writing about Emet Ben-Ari, who leads the Heirs of Earth. He is a tough, grim warrior. Intimidating at a glance, he hides a heart of gold. I loved writing about a tough, strong warrior like that.
When you are not writing, what is your favorite pastime?
I love music, the hobby of coin collecting, and reading. Especially reading fantasy and science fiction.
This forms part of the Children of Earthrise series. Can one start this series without having read the original Earthrise series?
Yes, you can definitely start here! If Children of Earthrise grabs you, you can then read the earlier series. Children of Earthrise stands alone pretty well.
Some readers say the books in this series read like movies. How do you pull this off?
I'm a very visual writer and reader. When I read a book, I "see" it like a movie in my mind. Same when I'm writing. I generally don't think in words. I think in images. When I write, I imagine the visuals, then try to describe what I'm seeing using words.
Tell us more about the cover for The Heirs of the Earth. Why did you pick this one?
It was painted by the very talented artist Tom Edwards. He also created the 30+ other covers in the Earthrise universe. You can see all his Earthrise covers on my bio page here: https://danielarenson.com/AuthorBio.aspx
Where do you go for inspiration?
Music and history. Music inspires the mood of my writing. History inspires the stories.
What are you working on right now?
I'm working on a new Earthrise series titled A Prayer for Earthrise -- the fourth series set in the Earthrise universe. The first book is out, and I'm putting the final touches on the sequel.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Please visit my website! You can download three free ebooks and join my mailing list. We can then keep in touch via email. Here is the website: DanielArenson.com