Interview with Daniel Arenson, Author of A Prayer for Earthrise (Books 1-3)

24 Apr 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write A Prayer for Earthrise (Books 1-3)?

Back in 2017, I wrote a novel titled Earth Alone. It tells the story of Marco and Addy, childhood friends who survive an alien invasion, join the army, and learn how to fight back. Earth Alone spawned fourteen sequels, which became Earthrise: The Original Series. For a while, I wrote other works, like my series Starship Freedom and Minari. But I always missed Marco and Addy. So now they’re back! A Prayer for Earthrise is a spinoff series to Earthrise: The Original Series. It continues the story of Marco and Addy—older and wiser, facing new dangers to Earth. Even if you’re a new reader, and you haven’t read the original series, you can dive in right here. Marco and Addy (along with Einav, the third main character) are my favorite characters to write. I hope you enjoy their adventures.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of A Prayer for Earthrise (Books 1-3), what would they be?

That’s a great question. I’ll have to think about that.

Marco Emery is quiet and reflective, yet he carries a deep inner strength. For this theme song, I’ll chose Marillion’s song “Lavender.” I’m not sure if the lyrics suit him. But the feel of the song captures his aura. Indeed, in the novel Earth Alone, Marco listens to the song in one of the early chapters.

Addy Linden is headstrong and fierce, yet on the inside, she hides vulnerability. Her theme song would be Paralandra’s “Despicable.” It captures her wild spirit.

Einav Ben-Ari, the third main character, is wise and strong, a noble leader. While fierce in battle, there is deep sadness to her soul. Her theme song is Leonard Cohen’s “Who by Fire.” She listens the song in the novel Earth Lost.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I read various genres. But I focus on reading science fiction and fantasy. Which, of course, is what I write.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I plan to start reading Brandon Sanderson’s Rhythm of War this week (the fourth Stormlight Archive novel). And then (finally) read The Three-Body Problem, which has been on my TBR list for what feels like forever.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

I love writing the banter scenes between Marco and Addy. They’re an old married couple who love each other deeply, but after so many years of marriage, they also know just how to push each other’s buttons. Their bickering amuses me.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I have trouble sitting still at a desk. So I use something called a DeskCycle, which sits under the desk and lets you peddle as you write. I also like to blast loud music while writing, usually something that matches the mood of whatever I’m writing.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Motto or quote? No. Philosophies? Well, unless you’re a Nihilist (which I’m not), everyone has a moral framework they follow.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

The characters. I try to write character-driven stories. I hope that after the details of the plot fade in memory, readers remember Marco, Addy, and Einav. For me, the best stories are the ones with characters who resonate. Years after forgetting plot, details from Dragonlance, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Amber, and other series I loved, I remembered the characters. For me, characters come first.


Daniel Arenson is the author of the new book A Prayer for Earthrise (Books 1-3)

Connect with Daniel Arenson

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