About the Book
Book: A Voice within the Flame
Author: Henry O. Arnold
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Release Date: December 1, 2020
Synopsis: A son of the vow…a voice for a nation
For many long years, Hannah prayed for a son; a son finally granted to her only when she promised him back to God. Samuel, son of the vow, grows up in the Tabernacle, his childhood spent in the company of priests and Levites, in service to a God who was always silent. Samuel watches in dismay as the sons of the High Priest flaunt their wicked behavior, yet he knows that Yahweh will eventually have a reckoning. It is not until he hears a Voice call to him from within the flames of the altar that he realizes he has a part to play in this drama.
This young man hears another voice from a maiden who captures his heart, and he begins to dream of a future beyond the confines of the Tabernacle. But when Israel’s enemies threaten to destroy his world, it appears as though everything Samuel ever held dear may come tumbling down around him.
Not even a great prophet, whose words never fall to the ground, can keep Israel from crying out for a king. The Lord calls upon Samuel to guide the nation and her new king through the years of turmoil they must face.
In this tale of triumph and scorn, deepest love and burning rivalries, the new epoch is given a voice…and it is a Song of Prophets and Kings.
Click here to get your copy!
Hello Henry O. Arnold!
Thank you so much for stopping by and letting us get to know the voice behind the pages 🙂
What is your favorite book that you have written (Published or Unpublished), and why?
The short answer is “The one I’m working on at the moment.” I do especially love the “A Song of Prophets and Kings” series because I have been able to combine my love for historical fiction with my love for Scripture.
What inspires you the most?
I take inspiration from so many aspects of life: my wife, kids and grand kids. Friendships. My professional associations with actors, writers, and artists; we are kindred spirits in living our lives with the mindset of artist creation and expression. I love being outdoors. I love the beauty of nature. I could spend hours by a stream watching the current, sitting under a canopy of trees in the forest, or hiking up mountains for the beautiful views. I draw inspiration from all forms of art: dance, music, theatre, film, and fine art from Old Masters to contemporary. Human connections in all their forms.
Once an idea takes root, how long does it take you to write it down?
I am never in a rush to get something down. Now I will jot down a thought or an action I have visualized about a character might take. Even bits of dialogue. But I like to allow the “big picture” concept to live with me for awhile. It’s like heating water at a low temperature. I want to see if the idea can first withstand some heat before I turn it up the heat to the boiling point and launch out with a full force of writing.
Do you have a favorite author? Or someone whom you would say has influenced your writing style? Currently it would be JRR Tolkein. Big imagination. Beautiful imagery. Over the top themes of good and evil. Just finish “Lord of the Rings” for the third time. Never gets old.
What are your hobbies other than writing?
I am an avid hiker. I will hit a trail at the drop of a hat, the more remote the better. I love taking friends and family on hikes, but I also love going solo. My most recent hikes, pre-Covid, were in New Zealand on the south island. Spectacular landscape. If I can’t get out on a hike, for relaxation, I will garden with my wife. I am the official weed-puller. I read a lot and like to sit in my back yard and be still and quiet and look out over the field and pond.
Do you have a genre that you would never write? (In the Christian genre sphere i.e. speculative, historical, contemporary, etc.)
Amish Romance, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just don’t look good in a bonnet.
What is one thing in your life that you would say has had the greatest impact on your writing?
Being a professional actor for over fifty years has probably had the greatest impact on my writing. I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many different people, in different countries, from all types of different backgrounds who bring their unique gifts and talents to every project I’ve been associated with. But also the exposure to great literature in theatre and film. While it is a different art than that of the novel, it is still storytelling and requires a collaboration of skills and talents that go into the pot to make a great story.
What has had the greatest impact on your life in general?
I would say adversity. The guts of a great story is conflict and the conflict and adversity of life will help mold and shape one’s character, and out of the shape of your character, you begin to develop perspective. With that perspective, if you are able to be a writer or creative person in general, then you can begin to shape and form a compelling art form, and in my case, a story that one day might be read by general public.
Lastly, what was your favorite book growing up?
I had dyslexia that wasn’t diagnosed until I was into my college years. So I didn’t read much. I could get through plays and poems because they were short. I do remember the first novel I read from cover-to-cover was “Deliverance” by James Dickey. I was a white-water enthusiast at the time so it was a fun read. We were to read Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” but I just read the Cliff Notes versions. However, once I learned how to read with dyslexia, I went back and read them. Of course, the stories of the Bible are important to me. Now I read everything I can. Though I am a slow reader, it has proven beneficial because I can allow myself the time to marinate on all the literary good stuff.
Well to say you have had an interesting life is an understatement. I think if we met in real life we would be good friends, you have over come alot and done some remarkable things.
I love hiking and am so jealous that you have been hiking in New Zealand! I feel like I have gotten to know you a bit better and hope that my readers do to, and I am looking forward to reading your new book to continue to hear your voice 🙂
The Travelers Wife
About the Author
Henry O. Arnold has co-authored a work of fiction, Hometown Favorite, with Bill Barton, and nonfiction, KABUL24, with Ben Pearson. He also co-wrote and produced with Steve Taylor (director) and Ben Pearson the film The Second Chance starring Michael W. Smith, the screenplay for the authorized film documentary on evangelist Billy Graham, God’s Ambassador, and the documentary film KABUL24, based on the book which is the story of western and Afghani hostages held captive by the Taliban for 105 days. He lives on a farm in Tennessee with his lovely wife Kay. They have two beautiful daughters married to two handsome men with three above-average grandchildren. For more information please visit: www.henryoarnold.com
More from Henry
So many people have asked me why I became a writer. I usually respond with a one-word answer: unemployment. I know, not very inspirational or romantic, but it was a reality-based choice. I had (and still am) been a professional actor for about ten years. Received a lot of diplomas affirming my professional choice and gotten a lot of gigs that convinced me that I was employable. Then I hit a dry-spell. The theatre company I had helped to found went belly-up. I also had recently gotten married. So I was feeling the mixture of joy and dejection at the same time. It was then that I chose to begin writing a series of one-man shows on biblical characters. I was able to combine my passion for the theatre and my love of Scripture in one artistic form.
After the golden age of theatre in the Greek and Roman times, the theatre went dark, very dark as in Dark Ages, and for centuries it was thus. But it was the church that brought the theatre back to life by staging passion plays on biblical subjects. Since most people could not read at the time, it was a great way to tell the folks some Bible stories. It was my desire to do the same thing with my one-man shows. The third of my one-man plays was on the character of King David. I wrote it while shooting a film. For an actor in a film there is a lot of “hurry up and wait.” So I used my “wait” time to write. Within a year I was showcasing the play to some select audiences before I begin to get some regular jobs out of this show and the two others I had previously written.
Then I decided to write what I thought would be a trilogy of the first three kings of Israel. These would be full-length plays for a multiple cast. The first installment was entitled “The Mighty Have Fallen,” and the focus was on King Saul. My father was the head of the theatre department at a university, and he was kind enough to produce and direct the show with his students. It was a success, and after an extensive rewrite, I sent a copy to Academy Award winner, F. Murray Abraham, thinking he would be the perfect King Saul. He wrote a terse and unambiguous response, “Not my cup of tea, but thanks.”
I knew then that my artistic dream might be more of an uphill climb than I had anticipated, and I settled into scheduling the one-man shows around all the other theatre and film work I was doing. But the dream of writing an historical fiction series on the first three kings and the first three major prophets of Israel never left me. I called the series, A Song of Prophets and Kings, and it simmered on the back-burner until about five years ago when I sat down in earnest and began to write a first draft of what has now become A Voice Within the Flame. It was totally liberating to write this first volume in the form of a novel. I did not have to worry about budgets or too many characters or too many big scenes. I could just tell a story.
It took a long to find the right home for this story, but I am excited to welcome into the literary landscape my dream of presenting the first installment of my historical fiction series to all readers who love the drama found in these great biblical stories.
For the Love of Literature, December 16
Through the Fire Blogs, December 17
Mary Hake, December 17
Texas Book-aholic, December 18
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 19
Inklings and notions, December 20
For Him and My Family, December 21
deb’s Book Review, December 22
Sara Jane Jacobs, December 23
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, December 24 (Author Interview)
Our Whiskey Lullaby, December 24
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 25
Artistic Nobody, December 26 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 27
Locks, Hooks and Books, December 28
To celebrate his tour, Henry is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.