Arnold was born in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, in 1962. When growing up he was certain that one day he would be Prime Minister.
After hearing a lot of exciting stories about what happened during the Dutch occupation in the Second World War and especially, as he claims, after seeing the acclaimed film about the Dutch Resistance: Soldier of Orange, he decided that it was his duty to serve his country in quite a different way.
He passed his entrance test to the Dutch Military Academy and graduated with flying colours. Upon graduating he joined the Grenadier Guards infantry regiment. He earned his wings, becoming the proud owner of the red beret which he remains until this day.
Soon after graduating he realised that the intellectual challenge was missing from his life and he began to study English on a part time basis, during the evenings. He successfully completed his first year.
Around this time he began to find his own voice and to write poems.
However a war interrupted his progress. As a Captain he was commanding officer of the unit that secured Tuzla Airbase in Bosnia for incoming UN aid in 1994, one year before the overthrow of the enclave Srebrenica in the former Yugoslavia.
After surviving this war, in 1995 he decided it was the right moment to begin writing full time. He was delighted when in 1996 Martin Ros gave him his first break and published one of his poems in the renowned Dutch literary magazine Maatstaf.
In 1999 his debut novel De koning van Tuzla was published by De Arbeiderspers. To great acclaim Arnold appeared on radio and television.
In 2006 together with the award winning thriller writer Jac Toes, he published De twaalfde man first published as a daily serialisation during the Football World Cup 2006 and published in book form by De Geus, also in 2006.
In 2006 Arnold was one of the co-founders of the Arnhems Lezersbal (Arnhem Readers Gala) held on the eve of the Dutch National Book Week.
Holland Park Press is very pleased that this influential columnist now comments on worldwide events in his ground breaking column in our magazine. This column is published in English and Dutch.
Arnold has been a very popular teacher of creative writing courses for quite a few years and currently runs an one-to-one online master class for Holland Park Press.
We are pleased to make available once again Soldatenlaarzen, now renamed Joegoslavisch requiem, to our Dutch readers and for the first time in English as Yugoslav Requiem, translated by the acclaimed Paul Vincent.
We have also re-published De koning van Tuzla in Dutch in October 2009 and in its English translation as King of Tuzla in July 2010.
Arnold is now working on a new poetry collection and five of his new Dutch poems have appeared in the 2nd 2013 issue of poetry magazine Het Liegend Konijn.
Three other poems from his new collection were published in Dutch literary magazine De Gids in June 2015.
In 2013 Arnold ran two workshops at Around the World in Eighty Book in Winchester, he organised, presented and read at Holland Park Press literary party in the just opened Rozet in Arnhem, featuring Karen Jennings, and starred at the Holland Park Press Christmas party.
In 2012 Arnold recited a few of his poem at the Manchester Independent Book Market on 8 June. On Wednesday 25 July he appeared at the Poetry Cafe to talk about who inprires him when writing poetry. He also opened the Holland Park Press Christmas party at the Poetyry Cafe on 19 December.
During 2011 Arnold appeared at the launch of his novel Angel at Paddington Library, London.
A complete list of Arnold’s appearances is available on the Dutch version of this page.
I got to know Arnold as a commander who was fully trusted and supported by his men. He was also held in high esteem by his bosses and colleagues. You take all your experiences with you, you can’t pick and choose.
Understanding and empathy were very important to Arnold. This is reflected in his literary work. The sometimes extreme experiences from his military career do influence his writing but even so he writes for a broad audience.