The son of Italian immigrants, Felice (pronounced Fe-LEE-chay) was born in Kyabram, Victoria. Arena attended La Trobe University, in Bendigo, Victoria. He graduated as a primary (elementary) school teacher but decided to pursue his love of writing.
Aside from being a bestselling author, Felice is also an actor. In 1992 he played Marco Alessi in Australian soap opera Neighbours for a year. He also starred in many London West End musicals, including "Hair", "Godspell" and "What a feeling" with Irena Cara.