Interview with Peter Darman, Author of Outcast | NewInBooks
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Outcast?
I have always been interested in little-known aspects of history, such as the Parthian Empire, the Northern Crusades in the 13th Century and the end of the Byzantine Empire, all of which I have written about in the genre of historical fiction. The story of the emergence of the Swiss nation and the fighting prowess of its soldiers is another such topic.
‘Outcast’ is my interpretation of how the Swiss were able to defend their homeland, defeat their enemies, and then become sought-after mercenaries in the 15th Century. At its most basic level, it is also the triumph of the underdog against superior odds and the universal fight for freedom.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I love to read military history and history in general. Wars and military commanders have always held a particular fascination for me, and these two topics manifest themselves in the historical fiction.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
‘The Italian Wars 1494–1559’ by Michael Mallet and Christine Shaw; ‘The Art of Renaissance Warfare’ by Stephen Turnbull; and ‘Why Liberalism Failed’ by Patrick Deneen.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
A famous piece of Swiss history was when William Tell supposedly split an arrow perched on top of his son’s head using a crossbow. I recreated this feat in the book with an old blind woman shooting a crossbow at an apple perched on top of the main character’s head. Great fun.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
Not particularly, though I never write in the evenings. It is important to be able to wind down after a day tapping a keyboard.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Try to live a life without regrets.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
The fight for freedom is invariably long, hard and often very bloody.
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