Author Interview: Peter Darman

How long have you been writing for?

28 years, of which the last seven have been full-time.

What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?

The middle part, when the initial burst has worn off and you realise that there is still a way to go. The starting and ending are relatively easy, but the middle can feel like wading through treacle.

What genre do you generally write?

Historical fiction.

Do you have a favourite author and why?

Wallace Breem, who wrote ‘Eagle in the Snow’, which inspired me to start writing historical fiction. I have read it over half a dozen times over the years. It was the basis for the film ‘Gladiator’, though the film bore little resemblance to the book.

What is your book called and how did you choose this title?

Sarmatian. It is the most recent book in my Parthian Chronicles series, and it about a Sarmatian invasion of Parthia, hence the title.


King Pacorus, the book’s main character, is an old man and has retired from war. But war has not finished with him and when tens of thousands of Sarmatians invade the Parthian Empire, he is the only thing that stands between success and disaster.

Has your book been published and how did you go about this?

It was self-published in July of this year. I am an independent author and thus do not rely on publishing houses.

Approximately how long did it take you to finish your book?

Five months.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Keep writing. Try to get into the habit of writing every day. It does not have to be thousands of words, just something. And do not give up. I was a part-time writer for 20 years before I became a full-time author.

Do you use social media to promote your book? If yes, then which social networks do you like the most?

Not really. Only Facebook in a limited fashion.

What other ways do you market your book/s?

I do use paid advertising, such as Book Butterfly, Content Mo and Book Tweeters. I have found these sites work for me, having tried many others.

Have you enrolled your book onto Amazon’s KDP Select and how have you found it?

No. I do have the first volume in the Parthian Chronicles enrolled in KDP Select and have found it beneficial to sales of other titles in the series.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Nothing. I did not start writing fiction until 2011, having established myself as a non-fiction writer. A year later I was a full-time writer but I had to do my apprenticeship in writing before I could take the step to become a professional writer.

What books do you like to read in your spare time?

Historical non-fiction.

What do you feel is the most important stage of writing a book?

Working out how it will begin and how it will end. Then one can flesh out the rest.

How did you go about designing the cover for your book? 

I choose an image I think will fit the contents and then let my designer, who I have worked with for years, do his magic.

Are you writing or considering writing a follow-up to your book?

I am, though at the moment I am halfway through a novel set in an entirely different period of history, which may or may not be a one-off.

Do you have a day job (if so, what do you do?) or do you write full-time?

I write full-time.

Anything else you’d like to include?

When you have written and published your book, do not be demoralised by any poor reviews. Many bad reviews are actually nothing to do with the book but are manifestations of the grievances and resentments of reviewers who have an axe to grind.

Check out Peter’s new book, Sarmatian