Guest Post: DN Carter from Outreamer

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here today to bring you a guest post regarding the Top five literary influences from Outreamer author, DN Carter. Welcome!
Chretien de Troyes:
 He was a Court poet living in the 12th Century. I started reading his works whilst living in Cyprus in 1976. It was the only book I could find in the library about Arthurian myths. Over the years I discovered there was actually very little factual information concerning him other than that he was reputedly born around 1160 and died in 1191. This has never been confirmed and several authors have claimed he was in fact a made up character, a medieval pen name even, for Grail romances to be published. What we know of him comes mainly from writings attributed to him which included five romance narratives written in rhyming octosyllabic couplets during the final third of the 12th century. A sixth narrative, Guillaume d'Angleterre, has been attributed to him by some, although many scholars find this doubtful. At least two surviving lyric songs are said to have been composed by him and he left several works unfinished, including the Graal. I loved the rich sense of romance within his writings but also his works directed me toward the writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth and his Arthurian material.  Chrétien, as a court poet, that is, a ‘clerc’ attached to the court of the Count and Countess of Champagne and later, after the death of Henri le Libéral de Champagne, the court of Philippe d'Alsace, count of Flanders. I would spend many years researching the Counts of Champagne as a consequence and who feature within Outremer.  But I was captivated by the connection to ancient stories of Celtic origin, such as ‘Tristan and Iseut’, and his Arthurian tales and his constant theme between what appears to be, and what actually is, within his stories. He apparently had a life-long fascination with the complex relationships formed between a man and woman, both within marriage and out of it, but mainly between those totally committed in love, which he articulated as the most authentically human ideal and divine charity. Reading and learning all about Chretien I guess is what set me on my path to try and understand the deeper meanings behind what he was trying to convey. If there were hidden esoteric messages based upon far more ancient stories as some claimed and many rumours persisted with, then I wanted to know what they were and meant. 

Peter Lemesurier:
He is a Cambridge-trained modern linguist and teacher and professional translator. I first read his book, ‘The Great Pyramid Decoded’ whilst living in Cyprus. Having visited the Great Pyramid, I had a deep sense that it was not just simply a single tomb for a Pharaoh, so when I saw his book squeezed between two volumes in the New Age section of the library, I thought it had been placed there incorrectly. Having a great love of castles, ancient ruins and tombs, I liked the drawings I saw inside...I was not so keen on all the mathematics and geometry I saw but decided I would read it, for I felt it possibly held some truths. And indeed it did as this turned out to be the one most significant book I have ever read. It covered everything and hinted at so much more. To my surprise I also discovered that I actually understood it school friends thinking I had lost the plot when I tried to engage them in discussions about it.  Peter is a world authority on Nostradamus, which led me to research him also, which in turn sent me in many directions of research.

Jules Verne
I read his works as part of an English project, and I assumed at the time he was a modern author. I was surprised to learn he wasn’t yet wrote about matters years ahead of his time. His science fiction, in most cases actually became science fact...such as describing submarines and SCUBA diving equipment. So I researched Jules Verne as a person. From that I learnt he was actually an avid researcher himself and was aware of many potential new discoveries coming up and simply wrote them into his not having some great insight into the future through clairvoyant or psychic means as I had assumed...but it meant I did go on to study clairvoyance, spiritualism and mysticism. But I loved the way he introduced new concepts to the public via an engaging and enjoyable format within his stories. Knowing this is what gave me the idea to use Outremer as a means of conveying what would perhaps otherwise be seen as boring, utter nonsense or simply irrelevant facts into a familiar format that would get the reader’s attention.

Mayo Angelou:
I read her book ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ whilst I retook my A level English exam. It was the teacher who introduced me to a whole new way of looking at a person and their writing style. It was like seeing and understanding the English language with all its depth and multi levels for the first time. But it was the content and deeply moving words of Mayo Angelou that impressed me the most. Her writing resonated within me and moved me. I think this was the first book I had read when it hit home to me the power of the written word and just how deeply it can impact upon a person. The old saying of ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ I began to question after reading Mayo’s work, for bones do heal, but words can never be taken back once spoken...and they can remain deep within us for a life time. I think this one book demonstrated to me the power of books... Some of the best quotes I have ever heard came from her. Two in particular I kept in mind when I started writing Outremer. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” How many writers feel that deeply? And “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.” I hope my work within the pages of Outremer does just that...reach hearts.

My Mother.
For as long as I can remember, I have memories of laying awake in bed late at night hearing my mother typing away on her old mechanical typewriter. My father was often away with work for weeks, sometimes months on end and she would fill her evenings writing stories for the local Herald and various magazines. Always witty and humorous, her writing was always well received, insightful and at times beautifully perceptive; she could use one sentence to convey an entire story instantly...a skill I have tried, and failed, to emulate. Often I would come down in the early hours and find her sat typing away, a cloud of cigarette smoke hanging heavy like some ghostly blanket had enveloped the room. But my mother’s advice to me on writing, when I asked her how I can become a writer was a quote from Einstein; ‘The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.’ She then looked at me directly, I was thirteen at the time, and she said “You have both...never doubt that.”  Whenever I find myself having doubts, especially about my writing, I simply remind myself of her words.

Thanks DN for coming by the blog to share with us. 

More about Outreamer here:
Who Controls The Past Controls The Future
 An epic love story must overcome religious divide and a plot to eradicate two blood lines, as the Crusades and the search for the ancient mysteries of the Holy Grail gather momentum.
Raised by his father in La Rochelle, France, Paul Plantavalu is known for his artistic nature, inquisitive mind and Christian faith. He also has an unshakable love for his Muslim childhood friend, Alisha al Komaty. Courageous and outspoken, she returns Paul’s love. But their path is paved with obstacles; religion, war, political chaos and a mysterious enemy determined to destroy their family lines.
Sometime between 1110 AD and 1120 AD in the aftermath of the first crusade, a small band of nine knights — the founding knights Templar — recover ancient precious artefacts left by a former, advanced civilisation, beneath the City of Jerusalem. Ruthlessly guarded, the secrets revealed by this discovery are highly prized by powerful and dangerous forces far and wide; the repercussions of their capture are inextricably linked to Paul and Alisha. As Paul starts to experience dark and vivid dreams and the fragile balance of peace starts to crumble, it will fall to an enigmatic man known as Kratos and his female warrior protégée Abi Shadana, to safeguard Paul and Alisha.
Paul and Alisha’s love story weaves between the threads of our reality and other realms — from the Druids to the Sufi mystics, the Magi of the East, the secret political arm of the Knights Templar and the Isma’ilis, the Assassins. Knights and pilgrims alike will witness some of the darkest battles ever fought. The discovery of a unique sword’s lethal power and whispered connections to King Arthur and the Holy Grail lead Paul and Alisha to question if their lives ever be the same again.
The first of a four-part series, Outremer is an historical epic, which sweeps across England, Scotland and France, to Syria, Jerusalem and Egypt. Discover the truth — and crack the ancient code — behind the great mysteries of the High Middle Ages for yourself.

About the author: After strange and vivid experiences whilst living in Cyprus as a child, author D N Carter has been fascinated by the history, myths and legends of the Middle Ages and mankind’s past. As he got older travels to Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Languedoc region of France and the deserts of Arabia fuelled his enthusiasm. While not decoding maps and mathematical codes D N Carter enjoys adventure sports from parachuting to microlight flying. Today he divides his time between East Anglia in the UK and the south of France with his family.

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