"From the reviews that I read, some readers are eager to psycho-analyze my protagonist, but I resist the idea that there's anything mentally wrong with her. As far as killing people goes, financial gain must be the purest motivation of all."
"An interesting book on the subject of Psychopaths working and the environment they prosper best is the book Snakes in Suits by Paul Babiak and Robert Hare (who designed the psychopathic evaluation test)."
"What kind of edit are you talking about? Line-edit, proofreading, copy-edit? Are looking for someone who will tear your grammar and spelling apart, or do you want someone who'll point out plot holes?
Before you look for 'an editor',…"
"I understand that you want 'hard evidence' that adding sample chapters is detrimental to ebooks.
I used to add the first chapter of Peccadillo to Reprobate (and that was after Peccadillo was finished, so there was no 'waiting…"
"In a paperback, I can (sort of) imagine the benefit of reading a sample of the next book, because to read the next book, or a sample thereof, would require a trip to a bookseller. In an e-book however, a sample of the next book would be redundant,…"
"I think the main issue is that people expect the story on an e-reader to be the full 95/100% of the file, and get disappointed when the story ends at 80% with 20% 'filler'. As most e-readers are capable to buying the next book with a…"
"From what I gathered on different fora, I found that generally most writers and readers dislike 'extra' material at the end of a paid e-book. With my free short stories I include the first chapter of the first book, but not with the paid…"
"Are you referring to trade published books or indie/self published books? I notice that lots of trade published novels have mistakes that should've been caught by editors, even half asleep. Of course, self-publishers have the rep that they…"
"I prefer a witty remark or an original insult to a coarse vulgarity, unless the vulgarity is used to expound the character's lack of sophistication. With dialogue, anything goes, as long as it's within character. I just hope I don't…"
"There are 350,000 books published a year, so there are more books to be read than anyone can read in a lifetime. The only time I read something and have to force myself to read on, is if the author expects feedback. If I read for pleasure, and the…"
"Jackson, you asked about the rationale for free books and you've received an answer - it's for exposure. You yourself brought up, 'what if I did my legal work for free' and I said that if you'd take a few high-profile…"
"You're comparing apples to oranges. Products with a fixed value to services like legal representation or medical services.
If a surgeon who usually ask 5,000 for a surgery, offers to perform the surgery to a homeless person for free, do you…"
Martyn V. Halm is the author of the Amsterdam Assassin Series, featuring freelance assassin Katla Sieltjes, a specialist in disguising homicide.
Martyn lives in Amsterdam, with his wife Maaike, two children, two cats, and countless imaginary characters vying for attention.
Writing realistic crime fiction is hard work. Martyn is a stickler for verisimilitude in fiction, even if that requires learning new skills. When your protagonist is a seasoned killer, research can take you right up to Nietzsche’s abyss. Luckily, things get easier after the first kill. And, apart from being an accomplished prevaricator, Martyn already possessed several skills that qualified him to write the Amsterdam Assassin Series.
Like Bram, Martyn studies the game of Go, although he wouldn’t be able to play an entire game with his eyes closed.
A former bouncer, Martyn trains in aikido and koryu bujutsu. The combination of street-fighting and martial arts provides him with the experience to write realistic fighting scenes. Plus he knows how to wield a Japanese sword convincingly.
His knowledge of Namikoshi shiatsu is reflected in Bram Merleyn’s mastery of acu-pressure massage.
Like Katla, Martyn is a former motorcycle courier and loves to go for rides on his motorcycles — both to commute in the congested Randstad and for recreation. His personal motorcycles are a tricked-out bedlinered BMW R1100GS, a dented Vespa PX200E motor scooter, and a Moto Guzzi Mille GT with EZS sidecar that he uses to cart the children around. His wife’s Suzuki 650 V-Strom Black Rhino will do in a pinch.
Martyn shares his protagonist’s fondness for sharp implements and projectile weapons developed before the age of firearms. His expertise with catapults, throwing blades and darts, and (cross)bows notwithstanding, he knows how to handle light firearms. And spud guns.
While he is as fastidious about tea as Bram and as critical about coffee as Katla, Martyn prefers a cappuccino over an espresso, and drinks his Lapsang without sugar.
While Martyn is nowhere near as handy with lockpicks as Katla, most household locks are unable to resist him for long.
Although Martyn also shares some of Katla’s lethal and unorthodox skills, he doesn’t feel the need to use them for illegal activities. Crime might pay, but writing about crime provides a steadier income with less risk.
Martyn always enjoyed stories about assassins, but his opinion on assassins differed from the books he read. Since most fictional assassins are antagonists, they are often warped individuals, with freaky childhoods. However, Martyn has come across mercenaries (basically the same field), who are pretty regular people. Sure their view of the world differs from ordinary citizens, but they’re not ‘warped’. This made him want to write about an assassin who has no deep-seated frustration or abused childhood, but who just realised that killing was what she was good at and who had the appropriate world view and lack of conscience to pull it off.