I often get question on how I write, how I know what I put in or take out, how I know when to end a chapter and begin a new one… This blog post explains how I turn the messy first draft of a book into a manuscript that is structurally sound.
While my stand-alone noir novel In Pocket went through the beta-testing, I submitted the cover I had to the 2015 E-Book Cover Makeover Contest, and I won a spanking new cover.
New cover, courtesy of Farah Evers Design:
You can find information on the contest here. The pitch for In Pocket:
Picking the wrong pocket might prove fatal…
Nomadic pickpocket Wolfgang gets blackmailed into teaching his craft to the mysterious Lilith, a young woman with no aptitude whatsoever to become a pickpocket. Wolf figures the easiest way is to go with the flow and instruct Lilith in the art of emptying other people’s pockets, but even he could never foresee the dreadful consequences…
IN POCKET is a standalone novel by Martyn V. Halm, the author of the Amsterdam Assassin Series. Follow Wolf as he gets entangled in a possibly fatal web of violence and deceit, where nobody is who they seem to be and everyone has a hidden agenda.
I hope to publish In Pocket before the end of this month.
My cover designer, Farah Evers, updated my covers to make them more legible at a smaller size. I replaced the covers on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Nook, Scribd, and all other retailers.
Here are the old covers (left) and the new covers (right).
The differences are subtle and perhaps only noticeable if you have the covers side-by-side, but I’m nevertheless very pleased with the upgrade! What do you think? Improvement or not?
Amazon doesn’t allow self-publishers to sell their books for free, as loss-leaders, but I have two free stories on Amazon.
Now, I want to set a third story free on Amazon, and I need your help to do that.
Will you help me? It will only take a minute or so. Here’s what you do:
First, copy this Kobo link: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/fundamental-error
Second, follow this link to the page of Fundamental Error on Amazon.com
If you scroll down the Amazon page, you’ll see this under Product Details:
Where did you see this lower price?
URLPrice ($)Shipping cost ($)
Lots of writers seem to be gearing up for National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo.
For those not ‘in the know’, the goal is to spend all November to cobble 60,000 words together, so you can say you wrote a novel in a month. And quality be damned, because you shouldn’t spend too much time on editing and revision if you want to churn out 2,000+ words a day, every day.
Many writers consider it a challenge. Me? Not so much.
I’ve never participated. I’m too busy writing to join challenges. Just as I rarely respond to writing prompts. I don’t ‘play’ at writing or see writing as a ‘sport’, where you have to attain a certain number of words to reach the finish line.
I don’t care about the quantity, I care about the quality.
I know, I know. The goal is to get those writers who spend weeks on torturing themselves, agonising over writing the perfect 1,000 words in a month to throw caution in the wind and write!
Yes, I got that memo.
It’s one of the first things I give as advice to people who write a 1,000 words and ask me if they can be writers. Just write the whole story down without editing and stuff it in a drawer for six weeks, knowing you can finish writing a story, then take it out and edit the mess into something legible.
However, nobody ever needed to tell me that. When I started writing, I didn’t care what other people would think about it. I was too busy enjoying myself to worry about other people’s opinions.
I’m unusual, I guess, in the aspect that I never had the same questions about writing that many writers seem to have. I know why I write. I know what I want to write about. I know what a writer is, so I don’t need to ‘Be A Writer’.
I don’t worry about the length of a chapter or sentence or paragraph or scene. I didn’t go to school to learn how to write, I read books and told stories and used my experience to craft my work.
Writing is a joy to me, because it is an outlet of creativity that might otherwise fester inside me and turn me into someone I don’t want to be. I live vicariously through my characters. And that is not a challenge, but a liberation.
To play games, like ‘how many words can you write with the letters kfjaofeiruefocirgfj’ seems to cheapen the art of exploring your psyche and creativity to me. And I don’t mean in the dramatic sense. I like to look in the abyss and see if there are monsters looking back at me. Gives me something to write about.
I know I could churn out 2,000 words a day for a month, but where’s the fun in that? So I can give myself a pat on the back for persistence? I published three books and three short stories in the Amsterdam Assassin Series, I’m prepping a stand-alone novel for publication and I’m writing and researching the fourth novel in the series.
I don’t need to be challenged to write. I need time. I need people to take over the time-consuming and soul-destroying task that is self-promotion, so I can free up more time to write.
And I’m not saying you shouldn’t participate in NaNoWriMo or other challenges, if that’s your thing. But to me, there are more worthwhile things to do this November.
To get the Amsterdam Assassin Serie noticed among the many books already out there, I offer free copies of Reprobate in exchange for reviews on Goodreads, Scribd, Amazon, Kobo and iTunes.
Assassin Katla breaks her own rules when confronted with an unusual witness…
Blessed with an almost non-existent conscience, Katla Sieltjes, expert in disguising homicide, views assassination as an intricate and rewarding occupation. Hidden behind her male alter ego Loki, Katla receives anonymous assignments, negotiates the terms with clients through electronic means, all to protect her identity. Her solitary existence satisfies her until she meets a blind musician whose failure to notice a ‘closed’ sign causes him to wander in on Katla’s crime scene. And Katla breaks one of her most important rules – never leave a living witness.
Reprobate is the first novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series. With authentic details and fast-paced action, featuring an uncompromising heroine and a supporting cast of unusual characters, Reprobate gives a rare glimpse in the local Dutch culture, information on the famous Dutch capital, the narcotics trade, computer hacking, motorcycle gangs, mehndi bridal tattoos, martial arts, the psychology of social engineering, and the brutal effectiveness of disciplined violence.
This e-book now features a glossary.
So, if you want to support me and help me get noticed, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Reprobate Review copy’ in the subject and tell me what e-reader you use and I’ll send you the Reprobate e-book file attached to the email. You can download the file and upload it to your e-reader. Available files are .mobi, for the Amazon Kindle, and .epub for the Nook, Kobo, Sony, iPad and most smartphones with e-reader compatibility.
Thanks to everyone for your support.