Interview with Martin

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up In South Africa and come from a line of French Huguenots that emigrated to the Dutch settlement at the Cape of Good Hope in 1688. The vineyard that Charles Marais established in 1689 still exists, Plaisir de Merle near Franschhoek, unfortunately it is no longer in the family. My South African upbringing has had a profound effect on what I write - my first novel was set in the Boer War.
What is your writing process?
With my novels being based on actual historical events a lot of research is required of the characters, the events and the setting. I do a fair amount of reading and use the internet for images, but I do not overburden myself with facts as I do not want to stifle the story and I do shift things around slightly to help the flow of the narrative. I then plan the basic structure of the chapters and follow this with my first draft of the text. This is usually a free flowing process. I then return to add colour and descriptive flesh to the characters and landscape and make sure the facts are correct and the story line is consistent. I then read the entire book out loud and improve wording where the language does not read well. Then I get a proof-editor to look over it for structure, consistency and typos. I then read it aloud for a second time. It is a long process, but it is important that readers are offered a story of the highest possible standard.
How do you approach cover design?
A good question as there are many ways to approach this activity. But for me the answer is simple. I have a friend who is an amateur artist. So I gave him a draft of one of my chapters and asked if he would do a cover for me. I then took a photo of the painting and added the text. I did try and do some fancy cropping and turn it into a black and white version, but was told I in no uncertain terms by those to whom I showed revamped cover (I did not show it to my friend) to use the original as my friend had painted it! Examples of Matt Coburn's work can be found at www.theartcircus.com.
Published 2014-08-03.
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Books by This Author

Prometheus
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,810. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Classical Greece & Rome, Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
(4.00 from 1 review)
When two shepherds, out hunting a wolf, stumble across a raggedly-dressed man chained to an alter rock they find themselves in danger of becoming embroiled in the affairs of the gods in which mere mortals should not involve themselves. However, what else are two lowly, honourable shepherds to do in such situations, but become involved.
The Weaver's Tale
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,210. Language: English. Published: November 8, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Classics, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
A short story in which the mortal, Arachne, challenges the goddess, Athena.
The Battle of Paardeberg: Lord Roberts' Gambit
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 144,820. Language: English. Published: May 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Canada
Fifteen years before their heroic action on the Somme, Canadians were engaged in their first international war - the Anglo-Boer (1899-1902) - in South Africa. It was a horrific initiation to the catastrophic effects of modern warfare. Seen through the eyes of the officers and men, this is the story of the part they played in one of the most important battles of the war - the Battle of Paardeberg.
The Battle of Paardeberg: Lord Roberts' Gambit
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 144,820. Language: English. Published: May 19, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
In the first months of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) the British suffered a series of catastrophic defeats. In response they initiated an audacious manoeuvre to outflank a Boer army blocking the route to Kimberly. The move culminated in the Battle of Paardeberg. With the outcome uncertain - would the British prevail or would the Boers continue to hold the upper hand?
The Battle of Paardeberg: Lord Roberts' Gambit
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 144,820. Language: English. Published: July 27, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom, Fiction » Historical » Canada
In the first months of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) the British suffered a series of catastrophic defeats. In response the British initiated an audacious manoeuvre to outflank the Boer army which sat astride the route to the besieged town of Kimberley. The move culminated in one of the bloodiest conflicts of the war, the Battle of Paardeberg. Would it be the British or the Boers who prevailed?