Author KV Martins

About Me

Welcome to the literary world of K.V. Martins, a prolific author and storyteller who writes historical and crime fiction. Originally from Sydney, Australia, and now making a home in the Far North of Aotearoa New Zealand, K.V. Martins offers readers a unique and thrilling perspective on stories that simmer with suspense and unfold with the allure of an Agatha Christie novel or a detective noir tale.

She studied history, archaeology, and law at university but always wanted to be an author, writing her first novel at the age of 16. After many years working in law firms, the Australian government, and a specialised United Nations agency, she's now a full-time writer and editor, always accompanied by a loyal sidekick, her smooth fox terrier, Zoe.

My Writing Journey

How did you venture into writing?

As a teenager, I wanted to be a  photojournalist. I then studied history, archaeology, and law at university. So, nonfiction and business writing became a focus for a few years. After working in corporations and a stint in Rome, I shifted my focus in 2016 to my long-standing love for writing. I'm now an editor for a publishing company and write novels rich in mystery and historical intrigue. Over the years, my work has been recognised in various international and New Zealand writing and poetry contests, and I have published four novels and a poetry collection.

Why Historical Crime Fiction?

It's the allure of the past, the charm of unravelling a mystery, and the thrill of a chase across time. My love for Agatha Christie and detective noir novels inspires me to weave tales where history isn’t just a backdrop but a living, breathing character.

Do you try to be more original or deliver to readers what they want?

My writing style is an experiment with the uniqueness of storytelling. I write stories that I would enjoy reading myself - stories laced with a touch of the supernatural and always with a crime to solve. Poetry gives me the opportunity to be more experimental.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Names carry weight, history, and a hint of personality. I've borrowed from the family archives - Roland Cuthbert Barry, a character in Everything to Hide, has the middle name of an ancestor. I consult baby name lists from the past. Every name is a deliberate choice, echoing the character's spirit and the era's essence.

What was the first book that deeply influenced you?

It’s a 1992 novel by British writer Barry Unsworth called Sacred Hunger. I’m a great fan of Unsworth’s writing. Sacred Hunger follows those on board the Liverpool Merchant, a slave trader in the late 1700s, and is a commentary on human greed within the context of the Atlantic slave trade.

Sydney or New Zealand?

Both! Sydney gave me my voice, my formative experiences, and the pulse of a vibrant city. New Zealand, the home of my parents and grandparents, brings serenity, grounding, and a deep connection to my heritage.

Here's a Selection of My Writing

Fiction & Flash Fiction

"Fallen Fruit"  Flash Frontier September 2016

"At the Edge of the World" CafeLit May 15 2019

"The Last Voyage of James Irving" Fewer Than 500. May 5, 2019.

"The Greenhouse" Vamp Cat Magazine. December 11, 2018

"The Trapper’s Torment" CafeLit June 15 2019

"The Carousel" CafeLit July 11 2018

"Avocado Days" CafeLit April 11 2018

"Il Paolio de Siena"  CafeLit June 11, 2018

 "45 Ways to Tell You About Figs" Prairie Fire: A Canadian Magazine of New Writing. Vol 41, No. 3 Fall 2020.

Historical Writing

I am the Cultural Heritage editor for the World History Encyclopedia

"Bhutan: Land of the Thunder Dragon."  World History Encyclopedia - March 19 2019

"An Ancient City Beneath Rome: Visiting the Catacombs of Priscilla." World History Encyclopedia - April 8, 2019 

"Traditional Maori Tattoo of New Zealand." World History Encyclopedia - June 6, 2019 

"How An Adventure-Loving American Saved The Thai Silk Industry." World History Encyclopedia - August 19, 2019

"Azulejos: The Visual Art of Portugal."  World History Encyclopedia - October 7, 2019

"In Darwin’s Footsteps - Te Waimate Mission."  World History Encyclopedia - November 21, 2019

"Skulls, Temples & Churches: A Visit to the Walled City of Evora." World History Encyclopedia - February 17, 2020

"Ayutthaya: Venice of the East." World History Encyclopedia - April 28, 2020

"The Temple of the Emerald Buddha." World History Encyclopedia - May 21, 2020

"Polynesian Navigation & Settlement of the Pacific." World History Encyclopedia - August 7 2020

"Bangkok's Portuguese Past." World History Encyclopedia - October 20 2020

"The Hei Tiki - A Cultural History." World History Encyclopedia - January 26, 2021

"Top 5 Deep-Dive Virtual Shipwrecks." World History Encyclopedia - April 15, 2021

"Matariki." World History Encyclopedia - June 15, 2021.

"William Dampier." World History Encyclopedia. - December 10, 2021 

"Matthew Flinders." World History Encyclopedia. January 10, 2022.

"A History of Svalbard." World History Encyclopedia. January 14, 2022.

"The Dutch Discovery of Australia." World History Encyclopedia. January 26, 2022.

"The French Exploration of New Zealand." World History Encyclopedia. June 7, 2022

"Menehune." World History Encyclopedia. August 29, 2022

"The Pink & White Terraces of New Zealand." World History Encyclopedia. November 15, 2022.

"Discovery of Troy." World History Encyclopedia. March 22, 2023

"Henry Hudson." World History Encyclopedia. July 12, 2023.


"The Battle of the Hydaspes" Visual Verse  Vol. 03 Chapter 11, September 2016. 

"The Glove Maker" Visual Verse  Vol. 04, Chapter 1, November 2016.

"Cartographia" Visual Verse  Vol 4 Chapter 10, 2017.

"The Final Voyage" The Copperfield Review, Volume 16 Number 1 Spring 2017

"Of this Land." 'a fine line', New Zealand Poetry Society, August 2017

"Lady of Margate" Furtive Dalliance Issue #2, Summer 2018

"There is a Light" Furtive Dalliance Issue #2, Summer 2018

"Anniversary" Furtive Dalliance  Issue #2, Summer 2018

"Caught" Furtive Dalliance Issue #2, Summer 2018

"Gone" Barren Magazine Issue 2, 2018

"Flying with the Crows" Plum Tree Tavern December 30, 2018

"Kereru Dawn"  Plum Tree Tavern January 6, 2019

"Maybe Today" The Drabble December 28, 2018

Found poems in Moonchild Magazine. Issue #5 July 2019

"Russian Jack" The Copperfield Review June 18, 2019

"Wolf Moon" New Reader Magazine. Vol 2, Issue 6 June 2019

"Birds with Stone Hearts" NZ Poetry Society "a fine line" New Zealand Poetry Society, Autumn 2020. 

Haiku in Echidna Tracks Issue 5 2020 August 27, 2020

"Lost in Iceland" Gingerbread House Literary Magazine. Issue #45 January 2021. 

"Quercus (Oak)" Ngā Rip Wai: Swirling Waters - A Kerikeri Anthology. Pavlova Press, 2021

"Pyrus communis (Pear Tree)" Ngā Rip Wai: Swirling Waters - A Kerikeri Anthology. Pavlova Press, 2021

Anthologies & Contests


“Lamentation” , The Brave & The Afraid Annual Anthology - University of Iowa. Moving the Margins 2018.

Two Highly Commended poems – “Four Photographs & Land Soared Over by The Hawk” in The Weight of Blankets at Night. New Zealand Poetry Society 2019. 

"60 km south west of Aleppo". Stay Well Here. New Zealand Poetry Society 2020.

'Border camp.' Stay Well Here. New Zealand Poetry Society 2020.

"Quercus (Oak)" & "Pyrus communis (Pear Tree)" Ngā Rip Wai: Swirling Waters - A Kerikeri Anthology. Pavlova Press, 2021


First Prize - Kohukohu Poetry Prize, August 2022.

One of the winning poems ('Deity Descending'). Given Words 2022.

First Prize NZ Poetry Society International Competition 2020 - Haiku section and awarded the Jeanette Stace Memorial Award.

Highly Commended Whangarei Creative Writing Contest 2022.

First Prize. Whangarei Libraries (NZ) Flash Fiction contest 2019

Runner-up. Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest March 2020 (Canada)

Third Prize.Whangarei Libraries (NZ) Flash Fiction contest  2017.

Longlisted. Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize 2018

Longlisted. Raven Short Story Contest 2018 

Highly Commendefor Lands Soared Over by the Hawk; and Four Photographs. NZ Poetry Society International Poetry Competition 2019. 

Longlisted. Raven Short Story Contest 2019