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Location: Exeter, Devon.

About mARTIN

Old is what I am. Old but not elderly and I'm grateful for that extra step before friends dust their roses with my ashes.


Background: Council kid, raised in Sheffield and schooled hardly. Spells as an apprentice mechanic and steel worker before moving to London and getting my hands clean in clerical. After that came Macclesfield (a long story) before discovering and settling in the Westcountry. After marriage and learning the difference between a pronoun and a prolapse, I started a weekend business as a market trader at Camden Lock dealing in mechanical music, living weekends on a narrow boat in Cumberland Basin, Regents Park. Those were heavy drinking days but the business thrived (until it didn't) and an offshoot was a small record label of early jazz and swing compilations. I was, according to a letter I have from the National Sound Archives, an expert on the stuff.


Children? Yes, one, all grown and beautiful inside and out. Grandkids too. I consider myself a babysitting - not Jazz - expert.


Sixty, hairless and too old to sell my lack of a decent education as a badge of honour, I studied English Literature through the Open University, achieving a BA First-class Honours. It includes two A-graded creative writing modules. I won't kid you, I'm very proud of it.


It wasn't my first effort at writing fiction. For years I wrote extended short stories to explain the complexities of Welfare case law. That might sound a waste of your taxes but mistakes were costing the DSS a lot of money and causing claimants a lot of heartache. Standard guidance wasn't working (case law is often complex and counterintuitive). The point is, these tales, produced for Devon and Cornwall Benefit Offices, went viral, countrywide, read by Decision Makers and those who had nothing to do with Decision Making. It seems they entertained.


Hobbies? Until I sell a thousand copies of something, l call writing a hobby. Others are the piano and guitar for personal pleasure along with walking; lots and lots of walking, the coast and the moors.


Writing style? It's getting lighter and darker, which is how I like it.