Martin caught the writing bug after researching the life of his great-great grandfather (a nineteenth century soldier). After finding out so much information about him, he thought it might make for an interesting book. The book was well received and Martin’s writing career was underway! Now, with over ten fiction and non-fiction books to his name, as well as his family history, Martin lists his home city as one of his great inspirations. “Carlisle has over two-thousand years of history dating back to the Romans – if you can’t find something there of interest, there’s no hope for you!”

As a Story Terrace writer, Martin interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better: you can read an autobiographical story of his own below. Get in touch today to work with him!

I worked for the Local Authority a few years ago and my time there coincided with the opening of the new Council-controlled Arts Centre. During an open discussion amongst staff about what should be held at the centre I suggested (being a member of the CWA – the Crime Writers’ Association) that a Crime Writing Weekend might be a good idea. I continued by saying I could perhaps contact a group of writers from the CWA who may be willing to come to Carlisle to talk about their writing and their inspirations.

What I had in mind was to send off a few emails and perhaps help out on the weekend in question. What actually happened was that it was left to me to not only make contact with colleagues, but organise accommodation for them, liaise with publishers and bookshops to supply books and publicise the weekend with the local press and media.

Now anyone who has organised any event in the past will empathise with the problems of the poor person(s) who takes the lead at such times: it’s on your mind 24/7 for weeks beforehand and you seemingly cover every role from schmoozing with the great and the good, to washing the pots and putting up the signs. And then there are the people who come up to you during the event to report such earth-shattering tragedies like a lack of hangers in the cloakroom, or the paper-towel dispenser is empty in the toilets. It’s such time as that when your best ventriloquist smile is tested to the fullest.

I’m sure those of you who can empathise with the challenges of being responsible for such an event will agree that it’s difficult to actually enjoy it – you just want it to be over!

That said, the weekend proved a great success and it was a thrill for me to actually meet some great writers who have inspired me over the years and a good time seemed to be had by all.

Back at the Council following the weekend, a briefing session was held by the CEO who was saying how successful the new Arts Centre was whilst highlighting some of the great events that had been held there. A particular mention was made of the Crime Writing Weekend and everyone was extremely complimentary about my efforts. As I was reaching for a new tin of ego polish the CEO announced it was his intention to make the weekend a regular annual event. “Huzzah!” everyone cried (’cause that’s how we talk in Carlisle). Then a very strange thing happened – everyone turned and looked at me. Yey! 

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