Martin at Lanercost PrioryI was born in Carlisle in 1964.

One book I read as a youngster remains my favourite today. Alexandra Dumas’ The Three Musketeers has it all: action, adventure, romance, intrigue, betrayal. It’s just a fantastic book that I keep going back to.

Apart from Dumas, I would list Bill Bryson, George MacDonald Fraser, Simon Schama and Charles Cumming amongst my favourite writers and historians. As I love period works and my favourite literary characters are Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, I would have to include Conan Doyle, Dickens, Christie and Wodehouse in that list too.

After leaving school and having a couple of jobs, I started a seventeen-year career with the Post Office, which included a ten-year period working and living in Cheshire. It was when I was living there that I first ventured seriously into writing, publishing my first book in 2000 - an event I would describe as a 'road to Damascus' moment. The book itself was about my inspirational great, great grandfather Isaac Scott and it proved to be a watershed moment in my career: I left the Post Office and moved back to Carlisle intent on developing my writing further.

Isaac was a soldier during the nineteenth century and in For Queen and Cumberland , I tell his story and those of two other ancestors from working class backgrounds who joined the army to fight in Victoria's foreign wars.

It was followed by the First World War book, Anonymous Heroes which also links my interest in local and family history, with the wider social, political and military history that most people are familiar with.

Another inspiration for me is my home city and its history which always features strongly in my books, whether fiction or non-fiction.

The Adventure of the Spanish Drums is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche set in Carlisle. In the Spanish Drums, I introduced my own detective, Inspector Cornelius Armstrong. The first volume of Armstrong's own adventures was published in 2011 and with it, I became a member of the Crime Writers' Association. The second volume of Armstrong stories was published in summer 2013.

Summer 2012 saw the publication of Fourth, First & Fulham - my take on Carlisle United's golden era in the 1960s and 70s.

A second book on Carlisle United was published in March 2014. It tells the story of their adventure in the 1951 F.A. Cup, an event that saw the whole city being swept away with the romance of a glamour tie against the biggest club in the country. The Day We Went To Arsenal was shortlisted for the Lakeland Book Prize in 2015.

With the completion of Volume III of Inspector Armstrong's Casebook, I was delighted to sign up with MX Publishing who will be publishing it and future volumes.

NB: As well as his own writing Martin joined Story Terrace as one of their team of ghost-writers in 2018. Away from writing for himself and others, Martin runs his own workplace investigation business MDIS and is an associate Will Consultant with Accord Legal Services. He lives with his wife Wendy, near Carlisle.


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