Martin Sketchley says...
"This is the tale of how I got to be wherever I might be by the time you read this. It's all true, although I have changed some of the names and places to make it more interesting. Oh, and maybe one or two of the dates. And a few of the facts..."

I was born in Burton upon Trent on December 13, 1967, and grew up in Tamworth, where I went to Greenacres County Primary School until the age of 11. I was a pretty little boy with blond hair and blue eyes, and was often mistaken for a girl. This was something I didn't appreciate. Sometimes at school we'd be given the opportunity to write a story. This was something I appreciated. I always wrote science fiction.

In 1979 we moved house, and I left all my friends who went to Woodhouse High School and went to Rawlett High School on the other side of town. As adolescence set in I became less pretty. Opportunities to write stories also became much less frequent (it never occurred to me I could do this at home) as creative writing didn't seem to be part of the curriculum.

However, one such opportunity presented itself in the second year English class. True to form, I wrote a science fiction story. When it was returned to me having been marked, the teacher had changed every entry of "ship" to "rocket". This pissed me off no end.

Years passed. Initially the teachers thought I had promise, but by the third year I was beginning to be written off. By the fourth year the process was complete.

At the age of 14 I began to write my first novel. This was a serious venture. I wrote four sides of A4, which was more than I'd ever written before, and I was tremendously impressed. However, I was teased left, right and centre, and gave up on the idea.

I left school at 16 to work with my parents as a market trader. This was fun, even though the hours were long and it was cold during the winter, hot during the summer and windy and rainy the rest of the time.

When not working I hung around with some people. Some I liked, others I didn't. We went to a place called The Embassy, which played music and served drinks. Sometimes we danced, but mostly we watched others.

This went on for a few years, until 1989, when I left all my friends and joined a band called Emma Gibbs Loves Badges.

Thus followed one of the best years of my life so far.

part 2