THERE are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people – psychopaths and mystery writers.

That is the opening line in tongue-in-cheekmurder mystery drama, Castle, but there could be some truth in it.

Lymm crime novelist Martin Edwards told Weekend that writing can be cathartic.

“I think the thing about crime writers is that they tend to be a fairly peaceful bunch of people,”

he said.

“Writing is therapeutic. I’ve often said if I have a bad day in the office I can go home and murder somebody in fiction so it gets it out of your system which is quite a good thing.”

Martin wanted to be an author ever since he was a boy.

He was inspired by Biggles and characters from Enid Blyton books and then read his first Agatha Christie novel just before his ninth birthday.

Martin said: “Once I discovered detective stories I was hooked and even from a young age I fancied the idea of writing the sort of story I enjoyed reading myself.

“The mystery, the clues, the surprise solution, trying to guess it – that appealed to me enormously when I was young and still does.”

But getting started proved to be more difficult because Martin’s parents wanted him to have a ‘proper job’.

So he led a double life working as a trainee solicitor by day and penning a whodunit by night.

After years of rewrites and running out of money paying someone to type out his manuscript, the result was All The Lonely People in 1991.

Set in Liverpool, it introduced lawyer and amateur detective Harry Devlin to the world and earned Martin a nomination for the John Creasey Dagger for best crime novel of the year.

The 58-year-old has never looked back and is nowworking on his 17th novel.

He has also written almost 50 short stories, edited more than 20 anthologies and has reviewed crime fiction since 1987.

Martin, who is married to Helena, said he is proud to be part of Britain’s storytelling tradition.

He added: “There have been some fantastic writers in Britain all the way through from Wilkie Collins and Arthur Conan Doyle right up to the present.

“It’s quite interesting if you think of Sherlock which was written in Victorian times and is now a prime time television thing.

“There’s also a new series of Father Brown based on G.K.

Chesterton’s stories about the time of the First WorldWar.

“So there’s always been a lot of interest in this country in detective fiction and there is a wealth of talent and I think there always has been in Britain.”

But getting his characters like Harry Devlin and DCI Hannah Scarlett on the screen alongside his favourite programmes like Sherlock, Broadchurch and Vera has been more of a challenge.

Martin, who has two children Jonathan, aged 23, and Catherine, aged 20, said: “Upstairs I’ve got TV, film and radio scripts that have been written over the years but they’ve never been made into anything.

“You just never knowwhat’s around the corner really and just hope that you get a lucky break.”

Martin’s novels that have come closest to an adaptation are All The Lonely People and First Cut Is The Deepest.

But things have gone full circle for the former Sir John Deane’s College pupil with his his first novel All The Lonely People published again after 22 years.

He added: “That’s one of the most satisfying things for an author that what you’ve written isn’t going to disappear very quickly.

“That it has some sort of lasting entertainment value to a new generation of readers.”

Martin Edwards’ Lake District novel The Frozen Shroud is out in paperback in the spring.