Short stories allow writer to escape

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
Bill Martin has written a small collection of short stories.
Camera IconBill Martin has written a small collection of short stories. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

If you have ever seen a man riding around the streets of Bunbury with window cleaning gear on his back, you may be familiar with Pushbike Bill.

What you may not know about the London-born window cleaner is that he has struggled with autism most of his life.

After discovering the condition 14 years ago, Bill Martin turned to writing short stories as a way of escaping reality.

“I can write a story on just about anything,” Mr Martin said.

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“My father used to belt me as a child and so I went into my hiding place — my brain — and that’s where I came up with ideas for my stories.

Mr Martin was born and raised in Edgware in London.

“I come from a rough area where if you didn’t know how to fight you got done over,” he said.

“My sister moved to Australia and said it was a really nice place and so at the age of 24, I came over to Perth and worked in construction.

“Eventually my work led me to Bunbury where I met my wife and settled down.”

Mr Martin has two sons, Todd and Matthew, with whom he would share his vivid stories.

“One of my sons liked stories involving dragons and magic hats, while the other preferred stories with animals,” he said.

“Over time I have written about 100 short stories.

“I will spend hours writing, to the point where my wife will come in and tell me to get up and do something else.

“But I absolutely adore my wife, marrying her was easily the highlight of my life.”

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