I grew up in the East Midlands near Leicester and on entering my teenage years I was greatly surprised to discover an interest in all things practical – I blamed it on the Meccano set given to me as a child.
This admission was all my careers officer needed to mark me down for an engineering apprenticeship when I left school. The training though, did prove worthwhile and I subsequently gained employment working in the car industry as a toolmaker – yes, done all those jokes.
But machining bits of metal to exacting dimensions week in, week out, made me yearn for even greater levels of excitement, so on my free weekends I would get together with other like-minded people and become a willing participant in their outdoor nocturnal activities. No, not dogging – the Territorial Army. I found myself enjoying the military life and in the process, received lots of valuable training – like how to blow up a dead sheep, for instance.
After twelve years of strict discipline and being ordered around – no, not the Army, I also got married for the first time – I hankered for a new challenge, so gave up both engineering and the T.A. to become a village shopkeeper. The hours though were long with little time left for recreation.
Working on a few ideas I’d had over the years, I turned to inventing things – no, you wouldn’t have seen me on Dragons’ Den. Alas, fame, fortune and marital harmony proved increasingly elusive and I found myself having to start all over again.
This is how I came to embark on a new career in the railway industry. And after only four years of service I was deemed fit to drive the company’s trains – yes, I was surprised too. It was during my long weekends at home that I started writing short sketches; having progressed from the humorous introductions I’d written during the time I worked as a toastmaster. (Did I mention that before?) The scribbling work grew until thoughts turned to putting some of my novel wit into – well, a witty novel. That was over six years ago now – creative juices circulate rather slowly around the Wightman brain, I’m afraid. The result of all this being my funny, humorous, bawdy, laugh-out-loud, witty first novel, ‘Bland Encounter’!
So, having now mentioned everything of importance – sorry, my current wife has just reminded me of the fact that I do have a wife – currently, and a lovely woman she is too. So that’s definitely the lot.