Interview with Rhiw Sider

Who are your favorite authors?
Dick Francis, Clive Cussler, Simon Brett, John Gardner, Colin Forbes and Ian Fleming.
What are your favourite books?
Dick Francis thrillers;
Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt series;
Colin Forbes' Tweed detective stories;
Simon Brett's Fethering Mysteries.

Books on Wales.
What is your favourite genre of writing?
POV is usually first person. I think I can do gushy romance, maybe a bit close to the knuckle. I know I cannot do horror, I never had the fascination with the subject. Long country walks, short stories, poetry and lyrics, history and geographical.
How old were you when you started reading?
Gosh, how far back do you want to go? I read comics and Commando as a kid, in school I did an English literature O-level, we did Jamaica Inn, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest etc. My grandfather still had Tom Brown's School Days that I would read whenever I visited and a youngster.
How old were you when you started writing?
Not properly ‘til 2006 (see below), so 49 years old.
But then again I have written for community magazines since 1992.
Did someone inspire you to write (i.e. an author, teacher, relative)?
Funny enough my artistic side was inspired by my mother but it started life as a boy chorister and backing my mother up at her amateur operatic performances. Then drama club stage hand and actor before writing monthly copy for local magazines. I tried my hand at directing plays and pantomimes, rewriting scenes and speech. In Kingdom I scripted my own two hour radio show thrice a week however it was not until 2006 when I started with the writing groups and creative writing classes that someone told me I could write. That someone is the authoress Bethany Rivers.
How old are you?
I was 58 in April 2015.
What part of the country do you live in?
I live in south Wales, just over the River Severn crossings, and not fae from the Cletic Manor Resort outside Newport. It;s a little village by the M4 called Llanmartin, near Magwr.
What do you do for a living (or did if retired or otherwise not working)
An ex-Royal Air Force aircraft electrical mechanic, I've been mainly involved in defence work most of my life. That evolved technical writing and some illustration. These days I am a technical author, near Stroud.
Are you married, have children/grandchildren?
Married twice, no children or grandchildren however my second wife has six.
Is it easy for you to find time to write?
Very difficult. Weekends are the best but my daytime job takes up weekday time. Add some gym time and I can be knackered just before bed. I prefer quiet time with little interruption but we live in a confined area so privacy is not an option.
Do you have a favourite place (room in the house) to write?
I write any my desk or in a chair but I am not averse to finding a lonely hillside to sit on either.
Are there certain times of the day you find most productive for writing?
When the house is quiet, usually after my wife has gone to bed. Can work through the night sometimes if I am in a zone. Certainly the weekends, all weekend sometimes.
Are you a member of a writing group?
Not currently. I did join groups in Newtown and Castle Caerinion when I was in Powys but latterly I am writing on the Wattpad website.
About your book What is your book about?
It’s a romance, from a guy’s point of view. Witty and light-hearted. Stephen Bannister is in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on contract with he British defence giant FlightPath when he finds out about his wife's infidelity back home in Suffolk, England. After a drunken stupor he knocks himself out in a swimming pool during a soccer match. Nursed back to health by Nicole Lyons he learns of her fight with Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, a rare lung disease that only kills women. Stephen returns to Suffolk to sort out his life but all he can think about is Nicole. Suffolk reveals a lot about what more of folks back home really thinks of Stephen and his wife Sue. Friends rally round and an iold friend offers him a proposition he does not want to turn down but will he lose the friendship if he has no other choice. When he returns to Kingdom it is with the intent of asking Nicole to marry him but is his fascination with this much younger woman just that? Is it all fantasy? With his wife divorcing him and his family stretched across the world between England and Ausytralia nothing is ever going to be straightforward.

How do you meet the family and organise your wedding from high upon a mountain in Saudi Arabia? You don't, you get married elsewhere and invite everyone else along. The answers are in the sequel to Without A Song ... Without A Dream.
Can you give the readers an insight into the main characters of your book?
Stephen Bannister: Age 43.
As a teenager Stephen goes to Australia with his family in the 1970s. Like many peers he cannot settle and starts working on the road gangs for Bowmaurie. They educate him and give him worldwide contracts which bring him back to England where he marries and divorces Sue. Works in Akhbar on Bowmaurie contract to Flightpath defence group.

Nicole Lyons: Age 28,
Australian nursing sister at Akhbar military hospital and close friend of Casey's diagnosed with Lymphangioleiomyomatosis before she came to Kingdom.

Casey & Ben Harman:
Stephen's two best friends in Haballah compound,
Casey is also Stephen's closest friend in Kingdom.
Ben is the most senior aircraft engineer at Akhbar airbase.

Rupert & Leanne Dawlish:
Suffolk family living in Old Dereham, great supporters of Stephen. Rupert is senior steward at St. Helens parish church. His wife is Leanne, chair of the local Mothers Union. They have two daughters Charlie and George.

Terri Golding: Age 42.
Long time friend, ex-RAF air traffic controller Stephen met during his time in the Falklands.
Are the main characters based on real people?
Not directly based but inspired by a combination of many others, both friends and colleagues.
Is the book based in a specific area? If it is, why that area?
During the comparable timeframe during when the book is set I lived both in Suffolk and Saudi Arabia, since when I have travelled to Australia a few times. The main setting is the British defence compounds set in the mountainous region of south-west Saudi Arabia where I spent two and a half years an aircraft engineering instructor.
Was much research needed to write the book?
While much of my story is based upon myself, my observations and my travels much was taken from memory, and yet I had to do a lot of internet searches especially to tie up places and time. Set circa 1996 I really cannot describe using a car that was not built until 2003 could I? I have a lot of photographs from the time which have acted as prompts too.
Is this book part of a series?
It never started out that way but now there will be three parts to the one story.
Without A Dream is continuation of Without a Song. Without A Love will finish the series.
Have other people read your book already? What was their reaction (hopefully positive)?
Mixed but good. One person found it hard to concentrate knowing she was reading a lot about me into the narration. That aside she had a smile on her face. My sisters are next.
Where did you get the idea for your book?
The inspiration for the book came after doing a writing courses with Bethany Rivers (Elizabeth Briggs as she was then), author and poetry therapist. Ive been scribbling for years and my loft is full of disorganised paper trails. Bethany nursed my experiences onto written prose. However the ideas around Without a Song and its sequels are very much based on my own life experiences. I've been fortunate to travel worldwide both in the RAF, before and since my time in Saudi Arabia. Hence my observations, the compounds, travels to Australia and my divorce are all reflected in my script, albeit incorrectly.
Published 2015-06-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

As I Am
Price: Free! Words: 3,430. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
The setting is Saudi Arabia, in one of the many compounds where expatriate engineers live away from home. Stephen Bannister is one such soul, working on the airbase for FlightPath. Nicole Lyons a nurse from the hospital is visiting her friend Casey on the compound. Their lives may never met until Stephen cracks his head open falling into the swimming pool and Nicole saves his life.