My name is Ricky Sides, and I’m a writer. My published books are the seven volume peacekeeper series, Adventures in Reading, The Ultimate in Women’s Self-Defense, and Brimstone and the Companions of Althea. Book one of the peacekeeper series was originally released in audio format by Books in Motion. They are currently working on book 2, and if the series does well, they will probably eventually contract the entire series.
I was born in Florence, Alabama, in May of 1958. My paternal grandparents were sharecroppers. During my early childhood I spent a great deal of time on their farm, which was bordered by thick woodlands. I roamed those woods extensively, which worried my grandmother to no end. I learned my work ethic on that farm where I often helped with the cotton crop.
In 1976, I met and fell in love with my wife, Sue. We were married in 1977, and have been together ever since that day. During the month of September 1980, our son was born.
That same year, I began to study martial arts, and did so until the early 1990s. After learning that one of my female students had been sexually assaulted in the past, I gravitated toward specializing in teaching women self defense. I released a book on women’s self defense, titled, The Ultimate in Women’s Self-Defense. That book explains why I invested years of my life in attempting to help women. It was originally written in 1992.
In the early 1980s, I met a Vietnam veteran who shared my love of the woods. We struck up a friendship. When he learned that I wanted to become skilled at survivalism, he decided to teach me. I wrote the first draft of The Birth of the Peacekeepers in 1985. The character Pete Damroyal is based upon the old friend who taught me survivalism. He still has the mate to my dragon dagger. That will mean something to people who’ve read The Birth of the Peacekeepers. But many of you will not have read it, so I'll explain.
Much of the character, Jim Wilison, is autobiographical in nature. Of course, much is also fiction. Those who've read the series would probably be surprised to learn just how much of my real life is reflected in the experiences related by the character. Brandy is the most personal experience related in the book. I think I added those scenes to book one as a form of tribute to her. Some might argue that I shouldn’t have done it, but it made me feel better. In a way, when people read those scenes the child will be thought of with compassion. Those scenes were added in the extensive rewrite in 2007.
During the year 2004, I began to write the Brimstone series with a partner named Kathy Young who handled the editing. Brimstone was based upon the online role-playing game named t4c. (The fourth Coming.) That nine novel fantasy series was in some ways the most rewarding writing experience I’ve had to date, primarily because of the interaction I enjoyed with the fans of the series. I so treasured the reader comments that I placed them on my website. Unfortunately, talks have stalled with the company that owns the intellectual rights to t4c, so that series probably won’t be published. It’s all on my website though, so if anyone is curious, they can read the books there.
Much of my own experiences are also related in the short story book Adventures in Reading. America, Land of Mysteries, and Coping with Breast Cancer are written in such a manner that the reader would understand that they are autobiographical in nature. But The Test isn’t. That short story is a fictionalized version of the training I underwent for Chinese Ninja.
I have traveled extensively east of the Mississippi, from Chicago, Illinois to Jacksonville, Florida, and all manner of places in between.
So there you have it folks. It’s just an average life, but I’ll take it.
Have a great day,