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Get to know author, Siôn Tomos Owen

Get to know author, Siôn Tomos Owen

Siôn is from the Rhondda valley in South Wales.  The National Eisteddfod is coming to the area in 2024.

Siôn is the author of one of the Amdani books for Welsh learners.  His first book, 'Y Fawr a’r Fach - Straeon o’r Rhondda', features many stories about the Rhondda area. Siôn is currently writing his second book, 'Y Fawr a’r Fach 2'.

Where do you live and where do you come from?

I grew up on a farm called Bwthyn Glyncolli in Treorchy, Rhondda Fawr, where my mother and father continue to live.

I’m still in Treorchy, but I’ve moved 'downtown' and live in a terraced house on the high street.

Did you enjoy writing at school?

I have always enjoyed writing, creating stories and poetry.  I remember winning a writing competition in the local Welsh language community newspaper, Y Gloran, when I was eight years old - I won 68p as a prize.

What inspires you to write?

Most of the things I write about have happened to me, or in the valleys where I live.

There used to be things that made me angry, but now humour is what I write most.

What time of day are you most likely to write?

I'm completely hopeless in the morning - I can't do anything until I've meditated, had a bacon sandwich and a double espresso and been for a walk.  I then start working around 10am.

With my first book ‘Y Fawr a’r Fach 1’, I used to start writing around 9pm.  Then, I’d give the story to my wife to read, (she has learned Welsh to Foundation level) and if she understood it, I’d put a tick on my list and move on to the next story.

I wrote all 18 stories like this between January and February 2018.

What would be your advice to someone who wants to start writing creatively?

Read a lot, that's the first thing.  Books of all kinds - every author has a different style.

And write for yourself, not for other people.  If you enjoy reading your work, other people will too.

One of the hardest, but most important things, is to ask other people to give you their honest opinion of your work.

Are there any books planned for 2024?

My second book for learners, ‘Y Fawr a’r Fach 2’ will be published this year!

I have a little left to write but I hope it will be published at the Rhondda Cynon Taf Eisteddfod in August.

I’m also working on a secret book project and tinkering with my first collection of Welsh poems but there’s no publication date for these yet.

What are you most looking forward to at the National Eisteddfod?

To begin with, the fact I can go to the Maes every day but still sleep in my comfortable bed at home!!

I'm really looking forward to seeing as many bands as I can.

I already have a few events on the Maes and some in Pontypridd; stories, comedy, singing.

I'm also working on an exhibition of Elwyn Thomas’s art - one of my favourite artists from the Rhondda.