Author needs RLC/Iraq/Female experience

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#1
Dear Arrsers,

A female author (half a dozen books published, not JK Rowling) has contacted me on the arrse books forum to ask some questions.

Her latest book will feature a female character who she has decided after some chatting with me, to be a driver or maybe drvier/radio operator in the RLC (hence this forum rather than my own). She's a number of questions and would welcome some helpful input. Below I've cut and pasted her mails to me, and some of her questions then perhaps you can help, in addition, if you've got any personal stories to share of whatever you can PM me and I'll pass those along/put you in contact.

Thanks

Mr H

Thanks so much for your Email. I was delighted to find it. Getting info on women soldiers is really difficult. If you're able to help me talk it through or post stuff I'll be immensely grateful.
I imagine that Beth, the heroine, will be eighteen, doing A Levels, a bright kid but angry and wanting to hit out at family. Mother and father divorced. She's good at sports. Her mother is an academic and a pacifist; her father has been at sea but now has a back street garage where he repairs cars on a modest scale. She is very attached to her father, though she lives with her mother. I have to rule out her doing nursing because this is a caring profession of which her mother would approve. I imagined her being crazy about cars and driving, so your RLC suggestion sounds good.

I am hazy as to what sort of training mechanical engineering/driving would involve - like how many weeks, where. I've spoken with a couple of fremale soldiers, one a territorial captain (nurse) and one no longer in the army, and got some idea from them, but I need to get a really up to date account. If I could get to go round a base it would be amazing. How do I go about i?. Iraq would naturally be major [help]. Anyway I look forward to hearing from you.
and

Thanks so much for your very helpful response. Now a couple of queries:
Could Beth be an ambulance driver in Iraq? Which section of the driving jobs would get her quickest to Iraq?
I've read the following books:
Dusty Warriors - Richard Holmes
Squaddie - Steven Mclaughlin
Love my Rifle more than you - Kayla Williams
Barefoot Soldier - Johnson Beharry
Have you any suggestions as to further books on soldiers in Iraq ?

Now I'm set on Beth driving, it would be great if I could hear from someone who has actually done this in Iraq - preferrably female. The Beharry book presented a very graphic picture of his driving activties in Iraq.

I have a slight worry about Beth being a driver operator in that I'd need to know something about radio operating in order to create a believable impression i.e. the sort of language employed over the air. Would a woman be able to drive a tank transporter? Do women drive Warriors?
and

Thanks very much for answering my queries. It's extremely helpful. I chased out and got 'In Foreign Fields' and am currently reading it. You are dead right, it gives the reader a very vivid picture. Can you think of any further reading matter which might be germaine to this endeavour?
Leconfield got in touch and has sorted out a female soldier for me to interview. I'm off there on Jan 21st.
and lastly

I see from 'In Foreign Fields (page 128) that the soldier, Darren Dickson, was escorting water carriers round the bases in Basra and out to Al Amarah. He also drove 'drops vehicles' and did mail runs between Shaibah Log Base and other camps. Now would a woman be able to drive on such missions? He ended up of course fighting - so would this preclude women because of the 'teeth arms' factor?

The young woman's story in the book was very interesting. Of course she was a medic - and like I've said before to make Beth a medic would need research into nurses' training etc which is a bridge too far! Pity.

Could Beth be based at Basra - I plan for her to arrive in Iraq when the war was over and the dire stuff started. If she were where would she be running the mail to?
Is the area down there desert?

Do you know whether US and Uk troops were based near each other at any time after the war finished? I'm just thinking of a US National Guard woman I interviewed. She said there were some Uk troops based where she was - it was called Al Taji
So anyway, Daphne would appreciate some help and I thought it would be a good opportunity for the your corps and Army to come across as all those things we know we are, professional hard working and all that. So if you can answer any of the above, make some comments about female roles on Telic and any other information that would be useful it would be much appreciated. If you want to do it on the QT, PM me. Obviously there are also some unasked questions that you can help with too, for example, which RLC units were in Iraq when, Foden or Daf DROPS, A2 or still on the A1 IW, etc etc. Likewise, are there any RLC in Iraq books out there that might help?

Thanks again

Mr H
 
#2
Is "Daphne" said Female Authors real name? sounds like she's been watching too many episodes of Scooby Doo...


8)
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#3
It's rude to answer a question with a question. But to answer it, yes it is. And no, I'm not her - I fart in bed and everything.
 
#4
Remember that she has to be fat, over promoted and a chip on her shoulder :D
 
#8
StabTiffy2B said:
Remember that she has to be fat, over promoted and a chip on her shoulder :D
Shouldn't that be a bag of chips in her grubby little mitts.
 
#10
#11
Sully the corps name think she looks like a good incentive for recruiting. Only by looking at her pics of course..........
 
#12
I've had plenty of RLC female experience, but I have a feeling it's not what she wants to hear?? ;)
 
B

Bottleosmoke

Guest
#13
Perhaps the character could be a single mum of 3 kids by different fathers.

That way she wouldnt be in Iraq, having pulled the welfare card....................
 
#15
judging from her e-mails to you she really is clutching at straws here.
Surely if you are writing a book then you should at least have an idea of the story other than its about a woman in Iraq with a driving licence!

Nurse? Not driving a warrior, drops vehicle, tank transporter
If she were to make her a medic why would she need to research nurse training? medics arent nurses.
Crazy about cars and joins the army to drive trucks?
'arrive in Iraq when the war was over and the dire stuff started', what does that mean? by dire does she mean boredom or insurgency?
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#16
Filbert Fox said:
judging from her e-mails to you she really is clutching at straws here.
Surely if you are writing a book then you should at least have an idea of the story other than its about a woman in Iraq with a driving licence!
I'm not sure how authors work, but I do believe that Tolkien had only the sketchiest understanding of Hobbits, Orcs and Mordor when he started writing about that ring.

Nurse? Not driving a warrior, drops vehicle, tank transporter
If she were to make her a medic why would she need to research nurse training? medics arent nurses.
Thats where your help comes in FF!

Crazy about cars and joins the army to drive trucks?
'arrive in Iraq when the war was over and the dire stuff started', what does that mean? by dire does she mean boredom or insurgency?
Ditto mate!
 
#17
When the 2 members of the RAMC were killed by an IED the media reported that 1 of them was a nurse just because she was female.
The Guardian said:
Yesterday they were named as Second Lieutenant Joanna Yorke Dyer, 24, of the Intelligence Corps, Private Eleanor Dlugsoz, 19, a nurse with the Royal Army Medical Corps, Kingsman Adam James Smith, 19, of the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, and Corporal Kris O'Neill, 26, also a medic.
Nurses arent medics and medics arent nurses. Their roles are very different and I think that a female medic would possibly be offended by being called a nurse.

RIP Pte Dlugsoz

Back to the thread, sounds like the author really has got her work cut out in the research department, doesnt know what army trades are available or their roles, roles in Iraq, womens roles in the Army, tours in operational theatre, whats happening in Iraq and most of all: a story.
Good luck to her though, Im writing a book myself, but thats as far as Ive got so far (the idea that I should write a book) so shes very slightly ahead of me at the moment.
 
#18
Beth had been in the army for 2 years and she loved it. She was immensly proud that she had managed to score highly enough to be a driver in the RLC. Shortly after her first year she managed to get through OPTAG trg while in posession of a biff chit which excused her all sorts of stuff. After a quick leave (which she wasn't excused) she found herself in the hell hole of Shaiba Log base.
The iraqis weren't her main problem though and the insurgency only played a small inconvenience in the game of war in which she found herself. The main enemy took the shae of the SSM. Dinger White was one mean son of a bitch. He knew all the tricks and took great delight in making her and her comrades do army stuff like clean their boots and carry their weapons everywhere. It just wasn't fair. It was a well known fact throughout the Regt that Beth was suffering from a sore minge. Some bloke from the BFI had been at it like a belt fed AS90 since she got to theatre and now it was taking it's toll. Beth found it hard to walk normally and had to sort of shuffle with her legs bowed like a cowpoke on steroids. The SSM was going to go spare.
To her horror he was there ....stood at the entrance to the cookhouse and he had spotted her. There was nothing she could do he had already made eye contact. She was caught like a rabbit in the headlights. Not able to turn away for fear of causing a friction burn on her poonanny she shuffled inevitably towards the impending doom that was Dinger White.
'Morning Sir'
"fecking 'morning' is it Beth? What the feck are you walking like a twat for?'
She couldn't lie 'My munt is red raw sir'
Beth was AGAI'd for self inflicted wounds and sent home in disgrace. She promptly gave birth to 4 children by different fathers and survives to this day in Nottingham on handouts from the labour government......the slut!
Just been asked to proof the original draft. I predict it will be a best seller
 
#19
Welcome back Qman.....im amazed you let your absence go on this long with such tasty threads for you to get your teeth into!!! :twisted:
 
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