Frederick Forsyth has packed a tremendous amount of action into his life and frequently draws on his experiences to bring his fiction to life. At the age of 19, he became the youngest pilot in the Royal Air Force, but then decided to follow a journalistic career, as 'it was the only job that might enable me to travel and keep more or less my own hours.' After three years as a provincial reporter, he joined Reuters and spent the next four years in Europe.
In 1965, he joined the BBC and was sent to the former Republic of Biafra to cover the war in Nigeria. What he saw of this brutal conflict affected him so much that he resigned, turned freelance and vanished into the thick of the conflict, only later emerging to publish the highly controversial 'The Biafra Story'.
In 1969, he decided to use his experience as a Reuters reporter in France as the basis for a thriller 'The Day of the Jackal' established him as one of the world's leading thriller writers. To date it has sold 10 million copies and was made into a major film in 1973.
Frederick's love of investigative journalism is evident in the considerable amount of preparation and research that he puts into a project, travelling the world and at one point risking his own life, posing as a South African interested in buying arms.
"I prefer to find out the truth about things" Forsyth says. "Rather than make things up, I like to focus on the details." He continues to write highly successful thrillers, which are of continued interest to filmmakers.
Frederick Forsyth is married and lives in Buckinghamshire. His interests include swimming, scuba-diving, game-fishing, travelling and reading. He was awarded a CBE in 1997.