[Excerpted from literary007.com]
“I grew up in Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund in Namibia. I’m of German descent and my upbringing and some of my schooling was in German. In fact, just about everything in my life at the time was tied to traditional German culture, I, for years, speaking predominantly German, it our home language. On the occasional weekend or during school holidays I would accompany the fishing trawlers to sea and would help with the harvesting of the fish.
On other occasions, we would drive north along the coast to beyond the Ugab River, this the southern border to the Skeleton Coast, on motorcycles and beach-buggies or drive east, deep into the Namib Desert for two or three days. Also, my family owned farms where we spent time during school holidays. Later, as a pilot, I flew all over Namibia, (then still South West Africa)and even to the remote and desolate north and northwest regions. During the winter, my friends and I would hunt on the fringes of the desert using aircraft to get to our destinations.
From about ten, I became a prolific reader, starting with Enid Blyton, W.E.Johns (Biggles) and then Wilbur Smith. Apartheid South Africa was very puritan based with strict moral rules. Wilbur Smith’s ‘When the Lions Feed” together with books from Harold Robbins and others were banned. As you can imagine, in my teens these copies were treasured!
I was particularly taken with Wilbur Smith in my early twenties when I wrote my first novel; it was about early Rhodesia, the Shangani Patrol and the Anglo-Boer War. It was an attempt to emulate Wilbur Smith but with my story, which I banged out on a typewriter. I never attempted to publish and the manuscript was mislaid. I still know the story. After that, there were other demands in my life needing my attention and I did not return to writing.
I’ve read a broad spectrum of books with the occasional spy story between. However, I do like John le Carre, Ian Fleming, Len Deighton, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, James Grady and Nelson deMille to name a few.”