Frederick E Smith, a native of Hull but now living in the south, has been a full time professional writer since the mid 1950s. He has lived a full life, and believes that new experiences and new faces are vital for an author. That zest for life and the willing embrace of adventure has provided the impetus and material for a virtual library of books, articles, short stories and plays.
Award-winning novelist Frederick E. Smith has lived a very full life to date, believing that new experiences, new faces, and extensive travel are vital to him as an author.
His early days, which he describes as bizarre, were spent in the Royal Air Force. As he says: "Every writer needs to get a few books out of his system" and for him 633 SQUADRON was one of those books. Others, SAFFRON'S WAR, SAFFRON'S ARMY and SAFFRON'S TRIALS are novels partly based on his own experiences and bizarre they certainly were, including surviving a black mamba bite, dangling out of an aircraft without a parachute at 6,000 feet by a thin wire caught around his ankle, encountering the legendary Great Dane, Nuisance, the Cape Town dog whom Smith describes as more human than human, and escaping death in the most ironic way possible when going out by ship to the Far East.
After marrying, he went out to Africa where he did a variety of jobs. Here a lifelong desire to write became irresistible and for four years he dedicated five evenings a week to learning the craft. During this time he did research for a novel on apartheid, which among other things entailed disguising himself as a black in South Africa. Here he was once again lucky to escape death when his disguise was penetrated. Unable to offer the novel for publication while in South Africa because of the rigid censorship laws, he brought his family back to England. Here the book was published under the title LAWS BE THEIR ENEMY. It was the first novel that attacked apartheid and although it received excellent reviews here and abroad, it brought Smith death threats from fanatics. The novel was banned in South Africa for many years until the apartheid regime ended.
Now back in England Smith's aim was to become a full-time writer. After two years of intense struggle, he had a play performed in London and his second novel was also accepted for publication. Since then he has written forty novels, all of which have been published. He has sold film rights in nine and has had two major films made, one of them, 633 SQUADRON, breaking box office records. In 2002 The DEVIL DOLL, a film made from one of his short stories, won the award at the Manchester Fantasy Film Festival and Smith received a presentation.
He is not a genre writer. He has always written on subjects that concern or interest him and as a consequence the themes of his books are remarkably wide-ranging, from the world-wide problems of war, modern revolution and apartheid, to the intimate but no less traumatic problems of juvenile delinquency and sex and marriage, with three books of satirical comedy thrown in for good measure. In addition he has published over sixty short stories, numerous articles, and a second stage play.
Nearly all of his books have been published abroad in one form or another - at the last count in 32 countries, including China and Japan. For his novel, A KILLING FOR THE HAWKS, he was given the American Mark Twain Literary Award. For other work he has been a runner up for a Winston Churchill Fellowship Award.
During the last few years Frederick E Smith has been giving talks and lectures. In 1985 he tutored the course on novel writing at the International Writers' Summer School at Swanwick and since then he has given talks and lectures at colleges and other venues up and down the country. His most recent publication, a non-fiction work entitled WRITE A SUCCESSFUL NOVEL, written with co-author Moe Sherrard-Smith, augments the lectures he gives to would-be writers. Praised by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain it is now in its fourth edition.
Volume 1 of his autobiography, A YOUTHFUL ABSURDITY, illustrates the development of his deeply held beliefs which form the basis for all his work, and which are also echoed in
his latest novel, THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR, published in tandem with Volume 1 of his autobiography.