Badass Writer of the Week: Frederick Forsyth

Frederick Forsyth

Frederick Forsyth

By Sean Tuohy

This Friday's Badass Writer of the Week has seen the brutal conflicts of Africa, been an ace fighter pilot, met with gunrunners, worked along side the most elite special forces, and was once a journalist.

No, this isn’t the background of some classic adventure hero; this is the real life of best-selling author Frederick Forsyth, the father of the modern thriller novel. Forsyth is known for his in-depth research, which has helped him plan the assassination of a President, the overthrow of the government, and how to track down international terrorists. In addition to setting the bar that all thriller authors must meet, Forsyth has been reviewed by several governments because of the security risk his novels offer.

Born in Kent, England, in 1938, Forsyth became the youngest pilot in the Royal Air Force, but he decided to leave the great blue skies behind and become a reporter. Forsyth bounced around Europe for years as a journalist before deciding to write his first novel.

Using the turmoil of France, Forsyth created a highly trained and deadly professional assassin hired to kill the country’s President. The Day of the Jackal became an international best-selling book and Hollywood film. The book became the gold standard and has been studied ever since because of the realistic approach of the would-be killer.

Forsyth, now 76 years old, continues to write and publish mystery and suspense novels (his most recent, The Kill List, came out in August 2014). We will assume he will continue to do so until one of his main characters breaks free from the page and hunts him down.

In August 2015, Fredrick admitted to working for the British intelligence while working as  a journalist and novelist. Yes, the badass writer is also a badass spy!