AS A Hungarian teenager he left his homeland during the 1956 revolution, and since then he has led a rich life working in the film industry, as a college lecturer and as a lifeguard, as well as residing in several countries.
Now, however, Budapest-born Antal Kovacs has turned his attention to thriller writing.
As a film-maker, Antal helped on a number of feature films in the 1960s and 1970s including the original version of The Italian Job, starring Michael Caine.
After spells living in Australia and France, he moved from London to west Cornwall in 1997, lecturing at Penwith College, Cornwall College and Falmouth College of Arts on scriptwriting and television production.
He then wrote and directed Hwerow Hweg (Bitter Sweet), the first Cornish language feature film, which was premiered in the House of Commons in 2002.
And he is still proud of the fact that he was the first professional lifeguard to patrol Hayle beach in 1964.
But while being heavily involved with the film world, the 73-year-old has been an avid writer all his life, although it wasn't until 2006 that he published his first novel.
Impressions is a crime caper about an art forgery involving pictures painted by Australia's 'Lost Impressionist' John Peter Russell, and since then he has published four more books – three thrillers and a guide to The Wines Of Umbria – with another, Rob Peter, in the pipeline.
Antal's latest offering is The White Mare, a supernatural thriller set in France involving evil spirits released during the Albigensian Crusades, and he happily admits that his peripatetic lifestyle, which also included three years in Italy, has played an important part.
"All these books have been incubating for a long time," he said. "I use the locations where I've lived as a backdrop.
"I have to write – I look on it almost as a form of mental illness; unless I'm writing, I feel restless.
"I enjoyed reading the books of Eric Ambler when I was younger and his style has been an inspiration. Hopefully my thrillers are good, entertaining reads with no gratuitous violence or sex."
Antal's thrillers are currently selling modestly with the greatest number of sales coming from his book on Umbrian wine, which is proving very popular in the USA and Japan.
Antal's books – Impressions, The Wines of Umbria, A Matter Of Theft, The Order and The White Mare are all available on Amazon and as an ebook on Amazon Kindle.