Walking into the Air New Zealand Koru Club lounge ahead of a flight to Wellington, Michael Graham saw Wilbur Smith.
Graham walked over to the best-selling novelist and told him his mother had filled his medical prescriptions at a pharmacy back in the UK in the 1950s.
They sat together on the plane and Graham spoke of his time in the Special Air Service in the British Army before he left, at the rank of Major, and emigrated to New Zealand in 1980.
Smith told him to write a book.
Graham, 72, and now working full time as the head of security at Foodstuffs HQ in Mt Roskill, has since written Secret SAS Missions in Africa. It is thought to be the first to tell the story of the little known C Squadron.
Much of the SAS’ actions are highly classified, and not commented on by the British government or the Ministry of Defence.