Robert Preston-Whyte


For many years, I was head of the Department of Geographical and Environmental Sciences and a faculty dean at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa. Now retired as Professor Emeritus, I have slipped into another life in the pastoral setting of our small farm in the often mist-shrouded midlands of KwaZulu-Natal.
In many ways, this life parallels my previous existence as an academic. In those seemingly far-off day as a natural scientist, my teaching and research interests turned initially on atmospheric science and then on the broader issues relating to environmental management. 'The Weather and Climate of Southern Africa' (Oxford University Press) is a co-authored book that dates from this earlier period in my life. I also have numerous chapters in books and scientific journal papers that map my research interests at the time.
I no longer view environmental and social issues from the detached viewpoint of the academic. Now I live them. Our horses need food, water, exercise and care. Our fields must be managed. Water is a scarce resource. Bushbuck, reedbuck and duiker are frequent visitors that cannot resist my roses. Monkeys raid the vegetable garden whenever our backs are turned. Caraculs (lynx family) are frequent visitors, and we think it was a passing leopard that spooked our horses so badly that they flattened a sturdy pole fence in their desperation to escape. Meanwhile the local council raids my bank account for politically-determined land taxes, exorbitant electricity charges underline the complex nature of energy issues, my landline telephone no longer works because of ongoing cable theft for the copper content, and the political debate grapples, often hopelessly it seems, with issues common to most developing countries. The sum total of this privileged existence is something I would not change for anything.
My writing no longer targets academic journals. Part of a metamorphosed life is doing different things. Fiction writing falls into this category.'Return of the Leopard' and 'The Man Who Kept His Head' are set in the environment in which I live. The genre is mystery/thriller/romance. Hopefully they reflect the ambience and flavour of the area. 'Sunstone:The Boy and the Dragon Princess,' is written for young adults. It is fast-moving and exciting with a subtext that juxtaposes issues of conflict, intolerance, corruption and power-lust with generosity, courage, reconciliation and enlightenment. A sequel will appear soon. Naturally, I recommend them all.

Where to find Robert Preston-Whyte online

Where to buy in print


Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 50,330. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Dragon rebels transform into semi-human 'nagruels' and seek the sword, Dragonmorte, to expand nagruel power and influence. When dragon princess, Alpha Pendragon is kidnapped, Will Button finds Dragonmorte and sets off to rescue her. He discovers he possesses extraordinary powers while Alpha decides she has much to learn from her experience as a nagruel.
Sunstone. The Boy and the Dragon Princess
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 64,680. Language: English. Published: September 7, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
When the Sunstone that ensures dragon invisibility to humans is stolen, both dragon and human communities are thrown into turmoil. Princess Alpha Pendragon is thrust into a leadership position. So is Will Button. Both face a future of warfare unless the Sunstone is recovered. They learn how to overcome their mutual fear and embark on a quest to find the Sunstone before it is too late.
The Man Who Kept His Head
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 104,660. Language: English. Published: August 22, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » African, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Jamie Craig is caught in a web of intrigue when he witnesses the attempted murder of a woman jogger and finds himself the target of the head of a crime syndicate. He flees to the midlands of eastern South Africa pursued by the syndicate leader's men. His life becomes a cauldron of confused romantic liaisons and attempts on his life in actions that finally explode in Scotland's western isles.
Return of the leopard
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 24,550. Language: English. Published: August 16, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
The arbiters of fate challenge the Byrne family with the Rule of Three. Blackmail is the bad event visited on family head, Duncan Byrne. Romance is the good event when Duncan's son, Jack, meets an intriguing woman. The start of adopted son, Adam's PI business is neither good nor bad but leads to a drama in which a debt is paid, a romantic liaison blooms and a leopard takes decisive action.

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