“Until it is written a book is merely smoke on the wind.” –Wilbur Smith
- Following his publisher’s, Charles Pick, advice to “write about what you know best.” Wilbur Smith has developed three long chronicles of the South African experience.
- During the first years of his life, Wilbur Smith lived on his father’s cattle ranch which comprised of 30,000 acres of forest, hills and savannah. Just picture Pride Rock from “The Lion King” and you’re halfway there.
- In high school, when he experienced difficulties fitting in, Wilbur Smith started a school newspaper for which he wrote the entire content, excepting the sports page.
- When Smith at first expressed interest in becoming a journalist his father told him to “get a real job”. I originally wanted to be Harry Potter, but my father reminded me that I wasn’t British and that I was also muggle-born.
- Having published over 30 novels, Smith states that Africa is his major inspiration. Smith now lives in London. If I were an extremely successful novelist I would probably move away to Hawaii!
- Firmly believes he is from the 17th century due to his disinterest in technology and his emphasis on taking his time. If I had to be from a different century it would probably be the 19th century, I just can’t get enough Quadracycles.
- Seven of his books have been turned into movies and have been translated into 26 languages.
- Writes for the “natural” and “adventure” genre, and researches his topics in depth before starting a new book.
- At age 8, he was given a Remington .22 repeater rifle. I think I was given Super Mario at age 8.
- At 24, and after his first divorce, Wilbur was left destitute and penniless. Luckily for him, and even luckier for us, Wilbur did not quit writing.
- A tax accountant by trade, Wilbur wrote his first novel on “Her Majesty’s Inland Revenue Service” letterhead.
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