Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wilber Smith - author and character

Among several new arrivals this month, is a group of three books by central African author, Wilbur Smith. 
Born in northern Rhodesia in 1933 (now Zambia ), as a toddler he nearly died of cerebral malaria (something I'd never heard of before). According to his own website / biography, the doctors told his parents it would better off if he did indeed die, because if he didn't, he'd be left severely brain damaged.

Obviously, the doctors were wrong.

After a rather wild and woolly childhood and youth on his father's ranch in Rhodesia, followed by some just as wild and woolly college life in South Africa, Smith became an accountant.


An accountant.

And at 24 years of age, married, with two children.

All of which he hated.  His love for writing, however, continued to grow and in his spare time he wrote fiction.

His first sale was to Argosy magazine, followed by the predictably bad first novel which, while swapped around publishing houses never made it past the inevitable rejection slips.
1964 brought the first of his novels about the African continent into print. In an extraordinary feat for a new author, Smith not only received a huge (for that time) advance for When the Lion Feeds, but a hefty royalty percentage, AND a printing of 10,000 copies.  This for a first novel.

The publishers were proved right in their estimation of Smith's worth.

Since then, Wilbur Smith's books have made the best seller's lists time after time.


For more about Wilbur Smith, by Wilbur Smith, check out his website: Wilbur Smith's Website

And, if you haven't ever read a Wilbur Smith novel -- give it a try.

1 comment:

Dr. Robolobo said...

I have read several of W. Smith's works and love his style and stories. :)