Born in Zambia, Wilbur Smith spent his early years playing with friends on his father's ranch and in the African bush, armed with slingshots, building fires and tracking small animals. It are these experiences which have inspired the dozens of novels he has written. It was at boarding school in South Africa where Wilbur received his first literary accolade – Best English Essay. His passion for writing continued to grow throughout his studies until, at the age of 24, he decided to become a journalist. Wilbur's father, however, didn't agree and he subsequently became a chartered accountant - but his love of fiction never went away.
He persevered with his writing and sold his first story for £70. A few years later his debut novel, When the Lion Feeds, was published and it was his publisher, Charles Pick, who advised him to write about the "things you know well". Since then, Wilbur has written only about Africa. When Wilbur met Danielle Thomas he was already twice divorced and wondering if he'd ever find true love. They wed in 1971 and were happily married for 28 years before her untimely death. Today, Wilbur is married to Mokhiniso Rakhimova and has written more than 30 novels and sold around 100 million copies.
Wilbur Smith's Fantastic New Book
A thrilling tale of secrets and revenge, Vicious Circle tells the story of Hector Cross who has everything he desires in life – a wife and daughter he loves dearly. So when this life is suddenly turned on its head he is ready to fight for what remains of it. He quickly realises who is behind the attack – a deadly terrorist group – and Hector vows to track down his enemies. He enlists the help of a team of loyal friends and together they travel to the Middle East to seek vengeance
However, it is not long before Hector realises his list of enemies is growing; sinister individuals from his wife's past are re-emerging – and they have a disturbing agenda. Hector has no choice but to track down these ruthless adversaries; his journey takes him to the heart of Africa where he must tackle them – and their evil crimes – head on.
Interview with Wilbur Smith
Speaking with Giles Foden, Wilbur Smith talks about how his childhood has shaped his literary career. His father's hatred of books meant he would hide in the out-house to read - it also meant Wilbur's first job was working for the income tax department. In retrospect, he sees that journalism and creative writing require very different techniques, so by preventing him from becoming a journalist, his father was actually doing him a favour. It was during his time in the income tax office that Wilbur wrote his first book. Wilbur Smith also discusses the often harsh reality of life at boarding school and how his passion for writing has never ceased.