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.
THEY MURDERED HIS WIFE. THEY DESTROYED HIS FUTURE. NOW THEY HAVE TO PAY. Two men are responsible for the death of Hector Cross' wife and only one is left alive: Johnny Congo - psychopath, extortionist, murderer, and the bane of Cross's life. He caught him before and let him go. Now, Hector wants him dead. So does the US government. Congo is locked up on Death Row in the most secure prison in the free world, counting down the days until his execution. He's got two weeks. He wants out. He's escaped before and knows he can again, and with whizz kid D'Shonn Brown enlisted, he might just have a chance. Cross, still licking his wounds from his last bruising encounter with Congo, is back and ready for work. In the middle of the rough Atlantic stands oil supertanker Bannock A. Terrorist activity in the area has triggered panic and there's only one person they can trust to protect her. What is promised as a cakewalk turns out to be much more, a mission that will test Cross to his emotional and physical limits. But a life spent in the SAS and private security has left Cross hard-wired for pain and as he is thrown into the bull pit once more, he will not stop until he has snared his prey. Hector Cross is Predator.
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.