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Postby willlou » Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:53 pm

I have spent a large part of my life travelling and working abroad (I am British) including two years as a teacher in The Sudan. At the moment I am spending 2006 travelling through South America. My working life has mainly been in publishing where I used to distain the ‘Blockbuster’ books I dealt with everyday and I certainly never thought it necessary to read any of them. This changed about ten years ago when during one of my travels I found myself working in a bookshop in Hong Kong. Lots of people came in and asked for Wibur Smith books, most of them wanting a specific book although I didn’t know why. So I though I’d better read one to see what the fuss was about, so I started reading ‘Where the lion feeds’; and couldn’t stop! I remember hiding behind bookcases at work reading the shelf copy because I couldn’t wait to get back home to find out what happened next. It was rather like the excitement you have as a child when you first discover reading and particularly adventure books, when you can’t wait to find out what happens next but in one way you don’t want to because then you will know, and it will be like eating a sweet which is gone forever. I read a lot but I’d always thought that reading as pure, gripping entertainment didn’t exist for adults, until I read Wiber Smith. I read ‘Men of Men’ recently and I lay awake late at night reading the part of the story with the Horse Race. My heart was thumping as I read as if I was actually there watching it. I had to remind myself, hang on a minute, I’m reading a book! This ability to transport readers to another place and make them care about the characters is Mr Smiths very special gift. I have always regarded his books as something to read as special treats, and I always took one on holiday because you could always rely on ‘Wibur’. The problem I have now is that I’ve read most of them, so I hope there are many more writing years ahead for Wibur Smith.
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Postby Nefer » Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:26 pm

Wow, sounds like you've lead an amazing life!

I plan on entering Education when I've graduated (as does a friend of mine), so do you mind if I ask why you chose to teach in Sudan? I've been thinking of doing those teach-ESL abroad things, and since I'm originally from the Dark Continent, I'd love to go back there :)

And what exactly did you do in the publishing industry?

I'm just full of questions, lol, so I'll sorta answer one of yours. If you enjoy Wilbur Smith's style, check out our Other Authors forum for some suggestions. Mine would be James Clavell for historical fiction. He writes in the same vein as WS, but he focuses on the Orient.
"If I ever ask anything of you it would be to please consider life with an open mind and respect the opinions and wishes of others as long as they bring no harm to you and as long as you bring no harm or corruption to others."
~ Jason Mraz
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Postby John R » Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:46 am

Hi willou, what a great story. When The Lion Feeds was my first Wilbur book so i know how you felt. And you are right about Wilbur being able to place you in the scene of his book, as if you are living the events yourself, and the way he makes you care about his characters is indeed what sets him apart from anyone else, in my opinion.
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Postby Matbow » Thu Mar 02, 2006 7:56 am

Hiya Willlou.

I'm so jealous! I want to do some travelling!

On the teaching note, a couple of my friends are teaching English in Japan at the moment. They're absolutely loving it! The thing I find strange is that they can't even speak Japanese :)
“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”

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Postby Bee » Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:50 am

Hey Willou!

Welcome to the board! Where abouts in South America are you currently?
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Postby willlou » Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:14 pm

I am currently in Riobamba, Ecuador waiting for the rain to stop so that I can get out and do some trekking in the mountains.
roam if you want to
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Postby John R » Sat Mar 11, 2006 5:44 am

Sounds a lot more interesting than what i have planned!
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