What I like about writing is the sense of godlike power it gives you.

Wilbur Smith

Wilbur Smith

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: British

Some suggestions for you :

The first story I ever sold was to 'Argosy' magazine, which no longer exists. That issue also contained work by several other more celebrated writers, like Ray Bradbury - so I felt I had at least one toe on the ladder.

There is no quick way of making money. People come to you with tips for the races or offer the latest Ponzi scheme, but I can see them coming a mile off. I just go with the adage that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

I'm not a prophet; I can only use historical reality to come to a view of the future, and my view is that Africa will return to being African and not European. The advent of colonialism was foreign to the country itself, but it will return to what it was before the Europeans arrived.

My father was my god. His approval was so valuable to me.

Usually halfway through a book I have a serious depression, so I go on safari on my ranch in South Africa, or fishing off my island in the Seychelles. When I come back and re-read it, I think: 'What was all that about, Smith? It's fine, just get on with it.'

Every time one of my books sells a million copies in paperback, Pan Macmillan gives me a gold statuette of Pan. I have about 20 of them.

There's nothing so aphrodisiacal for a woman as money and success.

Literature throws us many great heroes. Real life invariably outdoes them.

I used to own an island in the Seychelles and had a big boat there and one day I came across some Somali pirates who were passing by on their way to re-provision their boat. They didn't even acknowledge me - which is unheard of among sailors - and it was like looking into the eyes of a black mamba.

I read all of Rider Haggard's books. For me he had the romance of Africa with a little bit of mysticism. I'm delighted to be looked on as his heir and be categorised as an adventure novelist because that's exactly what I am.

For the past few years my fans have made it very clear that they would like to read my novels and revisit my family of characters faster than I can write them. For them, I am willing to make a change to my working methods so the stories in my head can reach the page more frequently.

To me, my characters are more real than most people I meet.

As regards to personal safety, you do have to be careful not to put yourself at risk when travelling in South Africa. You don't want to go out exploring at night, for example.

When I vacate this sack of old bones I won't care what you do with it. Bury or burn it but don't make much fuss.