I'm not a good father and they're not children any more; the eldest is in his fifties. My relationship with their mothers broke down and, because of what the law was, they went with their mothers and were imbued with their mothers' morality in life and they were not my people any more.

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.

Real men read my books.

I believe that a healthy body breeds a healthy mind. I am 74 years old now and my wife, Niso, is 38 years younger than me. She absolutely insists that I take regular exercise with her.

I go on a hunting safari at least once a year to Botswana, which is fantastic because we have a huge area of wilderness entirely to ourselves. My island covers roughly 55 acres, which again I have to myself, with nearly half a kilometre of private beach with my own jetties and boats.

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.

Despite the fact that I spend a lot of time in London, Switzerland and New York, Africa is the place I know and love best, and my heart will always lie here.

I think money is essential to happiness and right now I wouldn't want to be anyone other than Wilbur Smith - I've had a fantastic life, rewarded far more heavily than I deserve. Maybe I'd like to be J. K. Rowling, but I'll settle for second best.

My mama loved books; I became fascinated by the wonderful stories that came out of these things she held in her hand - and started to make them up myself.

I work on my novels wherever I have a PC, and I have four or five places around the world where I do have a PC. These days you can just slip a little flash drive into your top pocket, fly for 12 hours, come to another place, plug it into a computer and you are away again.

I write my books in my head, and not in a specific study with a view. The view is from my inner eyes.

Quite frankly, I think political correctness is the worst form of censorship. You're not allowed to speak your mind unless you're black, or unless you're a terrorist, or unless you're an Arab or a minority people. Then you can say what you like. But if you are like a lot of us you are not supposed to say certain things.

It's probably true that everyone has a book in them, although it may not be a very good one.

Herbert, my father, was born in Britain but went out to Africa in his teens to join his father and built up an 18,000-acre ranch in what was then Northern Rhodesia, providing work for the locals. He was my hero when I was a boy.

I love the sea as much as I love the veldt of Africa.