I'm a feminist. The women in my books in recent years have been powerful characters and I love to see a woman with a cute bottom walking past.

Wilbur Smith

Wilbur Smith

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: British

Some suggestions for you :

Many people have compared me to the Victorian adventure writer, Rider Haggard. I accept that as a compliment. As a boy growing up in Central Africa I read all Haggard's African novels.

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.'

I grew up in Rhodesia on my father's ranch and every year he used to take us on safari in some remote area of the wilderness.

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.

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

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

I've eaten lion, leopard, crocodile, python. I don't recommend lion. It tastes exactly like when a tomcat comes into your house and sprays. Snake and crocodile are great - a cross between lobster and chicken.

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.

I hate politics. I like to write about it, but to get involved in it, to try and make a lot of ignorant people do what you want them to do, waste of time. Go and write a book. It's more important and it'll last longer.

There are people out there with an eye on my hard-earned cash who think that I am a pushover. I am not!

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.

The mistake the apartheid government made was they gave the black people nothing, so they had nothing to lose. But now a lot of the former freedom-fighters are big-time capitalists. They've been given directorships in every major company. They're billionaires!

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.

I think one of the most poignant things is unrequited love and loneliness.