I read a lot of biographies and books with an African background.
I wanted to be a great white hunter, a prospector for gold, or a slave trader. But then, when I was eight, my parents sent me to a boarding school in South Africa. It was the equivalent of a British public school with cold showers, beatings and rotten food. But what it also had was a library full of books.
The first novel I wrote was a monster - clocking in at 180,000 words - but it died a death, a death it deserved. It was called 'The Gods First Make Mad.' It was a good title, but it was the only good thing about the book. I didn't let that put me off.
Politicians all over the world cater to domestic vote banks. They will spend only on what their constituents want. So unless there is a grass root green movement in a nation the politicians will not be willing to spend money on curbing emissions. More awareness is needed amongst the people to effect the real change in how governments spend.
The really disturbing thing about Somalia is that in a country where there are few economic opportunities, pirates are perceived as glamorous and are held in awe by young boys who aspire to their lifestyle.
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.'