There’s nothing so aphrodisiacal for a woman as money and success.
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.
My mother-in-law speaks not a word of English. I speak not a word of Tajiki. So I smile at her ingratiatingly and she fixes me with a beady eye.
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.
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 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.
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.
I have been blessed in many ways and one of those is to have been born in Africa for me a great treasure house of stories. I have been researching it since my infancy reading about it talking to men and women who have spent their lives in this land living it as I have and loving it as I do. I write almost entirely from my own experience.
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.