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" I am a closet birdwatcher. I can identify Southern African species, but it irks me I can barely tell a jay from a blackbird in the U.K. "
" 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 want to be seen as a good storyteller. I'm a manipulator as well. "
" I've been associated with Macmillan for over 45 years. I'd like to thank them for their continued commitment to my backlist and I look forward to continuing to work with them as they publish my next novel, 'Vicious Circle' in 2013. "
" 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 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. "
" 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. "
" Cape Town's beaches are superb and while the water on the Atlantic side is damn cold, it's very pleasant on the other side. Bring your golf clubs if you play - Cape Town has some fabulous golf courses. "
" There are people out there with an eye on my hard-earned cash who think that I am a pushover. I am not! "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" Literature throws us many great heroes. Real life invariably outdoes them. "
" 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. "
" 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 never set out to write literature; I set out to tell stories. And some of my work may be very raunchy and very bloodthirsty - but life, for me, is a violent thing. "
" 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 live in Cape Town but my favourite holiday destination is Hermanus, a little seaside town about a 90-minute drive away, over the pass and down to the sea, on the sunshine coast. It's where I love to escape to with my wife for a weekend every now and again. "
" I put my soul into every book I write. "
" At the age of 12 I won the school prize for Best English Essay. The prize was a copy of Somerset Maugham's 'Introduction To Modern English And American Literature.' To this day I keep it on the shelf between my collection of Forester's works and the little urn that contains my mother's ashes. "
" I don't want children. Why should I let some strange little monster into my life to destroy what to me is a perfect set-up? "
" You know that feeling when you finish a final exam and you think, 'I never want to do that again'? Well I have the same feeling when I finish a novel. Each time I say, 'I think I may retire now' and then after six months the ideas start to churn again. I could never stop. "
" All my characters have got a big slice of me in them. A big piece of me, because it's my dialogue and this is the way I think and talk. "
" 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. "
" 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.' "
" My father was my god. His approval was so valuable to me. "
" 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. "
" Real men read my books. "
" 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. "
" Write for yourself, not for a perceived audience. If you do, you'll mostly fall flat on your face, because it's impossible to judge what people want. And you have to read. That's how you learn what is good writing and what is bad. Then the main thing is application. It's hard work. "
" Authors can only soft sell the environment. Create a wonderful story around the environment involving the characters that leaves a lasting impression on the reader's mind. "