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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Podcast: Wilbur Smith Reflects on 50 Years of Writing

Desert GodWilbur Smith recently spoke to Ilse Salzwedel on RSG’s Skrywers en boeke programme about his latest novel, Desert God, and his writing career that spans half a century. Smith celebrated his 81st birthday this year.

Smith says he always wanted to be a writer. “When I first had to contemplate working for a living when I was 16 or 17, I thought it would be wonderful, because I love reading and I love reading fiction.” The author’s father wasn’t impressed by the idea and Smith first became an accountant, but continued to write in his spare time.

Smith believes that a good story must have a love interest and it must be about people. His advice to writers is to write about what you know.

The first part of the podcast is in Afrikaans but the entire interview is in English. The conversation starts at 27:30. Listen to the podcast:


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