Readersforum's Blog

December 12, 2012

Wilbur Smith: is this the book deal of the century?

Filed under: Authors — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 7:08 am

HarperCollins has offered the author £15m to provide plot outlines – and he won’t necessarily be writing up the novels. Nice work if you can get it.

Age: 79.

Appearance: Maths teacher on safari.

Ah, yes – I’ve heard of this guy. He writes novels about people having sex in Africa. Set in the past. Occasionally they escape from jackals between shags. Is that right? No.

Oh. Well, I mean it’s not always jackals. Sometimes it might be pirates or hippos. Look, you’ve got the wrong end of the stick. What I mean is that Smith won’t actually be writing them any more. At least not every word.

What? First it’s Katie Price, now this! Is nothing sacred? No, it isn’t. According to various reports, Smith’s new publisher HarperCollins is going to pay him £15m to come up with six plot outlines, some of which will be written up by other people over the next three years.

That’s very nice of HarperCollins. It certainly is. “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,” Smith says. “For them, I am willing to make a change to my working methods.”

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