Few authors are offered book deals worth £15m, but Wilbur Smith has just signed one at the age of 79.
The reason being that his name on the cover means a book would likely sell a huge number of copies.
Speaking to the Today programme, Mr Smith said: "It's an option that I have in the new contract, which will be for a number of books, and I can decide when I want to co-author or write it as it stands.
"I'm going to be totally transparent. If it's written on my own, it will say so on the cover, and the publicity on release will say so. But if I'm working with a new young author, then his name would be with mine. So it's wide open, really depending on how I work.
"When I turn 80 next week, I know that I'll start slowing down. I'll want to start travelling and spending time with my young wife. And it would be very nice to have someone to do the legwork, as it were, on the story."
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