#60Seconds with Alexander McCall Smith: the iconic writer on what he loves most in women

Sidney Sheldon's female protagonists had long hair, longer limbs and an IQ of 170. Nicholas Sparks introduced his female characters by remarking on the roundness of their breasts and the flatness of their > stomachs.

But not Scottish author and Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at University of Edinburgh Alexander McCall Smith who, despite having written 16 novels in The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, seems to have stayed away from female cliche every single time. By training, Smith is an expert on medical law (he has a PhD in law after all) and bioethics, but it is as an author of fiction that he has found cult following. His books are set in Botswana and his lead female character, Precious Ramotswe, has great resourcefulness and an intuitive understanding of people, rather than more 'physical' assets.

And that is why we were fascinated to talk to the writer about what he loves most in female protagonists. The answer, from the man who has written one of the most endearing ones in contemporary fiction? Watch to find out.

Text: Sneha Vakharia

Andrew  Clarance

Andrew Clarance @andrewclarance