Danielle Steel, the world’s best-selling living author, is on the verge of publishing novel #88, called Friends Forever (Delacorte). Steele opens up about her greatest fear, happiest years and the person she despises most in the "Proust questionnaire" in the July issue of Vanity Fair, which goes on sale today.

Here's a preview of Steel's interview. Check out the latest issue of VF for the rest!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Healthy, happy children. A wonderful, loving partner with whom to share my life.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing another child. (I lost one of my sons to suicide when he was 19.)

Which living person do you most admire?

My agent Mort Janklow, Sidney Poitier, and Barbara Walters.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Not always standing up for myself enough.

What is your favorite journey?

To either of my two homes (in Paris and San Francisco). On a boat with my children every summer.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Beauty.

On what occasion do you lie?

Only in great fear (physically, or high emotional danger) or not to hurt others.

Which living person do you most despise?

Bernie Madoff —- he ruined so many lives.