“My job is essentially that of an entertainer, no different to that of a musician, no different to that of an actor. I just happen to be an author.” – Bryce Courtenay
A South African novelist who also held Australian citizenship. Courtenay, born this day in 1933, became one of Australia's best-selling authors, although most of his notoriety came from his South African-based book The Power of One.
Published in 1989 and, despite Courtenay's fears that it would never sell, The Power of One quickly became one of Australia's best-selling books by any living author. The story was made into a film, as well as being re-released in an edition for children.
The author of 23 books, mostly novels, Courtenay was one of Australia's most commercially successful authors. A career advertising director, he helped build his own success over the long term by promoting himself and developing a relationship with readers as much as marketing his books; for instance, he gave away up to 2,500 books free each year to readers he met in the street.
Many of his works are written from first person narrative, allowing the reader to put himself or herself into the lead role as if the story could become their own. “I like to share my thoughts and perspectives,” he said. “And remember, the only thing that's authentic about what a writer writes is his work. Everything else belongs to us all.”