“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 was born on Aug. 14, 1933 and became one of Australia's best-selling authors, although most of his writing fame came from his South African-based book The Power of One.
Despite Courtenay's fears that it would never sell, The Power of One quickly became a worldwide book phenomenon, then was made into an award-winning film and was re-released in an edition for children.
Not just a one-trick pony (as the old expression goes) Courtenay – who died in 2012 – authored 23 books, mostly novels, and 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 great relationships with readers. One of his “winning” techniques was to give away up to 2,500 books each year to readers he randomly 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.”