Bryce Courtenay

Literary Birthday – 14 August – Bryce Courtenay

Bryce Courtenay was born 14 August 1933 and died 22 November 2012.


  1. I am essentially an entertainer and a storyteller.
  2. People ask me what is the major ingredient for writing a book and I say, ‘Bum glue.’
  3. It takes seven months, 29 days and about 23 hours to write a book. I have finished five books within an hour of the deadline, which happens to be the 30th of August. It always happens, I don’t know how, but it does.
  4. I have a good vocabulary, certainly better than most writers I would say, and I will be writing away and I will type, ‘She made a very perspicacious remark.’ (Which, for those of us not au fait with every entry in the Macquarie Dictionary, means clear and lucid.) I will go back the next day and cut out the word perspicacious because there are five English words that are close enough that readers will understand. I am not trying to impress you or the reader.
  5. Keep it simple. Tell the story the way it is. Don’t try and be clever. If you keep the story and the narrative simple, clean, direct and honest and you research it well with integrity and you can tell stories – which, by the way, is a gift – you have got a good chance of selling well.
  6. Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it.
  7. I’m going to die with my mind intact. And to me that is the most exciting way you could possibly die.
  8. What’s the point in being an unpopular writer? It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. For me it doesn’t, anyway.
  9. I guess my use-by date is just about up but if I could come back as a storyteller now, I would be jumping over the moon because wow, just think what’s available.
  10. Sometimes the slightest things change the directions of our lives, the merest breath of a circumstance, a random moment that connects like a meteorite striking the earth. Lives have swivelled and changed direction on the strength of a chance remark.

Bryce Courtenay was a South African novelist who also held Australian citizenship. He was a best-selling author, and was well-known for his novel, The Power of One.

Read our 2006 Interview with Bryce Courtenay

Source for Image: Author’s website

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 14th August 2013