Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Ray Bradbury: In Memoriam and In Green Town Illinois

I finished the piece I would have put up on the blog about Ray Bradbury just as a couple of emails from the Guardian came in asking if I would send them something please, honest really please. So I sent it to them, unread and raw, and an hour later it went up on their website.

It starts,

Yesterday afternoon I was in a studio recording an audiobook version of short story I had written for Ray Bradbury's 90th birthday. It's a monologue called The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury, and was a way of talking about the impact that Ray Bradbury had on me as a boy, and as an adult, and, as far as I could, about what he had done to the world. And I wrote it last year as a love letter and as a thank you and as a birthday present for an author who made me dream, taught me about words and what they could accomplish, and who never let me down as a reader or as a person as I grew up.

Last week, at dinner, a friend told me that when he was a boy of 11 or 12 he met Ray Bradbury. When Bradbury found out that he wanted to be a writer, he invited him to his office and spent half a day telling him the important stuff: if you want to be a writer, you have to write. Every day. Whether you feel like it or not. That you can't write one book and stop. That it's work, but the best kind of work. My friend grew up to be a writer, the kind who writes and supports himself through writing.

Ray Bradbury was the kind of person who would give half a day to a kid who wanted to be a writer when he grew up.

You can read the rest of it at

Apologies for the roughness. It's been a rough day. I cried once when I called Harlan Ellison to make sure he knew, a second time when  my editor Jennifer Brehl, who was also Ray's editor and friend, said "You know, he really loved you." And each time the tears took me by surprise.