While we’re still mourning the loss of Ray Bradbury, here’s a belated look at a talk he gave in 2001.
His insights early in the talk about his early influences and his own path to becoming a writer are very revealing, and reinforce his love of the short story, and of literature in general.
For the afficionados, from about the 30 minute mark we hear the genesis of his major early books.
We hear about how destitute he and his wife were when he went to New York to try to sell his short stories, to be met with publishers who insisted that short stories would just not sell. Fortunately, one man recognised the possibilities, and asked him to join up all his martian stories into The Martian Chronicles, and gave him a hefty advance.
We hear about the summers as a boy, where every sound and smell stimulated a short story, which became Dandelion Wine.
We hear about the painting of a gothic train in the darkness, which was to be the spark for Something Wicked This Way Comes.
His over-riding message to budding writers was to write from within, not for commercial purposes, and after hearing the stories of how his major works originated, and being intimately acquainted with those works, no truer words have been spoken.