Roosevelt Intermediate School, Westfield, NJ #3 Interview
with Ray Bradbury
Mar 23, 2005 06:42 PST
An Interview with Ray Bradbury:
The Man behind Fahrenheit 451
By Lizzy age 14 and Caitlin, age 14
Roosevelt Intermediate School, Westfield, NJ USA
Mrs. Pam Friedman, Teacher
Ray Bradbury has written many books in his life. He is well-known for Fahrenheit 451, Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man. Lizzy and I have been very fortunate to be able to interview Mr. Bradbury. Here is what he had to say:
Lizzy and Caitlin: You recently got an award. What was the award for and how did you feel when you got it?
Ray Bradbury: It's the Medal of Arch from The President of The United States.
Lizzy: And how did you feel?
Bradbury: Super, terrific, it was wonderful!
Caitlin: What inspired you to become an author and write so many books?
Bradbury: I started reading books in the library when I was seven years old. I lived in the library until I was twelve. And then I fell so in love with books. Finally I decided to become the writer. I kept going to the library and educating myself. I never went to college, and went to the typewriter and wrote every day of my life. For twenty years, I went to the library two or three times a week. This gave me an education and become the Ray Bradbury that you know.
Caitlin: What was the first book you wrote and how did you get the idea for it?
Bradbury: I wrote a book without knowing it. I wrote a bunch of short stories. Someone came along and said "let's put them all in one volume and make a book."
Lizzy: To this day, you are described as a science fiction writer by many. Why did you hate this label? Why did you write so many science fiction stories in the fifties for science fiction pulp magazines?
Bradbury: Well, the term "science fiction' is inaccurate. I am not a science fiction writer, I am a fantasy writer. But that label got put on me and stuck.
Caitlin: Why didn't you learn how to drive a car if...?
Bradbury: Writers Can't Afford Cars (laughs) I was very poor. Even when I was married my income was about 40 dollars a week so I could not afford a car.
Lizzy: Why wouldn't you ride an airplane until the 1908's?
Bradbury: I was scared helpless and I was afraid that I would run up and down the aisles screaming "stop the plane, stop the plane, Let me off, let me off!" After my first flight, I discovered I wasn't afraid of flying after all. I was just afraid of me, I was afraid of my own terror. And I had my first flight, and it was wonderful. From then on, I was not afraid anymore.
Caitlin: You did the screenplay for Moby Dick. If you could do a screenplay for another book, what would it be?
Bradbury: I already wrote a screenplay for a book. It was one of my own. Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Lizzy: What kinds of movies do you like to watch?
Bradbury: All Kinds... a lot of Hitchcock movies...I saw Rebecca the other night, a Hitchcock movie...TERRIFIC! I was watching singing in the rain with Gene Kelly, a science fiction musical which came out fifty years ago... so I love all kinds.
Since Ray Bradbury is Lizzy's godfather we were very fortunate to get an interview with him. Lizzy has had the pleasure of working with Mr. Bradbury on various reprints of his books.