- Posted June 6, 2012 by
Salt Lake City, Utah
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Ray Bradbury's legacy
Thank You! Ray Bradbury
- nsaidi, CNN iReport producer
Just 30 minutes before I learned of your death, I named you as a personal hero, as pertaining to writers that influenced my own writing career. It was a poll on facebook which was shortly followed by another friend posting, R.I.P. Ray Bradbury. My heart sank as I read it and I'm not ashamed to admit I shed a few tears. As an aspiring fantasy writer, I always hoped I might be lucky enough to meet you one day.
You influenced me, not only toward my own writing career, but to open my mind to a larger world. You see, my youth was stolen from me, from people very much like your characters in Fahrenheit 451. People who want to control your world, how you see it and how you live it. I spent my youth growing up in a religious cult, sheltered from many aspects of the real world. I felt as though I was living in the world created by Ray. My life was lived for me.
I picked up a copy of Fahrenheit 451 after falling in love with The Ray Bradbury Theater. I had no idea what I was getting myself into at the time, but realized upon finishing, that this book was not on my approved reading list! It was a life changing mishap! And although still stuck in my bubble-world for years after, it opened my eyes to a larger picture, allowing me to see beyond my daily existence.
I then went on, of course, to read anything Ray! Along with many other books just as eye opening, and mostly all under my bed sheets, with a flash light, before I went to sleep each night.
Now, thanks to authors like you, I write. And my first series is loosely based on the life I lived as a child. And though of work of fantasy, so much of it is also real. So many of the scenes pulled from truly tragic and terrifying experiences. And although many of my fans, young and old, love the fantasy side, it is nice to know as well, through messages sent to me, that they can see something of their own lives in the story, too. I hope that it makes young people question what they know as truth. That truth to one person doesn't make it an absolute. It is okay to question!
Though I am sad that you have passed, I am thankful to have read your work and encourage all readers that have not to pick up one of your titles and give it a read. It was a life-changer for me, and might well be for you as well.
Most Sincerely, Author, Rachel Humphrey - D'aigle