This blog post gives an example interview transcript with questions and answers with Ray Bradbury, who is best-known for his famous novel named Fahrenheit 451. Students can use this example interview in order to figure out how to write questions and answers for a made-up interview. The example interview
Ray Bradbury is one of those rare individuals whose writing has changed the way people think. He has more than 500 published works — short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts, and verse.
Once read, his words are never forgotten. His best-known and most beloved books are The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Fahrenheit 451, and Something Wicked This Way Comes.
On the occasion of his 80th birthday in August 2000, Bradbury said, “The great fun in my life has been getting up every morning and rushing to the typewriter because some new idea has hit me. The feeling I have every day is very much the same as it was when I was twelve. In any event, here I am, eighty years old, feeling no different, full of a great sense of joy, and glad for the long life that has been allowed me. I have good plans for the next ten or twenty years, and I hope you’ll come along.”
Interviewer: When did you learn how to read?
Ray Bradbury: I was three years old when I learned how to read.
Interviewer: What kind of books did you use to read?
Ray Bradbury: I used to love reading comic scripts and fairy tales when I was a little boy.
Interviewer: What authors influenced you and your writing style?
Ray Bradbury: John Steinback, William Shakespere, Emily Diekinson, Arthur Backham and Poe are major writings that influenced me. Especially William Shakespere influenced me during my life.
Interviewer: What do you think about libraries and how do you feel about them?
Ray Bradbury: Libraries always make me excited. In my opinion books are the people who writes them. So there are thousands of people waiting in libraries to share their experiences and knowledge with you. Isn’t it wonderful? I wish I could live thousands of years and read all of those books. Don’t forget that without books you couldn’t be a part of any civilization or democracy.
Interviewer: What types of music do you like? Is there any particular kind you like to listen to when you’re writing?
Ray Bradbury: Mainly the Russian composers: Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Mussorsky, They were all taught by the great master, Berlioz. If you want to find the source of much of the music of modern day Russia, you will find it in the incredible compositions of that crazed lunatic Berlioz.
Interviewer: Do you have some kind of daily ritual that you use as a preparation to writing or do you just sit down every day at any time and begin?
Ray Bradbury: Actually I have some kind of a ritual. Well, the first step of the ritual is waking up and then lying in bed and listening to my voices. I call it my morning theater; it’s inside my head. And my characters talk to each other, I jump out of bed and run and trap them before they are gone. They are always in there talking. Every day at 9:00 a.m., for two hours, I begin a new short story, sometimes finishing it, or write an essay or poem. This routine has continued for sixty-five years. And I have my favorite cat, who is my paperweight, on my desk while I am writing.
Interviewer: How long do you write for?
Ray Bradbury: Oh, a couple of hours. You can do three or four thousand words and that’s more than enough for one day.
Interviewer: How long did it take for you to get where you are today?
Ray Bradbury: It took me roughly 30 years. It was a long, slow process with a thousand rejections. I’m still getting rejected this late in time. The important thing is to continue writing and continue being in love with books, authors, and libraries.
Interviewer: Do characters and plots appear spontaneously or are they carefully planned?
Ray Bradbury: Any carefully planned thing destroys the creativity. You can’t think your way through a story; you have to live it. So, you don’t build a story; you allow it to explode.
Interviewer: What tips or advice do you have for writers still looking to be discovered?
Ray Bradbury: Fall in love and stay in love. Do what you love and nothing else. Don’t look at the market, look into your heart and find what is there and put it down.
Interviewer: What do you think of President Obama?
Ray Bradbury: Our country is in need of a revolution. Mr. Obama has a successful career and is good at public speaking but he is not capable of what our country needs. We need revolution in all areas, especially in education and literature. Someone who has deep knowledge of education and knows enough of literature can provide us with the brave soul to achieve radical revolutions.
Interviewer: What would you see as the ideal formula in the creation of a city, if we had a chance to create?
Bradbury: First of all, you tell the cities: “hands off.” That’s what Disney, a local government, did. Then I would govern cities with nonelected governors. Elected officials don’t know anything about cities and how to build them.
Interviewer: How are these people going to be chosen?
Ray Bradbury: There will be corporations, small groups of people. They should decide together.
Interviewer: What if these groups cannot decide?
Ray Bradbury: Then such a civilization cannot be built. First people should be educated about it. Otherwise this civilization will be a chaos. In education literature must a mean, especially science fiction. It is both interesting and educative.
Interviewer: When did you start writing Fahrenheit 451?
Ray Bradbury: I started writing it in the spring of 1950, while living with my family in a humble home in Venice, California. I wrote the book with pay-by-the-hour typewriters in the University of California at Los Angeles library basement. I finished the first draft, a shorter version called The Fireman, in nine days.
Interviewer: Fahrenheit 451 is one of your most famous works. With no doubt, there are a lot of themes in it. Can you explain the themes that you used in your novel?
Ray Bradbury: Well, I really liked that question. Many people misunderstood the themes of Fahrenheit 451. he novel is frequently interpreted as being critical of state-sponsored censorship, but I have disputed this interpretation. As I have said in my pas interviews, the book explores the effects of television and mass media on the reading of literature. It is a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature. Also, the novel touches on the alienation of people by media.
Interviewer: You are known as a science fiction hero. Can you please explain how you met science fiction first?
Ray Bradbury: I have been influenced by Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. I was invited by Forrest J Ackerman to attend the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society. We used to meet at Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles. This was where I met the writers Robert A. Heinlein, Emil Petaja and Fredric Brown. They also influenced me a lot and I loved science fiction more. I was writing in fanzines in those years. I launched my own fanzine in 1939 and I wrote a lot for its issues. Briefly, I started writing science fiction first with fanzines and Los Angeles Science Fiction Society helped me a lot to get closer to science fiction and literature.
Interviewer: Lastly I want to ask that what your life philosophy is.
Ray Bradbury: Love what you do and do what you love.
Don’t listen to anyone who says don’t do that. If you really want to do it, do it.
And Jump of the cliff and build your wings on the way down.
Interviewer: Thank you so much. It was a great and so informative conversation.
Ray Bradbury: You’re welcome. It was a pleasure to me.