Memorial Day 2023

Picture courtesy of
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The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home

Tour was up, middle of June
She was plannin’ a welcome home barbecue
Green bean casserole, Grandma’s recipe
There was a knock on her door ’round two o’clock
Two uniforms and her heart stopped
Yellow ribbon ’round an oak tree
Blowing in the breeze

Here’s to the ones that didn’t make it back home
The ones we ain’t seen in so long
The hold up a beer ones, the wish they were here ones
The not forgotten but gone
They’re in a better place up there
But they sure left a hole down here
We just go on livin’ and go on missin’ the ones
The ones that didn’t make it back home

The whole town shut down, the whole town showed up
Sang Amazing Grace, watched a slideshow of
His twenty-two years
There was laughs and there was tears
And that preacher talked about sacrifice
And traffic stopped for them Cadillac lights
Johnny sold beer half price that night
And everybody raised ’em high, singin’

Here’s to the ones that didn’t make it back home
The ones we ain’t seen in so long
The hold up a beer ones, the wish they were here ones
The not forgotten but gone
They’re in a better place up there
But they sure left a hole down here
We just go on livin’ and go on missin’ the ones
The ones that didn’t make it back home

Back to that front porch
Back through that front door
To the life they were fightin’ for

Here’s to the ones that didn’t make it back home
The ones we ain’t seen in so long
The hold up a beer ones, the wish they were here ones
The not forgotten but gone
They’re in a better place up there
But they sure left a hole down here
We just go on livin’ and go on missin’ the ones
The ones that didn’t make it back home

The ones that didn’t make it back home

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Jeremy Stover / Justin C. Moore / Paul Charles Digiovanni / Richard Chase Mcgill

The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home lyrics © Ole Media Management Lp, Universal Music Publishing Group


A Repost Of A Beta Reader Article – And In Search Of A Beta Reader

Since I’m currently preparing Book 6 in ‘The Council of Twelve’ series to be published, I contacted all my Beta Readers, and this year I’m not as lucky as I was before. Life changes, and apparently, it has changed for a few of my supporters, my Beta Readers. I’m happy for them, and I wish them all the Best! But right now, I secretly wish Beta Readers could be bought in a supermarket… or knitted. HAHA

If you have fun Beta Reading, please, let me know. It would be a pleasure to complete the group again and send out my new manuscript..

And since the subject ‘came up’, here’s the blog post I published 2019 about Beta Readers. It’s still valid! Enjoy the read, and please, don’t forget to contact me at I look forward to hearing from you.

It seems there is the one or other author around who either don’t know what the job of a beta reader is. Also, some authors don’t want to pay for an editor and therefore try to ‘use’ the beta reader to get the editor’s job done.

From what I learned in my ‘long’ career of two published books (and a few lined up)… my order of ‘writing and publishing’ is the following:

  1.  Drafting
  2.  Copying out
  3.  personal editing #1
  4.  personal editing #2
  5.  professional editing (proofreading)
  6.  filing for copyright
  7.  sending the manuscript out to the beta readers
  8.  having the book cover done
  9.  possible corrections when getting the manuscript back from beta readers
  10.  publishing

At times the corrections, added paragraphs or even pages, demand a second round of proofreading or editing.

Now, what does the beta reader do?

Beta readers are helpful people around you – can be friends, co-workers, family members. They are asked to read the book pre-release. Often they are asked to review the book online, just after release. Most beta readers are very happy to do so in exchange for the book.

Every beta reader works differently. Some return a paper manuscript with scribbles all over the place…, some send an email with a few ideas, suggestions or remarks, some send texts whenever they discover something. When I beta read, I write a list and later send that list by email. So far, I never discovered a huge plot hole, but I found the one or other ‘thing’ that bugged me and that I had to let the author know about. Many other beta readers do the same thing.

There is one thing beta readers don’t do: they don’t correct typos and grammar. That’s what’s the editor is for. I’m not saying they always are perfect, and should I catch a forgotten typo, of course, I will tell the author about it. But I’m not actively looking for them.

I am lucky enough to have a beta reader who is sweet enough to actively look for typos and grammar problems that escaped my editor’s attention. The one or other author might be just as lucky. But generally, beta readers are not here for editing!

They should return your manuscript with a bit more than ‘I liked it.’ You want to get their notes. You want to hear about their feelings… when did they laugh? When did they cry? What scared them or amused them? Did they enjoy the read, and would they recommend the book? According to them, what age range is the book for (if you’re writing Young Adult), and what did they not like so much?

Did they discover something about the plot they didn’t like? Do they have questions about the story, the plot, or the characters? Is there anything they discovered that isn’t right?

Let me give you a couple examples. One of my last beta readers told me that she loves my book, and she finds ‘Sundance’ as a character very interesting. However, she misses Katie, the ‘Soul Taker’ and wishes her back. She is an exceptional beta reader and informed me about several other things that I later corrected. (I did not write more ‘Katie’ into the second book since that is ‘Sundance’s’ story).

When I was beta reading for a male author, I discovered a wardrobe flaw with one of the female character’s ‘undergarments.’ I told my fellow author about it, and he corrected that.

We all were grateful to have our beta readers. It is important to us having people with open minds paying attention to our stories. And we always hope we don’t ask too much.

Thank you, beta readers, for helping us with your time, your efforts, and your honesty. We need you!

The Passaic County Book Festival

June 10, 2023

11.00 am – 4.00 pm

Weasel Brook Park, Clifton, NJ

I can be found at the book festival in ‘roughly’ three weeks. I will not be a participant, though! I will meet fellow authors, check out how the program is structured and what is expected from the authors, listen to some public speaking, wander around between the tents, and meet authors from my friend list and new ones.

Since I am an HSP, as addressed in an earlier post, I particularly picked a smaller event to look into rather than being surrounded by a vast mass of people and noises.

However, would you mind letting me know if you will be there? I’d be delighted to meet you in person!

The Council Of Twelve Series In The Library World

The Council of Twelve has moved with me. Well, technically, physically, as well as in the library cyber space. My five books moved from ‘Indie California’ to ‘Indie New York’.

If you’re responsible for a library, be it public, school, or private. You may order ‘The Council of Twelve’ series books here:

When you’re a Reader and you’re interested in ‘The Council of Twelve’ Series, please check out the current five published books here:

A. J. Alexander’s Books


After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out.

When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.

Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.

Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.

Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.


Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind.

Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’ seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and evil. Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.


Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her. She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?

Bounty Hunter

When Centriel roams the Earth in a dark mood and atypical despair, in a mountain clearing, far from humankind, he unexpectedly discovers a runner, followed by a petite hunter. The way the woman treats the giant fugitive amuses the Archangel, but he quickly learns that neither of them are what they seem to be.

Simin Arnatt is an extraordinary woman. Her occupation as a Bounty Hunter takes her all over the world, as she follows her prey to the most unusual places. She would have never expected to meet the famous Centriel while on a hunt. When he offers to help her, she feels the enormous attraction, but she knows, with the secret she holds, she could never dare to hope for love.

Neither of them could guess that with her next assignment, Hell is breaking loose…

Dream Walker

Koyu thought she had done her duty, but deep inside she knows it will never be over. She is bound to her master forever and will have to execute his every command. But when he demands she’ll invade his sworn enemy’s dreams, she chooses to rebel.

Koyu risks her existence to help the ‘other side’ by purposely disobeying her master’s orders.

Koyu knows she’ll pay with her life for her impertinence. Is there, indeed, no hope for her?

Are ‘Old Sayings’ Too Cliché For Todays’ Writers?

Lately I was sitting in the car, signing along with a great Country song, and here it is, that old expression: ‘You can’t fit a camel through the eye of a needle’.

I heard that expression before, and finally decided to go and research where it comes from… and here it was, in the bible:

Mark10, verse25: It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God

During my research I found about one hundred and one explanations what this could mean, from interpretation, over misinterpretation to misunderstandings, to mistranslation… But basically, it call came to the same. If you are rich, you’re not passing the Pearly Gates, not even if you danced naked on a quarter…

Now, can we go into the deeper meaning of that saying? Yes, we could… do we want to? Not today. This is not the purpose of that article.

We’re actually trying to determine, if generally old saying is actually still used, show up in books, or are even suitable nowadays.

Why don’t we look at a few more expressions and see?


“The Walls Have Ears”

Meaning: Be careful what you say as people may be eavesdropping.
Origin: The face Louvre Palace in France was believed to have a network of listening tubes so that it would be possible to hear everything that was said in different rooms. People say that this is how the Queen Catherine de’Medici discovered political secrets and plots.

“Bury The Hatchet”

Meaning: End a quarrel or conflict and become friendly.
Origin: During negotiations between Puritans and Native Americans men would bury all of their weapons, making them inaccessible.

(Well, some people bury their hatchets in the back of their enemies, but that’s a chapter for another post)

Picture courtesy of

“Raining Cats And Dogs”

Meaning: Rain very hard.
Origin: This idiom has two stories that try to explain its origin. The first explanation says that the origin of this phrase comes from Norse mythology, where cats would symbolise heavy rains and dogs were associated with the God of storms, Odin. The second version says that in 16th century England, houses had thatched roofs which were one of the few places where animals were able to get warm. Sometimes, when it would start to rain heavily, roofs would get slippery and cats and dogs would fall off, making it look like it’s raining cats and dogs!

“Blood Is Thicker Than Water”

Meaning: Family relationships and loyalties are the strongest and most important ones.
Origin: Even though many might think this saying means that we should put family ahead of friends, it actually meant the complete opposite. The full phrase actually was “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb,” and it referred to warriors who shared the blood they shed in battles together. These ‘blood brothers’ were said to have stronger bonds than biological brothers.

“Born With A Silver Spoon In Your Mouth”

Meaning: Be born into a wealthy family of high social standing.
Origin: It is an old tradition for godparents to gift a silver spoon to a christened child. However, not everyone was able to afford this type of luxury gift so those who did receive the spoon as a gift were considered to be wealthy, sometimes even spoiled.

“Steal One’s Thunder”

Meaning: Win praise for oneself by pre-empting someone else’s attempt to impress.
Origin: You think that you’ve done something awesome and unique, but someone got in there first and took your credit! Spare a thought for playwright John Dennis who, back in the 18th Century, made a machine that could nicely mimic the sound of thunder for his play. Sadly, his play wasn’t a success, but somebody had taken note of his clever invention. When, later on in another theatre, Dennis found somebody had copied his thunder machine and was using it without credit, he got mad. Really mad. Somebody had stolen his thunder!


There are many more old sayings, I just picked a few of them. Over 60 old expressions and sayings and their meanings can be researched over at the ‘Bored Panda’ Website.

But, without knowing exactly where these sayings and expressions come from… should we writers even use them? Are they still timely?

I still use the one or other… but then, my fantasy books are partially situated in older eras. However, I’m not sure, if these expressions would go well with SciFi Anno 2765?

Please, let us know what you think in the comments. We are curious!

A Matter of Keeping Your Perspective While Writing… – By Allan Krummenacker

I haven’t posted any new stories lately, but this is not because I haven’t been writing. On the contrary, I’ve been rather busy with stories lately. In fact, I recently completed one tale set during in World War I, involving Nathan and a zeppelin. Sounds intriguing? Well, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until the 2nd anthology “Two for the Road” to come out, to read it. 

Which with a little luck, and some actual work on my part, may actually happen later this year. We’ll see. Honestly, I would like to see it happen, but if I’ve learned anything these last few months is that “Life gets in the way…”, so we’ll see. I’ll try to keep you all in the loop as best I can.

In the meantime, I’ve also been working on a second lengthy tale which will also appear in that collection. This one will have a trigger warning at the beginning because the subject matter involves a sex trafficking operation. This tale will involve some sex, violence, and threats of violence against women. The story will not be told by Nathan or one of the other regular members of the cast, but someone new who will wind up having an interesting impact on Lisa. 


Happy Mother’s Day 2023

Many of my friends, followers, relatives, and readers, are amazing and wonderful Moms. Today, May 14, 2023, is their day of celebration and recognition. This is a day where people tell their Moms ‘Thank You’, and let them know how happy they are, their Mom’s are in their lives.
For our 2023 Mother’s Day I wish all Mom’s out there:

Picture courtesy of

But let’s not forget the Mom’s who have fur babies instead of human ones. They too are taking care of their ‘little ones’ and make sure they’re fine. These little ones cannot say ‘thank you’ the regular way. But I thought they need a thank you too.

Picture courtesy of

Silent Agony



We, humans, enjoy abbreviations. (Which reminds me: Why is ‘abbreviation’ such a long word?)

But humor aside: What is an HSP? People who have never been diagnosed as an HSP probably won’t know unless they are connected or related to an HSP.

An HSP is a Highly Sensitive Person.

I can see some people giggling right now. But I assure you, I’m not joking. Being an HSP has its disadvantages, and it can cause a person to quietly suffer a miserable life if the circumstances are against them. I’ll get back to that in a minute.

Let me describe to you what defines a Highly Sensitive Person:

A highly sensitive person (HSP) is a human being who reacts with an increased or ‘deeper’ central nervous system sensitivity to stimulating influences, be they physical, emotional, environmental, or social.

American psychologist Elaine Aron invented the term in the mid-1990s, continuously developing knowledge of the concept in the past few decades. According to Elaine Aron, HSPs show increased emotional sensitivity and stronger reactions to external and internal stimuli than the rest of the population.

Try to find out if you’re an HSP on Elaine Aron’s website, but definitely start with asking yourself these questions:

  • Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
  • Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
  • Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
  • Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
  • Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
  • Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
  • Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
  • When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?

There’s also an online test you can take:

If you’re looking for other tests to take than this one, there are quite a few you can find, one of them here. But careful. Most of the currently available tests online are at least based on Elaine Aron’s findings and tests.

According to ‘’, HSP isn’t a disorder or a condition but rather a personality trait that’s also known as sensory-processing sensitivity (SPS).

Julie Fraga, a licensed psychologist in San Francisco, CA, describes her life as an HSP quite precisely within only one article.

One particular paragraph of hers caught my attention, and I moved it here for you to read:

3 things HSP people want you to know

  • We feel things deeply but may hide our emotions from others because we’ve learned to retreat.
  • We may appear uncomfortable in group situations, like work meetings or parties, because there’s too much stimulation, like loud noises. This doesn’t mean that we don’t value relationships.
  • When starting new relationships, like friendships or romantic partnerships, we may seek out reassurance because we’re hypersensitive to any perceived signs of rejection.

And after all this information, I’ll get back to what I said in one of the initial paragraphs: I’m getting back to the ‘miserable life’…. Consider you’re a person who feels deeply disturbed by loud noises, constant disturbance, interruption, demanded multitasking, demanded work within a field that you don’t like, surrounded by the noise of fans, voices, emotions of other people, no daylight, the entire day, no sunshine, warmth, comfort, or anything positive, day, by day, by day, no possibility of retreat, or peace and quiet for even one single minute of the day… You’re humiliated, insulted, and hurt by having to be sitting in an environment, out in the corridor, in front of the ‘bosses’ office, like a 50s stenotypist…

If you’re an HSP, strongly reacting to the influences around you, then this is your personal nightmare… And at this point, it’s mine.

Every single day, I get up to get tortured for another 8 hours… I can’t sleep anymore. For 16 to 18 hours a day, I’m fighting against the tears and a depression that even scares the living daylights out of me!

James Killian, LPC, Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in New Haven, CT found a few things HSP people can do to make life easier for them:

  • See your sensitivity as a positive, not a negative
  • Remember: there is nothing wrong with you, and you are not alone.
  • As much as possible, avoid negative people, places, and situations
  • Set firm boundaries with people who take advantage of your compassion and empathy
  • Practice regular self-care through exercise, meditation, and mindfulness
  • Give yourself the same empathy and kindness as you do others

Nice list, James… what, if you can’t say anything and cannot avoid your current environment because you need the job – and the money?? Then you’re going on… further and further… day by day, with no perspective, no way out, until one day it might be too late? You pray and beg for help – and there is none… picture that….

And then… people are wondering why you’re fighting a deep, darkening, paralyzing, overarching depression…?

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Soul Taker Secrets: Archangels Must Be Swiss – They LOVE Cheese

Katie, Raphael’s consort, is not the only one cooking for her Archangel. This recipe is one that Koyu recommended, Santanael’s wife. She knows her Archangel well, and she’s well aware of her husband being a big cheese lover. She, therefore, often prepares a little cheesy appetizer, or a cheesy midnight snack for him, when he has to work long hours and comes home exhausted and hungry.

Let’s see what Archangel Santanael can expect:

Baked Brie With Pecans


  • 1 (8-oz.) Brie round
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sweetened dried cherries
  • Apple slices, crackers, and/or toasted baguette slices for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Unwrap cheese, and place on prepared baking sheet. (Do not trim rind from cheese.) Bake until cheese is soft to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on baking sheet 5 minutes.
  2. Place honey, salt, and five spice powder in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low until honey “melts,” about 2 minutes. Stir in pecans and cherries; cook until warmed, about 2 minutes.
  3. Carefully transfer cheese round to a platter; top with pecan mixture. Serve warm with apples, crackers, and/or toasted baguette slices.

Let Your Intuition Write!

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When I read that quote, I started giggling. I’m not sure, this is entirely true. After all, it’s our ‘design’ of the story that ‘creates’ what we write, isn’t it? We pick up an idea, we start to form it, we work on it, plan it, outline it. All this has nothing to do with intuition. It’s careful planning. The story plot, the characters, all the preparation that is so much fun for us, it’s part of our writing process.

But then I realized: Ray Bradbury was not talking about the preparation… he was not talking about ‘before’ or after the writing. Indie-Authors were not a subject in his time. He talked about writing the story itself. The ‘quill on the paper’, so to speak. And then I started to understand.

With our fantasy… with our preparation, with our creative instinct, we basically have our story in our heads, far before the planning even starts! After drawing the story plot, after the fun of creating and naming our characters, we need to literally create the story, paint its world with words… and that’s when Ray Bradbury’s quote starts making sense…

“Don’t think twice, don’t overthink, just DO!’

The story is there, the book is ‘mentally written’… your intuition, your subconscious knows it… let it flow! Let the story write itself through your hands (be it by typing or handwriting… hearing the soft scratching of the pen on your paper, it doesn’t matter). Let the story build itself through your intuition. And that’s what it meant.

Since I’m currently writing the next book in ‘The Council of Twelve’ series, I’ll find out soon enough, if Ray Bradbury was right with what he said. I will try it, because I’m always curious about other author’s experiences, intuition and writing process.

If you have already experience with this kind of writing, let us know in the comments. We are curious!

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Ray Bradbury, in full Ray Douglas Bradbury, (born August 22, 1920, WaukeganIllinois, U.S.—died June 5, 2012, Los AngelesCalifornia), American author best known for his highly imaginative short stories and novels that blend a poetic style, nostalgia for childhood, social criticism, and an awareness of the hazards of runaway technology.

First short stories

Bradbury’s family moved to Los Angeles in 1934. In 1937 Bradbury joined the Los Angeles Science Fiction League, where he received encouragement from young writers such as Henry Kuttner, Edmond Hamilton, Robert Heinlein, and Leigh Brackett, who met weekly with him. Bradbury published his first short story, “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma” (1938), in the league’s “fanzine,” Imagination! He published his own fanzine, Futuria Fantasia, in 1939. That same year Bradbury traveled to the first World Science Fiction convention, in New York City, where he met many of the genre’s editors. He made his first sale to a professional science fiction magazine in 1941, when his short story “Pendulum” (written with Henry Hasse) was published in Super Science Stories. Many of Bradbury’s earliest stories, with their elements of fantasy and horror, were published in Weird Tales. Most of these stories were collected in his first book of short stories, Dark Carnival (1947). Bradbury’s style, with its rich use of metaphors and similes, stood out from the more utilitarian work that dominated pulp magazine writing.

In the mid-1940s Bradbury’s stories started to appear in major magazines such as The American MercuryHarper’s, and McCall’s, and he was unusual in publishing both in pulp magazines such as Planet Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories and “slicks” (so-called because of their high-quality paper) such as The New Yorker and Collier’s without leaving behind the genres he loved. The Martian Chronicles (1950), a series of short stories, depicts Earth’s colonization of Mars, which leads to the extinction of an idyllic Martian civilization. However, in the face of an oncoming nuclear war, many of the settlers return to Earth, and after Earth’s destruction, a few surviving humans return to Mars to become the new Martians. The short-story collection The Illustrated Man (1951) included one of his most famous stories, “The Veldt,” in which a mother and father are concerned about the effect their house’s simulation of lions on the African veldt is having on their children.

Fahrenheit 451Dandelion Wine, and scripts

Bradbury’s next novelFahrenheit 451 (1953), is regarded as his greatest work. In a future society where books are forbidden, Guy Montag, a “fireman” whose job is the burning of books, takes a book and is seduced by reading. Fahrenheit 451 has been acclaimed for its anti-censorship themes and its defense of literature against the encroachment of electronic media. An acclaimed film adaptation was released in 1966.

The collection The Golden Apples of the Sun (1953) contained “The Fog Horn” (loosely adapted for film as The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms [1953]), about two lighthouse keepers’ terrifying encounter with a sea monster; the title story, about a rocket’s dangerous journey to scoop up a piece of the Sun; and “A Sound of Thunder,” about a safari back to the Mesozoic to hunt a Tyrannosaurus. In 1954 Bradbury spent six months in Ireland with director John Huston working on the screenplay for the film Moby Dick (1956), an experience Bradbury later fictionalized in his novel Green Shadows, White Whale (1992). After the release of Moby Dick, Bradbury was in demand as a screenwriter in Hollywood and wrote scripts for Playhouse 90Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and The Twilight Zone.

One of Bradbury’s most personal works, Dandelion Wine (1957), is an autobiographical novel about a magical but too brief summer of a 12-year-old boy in Green Town, Illinois (a fictionalized version of his childhood home of Waukegan). His next collection, A Medicine for Melancholy (1959), contained “All Summer in a Day,” a poignant story of childhood cruelty on Venus, where the Sun comes out only every seven years. The Midwest of his childhood was once again the setting of Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962), in which a carnival comes to town run by the mysterious and evil Mr. Dark. The next year, he published his first collection of short plays, The Anthem Sprinters and Other Antics.

Later work and awards

In the 1970s Bradbury no longer wrote short fiction at his previous pace, turning his energy to poetry and drama. Earlier in his career he had sold several mystery short stories, and he returned to the genre with Death Is a Lonely Business (1985), an homage to the detective stories of writers such as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett mixed with an autobiographical setting of 1949 Venice, California, where Bradbury lived at the time. Two sequels, A Graveyard for Lunatics (1990) and Let’s All Kill Constance (2002), mined his experiences in 1950s and ’60s Hollywood. His final novel, Farewell Summer (2006), was a sequel to Dandelion Wine. He adapted 59 of his short stories for the television series The Ray Bradbury Theatre (1985–92).

Bradbury was often considered a science fiction author, but he said that his only science fiction book was Fahrenheit 451. Strictly speaking, much of his work was fantasy, horror, or mysteries. He said, “I use a scientific idea as a platform to leap into the air and never come back.” He received many honours for his work including an Emmy for his animated adaptation of The Halloween Tree (1994) and the National Medal of Arts (2004). In 2007 the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded Bradbury a Special Citation for his distinguished career. (Source: