My latest book SAY YOU'RE SORRY is dedicated to my eldest daughter, Alex, but there's someone else who deserves the honor - a man who died only recently. I discovered the works of Ray Bradbury when I was in my early teens, growing up in a small country town in outback Australia. I could only get about four Bradbury titles in Australia, so rather naively I wrote a letter addressed to the great man, sending it to Random House in New York.
Months passed and I came home from school one day to find a package waiting for me. It contained the five Bradbury titles that weren't available in Australia including a letter from the author, saying how thrilled he was to have a young fan on the far side of the world.
A year ago I wrote about this generous gesture, calling Ray Bradbury my literary father and describing how he inspired me to become a writer. A week or so later I had a email message from Ray Bradbury's youngest daughter, Alexandra. I had no idea that her father was still alive.
She said her Dad was 91 and almost totally blind, but she had read my story to him and 'you made an old man cry. He wanted you to know that you are his son.'
Sadly, Bradbury died on June 5 this year, but he will always be the man who inspired me to write. If you haven't read him - you've missed out. He's a literary giant who will be sadly missed but always remembered.