You get fan mail at the bar?
People just write “Ian Rankin, Scotland” on the envelopes and somehow they magically end up at the Oxford bar.
I know it’s strange to be thinking about October right now, but whenever I write, in a way that’s always where I am. Growing up in Connecticut, it always held a special place in my heart — “a rare month for boys,” as Ray Bradbury begins Something Wicked This Way Comes.
It was everything: The way the dying leaves clung to tree branches and crunched underfoot. The first wisps of chimney smoke that wafted in the evening air. The promises of free candy and a good World Series. These were the miniature miracles of my 12-year-old life.
But for me, the true horror of the book wasn’t the carnival or its soul-swallowing ringmaster. It was a hard truth — the truth that our parents weren’t always the heroes we needed them to be.
Bradbury’s adults were weak with temptation and worn down by regrets. They were real, and that was the horror of it all.