The Citadel: SSM

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UK Signing Tour (Nottingham, UK)

Someone asked him what if he died. We're all "shit outta luck" if that happens, apparently. I think he said the next one will hopefully be done by the end of next year, after splitting it there was half of it written with half of it left to do. He says it should be seven books now, but jokes that it might be eight or even more depending on what happens, he's not sure now, but seven is what he hopes. He has the whole storyline done already in "broad strokes", but compares writing them out as being like going on a long road journey. You have the map and know where you're going, but don't know what'll pop up behind each turn or if there'll be a nice place to eat or diverting attraction on the way. Most of all, he states firmly that he writes the books he wants to write, and if that means he has to shunt back the release dates or write more of them, well, that's what's going to happen.

He now says he can't imagine why he ever thought the five-year story gap would have ever worked, most of the problems it caused were with the adult characters who wouldn't have just stopped everything for those years meaning there'd have to be lots of "Hey, remember that thing we did four and a half years ago?" style flashbacks. While discussing how he writes his female characters, he also mentioned that splitting the books as he did this time meant we didn't get the parallel between how Danaerys and Cersei both approach the task of leadership, which is a bit of a shame.

He has another Dunk and Egg story done (yaaay) and continues to stick to writing one between each book, with them all being collected into another book someday once Ice and Fire is done. Someone asked him if he had a meticulous filing system for all the background info and he replied he wished he had. He thought it'd be easy to just keep everything in his head like with his other books to begin with, but these days he refers to http://www.westeros.org when he needs to check something.

When I got my book done, I complimented him on the Lovecraftiness of certain bits of Feast, and we had a little "Man, Lovecraft eh?" exchange. So yeah, I shot the shit with George R. R. Martin about Lovecraft. I forgot to ask him if he's played Thief or Mount & Blade, but someone I was chatting to there mentioned that he's a fan of gaming and computer games, and has to be careful he doesn't spend too much time playing them when he's writing his books.

Anyway, awesome to hear him speak, he's got a really humourous, wry style and he has a great awareness of things like how he's viewed, being a fantasy series fan and whatnot. Like, he has a rule that he'll sign any number of books you bring him (some people had bags with them with their collections, for instance), but only 3 at a time before you have to join the back of the queue again to get the next ones done, so you don't hold everyone up but can still get everything you want signed, which is very fair and even-handed all round. Very warm, witty and humble to listen to, and a damn nice guy. It was awesome to meet him, I really can't say enough good things about him.

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