Even better, at the GRRM meeting Lodengarl and I had with him, there were some Hollywood types he will be meeting with about the books. He wasn't too sure about seeing it as a movie since one book is too large for 2 hrs but he was hopeful of a miniseries like SHOGUN.
He didn't say anything about it until he talked about how some of his books didn't do well but now they're wanted b/c of ASOIAF. I told him that this series was the one that would make him a legend (not a big risk to say on my part!), he grinned and then told us about the information.
First off, here are a few extra tidbits which most of you may not know:
(1) I asked about getting more info about Jon's parentage at the Menlo Park Q&As . . . he mentioned that it wouldn't be in #4 but it would be in #5 and on . . . so, we can argue about Rhaegar and Lyanna for the next several years;
(2) At the Berkeley meeting, I asked if we'd be able to meet Howland Reed and while he said that there wouldn't be a POV most likely, we would get to know more about the man and his connection/knowledge to the Tower of Joy and Ned at Starfall. Well, I asked about his connection with Ned and at Starfall so he just said yes, we would, basically.
(3) Arya was one of the first characters created. Sansa came about as a total opposite b/c too many of the Stark family members were getting along and familes aren't like that. Thus, Sansa was created; he ended by saying they have deep issues to work out.
(4) GRRM totally "puts on the skin" of the characters; whoever it is; easier said than done but not all authors truly do that . . . he said (paraphrasing): "I like my readers to feel tears, horror, horny, hungry, in danger, exultation . . etc."
(5) Prefers to keep some POV info second hand b/c it's true to life; he has a big problem with some fantasy authors b/c you'll have three POVs or more in one chapter.
(6) As he already said, Tolkien is his model for magic . . . there's very little screen magic in LOTR but only wonder and legends . . . even the true power of the ring was never found out. So, basically it's best not to explain too much, have lots of mystery about it and be sure there's a price to pay for it.
(7) Lodengarl asked about how the different bastard names came about: GRRM pretty much told us they weren't from anything Historical but that he really like the name, Jon Snow.
(8) His book, WINDHAVEN, had a section of islands which were never explored. These became the model for the IRON ISLES.
(9) BEAUTY AND THE BEAST has several references to winter. Certain context and themes seem to have carried over to ASOIAF. He didn't say it but it was implied.
(10) Jealous that Tolkien had 5 or 6 names for many places; he has a hard time just getting one good one.
(11) Pearlman, from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, would be great for Sandor. Best guy for Tywin: the father on THAT 70s SHOW and who was the father of the kid, who shot himself, in THE DEAD POETS SOCIETY (I think I spelled it all right).
(12) Of course, getting 2 or 3 big names is really hard so we probably wouldn't have all the big names that you guys listed on the boards. He didn't say that . . . I know that from my studies of Hollywood.
(13) It's his story and he knows he's going against the grain, but that's the way he wants to tell it (i.e. killing off characters, etc.).
(14) Tisha's fiance (I think I spelled Tisha right), Lodengarl and I spoke about why we liked the series: the gray characters, the lack of closure in some areas, focused POVs, good not always winning, the context, the way legends are so strong even if they haven't been fully explained (something RJ could learn from . . . oooh, SLAM!) . .. .GRRM was pleased and just grinned but heck, he can't say much and give his story away, right? He's getting his due finally and I think he's very pleased in that regard.
(15) He doesn't outline much for novels. He works with bits and creates as he goes. Since he hops around a lot, he worries that someday he may lose his sense of story and have nothing to write. I was going to suggest he could write more ASOIAF but I didn't think that would be considerate.
(16) ARMAGEDDON RAG almost killed his career b/c no one bought the book. Before that, FEVRE DREAM pushed him high up so it was a big drop.
(17) Most people read the paperback version of AGOT and a lot of his writing got around by word of mouth. He also feels that LEGENDS created a lot of awareness. People read his short story on Dunk and then looked for the series.
And, that was pretty much it on ASOIAF. We spoke a lot about DOORWAYS, since Tisha had been a child actor on it, and there were lots of stories. Lots. Interesting enough, he doesn't seem to care for Hollywood and gave his condolences when I said I would be pursuing it before novels . . . yet I think there were some things he really liked about it, since he spoke about many stories here and there.
Tisha spoke about her life. She reads his works, too, and recently stopped reading at the wheel. GRRM told her that's what audio tapes are for . . . lots of other things like her work in acting as a teacher and at plays, her fiance's music, their wedding, etc. Oh, turns out some fans invited GRRM to some wedding with the SEVEN KINGDOMS as a theme. A bit much, no? lol
After he signed my three books, he mentioned that maybe he should give him [Hot Pie] a son. Someone in back of us said she liked the idea, too.