Rolling Stones interview with GoT Author

when suddenly it just came to me, this scene, from what would ultimately be the first chapter of A Game of Thrones. It’s from Bran’s viewpoint; they see a man beheaded and they find some direwolf pups in the snow. It just came to me so strongly and vividly that I knew I had to write it. I sat down to write, and in, like, three days it just came right out of me, almost in the form you’ve read.

Rolling Stone Interview with George R R Martin.  I read the books when they first came out over a decade ago and I must confess that I struggled – the political intrigue is not my favourite aspect of his works and keeping track of everyone made my head hurt when all I wanted was some escapism.  I still have not watched the full GoT series (waiting for blu-ray and some mammoth GoT weekends) but I cannot fault it’s brilliance as a TV show.

The Interview is a great read for any author wannabe or not.  And obviously GoT fans (spoiler alert in the interview – read the damn books).  What struck me as especially amazing is that he did the world-building while he wrote – I can barely keep track of my own ideas and he somehow manages to build the detail and background on the fly while he writes…. a map in a half hour…. grrrr….

 

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The King’s Wit

“What you saw belongs to you. A story doesn’t live until it is imagined in someone’s mind.”
“What does the story mean, then?”
“It means what you want it to mean. The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon. Too often, we forget that.” – Hoid, “Wit” ,The Way of Kings

When I find a book that I like, I usually voraciously consume every other book written by the same author until I get to the point where I sit starving, waiting (and sometimes pleading) for the author to publish his next work.  I once did this so blindly that I only realised, after months of bemoaning the authors lack of work ethic, that he was long dead and would no longer be satisfying any of my cravings.  The authors don’t need to be Tolkiens or Atwoods or have won some high brow awards – they just need to have written books that I have enjoyed reading and I will usually buy everything they have ever written.  Brand loyalty or what!

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Bye Toutatis!

The year is 50 BC. Gaul is entirely occupied by the Romans. Well, not entirely … One small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the invaders. And life is not easy for the Roman legionaries who garrison the fortified camps of Totorum, Aquarium, Laudanum and Compendium…

So began countless hours of reading when I was a boy.  At first, I’d just look at the pictures and laugh when Unhygienix flings a ‘fresh’ fish at Fulliautomatix or  watch Vitalstatistix falling off his shield yet again. Later I would be fascinated at the weird Egyptian hieroglyphic writing and Gothic scripts or pirates swearing in fists, skulls and other symbols.  I’d wonder what Dogmatix would do with another tree falling over or how many boars Obelix would eat (still have to try boar one day) or what he really did with all his menhirs. As I grew older, I’d smile at the puns and other little cultural and political gems hidden in the names and dialogue and laugh at Obelixs infatuation with Panacea and finally understand the other more ‘grown up’ concepts that I never noticed before. Mansion of the Gods, The Great Divide and Asterix in Switzerland became favourites that got so worn the pages had to be re-attached with cello-tape every few years. Asterix & Obelix were childhood companions that I have never grown out of.

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The shop around the corner

Do any of you remember “You’ve Got Mail” from the last century?  You remember, before Meg Ryan decided she wanted to look like Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Batman’s arch-enemy, The Joker.  Why the hell? I digress… The movie.  I watched it with my daughter a few weeks back (the things you do for a cuddle) and I found it quite ironic how things have changed.  Remember the Shop Around the Corner,  that quintessential little book store we all used to visit before the big bad Fox Books gobbled it up? Well,  now it’s the big ‘bad’ book store chains that are on the receiving end of that River in South America.

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