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The flood of support I have received in the last day has been overwhelming.

More than four hundred comments on the DWD posting, and more every time I glance at it. I can hardly keep up with the unscreening. (My assistant, Ty, who normally handles that for me, has been out the last two days, sick with the same wretched flu that laid Parris low for a week and a half). Almost as many emails pouring in. By rough count, at least 99% of the messages are generous, understanding, supportive, and heartening.

There's no way I can possibly answer all of them. It's all I can do to read them.

But I do appreciate them, and I want every one to know that.

And, no, please, have no fear, there was never any danger that I would be so discouraged by the comments of trolls, critics, and detractors that I would stop work on the book. I am still pounding my head against that bloody keyboard daily. Today it was in service of... ah, no, you're not supposed to know about that POV character yet. (Though I have hinted).

I also spent part of the day on email correspondence with a WARRIORS author about his story, talked to my editor and an artist about the ICE & FIRE concordance, traded some messages regarding developments on the HBO pilot, accepted an offer for that old issue of AMAZING I was looking for, paid my phone bill, and watched an episode of ER and one of MONK that I had TIVO'd earlier. That's a pretty typical day, actually. I work on DANCE, but not to the exclusion of all else.

But I digress.

The main point of this is just to say thanks.

Yes, there are some dolts and loonies out there. But by and large, I have the best fans in the world.

(And who knew so many of them were Rick Nelson fans?)


( 186 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 23rd, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)
I'm lucky in that I just started reading Feast of Crows last week. I just started to read these books in September thanks to friends who badgered me for a long time to read them. Truly the best i have read. Equal to Lord of the Rings in terms of importance to the genre and just as involved and complex. Tolkien's story was not as complex as the world and alphabets/languages/etc. he created whereas your story and characters are very complex and I can never figure out where you are going with anyone. I don't know what I am saying now... They are just too good. No way could 3 movies cover this. Not even 10 could do it. Looking forward to finishing Crows and buying Dance of Dragons as soon as it is available. And the HBO take on it. I am actually enjoying Crows a lot in that I am getting a break from the "main" group of characters and meeting new ones. I hope to meet you someday. You have been an inspiration to me.
Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
I love ya, George, and don't change a thing. People who complain about the work done by their favorite author are the worstest (!) kind of armchair quarterbacks. No one could do what you do, and I am *so grateful* to have your books on my shelf and in my heart. You've created and populated a world I've lived in since I first read A Game of Thrones about 6 years ago. Thank you, and if A Dance With Dragons takes another 10 years, I will still shout your name from the rooftops (and pass out your books to my friends who I think can handle it!!)

Blessings (of the Old Gods and the New),

David M. Marsh
Yakima, Washington
Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
I like your response
I like your response to the critics.

As to having a life - you wouldn't write as well as you do if you didn't.
Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all the haters vanish. I'm so sorry people have made the experience of writing feel more like a chore for you.

One thought - could your assistant answer your e-mail, at least to screen for things like that? You could have a professional e-mail separate from your personal e-mail, and then he could handily delete everything that wasn't legitimate.
Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
The vocal minority strikes again
I have been reading your books for years and this Not-A-Blog for a long time as well. Suffice to say that it has never before occured to me to comment on it once. Nor to write you any email. Why? Because I am a normal person that respects the boundaries that society has created and that any decent person follows without any conscious effort. So to put your mind at ease, you should know that for every wacko that contacts you in any form to detract or otherwise intrude in your life, there are hundreds of others that simply enjoy your writing and are excited for more when it gets here.

I am a writer too, albeit in software. I know that a quasi-masterpiece can be written in a matter of hours, but it does not have much to it. Anything of real value takes a lot longer and takes redesign, rewrite, and sometimes just plain throwing pieces out and starting over. Some ideas work great until they are fleshed out. Others are dim until they are started and then things just seem to write themselves. I can't imagine someone inspecting my work to the level of scrutiny that your readers inspect what you do. See, right there. Terrible grammar on display ;)

Do what you need to do to stay true to yourself and the marvelous story/world you have created. The silent majority will continue to stay mostly silent because that is what normal strangers do.

Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm happy that you received mostly good comments. :-)
Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
I also didn't see the first post until late in the process and decided I had to drop a few words in support.

As you are a sports fan, I thought I'd use a baseball metaphor -- when you keep hitting home-runs in every at bat you don't change your routine (three extra hours in the batting cage may cause you to strike out more, not less).

So please, keep doing whatever has been making you happy and helping you write this series. Your work continues to amaze and stun me -- your vision is staggering. To be even more frank, I am one of many readers that are humbled that I have the opportunity to be on this earth during the time that this series is being written. Keep up the good work and g-d bless.
Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the reading pleasure so far
Never watched American Football and probably never will, I have never read Wild Cards and probably never will and when Dance with Dragons is in the shops I'll probably wait for the paperback like a true cheapskate, but I can't thank you enough for the reading pleasure I've had from A Song of Ice and Fire and the Dunk and Egg stories.

Before A Throne of Swords I had last read fantasy ten years before as a student and then Terry Pratchett and it was ten years before that as a teenager that I'd last read fantasy that was intended to be serious.

What pleasure I have had though since that great opening with the Starks and the symbolic dead direwolf: reading my way through the battle of the Blackwater while less than sober when I should have been studing for exams, the vicarious pleasure from seeing Freys hanged, the loving descriptions of feasts (even the mashed turnips), the deep sense of satisfaction at the very long game that Prince Doran is playing.

Every page has been worth the wait and even better each page has repaid rereading. It has been amazing to read something as brutal and complex as medieval history, rich and rewarding from one book to the next.

Thank you George RR Martin!
Feb. 23rd, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
A rather belated word of support, but I still find it hard to believe that anyone who is a fan of your work would engage in anything more than good-natured ribbing about the writing schedule. I'll just offer a thought about scheduling from my own field, software. The rule of thumb in software scheduling is that you figure out how long you think it will take, then double it and up the units by one level. So if you think it'll take two days, the resulting estimate is four weeks. (The actual process, I've found, is that I use this method, my boss reacts with shock, I revise it downward to a more "reasonable" time, and it ends up taking as long as I originally estimated. But I digress.)

Perhaps you could offer this process to your critics as a method of translating your informal projections into time estimates. That way they can be pleasantly surprised when the book arrives in less than sixteen years. :-)

The rest of us will just continue to understand how lucky we are to have it whenever it arrives.
Feb. 23rd, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
Artwork (Feb 22)
There was no link for comments on the artwork. I just wanted to comment that as one who has read the Tarot for over 20 years, the art of Ice and Fire would make an amazing Tarot deck. =)
Feb. 23rd, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
Keep it up
Mr. Martin, ( I say Mr. Martin for the respect i hold you in)

Keep up the good work, I know it can't be easy to multitask the way you do and keep to a deadline. Just go with the flow, and as much as I want to read Dance, it will be done when it's done, to rush something will ruin the final product, either the detail will not be as fine, or in the case of a book, plot holes that are incomplete...those suck. Keep at it and I look foward to the rest of the series.
Feb. 23rd, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
I'm impressed that you even left Spain. You're 60 for heavens sake! If you can't do what you want when you're 60, when will you? If we wanted a commercial book, popped out like octuplets, we'd read Rowling. Stick 'em with the pointy end George!
Feb. 23rd, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
Hi there Mr. Martin,

I popped over after reading John Scalzi's column on pissy fans, in particular what's happening with your writing and anticipated books.

I'm sad to say I've never read any of your work, but I wanted to drop a note of support to you. Thank you for the work you've done and for those that want to act as if you owe them something because they are a fan? They need to a get a life and stop trying to begrudge you yours.

Cheers, and good luck to you in all of your future work.
Feb. 23rd, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
The cure for patience-deprived fans
You can add my voice to the torrent of good spirited vibes coming your way...

But I also have the cure for all your fans who can't stand the wait until you are done (because they are indeed fans of youre work if they the take time to actually share their frustration of having to wait for your next masterpiece). Here it goes :


Anytime I feel a bit down waiting for ADWD... I go ahead and re-read the complete ASOIAF (even the comic books). And every time I relive some passages that I had forgotten or did not remember properly.

So there you go : When someone whines about delays and what not, tell them to re-read the thing!! And maybe by the time they are done, the next book will be out... If not, they can always re-re-read it and so on until it's done!!
Feb. 23rd, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
the Quality is worth the wait
Only the author knows when it is done and ready, not the readers or the editor, and you have demonstrated in the first books of the series that it is an extraordinary gift you are presenting us...a legacy that will live long after we the readers are gone.

Stay the course, my friend. You'll finish it when you finish it, and we'll eat it up...and then ask for more.

Feb. 23rd, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)

I don't think I've commented on your journal before, but I'd like to add my voice to the support. Would I be happier if I'd had the book in 2007? Well, yes, but that applies to 2000 and 1995, too, and while I'm at it, I want a pony. I want all kinds of impossible things, but I'm not going to get angry about them.

I am confident that when the book is finished, you'll sell it to me, and I will happily give you money for it and thank you, because I love your work and I love your story. And, until then, I will wait, watch your news posts, and be glad that you tell me it's on the way eventually.

Thanks for writing, and don't let the bastards grind you down.

Okay, fanboy mode off. Good luck with the completion of the book, and I hope you won't deliver it until you're happy with it.
Feb. 24th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
I so hear ya. I've been trying to finish a book for months, and it is excruciating. We barely got the tree decorated this year; I've been late for quite a while. Bills are due, etc. It's a 940 page project, and every time I look at it, another little correction is made. And I look at it every day, and I am still finding things that I should have noticed months ago. Sometimes it is hours before I can look at it. Of course it is improving; style does not come naturally to me, it is worked and re-worked word by word. I had good feedback on my last project (if not much cash), but this one is much bigger. Altogether, it is so difficult to enter into such a project that I would say to detractors, try to write something yourself, not even in the same genre. Ultimately, I am trying to be detailed without being boring or opaque, and that's a tall order. A fiction book, that needs elements of subtlety and surprise, is much more difficult. Best wishes to you, and yes, I do hope the series becomes easier to write, but only for your sake.
Feb. 24th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
Huh; the presumption of some fans can be really surprising. One can only assume the hate mail Coppola got when Apocolypse Now was three years late- or, oo! David Gerrold still hasn't finished the Chtorr series; I'll bet someone TPs his house!

(Personally, I appreciate you taking the time to make to book as good as it can be.)
Feb. 24th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
I love your books.
And while I don't like wait(who does?), those people who are leaving you nasty comments are just downright stupid. Anyways, I just wanted to say thanks and show my support to a great writer, like all the other folks that have posted something positive.
Feb. 24th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
Don't let these lame people get you down! I'm very much looking forward to the release of the next installment....more time spent on the book means a high quality product! :)
Feb. 24th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
"Okay, I've got the message. You don't want me doing anything except A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. Ever. (Well, maybe it's okay if I take a leak once in a while?)"

I would never say that. However, about something more like Tuf Voyaging...

(shifty eyes)

Probably. Thanks for sharing what you did and take care, eh?
Feb. 24th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
As long as it doesn't end at the Dark Tower...
...I'll wait as long as it takes. In the mean time I'm loaning out A Game of Thrones like a crack dealer gives away free samples.
Feb. 24th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
re: Hang in there
Haven't checked your not a blog for a few days so I was surprised by the flurry of activity regarding "Dance of Dragons". Having been a bookstore manager for 17 years I have seen many series rise and wane, but when it comes to fantasy "A Song of Ice & Fire" is the best out there.

Do I get frustrated sometimes waiting for "Dance of Dragons" to come out, sure I do. But I will always have the memory of finding "Game of Thrones" in 1996 while I was shelving in the Sci-Fi/Fantasty section. I started to read it at lunch and cursed out loud when my lunch was over, as I didn't want to put it down. Thus began a couple of days of torrid reading that ended with one of the greatest scenes in Fantasy writing ever with the birth through fire of the dragons. Since then I ask all of my fantasy readers if they have read your series and have had the pleasure of recommending "Game of Thrones" hundreds of times and almost every time I do they are back in a few days later to pick up the rest of the series and then when they have finished the series, so far, to pester me with questions on when does your next book come out. So "Game of Thrones" and the experiences I have had around recommending it our some of the best I have had in my long career as a bookseller.

Like you I love the NFL, although I am a Seahawk fan, they were robbed in 2005, not one penalty on the Steelers, come on! Those conventions that you go to sound like a lot of fun and I have really enjoyed reading the last two "Wild Card" books, in fact I just finished the second one last week.

So enjoy your life and rest assured that I will await "Dance of Dragons" with bated breath and sure there will be times when I have to exhale in frustration and say "Can you finish the damn thing already", but I am pretty sure that like me most of your fans understand that you are doing the best you can and you want to write a great book. I would expect nothing less from the man who gave me "Game of Thrones" and the most remarkable fantasy series "A Song of Ice & Fire". Hang in there and know that as long as I am a bookseller your series will be at the top of my recomenndation list and that I support you having a life, so enjoy it.


Feb. 24th, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
dolts and loonies?
is it really fair to be calling people who care about your writing and are obviously passionate about it names? yes, I am aware that some of your critics hold no such reservations, but to generalize folks as being crazy or stupid for daring to care about something of yours is a little unfair.

there is a backlash from some of your fans, yes, but I think you have to take a look as to why that is the case. when things like having questions regarding to a work in progress be restricted when you make public appearances or when you abruptly change policy regarding something for no apparent reason on this very un-blog, it's going to rankle some folks and feed the fires.

basically, all i think people want is some transparency regarding things, as the sudden (relative) secrecy going on has led to speculation, rumor mongering and finger pointing.
Feb. 24th, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC)
I guess when people are that far up themselves that the logic of the author needing to *have a life * escapes them that even a smack with a clueByfour isn't going to help. But you could organise a clueByfour delivery committee to take over delivering the truth to the flamers, one impact at a time, for when it all gets too frustrating... glad you feel supported.
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( 186 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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