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Still Talking

I am interviewed... in Spanish:


And hey, I don't even SPEAK Spanish!

I hope I said something smart.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 1st, 2010 09:50 am (UTC)
Nice one George.

Greetings from Barcelona and hope to see you around again soon, last visit was cool.

I still remember when I first gave you Windhaven, and only when I had my windhaven copy signed, gave you ASOIAF books. You looked puzzled. :-)

One can have priorities, right? :-)
Jul. 1st, 2010 09:51 am (UTC)
nice interview
I've just read it and I've enjoyed very much
The most I liked was the coments about the characters and his/hers deaths. With Storm my girlfriend launch the book over the room in certain chapter (not the one you are thinking probably) because she come too sad and only continued reading because I told her to.

I'm from Spain too (as the interviewers) and it's not necesary to say you are invited any time you wanna come (my girlfriend's not mad at you anymore, she is over it). Ty, if you're reading this (I guess it is) you are invited too (but you will probably have to share the bed)
Jul. 1st, 2010 10:25 am (UTC)
I'm a
I speak spanish and I can say that the interview looks good enought ;-)
Jul. 1st, 2010 10:55 am (UTC)
Oooooohhh, Martin! (L)

¡Me encanta que hagas entrevistas en español y te acuerdes de tus fans de España!
( aunque hables poco sobre CdHyF... y no digas nada nuevo ;)

España loves you, so come back!
And, you know... keep writing! =P
Jul. 1st, 2010 12:46 pm (UTC)
Muy buena entrevista, muy interesante. Gracias :)
Jul. 1st, 2010 01:34 pm (UTC)
No Hablo...
I wish I hablo'ed Espagnola! The picture of the opening chapter of AGOT was well translated though! :D
Jul. 1st, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
Only thing I can say: Tyrion is my favourite character, too.

(Don't worry, you haven't said nothing stupid there)
Jul. 1st, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
Nice work
It's a good translation you have to be very happy with your interviewers, that does not happen very often! ;)
Jul. 1st, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
I can understand Spanish, nice interview Mr Martin.

It's amazing how a dead direwolf and her pups inspired such a story, I mean, thinking on the richness and complexity of the Seven Kingdoms, Valyria, The East... the heroes from the past, the prophecies, the legends, the present characters with their dramas, the forthcoming future, truly amazing. It requires a genius to convert that primal spark/direwolf into A Song of Ice and Fire. Buen trabajo! :)
Jul. 1st, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
Just re-read the interview and had a thought... does the fact of Tyrion being your favorite character have to do with him having the most... 'saucy' scenes? :P
Jul. 1st, 2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Tyrion
Doesn't hurt.
Jul. 2nd, 2010 06:44 am (UTC)
Re: Tyrion
thought so ;)
Jul. 1st, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
Translation of the interview (part one)
[Disclaimer: I am not a professional translator. This is not an official translation of George R. R. Martin's interview in the magazine. Any mistakes are either due to scribal error, or my lack of translation skills. I'm taking a short break, but will be back with part two after dinner.]

Mr. Martin?
Yes, glad to meet you.
Hello, We're calling from Spain.
Yes, glad to hear you.
We had an interview today, I think.
Yes, I'm ready. You too?
Yes, [we're ready] too.
We are Triada Magica, first of all thank you for the opportunity provided.
You're welcome.
If you don't mind, we'll go directly to questions.
Onwards, please.
First, what memories do you have of your work as a scriptwriter for television series such as Beauty and the Beast?
Yes, I participated in two series when I was in Hollywood. I worked on "Beauty and the Beast" and also "Twilight Zone", the 1980 revival series of "The Twilight Zone", and those were very good experiences, which I enjoyed. It was a very special, very heartwarming job. I worked with some producers on Beauty and the Beast, like R. Fish and P. Roman. It was wonderful to write for them. We had a magnificent team of writers there too. I worked with other people, like Alan Brennet and Rodney Brennan on "Twilight Zone" and Marc Castle on "Beauty and the Beast". In the end, it was a very good experience for me. I enjoyed it.
Did they leave room for creativity, or were there some kinds of restrictions or impositions by the producers of the series?
You mean in both series, when he was on "Beauty and the Beast" and "Twilight Zone"?
Yes, in both.
Yes, well, Twilight Zone was my first show. My first experience with scripts, or most of those scripts adapted from existing stories written by other authors. Yeah, I wanted to concentrate. I was new to Hollywood and to television and wanted to concentrate on learning more than the story, therefore, of the five scripts for Twilight Zone, four of them were adaptations where the story was given to me. The fifth was an original story. Later, when I was on "Beauty and the Beast", it was quite different, because all my stories there were original and I was a writer and on the production team. We were a good team, you know, had no great creative differences. The producer, Ran Cusslow, was very happy with the things that we created.
Do you follow any series now?
Any type of series?
Yes, any type.
Well, I see quite a bit of television. You know, I'm enjoying "Lost" right now, I am following the series "Lost" and I watch other kinds of series. I was a big fan of the new season of "Galactica" up to the end. I did not like that ending at all, haha, but the follow up to the end. And, of course, HBO has a large number of works that have been very, very impressive. In recent years, I'm a big fan of "Deadwood", if you have no such series in Spain, they are great shows.
This question is not very original, but some of the followers of our blog begged us to ask it: when did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
Oh, I've always written, even as a young child, I used to write lots of stories of monsters, and read them to other kids where I lived. And this happened even when I went to school. In high school I was a big fan of comics. I wrote little comics that appeared in several magazines and amateur fanzines. Well, I was in high school in the 60s. My first story was when I was in college, my first fiction story, when I graduated in 1970, and at that moment I was completely convinced that I wanted to be a writer. I did not know if I could live by it or would have to have another job and write in the evenings and weekends. It took me about ten years of working on other things and writing in my free time before becoming full-time writer in 1980.
Jul. 2nd, 2010 02:17 am (UTC)
Translation of the interview (part two)
[Disclaimers: same as before. I hope this is a little more readable, but some of the sentences still got away from me.]

That's very interesting. Your main influences include Tolkien, Jack Vance, Tad Williams ... yet the basis for Song of Ice and Fire is more realistic and based more on medieval history in mythology. Where does this influence come from?

Well, yes, when I started "Song of Ice and Fire" I wanted to make a combination from mixing the traditional fantasy like Tolkien, with some realism and predisposition of the major historical traditions. I always read the two. I've been reading writers like the great American historical writers Thomas V., Frank Kirby, and the great work of French writer Maurice Dranosuon, whose books were translated as "The Accursed Kings", i.e., I've read a lot of historical fiction and, of course, lots of history. I wanted to incorporate some of that into "Song of Ice and Fire" to make a compendium of both traditions.

Writing a book with such a variety of characters, each with his own personality, history and different development, one assumes it to be a huge organizational effort. Especially taking into account the length of the story. Do you use some organizational method for maintaining the entire story in that wonderful balance?

Well, the majority is in my head. I mean I wrote notes, genealogies and worked out things like that, and I made maps, but the majority of all that thought came along the road. Spend a year designing everything before you write, and then just start to write and tell the story and put all the ideas in order. I may not be as organized as I should, so in a project of this [embergadura?], I lost too much time going back and forth trying to remember what color were the eyes on that person, or as it was when I left off, but most of it is basically in my head or in a huge file loaded on my computer.

What is the origin of the story? Namely, what inspired you to start a story so vast and rich?

I never thought it would be so large when I started. I thought it was going to be a trilogy. I've said many times, in fact I didn't know where the story came from. I was writing another book, in 1991, in the summer of 1991, and had begun another project, a science fiction novel that had been planned for some time. I was doing a lot of work all day and I suddenly had the idea for the first chapter of "Game of Thrones". Not the prologue, but the first chapter, Bran's chapter, which describes the Warg wolves in the snow. The characters came to me so vivid and clear I knew I had to translate that, so I parked the other book, and wrote that chapter. It took me several days and I already knew there had to be a second chapter, that is, I kept writing "Game of Thrones". I never went back to the other book, and continued from there. It took me a few years, and has grown slowly to this point, but I am still on the road I started that day, and really I have no idea where the inspiration came from. But it has burned in my head for a long time.

We imagine that to undertake a challenge of this scale must be exhausting and require much energy to carry it out. Did you know when you started this adventure that it was going to be something so big?

I didn't think so. When I started in 1991 I didn't know what it was. Like I said, it was a chapter, but at the end of summer I knew I had a book, probably a trilogy. Finally when I showed it to the publisher in 1994, I had made clear that it was a trilogy, that is, they were originally going to be three books. Now I am thinking of seven books. I am working now in the fifth and the aim is to finish in seven books. It grew much more than I anticipated it would.

Which character is the hardest to write?

The hardest character to write about is Bran, because he's so young, you know? He's the youngest of all the characters, so you have to remember what it was like to be a kid, and you have to think about what he would understand and would not understand, to see the world differently than as we see it.

And do you have a predilection for any of the characters?

Well, I love all the characters, I mean they are my children, but Tyrion I love the most. Tyrion is my personal favorite, Tyrion Lannister.
Jul. 2nd, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
Translation of the interview (part three)
[Disclaimer: Same as before, again.]

Do you suffer as much a we do when a character dies in the book?

Oh, probably more than you actually. It is very hard to kill these people after you have taken so long and spent so many hours and days writing about them, but I know, the story takes its course, and I have to follow it to where it takes me.

What is your opinion of the coming television adaptation of Song of Ice and Fire that HBO is preparing?

I am excited. I've been there and seen the shooting in Ireland, Scotland and Morocco, and it's very exciting to see. I cannot wait. I have not seen anything of the result, but I think we'll see it soon. We have some fabulous actors, led by Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, and Lena Headley. So I'm anxious to see it.

There are already two RPGs set in "Song of Ice and Fire." Do you have any interest in RPGs?

Yes, I've played a lot of RPGs. My series "Wild Cards", which is now in volume 21, I have been developing since the mid-80s, and is inspired by a RPG that I was playing with friends in the early 80s. Yes, I played a lot of RPGs over the years, directed and played RPGs.

Plans to come to Spain to promote your book?

Well I have been in Spain several times. The last recently, last year.

Yes, I know.

I was there for Semana Negra. I love Semana Negra. I've been there twice in Semana Negra, and I hope to go again. Of course, I have had good experiences in Madrid, Barcelona, and some other cities, Sevilla, Malaga. I really enjoy it. Magnificent castilas and lots of things like that, a lot of history. So there were a few visits, about six. I will return someday.

If you do so, could you think of Alicante, where we are now.

Yeah, who knows, maybe someday when we are in Spain. That would be fun.

And the last question: What new [*written ruevo, I assume they mean nuevo] challenges are planned now?

Well, even I have to face the challenges of old, finishing the sixth book, continuing with the series of "Wild Card", writing for the television series, the first season, I can not really do more, but I'm very excited with all the projects.

That's a lot of work.

Yes, it is.

Well, Mr. Martin, thank you very much for your time. It was nice talking with you.

You're welcome.

We hope you come soon to Spain and we meet in person.

I would love it.

Thanks for everything, Mr. Martin.

Okay, thanks, bye.
Jul. 2nd, 2010 06:20 am (UTC)
Re: Translation of the interview (part three)
good work!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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

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