May 29, 2014

Interview With Anne Groell, GRRM's Editor at Bantam

The following is an interview by Anne Groell, George R.R. Martin's editor at Bantam.The Q&A was with Suvudu Universe, and is re-transcribed here....


 
Do you think it will take GRRM more then 7 books to finish ASOIAF?
  I begin to wonder—though 7 is what we currently have under contract. I remember when he called me, years and years back, to confess that his little trilogy was…well…no longer a trilogy. He predicted four books. I said Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Then he said five books. I said Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Then he went to six. I said… Well, you get it. Finally, we were on the same page. Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Good. Only, as I recently learned while editing THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE (another awesome thing you must buy when it comes out!), there are really technically eight kingdoms, all having to do with who has annexed what when Aegon the Conqueror landed in Westeros. So, maybe eight books for Seven Kingdoms would be okay. Also, he has promised me that, when he finally wraps this great beast, I can publish the five page letter outlining the bare bones of the “trilogy.”

When will TWOW be released?
  For TWOW, when I have a date, you will have a date. I’m now on Twitter, Del Rey Spectra has a number of social media platforms, and I promise you we will put the word out as soon as we know. All I can say is that George is hard at work, and we hope to have it reasonably soon. I currently have 168 pages that he submitted back in Feb 2013 in order to receive a contracted payment, but I know more exists, because he keeps talking about chapter he hasn’t yet sent me. In fact, when we wanted to put an exclusive excerpt on the A WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE app—a magnificent thing which you all should buy and use!—he suggested the second Tyrion chapter, which I then had to remind him was not in the sample I had.

We know that the producers of the TV show Game of Thrones know in broad strokes the ending of the main character arcs of A Song of Ice and Fire. Without giving anything away, do you know the ending, too?
  No. George is a very secretive fellow, and guards his secrets well. I do know a few things from AWOW, but mainly because we had to shorten a few elements in the book as it was already getting too long, and he had to reveal a few secrets so I could help him redirect parts of the plot a bit. I do know the endpoint of Bran’s story line—and Daniel Abraham, who has been adapting the graphic novel of AGOT for me, knows where Tyrion ends up. (I am jealous of that!) But much in the way all of you have been keeping secrets from show watchers who have not yet read the books (and I continue to be impressed by how secret you all kept the Red Wedding), I also will never tell what I know. George has somehow managed to swear us all to this amazing conspiracy of silence, which I admire and appreciate and fully participate in! I had a very amusing lunch with Daniel in which we very pointedly did not tell each other what the other one knew. In short, like you, I Keep George’s Secrets.

Have you ever tried convincing George into using a laptop for writing and writing on the road instead of only writing on his computer at home?
  Good gracious, yes! Multiple times. He is one stubborn man, and very set in his ways, though.

Do you enjoy watching HBO’s Game of Thrones?
  I love it. It’s the only show I treat like a movie. My husband and I watch it faithfully with another friend (and if she can’t make it over on a Sunday, we wait to watch it until she can see it with us.) Mostly we watch TV with the living room lights on, but for GOT, we turn off all the lights and pretend we are in a movie theater, and that nothing else exists. I think David and Dan are doing a terrific job keeping true to the spirit of the books while still needing to cut for time. It’s been fascinating doing my own adaptation with Daniel of the graphic novel, and comparing the choices we make (we have a bit more space in 24 issues of 29 page each than they did with roughly ten hours per book) with the choices they made. In any adaptation, you have to take some liberties.

From what you’ve read about The Winds of Winter so far, and, without spoiling anything, how good do you think the book is compared to the others in the series?
  It’s amazing. In fact, when I first read the partial back in 2013, I immediately wrote George an impassioned plea to please not let the show get out ahead of him. I can’t predict what will happen from here, but I definitely want his version to be my first version. And I think a lot of you want that, too. His vision started this; I very much want his vision to end it, too.

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