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George R R Martin and Game of Thrones

16 December 2019

‘There were a couple of years where, if I could have finished the book, I could have stayed ahead of the show for another couple of years, and the stress was enormous. I don't think it was very good for me, because the very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day - and a good day for me is three or four pages - I'd feel terrible because I'd be thinking: "My God, I have to finish the book. I've only written four pages when I should have written 40."

I'm glad of the emotional reactions, whether to the books or the television show, because that's what fiction is all about - emotion. If you want to make an intellectual argument or persuade someone, then write an essay or piece of journalism, write nonfiction. Fiction... should feel as if you're living these things when you read or watch them. If you're so distanced by it that a character dies and you don't care, then to an extent the author has failed.'

George R R Martin, whose epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire has been made into a hugely successful tv series, Game of Thrones, and which still has two more volumes to come, in the Observer.