People give George R.R. Martin an unholy amount of shit for how long it takes him to write his novels. Now, on the one hand, A Song of Ice and Fire appears to be be following some geometric progression of ever widening release gaps (2 years, 3 years, 5 years, 6 years…). On the other hand, George R.R. Martin is not your bitch. So, yes, both sides have their points to make.
No matter how you feel about this issue, however, rest assured George R.R. Martin is just as frustrated by his process as you are.
This revelation came out very candidly towards the end of an hour long interview/conversation with Stephen King. The event, organized by Bookworks in New Mexico, saw the two authors speak at length about their careers, influences – y’know, writer stuff. Through the entire thing, however, there’s an unspoken feeling that this is a talk between a man who wrote 5 books, and the man who wrote every book.
This tension is finally broken just as the interview is wrapping up when Martin asks King the question we’ve all been wondering for years now: “How the fuck do you write so many books?” Though Martin follows this up with a chuckle, the unspoken second half of the question is clear: “You motherfucker, it’s taken me twenty goddamn years to write my story! How many fucking novels have you written in that time? How many movies and short stories? Huh? You piece of shit! You goddamn monster.”
Shockingly, King’s answer was not “Satan deal.”
You can skip to about 50 minutes in the video below to hear King’s response, though we highly recommend watching the whole thing if you’re even the least bit of a fan of either of these two giants of fiction. They both have interesting tales to tell and useful advice to give, and the format of the event allows both writers to loosen up a bit.