i09 conducted a detailed and interesting interview with George R.R. Martin concerning his A Song of Ice and Fire book series. Here is an excerpt:
"Q. Are there scenes in the Song of Ice and Fire series that you dreamed up 20 years ago, that you're finally writing? Moments you were excited to get to at last?
A. Yeah. I didn't know at first, in '91 — I didn't know quite what I had yet. I didn't even know whether it was a novel or a novella, or something, at first. So I sort of found that out. But by the summer of '91, you know, it just came to me out of nowhere, and I started writing it and following where it led. But by the end of that summer I knew I had a big series. Initially, I thought it was a trilogy, but it's grown beyond that. But the size is different, and I've introduced some other elements to the books, but it's still the same characters, the '91 characters.
Q. What was the thing that made you realize, in the middle of the first novel, that it had to be more than a trilogy?
A. It was quite at the end, it was by '95 that I realized it had to be more than a trilogy, because I had 1,500 pages of manuscript [and] I wasn't anywhere close to the end of the first book. So I said, "I know I can't get all this into three books here. I'm gonna have to break this first book into two books to get it all done." Which required a certain amount of restructuring, but I went back and I did that, I took out about 300 pages or so, and that became the beginning of the second book. And I moved things around.
Q. You've had these characters and places for 22 years, and that's a long time to live with a particular set of characters. So have you lost interest in any of those characters during that time?
A. You know, not really — because I haven't finished the story I want to tell. The story I set out to tell in 1991 is still not done. I think if I finally finish these seven books, or however many it takes, I will be tired of them. I will not necessarily be open to returning to tell more stories about the ones who survived [after the end]. There you run into a Sherlock Holmes, Reichenbach Falls sort of thing, where [the writer says], 'I'm sick of Sherlock Holmes, I never want to write any more stories about him.' But I haven't even [finished a single story.] As many books as it is, as many words as it is, it's still one story. One story that's not finished yet. I want to finish telling that story. And then I'll worry about that."
Read the rest of the interview with George R.R. Martin here. (Warning: Contains A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons spoilers.)
Image credit: Taken from A Song of Ice and Fire calendars, including artwork by Michael Komarck, Ted Nasmith, John Picacio, Marc Simonetti and Gary Gianni