Not a Blog

Yadda Yadda, Yadda Yadda

August 31, 2014 at 5:19 pm
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For those of you who cannot get enough of me pontificating, here are some more videos from those months of interviews I've done, all snatched off of YouTube.  Let's see, there are a couple of Red Carpet interviews from this year's Emmy weeks, and a long panel with William Christensen of Avatar Press about my roots in comic fandom (and my new Avatar comic adaptation, IN THE HOUSE OF THE WORM).

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A Few Words from Switzerland

August 30, 2014 at 5:07 pm
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I can't give you an exact count… but I must have done at least fifty interviews over the past two months.  Maybe as many as a hundred.

Radio interviews, TV interviews, magazine and newspaper interviews, private interviews, group interviews, public interviews… in France, in Switzerland, in Scotland, in London, in San Diego, and most recently in LA, on the Red Carpet for the Emmys.

On some of the foreign trips, I did entire days of interviews.  They would park me in a hotel suite, usher in a journalist or a film crew, we'd talk for a half hour, then my hosts would escort that reporter out, and bring in a new one.  Some of the journalists were very sharp.  Some… ah… weren't.  (A few made me wonder what the hell has happened to the standards of the profession that I once got my degrees in, back at Northwestern.)

Sitting around a hotel room talking doesn't sound so hard, but it can be grueling.  Especially when they all ask the same damn questions. 

(Tyrion is my favorite character. Okay?  OKAY?  Can we PLEASE put that one to rest??  I love all my viewpoint characters, Arya and Sansa and Bran, Jon Snow and Brienne, Arianne and Cersei and Jaime, Theon, even Victarion and the Damphair, ALL of them, but I love Tyrion the bestest.  Tyrion son of Tywin, the Imp, second son of Casterly Rock.  How many bloody times do I need to say it??  I swear, from now on, whenever anybody asks me, "who is you favorite character," I am going to start naming characters from other people's books.  Cugel the Clever.  Flashman.  Gatsby.  Hotspur.  Solomon Kane.  A different one each time… )

But I digress.

Anyway… I did the interviews, so I might as well share them as they come up.

Did a whole bunch in Neuchatel at NIFFF, as I said.  Journalists from Switzerland, France, Germany all came.  The worst of those…. well, that one most of you have seen, I suspect, it's the one where I gave the guy the finger.

Here's a much better one, an in-depth piece that actually covers some ground about my life and writing that hasn't been covered a thousand times before.  If that's of interest to you, you may enjoy it.

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More From Comicon

August 28, 2014 at 7:54 pm
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Yadda yadda… here's more for those of you who could not be at Comicon.

This was a special fan Q&A session sponsored by Courtyard Marriott.  Great fun.

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San Diego Flashback

August 28, 2014 at 6:42 pm
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I did so many panels, presentations, interviews, and speeches during these past two months that they all blur together.

Here's one, for those of you who could not be at comicon this year – the 'Rulers of the Realm' panel from San Diego.

A lot of panels are deadly, which is why I have mostly stopped doing them, but this one was great fun.

(Diana Gabaldon's bit about her writing process was pure gold).

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Home Again

August 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm
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Parris and I returned last night from LA, courtesy of Southwest Airlines Cattlecar in the Sky.

It is nice to be back.  We left August 7.  Scotland and the Edinburgh Book Festival, London and worldcon, the big Robin Hobb event at Freemason's Hall, a long (but very comfortable) flight direct from Heathrow to LAX on British Airlines, Hollywood, meetings, the Emmys, more meetings, parties and more parties.  Oh, and an Ice Bucket Challenge.  (Brrrrr).

Much of it was great.  All of it was tiring.

And this comes right on the heels of my trips to France and Switzerland (for the Dijon signing and the NIFFF film festival) and to San Diego (for comicon), with only brief visits home in between.

Way back when, it seemed like a good idea to concentrate most of my travel for the year into a single two-month period, leaving me the other ten months to stay at home and write.  Well, maybe not.  The trips, individually, were great, and I met some terrific people and had some amazing adventures, some of which I hope to tell you about here.  But taken as a whole, it was too much.  I need to face facts.  I am not thirty years old any more.  Airports, long flights, six-hour long signing sessions, and endless interviews take it out of me, in ways they never did before.  The spirit is willing, sometimes even eager, but…

I do have one more trip this year: a brief visit to NYC in late October to promote THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE and see editors, agents, and family.  Elsewise, I am home for the rest of the year… and well into next year, I hope.  Most of that time I plan to spend in Westeros.

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Skunked Again

August 26, 2014 at 7:10 pm
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0 and 5 last night.

What can you say?  BREAKING BAD was a juggernaut.  A great show with a great final season.

(But Peter Dinklage was robbed).

Personally I am now 0 and 6 in the Emmy derby.

This was the 66th annual Emmy Awards.  66 years, and no science fiction or fantasy series has ever been honored.  Many have been nominated, yes.  None have ever won.

Just sayin'

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Emmy Night

August 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm
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It's Emmy night!

(On a Monday in August… thanks, NBC, he muttered sourly).

Parris and I will be off to the Nokia Theatre in a few hours, battling the inevitable traffic jams, which will be much worse than usual because, well, it's a Monday in August.

GAME OF THRONES scored 19 Emmy nominations, more than any other program, and took home four awards last weekend in the technical categories.  Tonight we are contending in five more categories: Neil Marshall for directing, David and Dan for scripting, Lena Headey for Best Supporting Actress, Peter Dinklage for Best Supporting Actor, and of course the show itself for Best Drama.

Whether we will win any remains to be seen.  Pretty much everyone is saying that BREAKING BAD has this year locked up.  Maybe they are right.  But last week pretty much everyone was saying DOCTOR WHO had the Hugo locked up as well.  Can GAME OF THRONES score another upset, and break through the Academy's long-standing aversion to fantasy and science fiction?  We will know in a few hours.

That's why they play the games.

Anyway (all together now), "it is an honor just to be nominated," and the after parties are always fun.

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Where Am I Now?

August 22, 2014 at 1:54 pm
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And now the latest installment of, "If this isTuesday, that must be Whitechapel."

Jet lags rules, but I think I am in Los Angeles.  Beverly Hills, actually.  A different city, a different world.  But they treat me very well here.

Scotland was grey, wet, rainy, but the Fringe was in full roar.  Music everywhere, and some great shows that we did not have time to see.  (I was especially chuffed at having to miss the James plays, a triptych of quasi-historical dramas about the reigns of the Stuart kings James I, James II, and James III, all of whom came to bad ends.  You'd think the Scotts might have taken the hint and started naming their kings Graham, Rory, Duncan, Alister, Andrew…. anything but bloody James.  But no, the Scots are a stubborn folk.
When something isna working, by damn, they stick with it.

 But I digress. I missed the plays, and most of the Fringe, but I did get rained on, appeared in several hundred selfies with fans, strangers, and the occasional drunk who did not know who the hell I was but wanted a selfie anyway. I also did two major interviews at the Edinburgh Book Festival.  You can find those on line.  I will post links when I get home.  Signed many books afterwards. I also saw many other terrific authors coming and going, but did not, alas, have time to talk.

In Edinburgh I heard about Robin Williams, which made me very sad.  Never met him, but I loved his work.  We will never see his like again.    We plan to offer free showings of some of his best films at the Cocteau in weeks to come.  DEAD POET'S SOCIETY is my own favorite.  Oh, captain, my captain…

Next was London.  Or rather the Docklands, which are to London as Jersey City and Port Newark are to NYC.  But who cares, it was worldcon… and not only that, but the BIGGEST worldcon in thirty years, finally breaking the attendance record set by the 1984 world com in LA.  (Well, Anaheim).  Worldcon cracks 10,000 at last… it comes twenty years too late, but better late than never.

Would that I could say the growth will continue, but next year's con in Spokane will be lucky to get 3,000.  And the Hugo Losers Party, traditionally hosted by next year's worldcon, was a dismal affair, the worst I've seen since I threw the first of those in 1976 at Big Mac in KC,  Does not bode well for next year.  In the old days a Hugo winner who dared show up at the Hugo Losers party, Hugo in hand, would have been thrown into the hotel pool, or at least had whipped cream sprayed in his hair.  Now all the winners get is… congratulations.

I was one one of them.  "The Rains of Castamere" won the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.  David Benioff and Dan Weiss scripted that episode and came down from Belfast to represent, the first time they were able to get to a worldcon.  ORPHAN BLACK — a terrific show — also had an episode nominated, and a writer/ producer on hand to accept.  But we were both vast underdogs, since the other four nominees were all episodes of DOCTOR WHO, the 600-point gorilla that has ruled this category since its inception.  "Blackwater" did break the Doctor'es string last year, but that was at San Antonio.  No sane person thought that we had the slightest chance against the Doctor on his home ground, and on his 50th niversary to boot.  Even the BBC must have been dead certain they were going to win, since they sent David Tennant to accept… but when the envelope was opened, it was David and Dan who sprang from their seats and rushed to the stage to grab the rockets.  I don't think anything could have thrilled them more… well, aside from winning the Emmy on Monday, but the odds against that are long.

What they did afterward was even cooler.  D&D did eventually make their way to that dreary Hugo Losers' Party for a belated bow, but they did NOT hang around the empty auditorium for that endless round of group shots of winners and presenters that has somehow become de rigeur after the Hugos of later.  Instead they headed right down to the Fan Village where all the party tents were, and bought a round for all  the fans in the house, to share the joy and celebration.  Now there's a tradition I can get behind.

Anyway, that was cool.  GAME OF THRONES collected its third Hugo in a row, in a stunning upset over DOCTOR WHO.

And now I am LA, wondering if we can do it again in the Emmys, and somehow shock the world by coming up ahead of BREAKING BAD and TRUE DETECTIVE.  They are the overwhelming consensus choices… but so was DOCTOR WHO.

Tune in Monday night, and find out.

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On the Road Again

August 8, 2014 at 10:51 pm
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I haven't even found time to post about all the cool stuff that went down at Comicon, or in France and Switzerland before that, but in a few hours we'll be off again… for Scotland and the Edinburgh Book Festival first, then London for worldcon, then straight to LA for the Emmys.

I am exhausted just thinking about it.

A year or two back, grouping most of my 2014 travel in one tight two-month period to allow me to stay home and work the rest of the year seemed like a really great idea… but now that it's on me, I have to admit, it's too much too soon.

Fortunately, once I get home from LA, there's nothing on the schedule for the rest of the year but one quick trip to NY and Jersey, to see the family, check in with editors and agents, and do a couple other cool things.  Which is great.  New Mexico is at its most gorgeous in the fall, and I am hoping that the big block of time at home will let me get a LOT of writing done.

Meanwhile… these flights across the pond are always grueling, but I expect to have a great time in Edinburgh and London.

See you there!

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Comicon Coolness, Part the First

August 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm
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Lots of cool stuff went down in San Diego at Comicon… parties, panels, parties, signings, parties, meals with friends, and much much more.

Too much to relate here, at least.  But I can mention a few highlights.

For me, one of the highlights was the appearance of a couple of copies of THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE.

The worldbook won't be released until October, so it wasn't for sale at San Diego, but Bantam had a couple of advance copies hot off the presses at the Random House booth, for lucky fans to open, peruse, and drool over.  Not mock-ups, either.  This is the real book.

Alas, the crowds at Comicon make it impossible for me to walk the floor anymore without a cordon of security, so I never made it to the Random House booth… but I was able to snag one of the samples and take it home with me.


It's everything I hoped for!  A bloody gorgeous book.  Wait till you see it.


Years back, when my editors at Bantam first approached me about doing a concordance for Westeros and its history, I was initially reluctant.  I had seen a number of these 'worldbooks,' and, well, some were pretty good, but others were awful, cheaply made collections of previously published material with lots of bad art.  If we do one of these, I declared, I want it to be the best one ever published.  A coffee table book, big and beautiful, with lots of original content, histories and tales never previously published anywhere, plus maps and heraldry and family trees, all of it lavishly illustrated by some of the best fantasy artists in the world.

That's what we got.  It took WAY longer than we thought it would, and required much more time and effort from everyone concerned, but I think the end result is worth it, and hope you all will agree.  Hey, even Robby the Robot loves the book.


Will THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE answer every question you ever had about Westeros and its history?  Hell, no… I need to save SOMETHING for the novels and the Dunk & Egg stories.  But it will answer a lot of questions, including some you never knew you had, and there are long meaty histories of all the major regions and great houses of the Seven Kingdoms, plus the Lands Beyond — the Nine Free Cities, the Summer Isles, the grasslands of Essos, even the Further East, beyond the Bones.

And the art… the art will knock you on your ass… Justin Sweet, Magali Villenueve, Marc Simonetti, Michael Komarck, Jae Drummond, Chase Stone, Ted Nasmith, and many many more.

My thanks go out to all the great folks at Bantam, in particular my editor Anne Lesley Groell and production manager Erich Schoenweiss, who labored long and hard to bring the worldbook to fruition. Also, a lot of credit goes to art director Dave Stevenson, and to Delia Greve and Rosebud Eustace at Becker & Mayer… and of course to my collaborators and partners in crime, Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson, without whose efforts THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE could never ever have happened.

I wanted to give my fans the best fantasy concordance ever published.  I think we did.

If you want to see for yourself, Amazon is offering it at a considerable presale discount right now

and, of course, it is also available for preorder at many other online booksellers, and your favorite local bookstore.

I'm very proud of this one.  Maybe you can tell…

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