I read a fair bit of fiction, but had never been particularly drawn to “fantasy” as a genre. Then (like others) I read the Game of Thrones / Song of Ice and Fire series as it came into popular consciousness.
It is one awesome body of work. The world building, character development and plotting is as good as anything I’ve read, and I tore through the entire series in a few weeks. Perhaps more specifically, it’s impressive when that standard can be sustained over such a distance – in both pages and years.
I find those characteristics impressive – repeatedly makes you wonder how one person sits down and goes about creating some epic shit like that. From this interview, probably like like any other significant or creative work – one step at a time and partially a remix.
Ideas are cheap. I have more ideas now than I could ever write up. To my mind, it’s the execution that is all-important. I’m proud of my work, but I don’t know if I’d ever claim it’s enormously original. You look at Shakespeare, who borrowed all of his plots. In A Song of Ice and Fire, I take stuff from the Wars of the Roses and other fantasy things, and all these things work around in my head and somehow they jell into what I hope is uniquely my own. But I don’t know where it comes from, yet it comes – it’s always come. If I was a religious guy, I’d say it’s a gift from God, but I’m not, so I can’t say that.