George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) Continues the Journey He Started as a Child

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In an interview with Galaxy’s Edge magazine, George R.R. Martin describes how he continues the imaginative journey he started as a young child.

Galaxy's Edge: George R.R. Martin Special

George R.R. Martin provides intimate insights into how his passion for creating characters and stories as a child blossomed into a full-fledged career that has made him, as per “Time” magazine, one of the world’s 100 most influential personalities.

In an interview published in the latest issue of “Galaxy’s Edge” magazine, Joy Ward interviews George R. R. Martin (creator of the “Game of Thrones” series), who provides intimate insights into how his passion for creating characters and stories as a child blossomed into a full-fledged career that has made him, as per “Time” magazine, one of the world’s 100 most influential personalities.

Martin recalls a habit to name his toy characters and create stories around them, which he actually used to write down when he was only nine or ten years old. He became so good at it that he started writing ‘monster’ stories, which he sold to other kids in the neighborhood. However, a mother of another child who was having nightmares complained to Martin’s mother, putting an end to the fledgling writer and entrepreneur’s early career as a writer of ‘monster’ stories.

Even though that dried up his extra income, he still got a weekly allowance that he spent on comics until he discovered Robert A. Heinlein’s “Have Suit—Will Travel,” after which he became hooked on reading books as well. His allowance of one dollar a week had to be strategically spent to give him as much bang for the buck as it could, often forcing him to choose one favorite over another.

His passion for reading and writing continued into his college years, with him taking as many writing and reading courses as he could. His love of writing fiction was so strong that he would ask his professors if he could write a relevant fictional piece instead of the usual term paper required for some of the classes. As a sophomore, his teacher in Scandinavian history was so intrigued by this idea that he agreed to let George write a historical fiction piece instead of the normal historical term paper.

Not only did the story get an ‘A,’ the professor submitted it to a professional magazine, “American-Scandinavian Review.” Unfortunately, the publication only published non-fiction, so despite liking the story, they were unable to publish it.

George R. R. Martin graduated “summa cum laude” from Northwestern University, subsequently completing his MS in journalism. Throughout this period he continued to write, first as a fan in fan-fiction publications (though he never used anyone else’s characters or worlds without their permission) and then professionally, making his first sale in 1971 with his short story “The Hero,” which was published in “Galaxy Magazine.” That sale changed his life by convincing him that he could write stories that magazines were willing to buy. This process sustained him through the inevitable string of rejection letters every starting author suffers.

Martin continues into further detail in the interview of how his career progressed from there, with his various award nominations and writing successes, culminating with his world-wide popularity as the author of the “Song of Ice and Fire” series, which has been adapted by HBO as the “Game of Thrones” TV series (“Game of Thrones” is actually the title of the first book in the “Song of Ice and Fire” saga).

But what is clear from his interview is how his early love of developing characters and weaving tales led to him becoming such a master of the craft that Lev Grossman of “Time” magazine called him the “American Tolkien.”

Galaxy’s Edge” is a bi-monthly magazine edited by Mike Resnick and published by Shahid Mahmud. The current issue is free for viewing online and both paper and digital issues are available from all major retailers.

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