George RR Martin has said real-world success distracted him from crafting his fictional universe and he needs to return to his writing room.
The Game Of Thrones author revealed he is cutting down on public engagements in order to finish the planned novel Winds Of Winter.
He said his large fan base provides a break from the solitude of writing, but being inundated with invitations in the wake of international fame slows the progress of his work.
Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire reached a huge readership, and the television adaptation of that and subsequent novels in the series became a global hit.
The American writer has welcomed the impact of his success, which has created jobs and opportunities on-screen and off.
But, despite the benefits of his literary fame and achievements, he said he needs to dedicate time to his current work, and public engagements have previously got in the way.
He said: “The success of the series, and the books and the TV show, has gotten me a lot of invitations. A lot of people know who I am.
“Especially four, five, six years ago maybe, I said yes to too many of those things.
“It made it hard to concentrate on the books.
“I’m trying to cut down on the invitations I’m taking, precisely to finish Winds Of Winter.
“I need to get back to my writing room and put the rest of the world, the real world, aside and just live in Westeros.
“The real world is full of distractions. I have to put it aside. It’s hard to balance, to live in the real world for a few hours a day then go into Westeros.”
Despite the potential distractions of success, the author welcomes the camaraderie of his fan base.
He said: “Writing can be a very lonely profession. You’re just sitting there in front of the computer with a blank page. That’s you.”
He added: “It’s always great to meet people. It does get a little overwhelming at times, I’ll admit.”
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” — Emma Lazarus pic.twitter.com/u807IAdEnT
— George RR Martin (@GRRMspeaking) August 6, 2019
Martin has said he gets great pleasure from seeing the “strange” phenomenon of his creations becoming “tangible” on screen, and his words spoken by actors.
He has relished seeing the success of Game Of Thrones for the unforeseen economic benefits brought by the show.
He said of his wife Parris: “We were walking through one of the places where they were making costumes.
“There was a woman there who was making chain mail. She looked up at us as we passed and said ‘Thank you for the job’.
“That made us feel very good. A woman that we didn’t know, that we’d never met, had gainful employment because I wrote ‘They were all wearing chain mail suits’.”
Martin will meet fans in Northern Ireland at Castle Ward, used as the set for Winterfell.
It is among a number of places he believes his books have brought real-world benefits, as Game Of Thrones tourism increases.
Fans will enjoy a Q&A with the author, and a medieval feast at the County Down site, hosted by the National Trust.
Martin said: “I look forward to returning to visit beautiful Castle Ward and meeting old friends at Winterfell, home of the Stark family.”