Outlander author Diana Gabaldon had something to say about Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin’s deadline woes.
Now let’s preface this by pointing out the two are apparently friends. (This isn’t meant to be a post trumpeting a duel between two best-selling authors whose works have inspired wildly successfully fantasy cable series). But Gabaldon was asked at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Pasadena on Friday about Martin missing his deadline for The Winds of Winter — an admission the author made last week — and whether the Outlander series will likewise interfere with her finishing her next book. And Gabaldon had a few things to say about the difference between her work style and Martin’s.
“No, unlike George I write no matter where I am or what I’m doing,” she said. “He admits it himself, he doesn’t like to write while he travels, that’s just the way he works. Everybody has their own writing mechanism. When I began writing, I had two full-time jobs and three small children and I wrote in any spare minutes that I had. I just kept that work ethic, so to speak. I have a couple hours in the middle of the night that I can count [on] when things are quiet, and that’s my main writing time. I write at intervals during the day. I write when I travel, and so forth.”
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Gabaldon also could sympathize with Martin receiving pressure from his publishers.
“They start calling me when the book should be getting close to being done and saying, ‘Where are you, do you have an estimate?’ I tell them, ‘I could give you an estimate, but it would be wrong.’ It’s always going to be longer than I think it is. Next thing you know they have a publishing date up on Amazon and I’ll call them up and say, ‘I didn’t tell you that,’ and they say, ‘Well, no, but we wanted it up this year to qualify for something.’ I say, ‘Great, you can explain to all the people why it’s not going to come out on that date because it’s not.’ And we do this over again a few months later. Eventually we get down to my deadline — which means the book is talking to me so strongly that I’m not doing anything else. Eating, sleeping minimally. It’s like being plugged into an electric [socket], it’s coming through me. And luckily that only lasts about two or three months or I’d die.”
The author also added, “I know they can actually get it from manuscript to book shelves in five weeks, because they do.”
In more inadvertent Outlander-competing-with-Thrones news: Both series will face off at the Golden Globes for best drama this weekend. Come to EW.com for full coverage.