American novelist George Raymond Richard Martin was born in 1948 in New Jersey. Today, George R.R. Martin is best known as the writer of the books which inspired the smash hit HBO series “Game of Thrones,” but long before he rose to such prominence, Martin grew up in the Bayonne area of New Jersey in a working class household. To escape a rather underprivileged upbringing, young George found himself drawn to novels, and he became an avid reader.
Martin was also drawn to geography, largely inspired by his experience as a child near the ports of New York, where he would marvel at shipping vessels and their origin. The marriage of his love of reading – in particular fantasy and science fiction – and his love of geography would eventually meld to inspire his series Songs of Ice and Fire, the inspiration for Game of Thrones.
But Martin did not rise to fame quite so quickly or easily. After graduating summa cum laude from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Journalism in 1971, Martin first started teaching at Clarke University in the mid 1970’s to supplement his income as he began various writing projects. Around the same time, George began writing and selling short stories, mostly science fiction, and the Novella “A Song for Lya,” which earned him his first Hugo Award for Best Novella. The novel Windhaven was his first full-length, published in 1981, and was followed by Fevre Drea (1982), The Armageddon Rag (1983), and the novella The Skin Trade (1989.) During this time he also wrote multiple episodes for the television series The Twilight Zone (1986) and Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990.)
But it was the novel A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin’s first in his “Song of Ice and Fire” series, that became his big breakthrough after it was published in 1996. The series continued with A Clash of Kings (1998), A Storm of Swords (2000), A Feats for Crows (2005), A Dance with Dragons (2011), The Princess and the Queen (2013), and The Rogue Prince (2014), the latter of which is actually considered a novella due to its brevity.
When George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series was picked up by HBO for a new series, he immediately became a world wide celebrity. Since that time, Martin has served as the series’ co-executive producer and sometimes as its scriptwriter, earning himself multiple Emmy Award nominations. When Martin is not writing, he is known for his remarkable accessibility to fans through comic conventions and science fiction conventions, and he says he enjoys meeting and interacting with readers and viewers through these opportunities.