Editor to George R.R. Martin, Anne Groell, to answer fan voted questions in Live Q&A
By Lightbringer on in Books.
Anne Groell with the ADWD Manuscript

Anne Groell with the ADWD Manuscript

On May 29th, Suvudu Univserse will host a live Q&A with Anne Groell, the Editor to George R.R. Martin. Being one of the first people who will get their hands on what is sure to be George’s very large ‘The Winds of Winter’ manuscript, we can always hope she’ll spill a few beans on its progress, if not some great insight into the writing process.

Fans are invited to not only submit to Suvudu their own questions, but to vote on questions that they would like to see answered the most. The questions with the highest number of votes will be answered live, while the fans with the top three questions will also win a prize pack of Anne’s books.

So put your thinking caps on, get your questions in, vote for your favorites, and don’t miss the Q&A May 29th from 3pm to 4pm EST.

Q & A
with George R.R. Martin Editor, Anne Groell

Suvudu Universe is hosting its first live Q&A with George R.R. Martin Editor, Anne Lesley Groellon May 29th from 3pm to 4pm EST. Fans of GRRM can submit questions and also vote for questions they would like answered. Anne will answer questions with the highest votes during the live event.

Anne Lesley Groell has been working in science fiction and fantasy publishing for close to twenty-two years. She is currently an Executive Editor for Penguin Random House, and a member of Team Del Rey, where she works with such authors as George R.R. Martin, Terry Brooks, and Robin Hobb.

The top three highest-voted questions submitted by registered users will be sent a prize pack of Anne’s books. Suvudu Universe is a Penguin Random House community for bloggers, writers and fans of all things sci-fi, fantasy, comics, gaming, and more.


55 Comments

  1. GeekFurious
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Guaranteed, the top 3 questions will also be the ones she won’t be able to answer.

  2. Turncloak
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    One of the questions with the most votes is “when will TWOW be released?” Lol

  3. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a question – why didn’t you edit ADWD like you were supposed to do?

  4. cosca
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    How on earth was moving the climax to Dance with Dragons into the Winds of Winter instead of cutting filler like Quentyn’s travels a good idea?

  5. spacechampion
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    My question was:

    Millions of fans cried out in pain when reaching the end of ADWD and not finding the Battle of Ice or the Battle of Meereen. What makes you so cruel?

  6. dizzy
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak:
    GeekFurious,

    One of the questions with the most votes is “when will TWOW be released?” Lol

    That’s really the only question that we’re all curious about.

  7. Jonathon Asuna Leafa Richards
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    here’s a good question what is george like when your editing his work is he very persuasive or does he let you get on with it

  8. The Bastard
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I asked her if she thinks it will take more then 7 books for GRRM to finish…

  9. NYI
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy:
    Here’s a question – why didn’t you edit ADWD like you were supposed to do?

    Ditto for A Feast for Crows…

  10. patchface
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I asked her who the hooded man is. lol

  11. PissedOffMescalinic
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    yeah! the-question-that-should-be-asked-but-that-no-one-will:

    How bad will be the editing for TWOW?
    I’m not questioning the editing of ADWD… i’m denying its existence :3

  12. Greenjones
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    PissedOffMescalinic,

    Well done, ser.

  13. queenofthorns
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy:
    Here’s a question – why didn’t you edit ADWD like you were supposed to do?

    This is exactly what I wanted to ask… :p It’s like they forgot how to tell George “hey btw maybe you should cut the 5 Tyrion, Jon, and Dany chapters where nothing relevant happens….”

  14. BlackTalon
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    I liked AFFC and ADWD. Who says that every book needs to proceed at a frenetic pace? Some people should worry more about having their ADHD treated than about the oh-so-horrible “filler” episodes. Martin has commented on those gripes and his opinion of them and I am with him in that aspect.

    I wonder more at the weird stuff that is in the book … has it ever been explained what was up with that “fearsomely strong cider” thing he wouldn’t shut up about in AFFC?

    Also the stupd alliterative names … “The Princess and the Queen” really suffered from it, it was begiining to get ridiculous.

  15. bristol
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    BlackTalon: I liked AFFC and ADWD. Who says that every book needs to proceed at a frenetic pace? Some people should worry more about having their ADHD treated than about the oh-so-horrible “filler” episodes. Martin has commented on those gripes and his opinion of them and I am with him in that aspect.
    I wonder more at the weird stuff that is in the book … has it ever been explained what was up with that “fearsomely strong cider” thing he wouldn’t shut up about in AFFC?
    Also the stupd alliterative names … “The Princess and the Queen” really suffered from it, it was begiining to get ridiculous.
      

    Not every book needs to proceed at a frenetic pace, but they should be enjoyable. World building is good, but not if it comes at the expense of plots and it takes you almost 2000 pages to accomplish it! Very little of substance happened, and we didn’t need as much information as was given to us. Unlike what GRRM said, we all saw that the books could indeed have been combined into one ADWD sides volume. Just because someone doesn’t like a book doesn’t mean they only care about a “frenetic pace”.

  16. Jerome
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Worst editor ever.

  17. Tatters
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I thought this was q&a, not a public bashing- if you didnt know, she DWD was at 1500 pages originally.

  18. Durrandon's Fool
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    There’s a difference between constructive criticism and ad hominem attacks. What is accomplished by having such a negative community atmosphere on this site?

  19. CustomerMescalinic
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Durrandon’s Fool:
    There’s a difference between constructive criticism and ad hominem attacks. What is accomplished by having such a negative community atmosphere on this site?

    sometimes, i agree, people are a little too mean towards GRRM about things that are subjective and not really important, and that’s unpleasant. but this is different.

    the books are a product. i’m not only a fan, i’m a customer, a purchaser. you can like or dislike ADWD, it doesn’t matter. the point is the editing. that is NON-EXISTENT. and that’s unacceptable.

    If you buy a music cd, and is poorly recorded, to the point that it is sometimes hard to hear the voice of the lead singer, you get mad and probably bring back the cd to the store. This is exactly the same thing.
    seriously, yeah, i’m almost sure i’ll buy TWOW, because i’m a freakkin fanboy of ASOIAF, but probably i shouldn’t, because i find unacceptable the lack of professionalism shown by the publisher with ADWD.

    BUT i think is a very good, very mature, very helpful thing to let them know how much a lot of customers are dissatisfied with the previous work (and we SHOULD be. again: NO EDITING whatsoever, they didn’t even eliminate grammatical errors and typos) :)

  20. GeekFurious
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Are some of you children? If not, how did you make it through the books without someone reading them to you like Big Bird on Sesame Street?

  21. Wight
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Do you feel guilty, taking money from GRRM and then NOT editing the damm books?

  22. Seanathin
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I would like to know beyond just length why at least one of the battles at the end was cut out. It seems like it just left a book that was 1000+ pages with no real climax. Sure it will make the opening of WoW exciting but shouldn’t the end of Dance had something more exciting than a knifing and murder by crossbow?

    And I’m not out to bash I enjoyed Dance, it just has a limp ending.

  23. Cumsprite
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Durrandon’s Fool:
    There’s a difference between constructive criticism and ad hominem attacks. What is accomplished by having such a negative community atmosphere on this site?

    The lack of proper editing in ADWD was remarked upon even by the professional book reviewers. That the reading public has also made note of this deficit is no surprise. I don’t necessarily blame Anne Groell for this: on at least one occasion the book-writer ignored her advice and kept the dreadful, archaic word choices in.

    Maybe pointedly asking these questions helps Ms. Groell become a little more assertive in editing future, and hypothetical, books.

  24. Delta1212
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    You’ve basically become my favorite commenter on this site. Just thought you should know.

  25. msd
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    People here don’t seem to understand that a book editor has very little power when it comes to successful authors. She can’t cut anything George doesn’t want cut. She can make suggestions but he’s in charge.

  26. Ashara D
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Tatters,

    GeekFurious,

    msd,

    I agree. In the end, an editor is an editor not the author nor a co-author. She can suggest and defend her suggestions, but the final say belongs to the author as artist, as it should be. This is GRRM’s creation, and as such needs to be treated as his work alone. Would you look at a Picasso and criticize his use of a certain shape or too much of one color in the lower right corner of the canvas? No. As a work of art, it needs to be appreciated as is, not picked apart. And since it is not yet finished, you should temper your criticism accordingly.

    And just for the record, I still think WoW will be out by the first quarter of next year. :-)

  27. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    How about people not attack one another?

    And submit questions to Suvudu that can actually be answered.

  28. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    PissedOffMescalinic,

    Ouch! That was an hilarious but sharply incisive comment that I’m glad was mentioned. I’m sure she’s heard it before.

    —————

    I have just a few questions for Ms. Groell, if she is indeed serious about responding:

    1) What has she found to be the most difficult aspect of editing GRRM’s ASoI&F works? Are there any specific examples worth noting?

    2) How does GRRM give her sections to review? I’ve read that GRRM writes several chapters for one character before moving to another character. Does GRRM forward character sections to her separately or does she get the books in separate chronologically aligned sections? I am assuming that she gets the books in separate sections and not all at once.

    3) Related to #2, does she have any input in the ordering of chapters between characters?

    4) From her perspective, which character chapters (specifically from AFfC/ADwD/TWoW) does she feel were/are the “cleanest” when delivered? Can she tell us what characters require the most editing work and what characters require the least?

    5) I’ve read that Elio and Linda do a lot of the fact checking for GRRM during his writing process. Does she have her own fact-checking team or does she continue to consult E & L during the editing process?

    Thanks.

  29. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink
  30. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Yup…anonymously….but I appreciate the reminder. As Geekfurious stated above, the top three “popular” questions don’t have a chance of getting answered. Just thought I’d post here as well in case WiC or others had some relevant perspective/response.

  31. Kate
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Thanks for submiting reasonable and polite questions that Anne can actually answer. It’s sadening how we get the chance to learn really interesting things about asoiaf’s editing process and so many people troll her.

    To nearly everyone eles who submitted/voted questions,

    Think twice. She actually knows things that would be of real interest to us. Do you really want to spend our time with her attacking her work, or asking her things you know she doesn’t know the answer to?

  32. Cumsprite
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:

    And submit questions to Suvudu that can actually be answered.

    Darn skippy. Also, more questions about Groell’s fave character or most shocking death! Because the answers to those are awesomesauce.

  33. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Kate,

    You’re welcome. The 3 “most popular” questions format, like the “highest bidder” contest from before, is silly. Ms. Groell should be given a trove of questions that she may choose to answer at her leisure. I prefer answers that folks think about rather than off-the-cuff crap that occurs during most live interviews.

  34. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Cumsprite: Darn skippy. Also, more questions about Groell’s fave character or most shocking death! Because the answers to those are awesomesauce.

    What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

  35. Cumsprite
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Kate:

    To nearly everyone eles who submitted/voted questions,

    Think twice. She actually knows things that would be of real interest to us.

    She does. But she won’t share. Groell is not going expound on how receiving chapters piecemeal for editing was deleterious to editing for continuity or content. Nor will she say that pressure to release ADWD to maximize the marketing push HBO provided led to the book being rushed out the door or how the popularity of the series (largely due to the HBO show) released GM from the shackles of editorial control.

    Here, I think this is what you want:

    “I am glad that you asked that, superfan3401. Certainly editing such a massive work was a huge undertaking for everyone involved. It is such a pleasure to work with an author as creative and brilliant as Mr. Martin. As you know, Mr. Martin rewrites and rewrites and rewrites. And rewrites (ha ha). As frustrating as it may be, all this is to ensure the best possible book for the readers. It’s important to keep communication open with such a project. We didn’t agree on everything, but I feel we put out something everyone can be proud of. It is so exciting to be a part of this phenomenon.”

    Now you don’t have to watch the interview.

    You’re welcome.

  36. John W
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    1. When will Winds of Winter be released?
    2. When will Dream of Spring be released?
    3. Who are Jon’s parents?

  37. Kate
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Cumsprite,

    You are beating a strawman. I specifically pointed out that Hodor’s Bastard questions are the kind of things that we should be asking. There are many interesting questions that she may answer. We should avoid insulting questions (do you realize your work sucks?), generic questions (how great is your job?) or personal questions (no one cares which is Anne’s favourite POV).

  38. Easteros bunny
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I got excited for a moment, thought she was holding the manuscript for winds of winter.

    That would be too hopeful, we are never going to get it.

  39. The Onion Knight
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    BlackTalon,

    Finally yes somebody says it. Personally the best part of the story for me has been Books 4 and 5 mostly because I already know of this world and its plight. Everytime an Epilogue appears I treat it as an end of the Act. With that regard we are now going into Act 3. The second Act was way more riveting even if it lacked the classic moments from The War of Five Kings. I refuse to believe Victarion Greyjoy is not going to be the Great Others champion.

  40. utherwolf
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    John W,

    They won’t be able to tell us the answers on your questions, but the better question would be: Will Jon’s parentage be revealed in The Winds of Winter?

  41. SHK12344
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    My question: Is GRRM lazy or is he really, really, lazy??

  42. Ginevra
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Think twice. She actually knows things that would be of real interest to us. Do you really want to spend our time with her attacking her work, or asking her things you know she doesn’t know the answer to?

    Exactly. Having Q&As with the editor is a privilege and should be treated as one if we ever hope to have another. For those who are less appreciative, please be respectful or at least do not be disrespectful so the rest can benefit.

  43. Zain
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    spacechampion:
    My question was:

    Yeah I was really disappointed how the book was building up to these big battles in Meereen and Winterfell… and well, it was find out what happens in the next book. I can sort of get it with the Battle of Ice but Meereen was so boring and awful to read that it should have led to some payoff. There was far too much of POV characters walking around Westeros without anything really happening in AFFC and ADWD. Theon’s and Cersei crazy chapters were the saving grace of those books… but at least the books left on some big cliff hanging moments in what is hopefully a crazy good AWOF

  44. titans bastard
    Posted May 25, 2014 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    patchface,

    Where do whores go

  45. wayward stark
    Posted May 25, 2014 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Ask are there any new pov characters for winds and if so have we met them already?

  46. Cumsprite
    Posted May 25, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Kate:
    Cumsprite,

    You are beating a strawman. I specifically pointed out that Hodor’s Bastard questions are the kind of things that we should be asking. There are many interesting questions that she may answer. We should avoid insulting questions (do you realize your work sucks?), generic questions (how great is your job?) or personal questions (no one cares which is Anne’s favourite POV).

    Sorry. I wasn’t trying to erect a strawman. Not sure what part of my statement caused you to think I did.

    Anyway, many of the questions are rehashed from long ago. Why were chapters moved/why the cliffhangers? One of the answers (from Martin) was the physical tome was simply too large to print and he had “sweated” as much out as he possibly could. Groell agreed (I think) but added that including those chapters would require about another year.

    The simple answer: they weren’t finished yet.

    Professional reviewers, respected SFF bloggers, veteran fans and those just finishing the books for the first time noticed the lack of editing. ADWD should have been a slam dunk. Despite GM’s insistence that ADWD was his best-reviewed book ever, ADWD was not as widely embraced as the first ASOIAF books and the quality of editing is a major contributor to that.

    This makes asking about the poor editing of ADWD fair game. The questions are probably put less gently than is polite, but I’ll bet most of those people on Suvudu asked those questions before elsewhere, did so nicely, and were met with “George is not your bitch” “You fail at reading comprehension” and “You’re just a butt hurt troll”.

    So, if people aren’t going to address the fans’ legitimate concerns, the fans may as well have fun with it.

  47. bristol
    Posted May 25, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Cumsprite: This makes asking about the poor editing of ADWD fair game. The questions are probably put less gently than is polite, but I’ll bet most of those people on Suvudu asked those questions before elsewhere, did so nicely, and were met with “George is not your bitch” “You fail at reading comprehension” and “You’re just a butt hurt troll”.

    I agree with everything you said. AFFC and ADWD were bloated messes that could easily have been combined. Of the several POV characters added, I think we only needed Arianne and Asha.

  48. Kate
    Posted May 26, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Cumsprite,

    Asking about anything is fair game as long as it is done politely. But you’ll admit that asking “why you edited ADWD so poorly” is not going to get us any interesting feedback.

    It would be great if someone asked if she regrets any particular decision. It would be great if someone asked her which were the main problems she faced while editing ADWD. It would be great if someone prepared a summary of quotes of the reviewers you mention who criticized her work asking her view of it. We could learn actual interesting things from her answers, and even if (obviously) she is not going to tell us the whole truth, we could obtain more inside knowledge and elements to judge.

    I share the opinions that ADWD and AFFC should have been better books. IMHO spliting the two books was a bad idea, scraping the 5 year gap was a bad idea, including so many new POVs was a bad idea, and cuting the final battles of ADWD was a battle idea. I’d love to read her views about all that. But asking it rudely is not going to get us anything.

    And also, people don’t think to realize that asking her to do more editing and asking the books to come out faster is not compatible. Imagine if we heard now that George has finished TWOW, but Anne is delaying publication for a year because she thinks a couple of POVs completely. There’ll be people in the streets asking for her head.

  49. Huck
    Posted May 26, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Kate:

    And also, people don’t think to realize that asking her to do more editing and asking the books to come out faster is not compatible. Imagine if we heard now that George has finished TWOW, but Anne is delaying publication for a year because she thinks a couple of POVs completely. There’ll be people in the streets asking for her head.

    Excellent point. And that was precisely the situation with AFFC and ADWD. ADWD especially was rushed to the press even more quickly as possible. A good question might be how much sleep she got in the weeks after GRRM handed in his manuscript…

  50. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted May 26, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Huck: ADWD especially was rushed to the press even more quickly as possible.

    That is a funny comment, especially since ADwD took 6 years to complete. They probably “rushed” it only to capitalize on sales after GoT S1. Who knows how long it would have taken to substantively edit then publish if the “HBO incentive” wasn’t there?

  51. Huck
    Posted May 26, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: That is a funny comment, especially since ADwD took 6 years to complete. They probably “rushed” it only to capitalize on sales after GoT S1. Who knows how long it would have taken to substantively edit then publish if the “HBO incentive” wasn’t there?

    Exactly. It was fan pressure that rushed the editing process. And fan pressure might have even delayed the writing process — though that is just speculation, I have no idea what causes GRRM’s writer’s block.

  52. Renly's Peach
    Posted May 26, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Oh look, the top rated question is, to nobody’s surprise, when the next book is coming out. And the second one is “why didn’t you edit this like I wanted you to.”

    I hope her reply is a gigantic “fuck you.”

  53. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach:
    Oh look, the top rated question is, to nobody’s surprise, when the next book is coming out. And the second one is “why didn’t you edit this like I wanted you to.”

    I hope her reply is a gigantic “fuck you.”

    Quote properly, funny guy.

    I also hope for this kind of response from her. It will finally convince me to not bother with TWOW (or at least not waste money on it), if it ever comes out.

  54. sandbun
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach:
    Oh look, the top rated question is, to nobody’s surprise, when the next book is coming out. And the second one is “why didn’t you edit this like I wanted you to.”

    I hope her reply is a gigantic “fuck you.”

    That’s not far off from what happened. The 2nd highest rated question was deleted, and her answer to when it would be done was “When I know I’ll let you know.” Not even a hint about whether we’re talking within a year, multiple years away, or anything.

  55. Locke Reborn
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Do you plan on becoming a great novelist after working for George like Ty?


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