The author, who is currently working on next book The Winds of Winter, is responsible for the Game of Thrones phenomenon thanks to the hugely popular ASOIAF series.
Fans of either the TV show or the novels will know that he’s not afraid to kill off characters – and in a newly-published interview he was asked if he “feels bad about killing all those nice people”.
“I certainly feel bad about actors losing their parts when the characters die,” he’s quoted as admitting.
“As for the characters themselves… Yes, but for a character to be real, he or she has to die. I think Faulkner said that.”
In the same interview, he was asked if he’d ever attempt something as epic as ASOIAF again.
The seven-book series has had five of its instalments published; while two more – including The Winds of Winter – are still to come.
“Oh no, this thing nearly killed me and it’s probably the most massive work that I’m capable of doing,” he explained.
“I hope to continue writing standalone novels, novellas and short stories, but nothing on this scale.”
At the Emmy Awards recently, he had said that he wished TWOW had hit shelves several years ago.
Rumoured release dates have been coming and going for many years now, and it’s seven years since its predecessor A Dance With Dragons was published.
“I’m working on [The Winds of Winter], and I wish I’d been done four years ago,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
“But I’m slow and the book is very complex, although there are a lot of great distractions out there.”
In the meantime, companion book Fire and Blood Vol 1 is out in November; providing the fictional history of the Targaryens.
The Game of Thrones TV series, meanwhile, has completed filming on its final season – due for release next year.
After The Winds of Winter, Martin will have to get to work on A Dream of Spring, the final part.