George R. R. Martin is known as one of the most famous current fantasy writers, specifically for his acclaimed series called A Song of Ice and Fire, the first book of which is A Game of Thrones. So popular is the series that, as you likely know, it has spawned a wildly popular HBO series.
Martin has said that when he was a child, he would often buy “dime store turtles,” turtles that came in a plastic bowl with water, gravel, and a fake palm tree. The dime store turtles were the only pets Martin was allowed to have, and so he had half a dozen turtles living in a model castle courtyard in his room.
He started to pretend they were knights, lords, and kings, and soon began writing about the “turtle kingdom.” According to Martin, the turtles died very easily, so he began thinking they were killing each other in sinister plots and wrote this fantasy story about the wars in the turtle kingdoms.
Martin says this was how A Game of Thrones was started. Martin, who has been publishing the series since the 90s, is currently writing the sixth entry in A Song of Ice and Fire. The television adaptation on HBO has received widespread critical acclaim, and is returning for its third season next year.