Ok, at first thank you it’s a great pleasure to meet you.
Thank you, the pleasure is mine.
You are here in Italy for the presentation of “The Lady of the lake” the last book of The Witcher saga.
It just happened.
Well it meant for me more than seven years of a hard work. Starting with the first book of the saga and ending with “The Lady of the Lake”. It meant for me a real tough work. And you know in Poland, this was the first fantasy saga at all. It was my ambition to do something like this to Polish fantasy. All people laughed at me and said “No you have no chances at all! Your business are short stories… just one book maybe second book!” For the series we have americans like Brooks, we have Tolkien…! They said no, no there’s no place for polish in business. They said that looking into my eyes. I asked “Why?” they answered “Because you’re worst. You’re worst, Tolkien is good, Brooks is great, their endings are great. But Polish are not.”
So you didn’t expect all this amazing success for The Witcher saga?
Nobody could. I was obviously happy to receive honor for the story, for the first book…nobody could expect it, nobody. But it happened and you know why? Because I’m talented!
The Witcher universe is gorgeous and full of characters. What was your inspiration for the political net and political background of the saga?
Inspiration is overrated, there’s nothing in inspiration, nothing. Either you’re talented or you’re not.
And you are!
Yes, I am!You know, inspiration is using words that means really nothing. There’s nothing but hard work. But sometimes some critics try to find parallelisms between The Witcher universe and some events in our political world, they always try to find something that it’s not in my books but it suits them.
So are those just coincidences?
Coincidences and nothing else, matches unneeded, nothing more than that. My books is just work that have no skeletons in the closet. No politics stuff here and there, no. Just my talent. Somebody like the fact that someone is always looking for for hidden things in my stories, but there’s nothing.
So is The Lady of the Lake is the last book of the saga or are you planning to do more chapters in the future?
Why should I do that? The end is the end!
Because people wants it!
The people… No, it’s me who decide and nobody can make me do something that i don’t want to do. Of course I wrote a side work “The Season of Storms” that hit The Witcher saga. Season of Storm is a side story in which you’ll meet some characters of The Witcher but this saga is ended. Now I can write as many side stories as I want and I will do it, because according to my information, the new regime in Poland and his Ministry of Culture will not pay for my events.
Because I’m considered an enemy of the State.
Well, this is not good at all.
How much is for a house here in Lucca, or in Rome, Pisa… or Bassano del Grappa?! Because you know, right now Poland is forcing me to emigrate, as an enemy of the State.
So will Italy become your new home?
Why not? The wine is good but i prefer Ireland… for the Guinness beer! Seriously, it’s not a joke.
Another question: what is your favorite character or the one most similar to you in The Witcher saga?
I don’t like questions like this, it’s like asking a mother which of her children is the best or the worst. I’ve created all the characters from the beginning, everyone with his personality and no one of them is a parody of someone. All of them serve the story and all are useful for the story. Don’t ask me which of them is the best because they’re all meant for the story, the story is the Queen.
Thanks to the work of CD Projekt RED, Geralt of Rivia had the chance to live a “second youth” in the videogame. Was you involved in the videogame project or not? And what do you think about the videogame saga?
No, I was not involved and I cannot say anything about the video game because I didn’t played it. I have the Deluxe edition but i didn’t opened it yet! Again, I wasn’t involved in the project at all.
And what about your relationship with the fans and the social networks?
Actually there’s no relation. If somebody asks me to participate at some events like festivals etc. And asks me in advance I may accept or not. Of course there’re some request that can’t be refused like the Eurocon, next one will be in Barcelona and I’ll be there.
What about Lucca?
Well Lucca is very sympathetic for me, thanks to the typical Italian hospitality, they treat me like a God here… and I like it! I like italians and their hospitality is awesome.
Ok now the last question… What do you think about the modern fantasy genre and authors like George R. Martin?
He as the same age as mine, we’re both 67!
You know, Martin was an inspiration for a lot of authors that started to write their stories and someone after him find the courage to publish or self publish.
Yes, absolutely, it’s true.
So, do you like The Game of Thrones?
Of course I do! I like it very much and i know Martin personally, is work is outstanding, and if you ask me who I think is on top of the “modern fantasy chart” I answer Martin!
I like also Joe Abercrombie but I didn’t like his last three books.
Ok, i thank you for your time it was a pleasure…
Pleasure is mine.. 50€, please!
Are you asking me 50€ for the interview?
Sure!! Just joking, the pleasure was mine. Sometimes is good to find journalist with pleasant questions for me!
Article by Raffaele Giasi, Laura Nottari ed Eugene Fitzherbert.