George R.R. Martin says next 'Game of Thrones' book is 'months away'

By Karen Butler   |   Jan. 2, 2016 at 9:49 AM
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SANTA FE, N.M., Jan. 2 (UPI) -- George R.R. Martin says the publication of his next Song of Ice and Fire novel has been delayed because he hasn't completed the book.

The literary fantasy series is the basis for the immensely popular HBO drama Game of Thrones, which is entering into its sixth season.

"The Winds of Winter is not finished," the 67-year-old author penned on his blog Saturday.

"Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words. You're disappointed, and you're not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed... but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me. For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, 'I have completed and delivered The Winds of Winter on or before the last day of 2015.' But the book's not done. Nor is it likely to be finished tomorrow, or next week. Yes, there's a lot written. Hundreds of pages. Dozens of chapters. (Those 'no pages done' reports were insane, the usual garbage Internet journalism that I have learned to despise). But there's also a lot still left to write. I am months away still... and that's if the writing goes well. (Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't.) Chapters still to write, of course... but also rewriting. I always do a lot of rewriting, sometimes just polishing, sometimes pretty major restructures."

Martin went on to say he had hoped to get the sixth book in the series into readers' hands before Season 6 of the TV show premieres in mid-April, but that won't happen.

"Unfortunately, the writing did not go as fast or as well as I would have liked," Martin explained. "You can blame my travels or my blog posts or the distractions of other projects and the Cocteau and whatever, but maybe all that had an impact... you can blame my age, and maybe that had an impact too...but if truth be told, sometimes the writing goes well and sometimes it doesn't, and that was true for me even when I was in my 20s. And as spring turned to summer, I was having more bad days than good ones. Around about August, I had to face facts: I was not going to be done by Halloween. I cannot tell you how deeply that realization depressed me. ... I can't tell you when it will be done, or when it will be published. Best guess, based on our previous conversations, is that Bantam (and presumably my British publisher as well) can have the hardcover out within three months of delivery, if their schedules permit. But when delivery will be, I can't say. I am not going to set another deadline for myself to trip over. The deadlines just stress me out. I am going back to my stance from last March, before all this. It will be done when it's done. And it will be as good as I can possibly make it."

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