'Winds of Winter' news: George R.R. Martin sets his eyes on 2016 as release for new book

"Game of Thrones" fans are all quite aware that the next season of the series will be a mystery without the guide of George R.R. Martin's novels. This fact may be driving the followers who have been reading the books crazy, but all hope may not be lost as the best-selling author announced he is targeting 2016 as the release date of the new book.

Martin has continuously been plagued by the question on when he plans to finish the book, and instead of giving his vague answers like usual, he did his best to assure fans that he is putting all his time and efforts into getting it done. He tells Entertainment Weekly that it isn't lost on him the significance of his book being published before season 6 of Game of Thrones premieres next spring. He shares that finishing the book, "Winds of Winter," "has been important to me all along." He also further adds, "I wish it was out now. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic about how quickly I can finish. But I canceled two convention appearances, I'm turning down a lot more interviews — anything I can do to clear my decks and get this done."

He also reveals how the books may definitely end up going a different direction. Everyone is already aware the books and the show are ultimately going their own ways, especially at this point. Martin says that he just started entertaining the idea of a plot twist that no one has seen coming and which he has never considered previously until it all fell into place. He goes,"This is going to drive your readers crazy, but I love it. I'm still weighing whether to go that direction or not. It's a great twist. It's easy to do things that are shocking or unexpected, but they have to grow out of characters. They have to grow out of situations. Otherwise, it's just being shocking for being shocking. But this is something that seems very organic and natural, and I could see how it would happen. And with the various three, four characters involved… it all makes sense. But it's nothing I've ever thought of before. And it's nothing they can do in the show, because the show has already — on this particular character — made a couple decisions that will preclude it, where in my case I have not made those decisions."

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The author does admit, though, that it has been one of his regrets to have put the book on hiatus for six months after he finished "A Dance of Dragons." He feels that he had ruined his momentum and should have just kept going as it has always been a bit difficult for him to get back on track after a long pause.

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