As lockdown eases around the world, George RR Martin has revealed he is currently isolating in “an actual cabin in the mountains” and hopes to finish his long-awaited fantasy novel The Winds of Winter “next year”.
Martin said he was spending “long hours every day” working on the book, which will be the sixth in his series A Song of Ice and Fire. Set in the fantasy kingdom of Westeros and its environs, peopled by warring factions, occasional dragons and direwolves, the bestselling fantasy series was adapted by HBO into the television series Game of Thrones. Although the television storyline concluded a year ago, fans have been waiting for The Winds of Winter, the penultimate book in the series before A Dream of Spring, since the publication of A Dance With Dragons in 2011.
Martin, 71, wrote on his blog that his “enforced isolation” in his cabin has helped him write, and that he is “making steady progress” with the story. “I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week. But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go,” he told fans, warning them not to “give any credence to any of the click-bait websites that like to parse every word of my posts as if they were papal encyclicals to divine hidden meanings”.
Last year, he had predicted it would be done by this summer, and he admitted on his blog that he wished he was able to write faster. “Way way back in 1999, when I was deep in the writing of A Storm of Swords, I was averaging about 150 pages of manuscript a month. I fear I shall never recapture that pace again. Looking back, I am not sure how I did it then,” wrote Martin, who has also used his time in lockdown to buy part of a railroad in his home of Sante Fe, New Mexico.
He has “bad days, which get me down, and good days, which lift me up, but all in all I am pleased with the way things are doing”, he said, adding that most recently, he has been writing about the characters Cersei, Asha – who is known as Yara in the television series – Tyrion, Ser Barristan and Areo Hotah, with a trip to Braavos planned for next week.
“Mostly, it’s just me in Westeros, with occasional side trips to other places in the pages of a great book,” he told his fans. “Now you will have to excuse me. Arya is calling. I think she means to kill someone.”
Source: The Guardian