The most recently published entry in George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones saga came in 2011 in the form of A Dance With Dragons. Before that, it was a five year wait for A Feast For Crows, a book that didn't even include half of the novel's core cast of characters.
To call the wait for Martin's latest novel, The Winds of Winter, excruciating is an understatement. Fans are desperate to know what happens next, especially in light of how HBO's popular adaptation of Martin's work is set to officially pass Martin's own story when season six premieres in April.
Martin's offered numerous reasons for the delays over the past few years, with most of them always coming back to the author being incredibly busy. As the popularity of the HBO show blossomed, so to did Martin's popularity, not to mention his work as an editor on various sci-fi and fantasy anthologies. Oh, and he owns an independent movie theater in his hometown of Santa Fe. It was actually there at a recent film festival that the author provided a more detailed explanation about what exactly makes his life so busy and the effect it has on his writing.
"Writer's block isn't to blame here, it's distraction," Martin says, via IndieWire. "In recent years, all of the work I've been doing creates problems because it creates distraction. Because the books and the show are so popular I have interviews to do constantly. I have travel plans constantly. It's like suddenly I get invited to travel to South Africa or Dubai, and who's passing up a free trip to Dubai?
"I don't write when I travel. I don't write in hotel rooms. I don't write on airplanes. I really have to be in my own house undisturbed to write. Through most of my life no body did bother me, but now everyone bothers me every day. I have assistants and minions whose main job is to make sure people don't bother me so I can actually get writing done."
Martin has repeatedly stated his goal is to finish the next book before the next season of Game of Thrones airs, but so far it doesn't look like will happen. Fans will either have to let the show spoil what's to come in the books, or go dark until The Winds of Winter does finally release, hopefully sometime in 2016. But hey, Martin does have a point about free trips to Dubai. You'd have to be a dummy to pass that up. And interviews with Conan. That's a great opportunity.