“The Winds of Winter is not finished,” the author, 67, wrote on his blog. "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."
Martin revealed that he originally planned to have it completed before the sixth season of the hit HBO adaptation airs in mid-2016.
"Nor is it likely to be finished tomorrow, or next week," the author continued. "Yes, there's a lot written. Hundreds of pages. Dozens of chapters. But there's also a lot still left to write. I am months away still, and that's if the writing goes well."
As for the cause of the delays? Martin cited family, travel and other projects that he's working on.
"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," he admitted. "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."
Despite the setbacks, Martin assured his legion of fans that he wouldn't let them down with the sixth book.
"Winds of Winter should be pretty good too, when it comes out," he promised. "As good as I can make it, anyway. Enjoy the show. Enjoy the books. Meanwhile, I'll keep writing. Chapter at a time. Page at a time. Word at a time. That's all I know how to do."
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!