'Game Of Thrones' Publisher Defends Delay Of George R.R. Martin's 'The Winds Of Winter'

George R.R. Martin
(Photo : Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown) George R.R. Martin's publisher Jane Johnson has defended the "Game of Thrones" author for the delay of "The Winds of Winter" -- the sixth book in his novel series "A Song of Ice and Fire."

Popular fantasy franchise "Game of Thrones" celebrated its 20th anniversary last Monday, and to mark the milestone, the franchise creator George R.R. Martin announced on his LiveJournal blog that he would be releasing a new book in October. Unfortunately for fans, it is not the much awaited "The Winds of Winter," but a special illustrated edition of "A Game of Thrones."

The 67-year-old novelist, however, did offer an update about "The Winds of Winter," saying  that he is "still working on book six."

Newsweek recently reached out to Martin's publisher Jane Johnson to  find out if he is any closer to finishing the book. Johnson, however, admitted that she doesn't have a clue.

"I'm like Jon Snow: I know nothing!" she said in an email to the magazine. "All I do know is that George is working very hard. And as soon as we possibly can after he delivers, we'll publish the book."

Johnson also took the opportunity to defend Martin for the delay of the book, as she observed that even his most loyal readers have already become weary from the wait.

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"It's worth saying he's written the best part of two million words of this series in the past 20 years," Johnson said. "So given the average length of a novel is around 100,000 words, that's 20 novels in most writers' worlds."

In a blog post on his LiveJournal last January, Martin insisted that there's no one to blame for the delay but him.

"No one else is to blame. Not my editors and publishers, not HBO, not [showrunners] David [Benioff] & Dan [Weiss]. It's on me," he wrote. "I tried, and I am still trying. ... But no, 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."

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