The author, who masterminded the whole series and effectively spawned the Game of Thrones TV show, spoke back in 2016 about wishing he was able to keep up with the pace of HBO.
He had told IGN: “Ideally I would have liked to have had all seven books and had the story complete, but the show moves at a faster pace.
“That’s partly because I’m a slow writer and I’ve always been a slow writer.”
As has become increasingly clear since this interview was first released, the writer also has a lot of other things on his plate, too.
“I’ve had a lot of distractions,” he admitted. “And one of the distractions is the shows!
“I wrote episodes… that took up a considerable amount of time. But it is what it is.
“Ideally I wish I could hold up the Winds of Winter right now and tell everybody to go out and buy it but it’s still not done, so all I can do is continue to write it.”
Winds of Winter is believed to be en route in 2018, after Martin seemed to hint on social media that it is en route over the next 12 months.
“Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all my friends and readers out there,” he tweeted. “I had a lovely Christmas Day with friends and family, and Santa was very good to me.
“I hope the same is true for all of you. Even so, I look forward to the new year…”
Just that ellipsis was enough to excite fans with the possibility of imminent publication.