In an interview with EW, George RR Martin reveals his one regret with regards to A Song of Ice and Fire: not writing Winds of Winter sooner. After having just finished A Dance With Dragons in 2011, Martin says he was writng Winds of Winter, and writing quickly, but he ran out of steam:
I was red hot on the book and I put it aside for six months. I was so into it. I was pushing so hard that I was writing very well. I should have just gone on from there, because I was so into it and it was moving so fast then. But I didn’t because I had to switch gears into the editing phase and then the book tour. The iron does cool off, for me especially.
DON'T SAY THINGS LIKE THAT, GEORGE. You'll only fuel my waiting-rage!
Martin is now concerned with getting the book out before season 6 of the show begins, though he hopes to be finished by the end of this year and has canceled convention appearances to give himself the time to do so. He also teased that he's come up with an entirely new plot twist that he'd never considered before that would have a major effect on a character:
I’m still weighing whether to go that direction or not. It’s a great twist. It’s easy to do things that are shocking or unexpected, but they have to grow out of characters. They have to grow out of situations. Otherwise, it’s just being shocking for being shocking. But this is something that seems very organic and natural, and I could see how it would happen. And with the various three, four characters involved… it all makes sense. But it’s nothing I’ve ever thought of before. And it’s nothing they can do in the show, because the show has already—on this particular character—made a couple decisions that will preclude it, where in my case I have not made those decisions.
I've read all the books, and to be honest, I have no idea who he could be talking about, but consider me terrified.
A new sample chapter for the next novel in the Game of Thrones series has been released, and it's from the perspective of Alayne. In the books, we last left Alayne plotting to retake Winterfell with Petyr Baelish. He intends to marry Alayne off to the next heir of the Eyrie, Harrold Hardyng, before revealing her true identity and retaking her birthright. The chapter GRRM has released picks up with Harrold (Harry) arriving for a tournament designed to appoint a kingsguard for Lord Robert.
Here are the first few lines:
She was reading her little lord a tale of the Winged Knight when Mya Stone came knocking on the door of his bedchamber, clad in boots and riding leathers and smelling strongly of the stable. Mya had straw in her hair and a scowl on her face. That scowl comes of having Mychel Redfort near, Alayne knew.
“Your lordship,” Mya informed Lord Robert, “Lady Waynwood’s banners have been seen an hour down the road. She will be here soon, with your cousin Harry. Will you want to greet them?”
Why did she have to mention Harry? Alayne thought. We will never get Sweetrobin out of bed now. The boy slapped a pillow. “Send them away. I never asked them here.”
Mya looked nonplussed. No one in the Vale was better at handling a mule, but lordlings were another matter. “They were invited,” she said uncertainly, “for the tourney. I don’t… “
Alayne closed her book. “Thank you, Mya. Let me talk with Lord Robert, if you would.” Relief plain on her face, Mya fled without another word.
“I hate that Harry,” Sweetrobin said when she was gone. “He calls me cousin, but he’s just waiting for me to die so he can take the Eyrie. He thinks I don’t know, but I do.