If there’s anything Game of Thrones readers like more than nit-picking what parts of the show don’t line up with the books, it’s debating when (or if) the next books in the series will come out. Yesterday George R.R. Martin’s editor, Anne Groell, did a Q&A session for Suvudu where she revealed some information about the process for the previous books, how the series came to a (tentative) number of seven books, and what she has on The Winds of Winter. It’s spoiler-ish for the books, though not overly so. You can read the whole interview here but if you’re in a hurry, here’s the highlights:
1. On The Winds of Winter: “For TWOW, when I have a date, you will have a date. I’m now on Twitter, Del Rey Spectra has a number of social media platforms, and I promise you we will put the word out as soon as we know. All I can say is that George is hard at work, and we hope to have it reasonably soon. I currently have 168 pages that he submitted back in Feb 2013 in order to receive a contracted payment, but I know more exists, because he keeps talking about chapter he hasn’t yet sent me.”
2. Three battles were cut from A Dance With Dragons for length and for writing time. She states that had the battles been left in, the book would have to be divided again, and Martin would still be writing. At least one of those battles would have been in Meereen.
3. Unlike the producers of the television series, she does not know how things are going to end.
4. While she was pregnant with her first child, both Martin and author Connie Willis were late getting manuscripts to her. Martin proposed that whoever delivered first should get to name the baby, and Groell declined on the basis that she wouldn’t want Martin naming her kid. Connie Willis won, getting her manuscript in two months before Groell delivered her baby. The child was 2 ½ years old before Martin had his manuscript in.
5. She has tried to convince him to write on a laptop instead of only on his home computer. Apparently it hasn’t worked.
6. The repeated phrase she tried to cut back on in A Dance With Dragons was “words are wind” (which appears 14 times) but Martin was “stubborn.” No word on niello, nuncle, neeps, little and less, nipples on a breastplate, or other distracting words or phrases.
7. She took two weeks to do the initial edit on A Dance With Dragons, most of which was back-checking information from previous books. With the new app connected to the series, she hopes to get the initial editing time for the next book down to a week.
I realize there’s not much hope here for the book readers, but frankly any fans of this series hanging onto hope haven’t been paying attention.