The buzz around “Game of Thrones” is relentless and fortunately for fans that only have two episodes of Season 4 left, George R.R. Martin -- author of the acclaimed “A Song of Ice and Fire” series -- is finally talking release dates … well sort of. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the author who released the first installment of his epic series in 1996, discussed the publishing plan for his two forthcoming novels, mainly the highly anticipated sixth book, “The Winds of Winter.”

This coming July will mark a three-year gap between the most recently released installment “A Dance with Dragons” and the forthcoming book, however, this time gap is something readers of Martin’s have grown accustomed to. The longest lapse in Martin’s publishing plan came between books four and five, when readers were left waiting for a long six years, from November of 2005 until July of 2011. 

With all the waiting, the building momentum of the HBO “Game of Thrones” series, and of course endless spoiler reports, Martin finally clarified his plans for publishing, stating, “My plan is to finish in seven.” The author continued, “But my original plan was to finish in three. I write the stories and they grow. I deal with certain things and sometimes I find myself not at the end of a story. My plan right now is still seven. But first I have to finish Book Six. Get back to me when I’m half-way through Book Seven and then maybe I’ll tell you something more meaningful.”

While it is of course a good sign that Martin sees an end to this epic saga, it is certainly not a good sign to hear that he has not even completed “The Winds of Winter.” If the book isn’t even completed in terms of Martin’s standard, then readers should expect the waiting game to continue. In addition to his confirmed publishing plan, Martin did make some interesting comments regarding the HBO TV series, which has turned his story into a sensation worldwide.

"It’s been a great season,” he said. “Though by and large we are seeing more differences from the books and I’ve been predicting that from the beginning. There’s a certain snowball effect of making changes and I think that will continue. I like many of the new scenes they’ve inserted along the way, though I miss the things they leave out. Obviously I put those scenes in the books for a reason, I felt they added to the story. As I’ve been saying for years, I wish they had more hours — every time I see another HBO show I wonder why we only have 10 episodes and they have 13."