Author George R.R. Martin
George R.R. Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series that is the basis of the television series "Game of Thrones", pauses during his masterclass at the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) in Neuchatel July 10, 2014. Reuters/Denis Balibouse

There was a lot of expectation among the fans that the release date of “Winds of Winter” will be in the first quarter of 2017, before the next season of the HBO TV series. That, however, seems unlikely as George R.R. Martin has said that he is still finishing the book.

In his recent blog post, Martin said that he has reduced the number of his appearances in 2017 to focus on completing the next book in “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. The author had previously made a similar announcement about his engagements, but conceded that he had to make it to events that were arranged well in advance and the fans had bought tickets for a chance to see him.

Martin’s last scheduled events in 2016 was at Guadalajara , Mexico. The live streaming event had interviews, press conference and book signing as some of the highlights. The author planned to do some tequila tasting after finding out that this is the tequila capital of Mexico.

There is no update on how far Martin has reached in “Winds of Winter” and how much of it still remains. However, even if the author manages to complete the book in the next few months, during which time he will not be attending any more events, the book still has to go through the editing phase before being sent for printing.

The highly anticipated book, therefore, may not be released in the first quarter of 2017, as many fans had hoped. Martin had initially planned to have the book out before the sixth season of “Game of Thrones,” a season which fully took over the source material and may have spoiled some of the key plot points.

Now, it appears as though “Winds of Winter” will not be released before the seventh season of “Game of Thrones.” So, the HBO TV series will continue to spoil the plot of the book series.