Earlier today, Game of Thrones offered our first official look at Season 6, namely the continued story of a character surpassing author George R.R. Martin’s published material. More and more, HBO’s adaptation moves beyond its literary inspiration, while Martin’s past comments suggest that a myriad of “distraction” prevent his writing, including the sixth Song of Ice and Fire novel, The Winds of Winter.

It’s a common enough complaint about Martin’s writing speed, that both he and other authors have defended the years-long wait between novels, currently shorter than the one between fourth and fifth books A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons (h/t UPROXX). Past rumors had hoped that Martin might release The Winds of Winter before April’s Season 6 premiere, or at least in 2016, while an older interview written up at Indiewire offered some insight into Martin’s delay:

Writer’s block isn’t to blame here, it’s distraction. In recent years, all of the work I’ve been doing creates problems because it creates distraction. Because the books and the show are so popular I have interviews to do constantly. I have travel plans constantly. It’s like suddenly I get invited to travel to South Africa or Dubai, and who’s passing up a free trip to Dubai?

I don’t write when I travel. I don’t write in hotel rooms. I don’t write on airplanes. I really have to be in my own house undisturbed to write. Through most of my life no body did bother me, but now everyone bothers me every day. I have assistants and minions whose main job is to make sure people don’t bother me so I can actually get writing done.

That said, Martin removed at least some of those distractions since his 2014 comments, sitting out writing contributions on the HBO series for two years running, even mostly eschewing the convention circuit. This close to 2016, it seems especially unlikely The Winds of Winter could arrive before Season 6's April premiere (we don’t yet have an announcement, let alone a four-month promotional window), potentially revealing further spoilers from the unpublished work.

Still, might we be due for a Song of Ice and Fire update anytime soon? Have enough “distractions” abated to allow a release sometime next year?