Winds of Winter release: George R.R. Martin assures book will not be held up by new TV adaptation of The Skin Trade

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Bestselling author George R.R. Martin has announced that his novella “The Skin Trade” has been optioned for television rights by HBO’s sister company Cinemax but assured that this will not affect the progress of his work on Winds of Winter, the sixth book in The Song of Ice and Fire series.

“I am very excited to announce the Cinemax (HBO’s sister company) has optioned the television rights to “The Skin Trade,” the offbeat “werewolf noir” novella I penned back in the late 80s. The deal is closed, and Cinemax has ordered the pilot script. This being Hollywood, of course, you never know where things will end… but if they like the script, we’ll shoot a pilot, and if they like that, hey, who knows, maybe we’ll get a series on the air,” he posted on his live journal.

The author, who is in the process of finishing the sixth book in the saga on which the HBO series Game of Thrones is based told fans that he will not be writing the script for the new pilot because finishing Winds of Winter is his top priority.

Fans of both the book and television series have expressed apprehension over the release date of the sixth book since the television series, which is now entering its sixth season, has already caught up with the books.

The first book in the series Game of Thrones was originally published in 1996 and was optioned for television by HBO in 2011. The succeeding novels in the saga likewise became the source material for the following seasons of the show but after the fifth season, book and TV fans are left on the same page as they all remain clueless about the fate of their favorite characters pending the release of the sixth book. 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin said that he is determined to finish the book before Season 6 premieres in April next year, that a minor character will be having a different fate from his television counterpart.

“This is going to drive your readers crazy, but I love it. 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 alreadyon this particular charactermade a couple decisions that will preclude it, where in my case I have not made those decisions,” Martin revealed.