The Extrahuman Union

Archive for the ‘The Fallen Star’ Category

Recently I wrote about finishing the first draft of the final book of the Grayline Sisters trilogy, and how that felt. I had no idea I’d be making another post like it so soon after.

I finished the second draft of WAKING GIFTS (Extrahumans #4) last week. It was an excruciating effort–I basically rebuilt the story from the ground up because what I’d originally put down simply wasn’t working. I changed just about everything about the book, including the title (it was originally THE GIFT OF GREAT YIA, then THE BELLS OF VALEN, and now WAKING GIFTS). I think it’s pretty decent. I know I can turn it into something good. So at some point, this book will exist, and you’ll get to read all about what happens when Jill gets everything she thinks she wants (hint: nothing good).

And then that will be the end of the Extrahumans series.

There are several reasons for this, some about business, some personal. Mainly, though, this is a decision that grew out of the story.

I’d originally planned on five books, but at some point I realized that the plans I’d had for the fifth book were not particularly workable, and not actually about the characters we’ve been following.

Worse, it had nothing to do with Penny. Basically, even though she is the main character in only one of the books, Extrahumans is at it’s very heart the story of Penny Silverwing, her friends, her family, her lovers, and her transformation from who she is at the beginning of BROKEN to who she becomes by the end of WAKING GIFTS. Penny drives the stories and ties them all together, and she’s at the center of the extended “family” of characters. Her arc, after this story, is done.


This story also completes the arcs of many of the other characters, such as Jill (obviously), Emily, Sky Ranger, and Felipe. It also does provide some answers to some of the big questions that the series has been asking, and wraps up some of the larger, overarching storylines.

So this is a good place to end it. I thought about ending it with THE SPARK, but there were simply too many unanswered questions. I don’t feel that way about this book. This is a good end point.

Now, that doesn’t mean that this will be the last story in this universe, and that this is the last we’ll ever hear of these particular characters. There is so much left to tell! But this particular series will end with book 4, and I’m happy with that.

I am so grateful to all of you who’ve been sticking with this series. I know WAKING GIFTS has been a long time in coming compared to the first three. I hope I can make it worth your while!

So, on to the updates!

THE SEEKER STAR (Grayline Sisters #2) – Hoping to have a cover reveal for you real soon. Plans are that it’ll be out late this year, but I don’t have a date yet.

WAKING GIFTS (Extrahumans #4) – Second draft finished. I’d like to send this to the publisher by the end of the year.

THE FALLEN STAR (Grayline Sisters #3) – First draft done, doing a few edits here and there.

Short stories: WAR STORIES has been sent out to Kickstarter backers! My story “The Radio” is in the first section. It is a very, very cool anthology from Apex which you should check out when it goes on general sale in the fall. I should also have another short story out either late this year or early next year, we’ll see.

Lastly, I’m going to be at Readercon this Friday–if you’re there, say hi!

That’s all for now!


So last night I typed “The End” on the first draft of the third and final Grayline Sisters book.

It was a strangely emotional experience.

I’ve been working on pieces of this universe for about six years, now, and the Grayline Sisters books in particular for about three. This was planned to be a trilogy for a while, so I knew that this was the end of the series. I had to wrap up a lot of plotlines, and bring the overall story arc to a close.

So I wrote the Cool Scenes I wanted the book to end with, and I wrote the sad scenes as well. And after I typed “The End” I just sort of sat there, feeling like someone had abducted my kitten.

I think it’s going to be strange and difficult, this process of letting these characters and this world go. I don’t intend to revisit them. What’s done is done.

But I did actually finish it, and I’m sort of proud of that. I mostly like the way it ends, and though the draft needs a ton of work I think I did all right.

Some technical stuff: This draft was very short, only about 58,000 words. That is extremely short! But my drafts tend to add about 30,000 words between first and final, and this one felt like it could stand to add even more than that. I’ve been writing it for a little less than a year–I created the file back in July–but I didn’t seriously get moving on it until about five months ago.

General Updates

THE FALLEN STAR (Grayline Sisters #3) – First draft complete!
THE SEEKER STAR (Grayline Sisters #2) – In production!!! Looking for late summer/early fall release.
WAKING GIFTS (Extrahumans #4) – Working on this again after a long hiatus.

Short stories: I’ve got three short stories coming out in various places during the late spring/early summer! So watch this space.

There’s other stuff going on, too, but that’s what I can actually share so far.

When I write I like to leave notes for myself. I use the comment function in Word for this, and by the time a draft is finished I’ve usually left a few hundred notes. Some of them are quite helpful reminders about plot or character, some of them are musings on where the book is going, and some of them are just me enjoying the chance to troll myself.

Here’s a few I’ve used while writing THE SEEKER STAR and THE FALLEN STAR (Grayline Sisters #2 and #3, respectively).

Note: Some of the images are NOT LARGE. Click on them to embiggen.

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Halloween! And here is a black cat for you:

molly revenge

That’s Molly, by the way, and she is the nicest, shyest cat of all. But this is her special day!

On to the updates:

Things in production

There’s a short story upcoming in THIS MUTANT LIFE: BAD COMPANY which should be out in a few weeks. But that’s it for right now.

Things I’m working on

Here’s a list of books, etc., I’m writing/working on at the moment:

THE SEEKER STAR (Grayline Sisters #2): Violet’s story. Submitted to publisher.

THE FALLEN STAR (Grayline Sisters #3): Beth’s story. First draft in process. Slow but steady work being done.

THE BELLS OF VALEN (Extrahumans #4): In which Jill gets everything she ever wanted, and it almost kills her and everyone else. Stalled in revisions as I think of how to make it not suck.

THE DEMON GIRL’S SONG: Revising, again. And again. I’m going to make this book good if it kills me.

RAMONA’S MIRROR: Ramona comes face-to-face with herself and blinks. Stalled in the first draft, because of everything else going on.

Plus various short stories, etc. I’m writing a lot of short stories and essays.

In the meantime, NATIONAL NOVEL AVOIDANCE MONTH is upon us again. Get ready to avoid those novels, everyone!

Susan Jane Bigelow’s Extrahuman Union

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Extrahuman Union #1


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Extrahumans #3


YA LGBT epic fantasy!

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