The Extrahuman Union

Archive for the ‘The Seeker Star’ Category

Ah, the writing life:

Hey everyone! I’m still coming down from finishing SEEKER STAR, but I have started working on other projects.

One quick announcement: I’ll have a story in the upcoming anthology THIS MUTANT LIFE: BAD COMPANY, due out in October. It’s all about superheroes, so Extrahumans fans take note! Really, go grab it when it comes out, you’ll like this story and this whole anthology.

I’m slowly easing my way into revisions on THE BELLS OF VALEN (Extrahumans #4), because what there is to do with that book is just overwhelming. I tell myself that the hill was just as high and steep with SEEKER STAR, but it’s always daunting to be standing at the bottom, looking up.

I’m also promising myself that I’ll write a few more short stories, because I like them.

And now here’s the serious part of this post: I’m also being careful because I can feel burnout creeping in around the edges. I’ve done a ton of work over the past three years, and I have a good buffer when it comes to books finished and on submission. But I also feel like I have a ton to do, yet, and I need to take some time to recharge.

I burned out once when I was a high school teacher, and it was awful. I don’t ever want to do that again, especially for something I love as much as writing. So I’m going to try and take a breather, balance my day job, columnist job and my home life out, and do what little I can manage for now.

After a couple of weeks of taking it easier, I’ll likely be back on the old schedule. At least, I hope so.

Until then!


Yes. I am awful. I do not blog much.

But in a previous life I blogged A LOT, so I think that counts for something?

Okay. Here’s what’s going on:


I did a reading of “Ramona’s Demons” with the awesome Topside Press crew at the Kelly Writer’s House at Penn in Philadelphia last week. It was incredible! I had a blast with everyone, and was so amazed by the outpouring of love for THE COLLECTION and for my story. Philly, you are the best.

I keep thinking we’ll do some sort of reading/appearance thing for my other books at some point. I’ll keep you posted.


Hey! Do you like “Doctor Who” more than pretty much anything? Me, too! Which is why I’m super excited to have an essay appearing in “Queers Dig Time Lords,” which will be coming out from Mad Norwegian Press this June. Did I mention John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) will be doing the intro? Yeah!

Books in Production

The cover for THE DAUGHTER STAR is done and ready for a reveal next month. It is AMAZING, and I’m thrilled about it. The book itself is due out in May, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Works in Progress

THE BELLS OF VALEN: I finished up the rough draft of the fourth Extrahumans book yesterday, and now I’m completely exhausted. Revisions loom, but I’m not touching the book until at least May. I need to let it settle, plus there’s way more to do.

THE SEEKER STAR: I’m about halfway through revisions for this book, which is the second in the Grayline Sisters trilogy. It is slow going. This book has been interrupted by so, so many other things.

SIPHANE AND THE WHALE: This rough draft of a grumpy robot and her weirdo human pal figuring out life, love and unusual food products during a terrifying interstellar war is collecting dust, waiting for me to have time to revise it. Maybe by April?

THE DEMON GIRL’S SONG: Look what’s back in rotation! I’m trying to fix this poor, unloved book about a young woman being possessed by a demon emperor up some. There were so many issues with it, and I’d love for it to see the light of day at some point… but I only have time to work on it when I’m not busy with other things. I also have no idea how to fix a lot of it. Argh!

THE FALLEN STAR: Grayline Sisters #3. I have a few pages written and have outlined some of the rest.

THE LAST EXTRAHUMAN: Outlined. Haven’t started. Really want to start. Wanted to start months ago. Holding self back.

FURY’S STAND: Byzantine gender fantasy, with goddesses. 18k or so written. It’s stalled out while I work on other things.


There’s a bunch of reviews of BROKEN out there which I need to post. I will get to it. Promise.

And that’s it!

So the amazing Cathering Lundoff (author of Silver Moon) tagged me for the Next Big Thing, where authors and editors share what they’re doing next. Here’s my entry:

What is the working title of your next book?

Okay, right now I’m in the revising stage for a book called The Seeker Star, which is the second book in a trilogy about the Grayline sisters, meddlesome aliens, conspiracies, other planets, and the effect of heavy gravity on bra elastic (hint: it isn’t good). The first book, The Daughter Star is being put through the wringer by my editors right now, and will be out sometime in 2013.

So I guess Daughter Star is the next big thing, and Seeker Star is the thing after that.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I had fiddled with the idea of this particular universe for a while, and I wanted to write a story set there. I also wanted to write a novel that wasn’t an Extrahumans book! I created the character of Marta Grayline and had her running around trying to figure out some of the big questions of her universe. Her sister, Violet, is the star of the second book, and the youngest Grayline sister, Beth, will be featured in the third one (tentative title: The Fallen Star).

I wanted to write about family, and relationships, and also weirdo aliens. This trilogy has let me do all of that.

What genre does your book fall under?

Science fiction.

What is the synopsis or blurb for this book?

For The Daughter Star the official blurb is: Marta Grayline has problems: her stable, fulfilling life as a freighter pilot has been yanked out from under her, she’s stuck on her miserable home planet with her obnoxious family, her beautiful girlfriend’s now on the opposite side of an interstellar war, and, worst of all, she’s bored to tears. When her enigmatic sister Beth offers her a way out – enlisting in the Novan Emergency Fleet – she jumps at it.

Now Marta has questions: Why was her ship attacked and destroyed? Who are the strange people who rescued her, and what’s their connection to the mysterious alien Abrax? What’s the seven-note song looping endlessly through her head supposed to mean? And, strangest of all, why is there a door to a dead planet in the science lab of a hidden space station?

Marta’s quest for answers will take her to the frozen dark side of a faraway planet, into the tense politics of an armed rebellion, through vast subterranean caves, and into the heart of the enemy’s defenses. She’ll have to face ancient forces, her own doubts, and the inside of an alien mind if she wants to save her sister, find answers to the questions burning in her mind, and unlock her own potential. The Daughter Star, the red beacon in the night sky, could either see the genesis of a startling new future for humans and Abrax, or Marta and Beth Grayline’s annihilation…

For The Seeker Star there is no official blurb yet. Basically Violet Grayline loses everything, finds her missing sisters, and changes the world.

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Dye Amanda Tapping’s hair deep brown and she’d be Marta. Violet is more a Claudia Christian.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Small press. I have no agent.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Way longer than it should have. Daughter Star was done in about three months, Seeker Star in something like six months.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I sort of talked about this? I really have no clue other than what I already said…

UPDATE: Oh, I know what I could mention! I started this book as a “pace book” for The Spark, which came out in August. I wanted it to be a silly thing that I wrote alongside that book, so I could take a break from time to time and focus on something else (writing The Spark was amazing but draining). The original working title of the book was Novan Ladies in Terrible Peril, which gives you an idea of how serious it was. It actually got far more serious and intricate with each rewrite, so if you’re expecting a silly book this isn’t it! That’s how it started, though.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Did I mention the interstellar war?

…And oh no, I forgot to tag people! AUGH. I will try to remember to do that right away!

Thank you for reading!

I promised myself that this year, in November, I’d take a break from fiction. I had all kinds of excuses. I wrote two rough draft manuscripts this year, I assured myself, and even though I hadn’t done much of anything with them since that was clearly Good Enough. I’d also gone through two actual book releases, one in January and another in August, and I’d just finished the revisions on another book due out sometime next year. Seriously, I thought, these were excellent excuses.

Lastly, and this may be the most legitimate reason of all, when elections roll around life as a political columnist gets really hectic. Elections tend to burn me out, so I figured this year I was going to play it totally safe. While everyone else was busy with their NaNovels, posting word counts and cursing their characters, I was going to be slaying digital monsters and sipping tea. Ah yes.

Have I mentioned that I’ve gotten into tea in a big way? Ask me about my tea infuser and giant tins of loose leaf tea. Ask me about the tea leaves scattered all over the kitchen counter. Go ahead. You have time to kill.

So that was it, National Novel Avoidance Month had come to Susanland, and I was living large. I spent my after-work time covered in a layer of cats. I finished up all my political writing and started reading Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, which is a blast so far.

But then I kept having ideas. Conversations started playing out in my head. I started thinking about characters doing things. And, of course, everyone out there is writing stuff this month. It’s infectious.

Therefore, naturally, over the weekend I found myself arm-deep in a manuscript, starting the laborious process of revision. Argh! So much for vacation. All those monsters are just sitting there on my computer, waiting to be slain, and I’m figuring out how many members the Women’s Council in Müller-Darvan has. Bah!

*glowers at world*

Okay, so here’s what’s going on now!

  • I didn’t put up a post about it at the time, but THE COLLECTION from Topside Press came out in October! All new stories from the “transgender vanguard,” which sounds like a cool band name or maybe a football formation, and I’ve got a story in it. Check it out. So many good writers in there! The anthology’s been getting some rave reviews. My story, “Ramona’s Demons,” is mentioned in a few of them. One of them said, “This one had me laughing out loud and smiling and getting angry.” Excellent.
  • I finished up the latest round of revisions for THE DAUGHTER STAR, which will be out sometime next year.
  • Right now I’m working on revising the rough draft of THE SEEKER STAR, which is the follow-up to THE DAUGHTER STAR. Yes, this is the book that ruined my vacation.
  • I’m also making notes and writing a few scenes for the fourth Extrahumans book. I have no timetable for this one yet, folks, so bear with me.
  • I did a lot of political writing this election season, including this piece about quiet inside the voting booth, and this one about climate change. You can find my column over at every week.

That’s it for now. I’m hoping to be able to make an announcement or two soon-ish, as there’s more cool stuff coming down the pike. Until next time!

Susan Jane Bigelow’s Extrahuman Union

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