25 Apr

Author’s Note: The end of Book 4

It has been a long journey, with many twists and turns, but we made it! Book 4 is finally complete. Here are some fun stats of the story so far (Books 1-4):

  • Total of 487,354 words
  • In 246 entries
  • Averaging 1,981 words per post
  • Over 5 years and 2.5 months

I want to say a huge thank-you to everyone who has come along for the Starwalker ride. You guys are why I write, and I am immensely grateful for your time, enthusiasm, comments, encouragement, and patience. I have been repeatedly blown away by your support and feedback. You make me try to write a better story!

Some of you may know this, most probably don’t, but Book 4 was planned as the last book in the Starwalker saga. This is the point where I’m supposed to be wrapping up the series, saying thank you (done!) and goodbye. I’ve got a list of projects as long as my arm to work on, so many other stories to write, so many other worlds to uncover and characters to torture.

But I don’t think I’m ready to say goodbye yet. I hadn’t expected to end Book 4 with so much scope for more in Starry’s story; I really thought that, at this point, I’d have reached the end. It would be a good place to leave the ship and her people. I’m a firm believer in only writing when I have a story to tell; I don’t want to draw things out past when they have a purpose, and I don’t like stories that go nowhere, as a writer and a reader.

To my surprise, I find myself in a place where there is more story left in my poor, battered, soaring little ship. Adventures that I want to take her on.

I want to write Book 5. (If you want to know a secret, I suspect there’s a Book 6 in there, too.)

This leaves me in a little bit of a quandary. I still have all those other projects clamouring for attention; I still have other stuff I want to write. After five years, I need a break from this story and its world. I also don’t really have a cohesive plan for Starwalker beyond the end of Book 4 (and I like to know where I’m aiming for, at least).

So I’ve decided to take some time out from Starwalker for a little while. Work on some different stuff, try some new things with my writing, and take some time to map out where the next phase of the story is going to take me, Starry, and you, her readers. I want to come back fresh and brimful of the kinds of posts you guys enjoy. I want to come back and be more reliable than I have lately. Most of all: I want to come back.

I’m not sure when that will be. It’s going to be more than a month, less than a year: somewhere in between. It’s too early to put a date on it right now.

I’m still going to be writing. If you want to know everything I’m doing, news and links will be up on my writing blog. Among stuff in the works (and public) is a vampire-related set of shorts, and a little post-apocalyptic thing I just started. I’ll also be working on the Starwalker shorts I started a while ago, and they’ll go up here as they’re completed. There might not be an update every week, but I’ll do my best to keep you guys in the loop with what’s happening.

So, watch this space! Enjoy the break and check back for updates about when the Starwalker will resume her journey.

Thank you all so much for reading. Keep flying!


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11 Responses to “Author’s Note: The end of Book 4”

  1. Allan Says:

    Thanks Melanie for your writing. My bookmarks are RSS feed type and change colour to notify me of a new post. It has always been a great delight to me to be notified that there is something new and I always jump immediately to it for a good read.

    I’m glad you feel you have more to write and look forwards to that time later in the year when once again, the bookmark “changes colour”.

  2. Alexander Hollins (leaking pen) Says:

    Kinda side I found Starry and her crew just as the story hits a break, but absolutely, if anyone understands the lure of new projects, it’s me. :kicks large pile of plot filled notebooks:

    Any plans to run a final edit through books 1 through 4 and self pub?

  3. Melanie Says:

    Allan – thank you for reading. 🙂 Hopefully there will be something fun for you during the break! Like a short or two about Starry’s crew. It’s on my ever-juggling list.

    Alexander – new projects: can’t live with them scrabbling at your brain, can’t get them out without scribbling!

    Yes, I will be looking at editing the existing Starwalker material and examining publishing options. I might self-pub, I might attempt traditional; I’m still pondering. Also considering a Kickstarter if I go self-pub. Lots of options! It would be great to get them out there in stores. 🙂

  4. Benjamin B. Says:

    Congratulations on the end of book 4! I think I lost track of the story somewhere before the end of book 3. I must catch up! I look forward to reading what I missed.

    Although, it’s been so long, I might have to start over, to refresh my memory. What fun! 🙂

  5. Shantien Says:

    Hi! I’m a lurker, but I have enjoyed reading Starry’s adventures with her crew over the last few years. Here’s to your other projects, and I’ll be waiting to see Starwalker back up and running!

  6. Kunama Says:

    A good place for a break. Fantastic journey so far, looking forward to crossing paths with Starry and the crew sometime in the future!

  7. Ian Says:

    Melanie – thank you. I’ve loved the ride.

  8. Melanie Says:

    Benjamin B – oh no! You’ll have to lay in supplies for the journey. I suggest popcorn and candy. 🙂

    Shantien – hi! Thanks so much for reading. Hope you enjoy the other stuff in the meantime.

    Kunama – thanks! Hopefully the not too distant future. 🙂

    Ian – you’re very welcome. Thanks for coming along for the ride. I hope you’ll join us for the next leg!

  9. thomas Says:

    Melanie, thanks for a great story. I agree there is more and I really hope it is much less than a tear before you continue.

    If you self-publish, most of the authors I follow started going through Amazon than any other site. Smash has too many setup requirements and Lulu gens almost no income. Other sites tend to be a combination of Smash or Lulu for problems. Good luck with it, I know some people have generated enough income to make it worthwhile and create a nice following.

  10. Melanie Says:

    Thanks, thomas! I’ll do my best to restart Starry’s story before too long. 🙂

    I have self-published ebooks before, through Amazon and Smashwords, so no worries there. Print on Demand (PoD) services like Lulu are hard to make money from, because the costs are so high, and I haven’t tried that yet. We shall see. 🙂

    I’ll be spending some time editing through the first four books and polishing them up for publishing, and after that might look into submitting to traditional publishers. Alternatively, I’m still toying with the idea of running a Kickstarter to do it all myself. We shall see! Once I’ve got the manuscripts ready to go, I’ll make a decision.

  11. Spencer Says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of words! Congratulations on reaching the book 4 milestone. It’s a nice place to pause for a bit, but you definitely need to come back and wrap up those loose threads! What will Cerces do outside the solar system? Can the step drive be used without hurting stars? What happened to Cerces’s people?