It's been a long time.
Book four, Alexandra Quick and Stars Above, was completed in 2011, and posted at the end of that year. I began work on book five, Alexadra Quick and the World Away, early in 2012.
Things got in the way. Some of it was life. Some of it was, I guess, what you could call "writer's block," but which I'd call just an ever-growing, ever-heavier set of excuses which eventually resulted in months, and then years going by in which I wrote little or nothing.
Always, always, it was in the back of my mind. Whatever I did, especially when I had a free evening or weekend, I'd think "Why don't you sit down and write?"
I was ready to give up more than once. I even told you that I might never finish this.
For whatever reason, something happened this year. The spark reignited. I could write again. The closer to the end I got, the more motivated I was to finish.
And now the first draft is done.
Right now, it's 56 chapters, and 281,900 words. That makes it by far the largest volume so far.
This is a very, very rough draft. I've been working on this thing for over six years now. Never mind forgetting my previous books, I've forgotten some of what I wrote in early chapters of this book! So it's going to need a lot of revision. I expect multiple chapters to be rewritten, moved, and deleted, and possibly entire subplots to disappear. There are plot holes to be paved over, characters who drop in and then never serve a purpose, and oh so much bad writing.
I am happy to say that my two regular beta-readers for my previous books reported they are still willing and available, so I don't have to go on a search for new betas. I am hoping to have a semi-readable revised manuscript ready to turn over to them early next year. Then there will be more rewriting... So, I do not have a target date yet, but I can finally say with reasonable confidence that Alexandra Quick and the World Away will be published in 2019.
Thanks for your patience. Thanks to everyone who never gave up hope. And for those of you who did give up hope, I don't blame you, but I hope you'll still be interested enough to read the next volume.
(Will there be a volume six? And seven? Well, I know the names and general course of the plot for both. Yes, I still really, truly want to finish the series someday. But book five took over six years. Lemme wrap this up before I start thinking about book six.)
And here's a word cloud, since I haven't done one in a while. (In fact, in the time since I last created one, web technology has changed so much that most of the tools I used to use to create them are no longer available...)