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William Shatner says his grief over the death of his third wife last year inspired him to write "Star Trek Preserver," the best-selling novel released in July.

In the book, Capt. James T. Kirk, the character he played on TV and in film, struggles to save his dying wife.

"When someone dies, for a while you want to make some meaning out of a life," Shatner tells the Saturday issue of TV Guide. "You go on a spiritual journey. And hopefully, you don't stop."

Shatner's wife Nerine drowned in the family's swimming pool in August 1999. The coroner ruled that alcohol and the sedative Valium contributed to the accidental drowning.

"The loss of someone you love is horrible enough. But to do it with the public, with the media at your heels, is almost unendurable," Shatner said.

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