I’m continuing my series of posts from the blog tour earlier this year. Today it’s the story behind the book. This appeared at the site cleverly called The Story Behind the Book. All the posts appear to be ‘the story behind the book’ and all as far as I looked are on Pump Up Your Book blog tours.
So if you ever want to know the story behind any book, check out whether it’s on this website.
The Story Behind Zanzibar’s Rings by Jemima Pett
Zanzibar’s Rings is the third and last book in the Viridian System series.
When I started the series, I mapped out the whole system, numbers and size and characteristics of the planets and other bodies. I think I included it at the end of the first book, but it’s definitely on the series website, viridianseries.uk.
After book 2, I knew I definitely wanted to stop at a third book. I’d written another trilogy that turned into a ten book series, and I didn’t want to do that again! But what would it be? Where would my characters go?
I work better when I’ve coined a title—even a working title. And, as I love reading challenges, and particularly A to Z reading challenges, I decided to go with a starting letter that would attract new readers! And so I got the title Zanzibar, and decided to apply it to the ringed planet in the fifth orbit of the Viridian system. Hence Zanzibar’s Rings.
It took me another year (while I finished the other series) to work out the general plot for this final book.
I’m not sure how it all came together. I wrote a draft blurb in which the two main aggressors in the galaxy came to fight over the riches of this remote system. They were already fighting each other elsewhere. That made me think of people escaping from the conflict—including one of the nastiest characters from the first two books. He happens to be the hero’s father. No love lost there!
Then I got the idea of the galactic disaster, and once I’d worked that out, I had, effectively, a locked room mystery. How do they get out? How did the people trapped in this system react? How did the ones at home react to these strangers in their midst? And what I really enjoyed was discovering (once again, as it happened in the ten book series too) all sorts of throwaway lines in the previous books to inspire plot twists and side stories, that I could wrangle until they came together in the end.
But it needed a second end, as there is a codicil, to tie up the final thread. That happened to be the perfect outing for a new idea I’d been working on in the form of a short story. So I have the setting for a new novel already… but not in the Viridian System series. That line is ended, but there is plenty more of the universe to explore!
I’m not sure that I’m making much progress on that new novel idea. But maybe…
Next month: An interview with me–but it also has an excerpt