I’ve started writing Zanzibar’s Rings! #viridianseries

Zanzibar’s Rings is the third and probably final book in the series. “Probably’ because the intention is for everything to come together and end in a final situation.  But with my way of working, some other grand idea might turn up and insert something else which ends up needing another final book!

Zanzibar’s plan

My plan is to write it between now and the end of April, which is a target of only around 1000 words a day, and I generally write 2-3000 a day when I’m working on a book.  It kind of takes over my brain, and I live in the story.  It helps me remember what I’m doing and who’s doing what! So, unless I have a lot of changes to make to another book currently with beta readers, I should finish by the end of April.

But then the hard work starts. The checking, finding plot holes, double checking that everything follows on logically, that nobody is sent off to do something and never comes back (and nobody notices). Or comes back having done something else entirely but the thing they were to do has magically happened.  These things can be notoriously difficult even for the best of editors. One faux pas slipped through the final editing of one of my other recent books: it’s easy to change the ebook, but very difficult to change the paperback!

Target for publishing

If all goes well, it might be nearly ready by Christmas. But that’s a really bad time to bring out a new book so it’s more likely to be targeted at February or March 2022. I hope that will give me plenty of time to give the series a boost, and get more interest going.

It’s always good to get new viewpoints on a series, so if you’ve read either or both of the first two, and would like to be a beta reader, please let me know.

Would you like a sneak peak at the current first line (I told you it’s not a kids series!)

Lars Nilsson, sometimes known as the Swede, ambled into the kitchen, scratching his groin and yawning.

It might be cut, so don’t be surprised if it changes.

Short Stories

Meanwhile, I’m launching a series of flash fiction books, just 30,000 words or so for each volume, between the beginning of March and July. There’s plenty of fantasy and weird domestic science fiction in it, but very little set in space. Well, one or two. Mainly alien species ūüôā Look out for more details on Jemima’s blog on March 3rd, or click the badge for a special offer (expires end of 3rd March).

I also have some stand alone Viridian short stories roaming around. I may do a new version of the Viridian System Sampler, or just a second volume, because these are mainly backstory for the characters. But that’s for 2023, probably!

Flash fiction collection badge

Nearly solstice

Just a little reference to things Earth-orbital, there. ¬†News from the Viridian System for you…

  1. I have rewritten as much of the Perihelix as I think I should, and need to edit it before sending it to my sf editor.
  2. I’m planning to bring the second edition out on Kindle Select first, then Smashwords three months later… which may coincide with book 2, but I’m not promising anything.
  3. I’ve come up with a new title for book 2. ¬†Wind your way down so that you can give me your reaction in the comments.
  4. I still haven’t fixed the problem with my mailing list database. ¬†I have found a hint why it may not be finding the database, but haven’t got around to looking into it further yet.
  5. I’ve written some more flash fiction on my blog, relating to the Viridian System:
    1. #FridayFlash Fiction | Return to Sender
    2. #FridayFlash Fiction | Towards an Exodentrite Nirvana
    3. #FridayFlash Fiction | The Inspector Calls
  6. As I’m currently working on books in the Princelings of the East series, there may be a gap in proceedings here.

Okay – the big test for this idea for Book 2 is

Curved Space to Corsair

What do you think?

Update on Book 2

Well, as you know, I’ve been writing book 2 in the series at Camp NaNoWriMo throughout April.

I suppose if I was a ‘proper’ writer I’d be writing stories all the time, without the impetus of a wordcount target to reach. ¬†But I find it suits my lifestyle better to devote a set period of time to a book, since I immerse myself in it, and end up waking with the next phase of the story in my head, and I don’t lose track of what I’ve done (provided I make notes , especially of planets, people and things invented) as I go.

But then, from what JK Rowling said about the last Harry books, she had to sit down and lock herself away to finish them. ¬†So maybe it’s just part of the process, especially when one is promoting the books as well. ¬†A time for everything in its season.

So, what about Book 2?

Firstly, I’ve finished it! ¬†I was aiming at 90k words, and stopped 85.4k. ¬†It’s slightly light, but I may need to write in some more action when I edit.

I wish I could think of a decent title. ¬†Working titles have included 1 Watching Wood Warp, which was a description I heard of something extremely boring, which is a fairly accurate description of Pete and the Swede’s lives through the wormhole. ¬†But as with my second thought 2 Autumn Harbour, it is meaningless to anyone passing a list of book titles and certainly does not act as an attention grabber. 3 Dragonfly Planet is strongly related to Autumn Harbour, but they don’t spend long at that planet, although the dragonfly plays a major role. ¬†4 is Three Georges, but again, nobody knows it relates to scifi, and could easily be mistaken for a travel book on China. ¬†5, which I got the day I finished, is Perihelix Adventure, which is a phrase Pete uses when he is musing on life in the final paragraphs. ¬†It obviously links to book 1, but is a bit of a cop out, I think. ¬†You know, Dune, Dune MessiahFoundation, Second Foundation. ¬†It also gives me a constraint for book 3 (and I have no idea what book 3 will do at present, nor whether the Perihelix will be needed).

At present, I think I’d happily use Dragonfly Planet if I had to give it a working title, but maybe calling it Book 2 will be the best. ¬†However, I do think the cover will have a dragonfly motif on it.

Dragonfly (archaic)

You can’t pick a title without knowing what the book is about. ¬†I have updated the book page with a slightly longer description, but I am a long way from writing a blurb. ¬†I now need to let the book simmer for a bit so I go back to it with fresh eyes. ¬†For one thing I don’t think it is exciting enough as it stands. ¬†But I may surprise myself, because, of course, I knew what was going to happen as I wrote it (although there were some surprises as characters did their own thing, as usual).

What I’ll do later in the year is to go through it for my first edit, pick out any phrases I think might make a good title, and if¬†I’m ready but still undecided, I’ll give you a good synopsis and a choice of titles.

And if you haven’t got your Viridian System Sampler yet – it’s now free! ¬†And since I’ve done a backstory for Aramintha¬†in April, I may update the samples included, but remove the coupon for the Perihelix. ¬†If you buy from Smashwords you can get later editions free, I’m not sure whether that applies to Nook, Kobo and Apple stores or not.

Safe spacing!

PS Watch out for snippets from the book that I post in the next few months!


Book 2 at Camp NaNoWriMo

I’m writing book 2, still to get a title, and although I’ve run through two or three working titles by now, it still remains ‘book 2’. ¬†I’m at Camp NaNoWriMo, in a cabin of like-minded individuals – all of us have projects that need to get finished, and some of us even know each other in real life.

I had 23,000 words before camp started. ¬†There are some secondary scenes, and some ‘something in the Imperium’ and ‘something at Pleasant Valley or Sunset Strip’ notes scattered in there to make it flow, but mainly I’ve been concentrating on the story involving Pete, the Swede and the girls. ¬†And their passengers ūüėČ

So I started Camp with scenes for the Imperium and other secondary characters. ¬†I’m not saying much, because it’s a bit of a struggle, and although I know roughly what I want to set up, it’s not flowing that well. ¬†Well, you can tell that because I’m writing a blog post instead of writing fiction. ¬†Sigh. ¬†It’ll never grow¬†unless I put one word after the other. ¬†Back to the grindstone. ¬†Well, first I’ll just make another cup of coffee. ¬†Hopefully it’ll be cold before I remember it, as that means I’ll have got stuck into the story again.

I’ll update the progress bar below from time to time, but the one on my blog will probably get attention daily, since I’m also doing the A to Z Challenge. ¬†Time management. ¬†That’s what I need.

If you’re camping too – good luck!

Exciting times

This is getting very exciting.

Photo on 22-01-2016 at 13.33 #2Here is the copy of the paperback  from Blurb (printed in the UK, so I got it in 3 days).  Rebecca is kindly proofing the copy of the Createspace one (printed in the US) which only took 5 days to reach her.  I would have to wait at least six weeks for it.

Hopefully the insides will be fine, then I can release them in time for the 16th, which is release day for the ebooks.

Even more exciting: I can’t stop writing book 2 in the series, and¬†after I spotted something when I was browsing around another¬†thing I wanted as the theme, it produced a title. ¬†So at the moment, book 2 is provisionally called Autumn Harbour. ¬†It’s quite a tortuous path to get to it, and it helps if you speak Japanese, and that’s all I’ll say. ¬†Except perhaps that my flash fiction last summer the¬†Alien Among Us immediately became a key part of this story in my head. ¬†It’s nearly got to the stage of putting that on paper. ¬†And then the fun really begins!