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

zanzibars rings draft cover

Finishing a book is a great feeling, so why was I so sad last night?  Well, I’ve written the last Viridian System book, and have to say goodbye to many people I like.

I’ve been fairly useless in the real world for the past week, I was so immersed in the world of my imagination.

First draft of Zanzibar’s Rings

zanzibars rings draft cover
Draft cover

This of course is just the first draft.  It is covered with notes to myself, whether the need to check (with the text written already, or with someone knowledgeable). There are several plot points that haven’t made their way in. Some names may be changed. There are places more description is needed. And apart from going through with the spellchecker, I need to go through looking for typos, including names inconsistently spelled, and my favourite over-used or wrongly used words. Plus generally just improve it; tighten up scenes, clarify some things I’ve done too cryptically. It’s currently just over 88k words. I expect it will finish up at around 84k or so.

I’ll set it aside for a month or so, to come at it fresh, and hope to work on it enough so that my beta readers have a copy to comment on by late summer.

At present I’m working on a target publication date of 22nd February 2022.

Pre-order already!

I’ve registered the ebook as a pre-order with Amazon, iTunes, B&N and Kobobooks. It’s listed as $2.99 but that might change (up or down). The date might change, too.

Here’s how the blurb looks now. It’ll be improved, and extended, as we near publication.

A Galactic crisis: the entire comms system destroyed. No waypoints, no navigation aids, no database access… and how will spaceships in flight get home–or to any destination? Dolores is stuck in warp with a very dangerous passenger, Pete gets his shuttle back home on manual. But how come anything in close contact with pure orichalcum fixes itself? Just flying through Zanzibar’s Rings solves the problem–as the Federation’s fighters find, as they descend on the Viridian System to take possession of the planets.

Zanzibar’s Rings by Jemima Pett, expected 22 Feb 2022

Beta readers wanted

I’m always happy to hear from people who have read the previous books and would like to be considered as beta readers.

Beta readers have to pick holes in the plot, spot inconsistencies in the story, generally give a reader’s view in the sort of nice way that doesn’t send me into the depths of despair, and get your responses to me in the right timeframe.

Just leave a comment to if you’re willing below, and I’ll pick your email address up from the system.

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 🙂 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

Viridian System Plans for 2021

Looking back on past posts, not only has the news been sparse, it’s been somewhat repetitive. This is little different. Don’t get your hopes up too much.

Zanzibar’s Rings (VS #3)

The series was always intended to be completed in an interregnum between my other series publications. Since that’s now complete, I have no more excuses.

I have plenty of ideas for the third Big Pete and the Swede adventure, in particular making it more about Dolores and Maggie, and less about Lars and Pete. Several plot strands have developed and linked together in my mind. The story I wrote for the IWSG Anthology submission developed some history. These events will be crucial to Zanzibar’s plot. There is also a flash fiction I did years ago which is relevant, in fact it gave me the idea for giving the fourth planet rings and making it a place of interest.

What I don’t yet know is whether the arrival on Sunset Strip of the former inhabitants of Corsair will make a difference. I envisage Pete having some inner conflict about his priorities, now that his family are nearby. Then again, sometimes having family nearby leads to its own problems!

Lars is still dogged by the activities of his father in the area. I’ll have to check whether I’ve let that cat out of the bag, or whether you had already worked it out during book 2. I’m not sure where that ends yet.

Maggie and Dolores are characters I’m enjoying developing to take over the limelight from the men. I’ve pretty much sorted out most of Dolores’ character arc for the story; I haven’t done the same for Maggie. Some of the events taking place elsewhere may lead to Maggie taking a very different path from her current domestic bliss.

Will there be a book 4?

I don’t anticipate a fourth book. Something strange would have to happen for that to be the case. But stories develop in their own way, and who knows what strings will be dangling by the time I finish writing book 3.

What I will say, is that my development of a Space Search and Rescue Service (I’m sure the second S was something else before) could be included on this website, as it is in the same ‘world’ as the Viridian System, if not in the same time or space. I think I ought to develop a badge for it.


I’ll be doing some housekeeping soon, to take off out-of-date posts like special offers. Progress reports will stay as that’s sometimes helpful when I look back. Hopefully I’ll be able to sort out the problem graphics as well.

End of Year sale

The Viridian books are in the Smashwords sale between December 18th and January 1st, so check that out if you need them. If you want paperbacks, you should be able to buy them at online stores or order from your local store using their ISBNs. They are distributed by Ingram.

Happy New Year!

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