Critters and Crises launches tomorrow. What? you ask. Well, more below.

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Today is the Insecure Writers Support Group monthly post. IWSG is a lovely group of people all posting monthly on the first Wednesday of the month, exploring all sorts of things including writing barriers they’ve overcome, despondency over reviews, and lack of ideas for stories. It’s the brainchild of the lovely Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh, and this month his co-hosts are:

Sarah – The Faux Fountain Pen, Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose

I’ll come to the question of the month later, because I need to talk about Critters and Crises.

Critters and Crises: a menagerie miscellany – 4th March 2021

Some time during the winter I decided that my flash fiction needed to go into some sort of collection, so that people could peruse it at their leisure, rather than having to read it online. I’m not the only person who had this brainwave. You’ll find the Rebecca Douglass has done the same thing. And her stories are fabulous.

But I made a catalogue of all my stories, as you’ll remember, and decided there were five themes I could sort them into: Animals, Greed, Time shifting, Metamorphosis, and Christmas. I’m holding back on Christmas for a while, but I’ve put the rest into volumes of 25k-30k words, and they’ll be published more or less monthly.

critters, greed, time and tinplate, weird

Critters and Crises comes out tomorrow, 4th March, just after midnight California time. If you want to pre-order it, that would be lovely of you. Pop over to Amazon, AppleBooks, B&N for Nook, and Kobobooks and you can buy it today, or any time after launch day.

But if you’d like a pre-launch copy for just 99c in my pre-sale, follow this Smashwords link – which closes at midnight tonight California time (i.e. when the book launches). Note that you will be added to my mailing list (which has had the pre-sale offer for two weeks). Your email address will not be used for any other purpose.

Critters and Crises – 21 stories

Between these pages you’ll find dragons and other fantasy animals, cats, rats, insects, guinea pigs, birds, cows, foxes, bears, raccoons, sea creatures, viruses, and supernatural beasts. Some are straightforward nature stories, but most are fantasy, speculative fiction, weird, or a mixture of genres, a mash-up.

The other titles in the collection series launch as follows

  • Greed and Retribution – 6th May
  • Time and Tinplate – 10th June
  • Weird and Weirder – 8th July

What happened to April? If you can’t wait to find out, check my Princelings website 🙂

Critters and Crises: flash fiction with animals — launches tomorrow 4th March. #flashfiction #animals #fantasy Share on X

And now: the Question of the Month!

Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

Since I realised that I’d written a book for older children, I started reading older children’s books. Or rather, added them to the mix I read anyway. At that stage, I also joined Goodreads (2012), so I found I was collecting new titles to read (and sometimes on my kindle) at an alarming rate.

It’s important to know your genre, what’s in it, what the trends are, what your audience likes to read… but I’ve got terribly bored with MG books recently. Well, apologies to most of my readers, but I’m finding most US MG books rather tedious. And Goodreads is still very US biased, so most of the recommended reads end up putting me off MG completely.

Which is funny, because Captain Alex mentioned me ‘as a children’s author’ recently, and my immediate reaction was ‘but I’m not!’

So whereas I have been reading a lot of children’s books, I’m not these days, and I’m catching up on things I enjoy. And reading current science fiction when I’m not actually writing it.

The trouble with writing science fiction is that it is very easy to be influenced by other people’s great ideas, and I don’t want to risk accusations of plagiarism. I may come up with something very similar, but I want it to be with demonstrably ‘no copying’. And there is some scifi I love, and some that bores me. I just hope I’m writing stuff I love, and wouldn’t be bored by it if I picked it up.

But for recreation, I’ll read crime, thrillers and suspense. Some of which are also scifi. And non-fiction, too, to keep up to date.

You can check my Book Reviews for what I’ve read recently! I seem to be approaching 500 of them…

Read an Ebook Week March 7th – 13th

Next week is Read an Ebook week on Smashwords. Some of my books are free, some others at half price.

The BookElves Anthologies (Vols 1 and 2) are FREE, so is the first volume in my scifi series: The Perihelix.

The first box set of the Princelings series is HALF PRICE, and so is the second in my scifi series: Curved Space to Corsair (and I’m about a quarter of the way through writing the last in the series).

Check them out!

jemima pett visual bookcovers

Question of the month / Critters and Crises launch #IWSG
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26 thoughts on “Question of the month / Critters and Crises launch #IWSG

  • 3 March, 2021 at 11:42 am

    I never thought about sci fi like that, but if I compare it to fantasy, authors sometimes do fantastic things with borrowed ideas. If certain fantasy authors can write about similar races of elves, dwarves, and other such, can sci fi be allowed to use the same elements? That is curious!

    • 3 March, 2021 at 2:42 pm

      There are some things, like elves, dwarves and dragons, that fit a scifi alien scenario, and also ‘accepted’ scifi science like warp drive (which, I saw in an article last weekend, some scientists thought might actually be possible). But when you think you have an original idea, you need to write it before finding out it isn’t, at the very least!
      It’s a bit like the problem of music copyright and tunes. My Sweet Lord and He’s So Fine springs to mind.
      I’m currently rethinking my antagonist for the current book – I had a dark-skinned alien with extra height in mind before I suddenly thought… Darth Vader!

  • 3 March, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    Hi Jemima – well done with your flash fiction – all the best with them. I hardly read novels as such – yes, some mysteries … but tend to have lots of educative books around. All the best and good luck – Hilary

  • 3 March, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Congrats on your new releases. I’d be glad to shout out about them in Follower News. I have one next Monday. My email is

    I read across age groups and genres, but I make sure to read some MG and YA of all genres. I’ve found a lot of good books through interviewing authors and reading book reviewer blogs.

  • 3 March, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    My question of the week is – how is Roscoe? I hope his abscess is clearing up.

    • 3 March, 2021 at 2:45 pm

      Ha-ha! He’ll be insufferable to know he’s made this blog! After some difficulty with flushing it, I got a second opinion, and he’s having the lump removed next Monday. Then we’ll find out what it is. I don’t think you need to be unduly worried, though 😉

  • 3 March, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    Congrats on Critters and Crisis. I like the snappy title and good luck with the launch.
    Take care.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  • 3 March, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    Congrats on your upcoming collections. I’ll have to check them out because I enjoy your short fiction.

  • 3 March, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    Congratulations on the collections. Brilliant idea. I’ll be glad to give you a shout out on my blog on my other social media if you’ll send me some details. And I’ll get a Smashwords copy today.

    • 3 March, 2021 at 11:17 pm

      Thanks, Lee. I’ll send you something soon. And thanks for the purchase 🙃

  • 3 March, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Congratulations! Hopefully I didn’t miss an announcement email and forget to add that to the newsletter. Oy vey.

    • 3 March, 2021 at 11:15 pm

      No, I forgot to send you one 😀 I’ll get the rest to you, though!

  • 3 March, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    Great reminder about promoting Read an eBook week–totally forgot. In fact, did I sign up? I think so… brain like a sieve these days. Also: Smashwords via the link is now asking for $2.99 or a coupon.

    • 3 March, 2021 at 11:12 pm

      Just below the coupon place you can tick a box to join the mailing list and get it for 99c still. Ends soon 🙂

  • 3 March, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    As you know I’m fond of Lars and Pete so glad to hear part 3 is coming along. I read Curved Space to Corsair and enjoyed it (I keep wanting to write Curved Air, but that’s a band!)

    • 3 March, 2021 at 11:13 pm

      I loved Curved Air. I had their album with the Vivaldi on it, but it was one of those that got nicked in 1976. 🙁

  • 4 March, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    What a good idea to group your stories into books! I am looking forward to the time my grandson will be old enough to read the Princelings series. He’s only one, but he loves his books, right now mostly to turn the pages!
    As for genres I read, I read almost all except horror. I love historical novels, time travel, sci-fi, steampunk, and of course mysteries.

  • 6 March, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    Write whatever you want, author!
    Congratulations on Critters and Crises. I’ll be sure to mention it in my next post.
    And sorry I am really late.

    • 7 March, 2021 at 11:43 am

      Thanks, Alex – and you’re not as late as me!

  • 7 March, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Congratulations on your new book, Jemima. I just checked Amazon and it looks to be doing nicely. Interesting reflections on Goodreads. I’m in America so noticed none of what you did. Makes me think.

    • 7 March, 2021 at 8:33 pm

      Thanks, Jacqui. Another thought I had was that maybe after ten years I’ve simply grown out of MG!

  • 8 March, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Bravo on your new releases, Jemima! All the luck with them. I write short stories and have never tried “flash” fiction, although maybe my 1800-word YA adventure stories may qualify in some genres. All best to you!

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