I’m starting a bit of an experiment on my newsletter this week. When I was young, I spent a lot of time reading Fighting Fantasy books like this one: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and books like it were “choose your own adventure” books that let you control the story by making decisions as you read. There were quite a few of them around at the time but the Fighting Fantasy series was the best. A couple of months ago I decided to steal the idea and do something new with my newsletter. Every month I’m going to post a piece of a short story and give readers the chance to vote on two or three possible options for what happens next. At the beginning of the month I sent subscribers three possible first lines: Night was coming and with it, the creatures. My name is Eric Hunter and my job is to stop the world from falling apart. What I left behind on Earth was more important than anything I took with me. The votes are in and I’ve written the first scene for the most popular choice. I’ll be sending that first scene (along with the next options) … Read More
It’s been a while since I posted here. I’ve been distracted by a bunch of things including: The Vancouver Half-Marathon Google Home Rain A Quiet Place Work Alexa Sandman Slim The Sun (the firey orb, not the newspaper) Breaking Bad Corona Dishwashers Avengers: Infinity War Nouvelle Vague The Expanse Among all of that I managed to finish draft zero of the next book in my Serial Killer Z series. Draft zero is the first point where I have the story down from beginning to end. It’s still very rough and there will be at least three revision passes before it’s done but it’s down and ready to be mauled into something resembling an enjoyable story. More on that as it progresses. I wrote another couple of stories as well, one for a middle-grade anthology and one for a podcast. No idea if either of them will get accepted but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. My next release will be a short story – Glitch Mitchell and the Island of Terror. That’s due out by the end of the week and I’ll be running a sale on Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet to celebrate. I’ve also updated my newsletter offer. I’m now … Read More
Things are trucking along nicely at Chez Harris. I’ve almost wrapped up the first draft of the next Serial Killer Z book and I have a steady release schedule for the next few months. First up is the standalone publication of my science fiction horror story – Pod Fifteen. Ellis Osako is piloting the Redhawk across deep space with nothing but an AI and a cargo hold full of dead bodies for company. Haunted by his past, he spends his time trying to guess the identities of the dead around him. Until he finds the woman in pod fifteen, and Ellis is forced to face his demons and the fact that he may no longer be alone. Pod Fifteen first appeared in Tales of the Canyons of the Damned Issue 14 and it’s one of my favourite short stories I’ve written. I was going for a blend of Alien and the Japanese horror movie, The Ring, and I’m very happy with how it turned out. You can grab your copy for 99c from Amazon right now. The other retailers will be coming soon. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE COPY OF INFECTION [Out Now – Pod Fifteen by Philip Harris first appeared … Read More
Without really planning to, I’ve been taking a bit of a break from the internet. I’ve been mostly ignoring social media, and completely ignoring the blog. In fact, I’ve barely used my PC beyond my daily writing. There’s a bunch of reasons but mostly it was about dialling back on the dumpster-fire that is the news and prioritising other things. (If we’re connected on Xbox Live you’ll have noticed quite a bit of game playing). I also had some technical difficulties with the website and my Solitary Mindset email. To cut a long story short, I got fed up with HostGator’s appalling stability and complete inability to explain what was going on or even provide a timeline for a fix. I moved the domain to a new provider (NameCheap) and got the site back up quite quickly but HostGator’s lousy service bit me one more time and the domain name transfer was stuck in tech support limbo for a few days which broke email. Everything’s hooked back up now so if you sent me an email at solitarymindset.com and didn’t get a reply you should probably send it again. Sorry. I do have some blog posts planned (including thoughts on … Read More
My site has been running into a lot of issues this year. There’s a problem with the server hardware that means the site disappears randomly for 10-15 minutes. It’s usually fairly short but it’s happened over 70 times so far this year and my patience has run out. The tech support from my ISP left a lot to be desired. There’s no timeline for the problem being fixed and they weren’t the slightest bit bothered by the fact I was going to look for a new provider. Not even any crocodile tears. Or alligator tears. So, I have a new provider and I’m working on moving the site across. I wanted to do a site redesign at the same time but given the reliability issues are ongoing that will have to come later. The switch does mean the site will vanish completely at some point over the next few weeks. Hopefully, the downtime won’t last long, but if you head by and there’s no site it’ll be back in a day or two.
So that was 2017. What a year. The world continues to try to tear itself apart – insane weather, mass shootings, racism, and sexual assault dominate the news, and avoiding or at least reducing time spent on social media is increasingly becoming a critical coping mechanism for many people. Whatever slice of humanity you align yourself with, it’s hard not to feel that things are getting worse – for whatever definition of getting worse fits for you. At least a world filled with self-driving cars seems to quickly becoming a reality. I like the idea of self-driving cars. Hopefully they’ll make it to Vancouver before the city grinds to a halt under the weight of all the traffic. All that bleakness makes it hard to write, but despite the turmoil I’ve had a pretty good year. On the writing side, I got down a healthy 256,032 words. That’s a bit less than 2016 (282,441 words) and even further away from the 300,000 words I set as a goal. I’m still happy with that, though. I did a lot of editing which really lowers the daily word count. I missed some other goals, too. I’d planned to launch eight books but only managed … Read More
As we welcome in 2018, I’d just like to take a moment to thank you for your continued support. 2017 was a banner year for my writing. I wrapped up the Leah King Trilogy, launched the first four books of the Serial Killer Z series, and appeared in four different anthologies alongside some amazing writers. But none of that would mean anything if it wasn’t for my readers. So, to everyone who has read, reviewed, emailed, blogged about, shared, or supported my writing in any way, thank you. You’re the reason I sit in a darkened room for hours upon end, trying to find the right order for the right words to tell the movies in my head. Best wishes and a Happy New Year. [Thank You by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 1st January 2018]