The site has been moved to its new hosting company now which should solve the downtime issues I’ve been having. Hopefully all the links etc. are working but if you see any problems, please let me know.
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]
We’re well into the second week of November, it’s a dreary day here in Vancouver, and I’m supposed to be getting ready for a trip to Sweden so now seems like a perfect time to post a quick October update. The big writing news was the release of Serial Killer Z (finally). I was about to write a long piece about the launch strategy for the series, but then I realised this is supposed to be short so I’ll save that for another day. I’ll just say that I went with a soft-ish launch (a limp launch?) for the first book. I told my newsletter subscribers over the course of a few days, and posted here on the blog and social media, experimented with some ads, but that was it. No big promos, no concerted marketing. That will come later, when book three is released in a couple of weeks. But even without any real marketing the book has been doing pretty well. People seem to like it and it’s already at the number four slot in my personal sales chart. That bodes well for the future. The launch took up a good chunk of my free time in October, … Read More
Wow, it’s almost the middle of October and I haven’t posted an update. I’m going to blame the fact I was at a writing retreat in Colorado at the end of September. And my book release, yes, that too. The Colorado trip was excellent. Great company, some drinking, good food, good conversation and a big chunk of writing. And this guy: Apart from the writing retreat, it was a pretty light month – 12,412 words in total. Most of my time was spent revising the third zombie book. It’s now going through a second pass with my editor and should be wrapped up pretty quickly. Now I’m working on what was supposed to be a prequel novella for my next series. However, I’m already 17,000 words in which should be around the halfway point. It’s more like a quarter of the way through the story. I may have to rethink this plan. I’m really enjoying writing it though, it’s got the same sort of geeky humour I sprinkled throughout Unseen Planet which makes it a lot of fun to write (and hopefully read). My September reading was mostly dominated by one book – Clive Barker’s Coldheart Canyon and I still … Read More
August was vacation month for my wife and me. We spent three weeks back in the UK, visiting family, Cardiff, and London. We normally go back at Christmas so this was the first time we’d been back in the summer for something like seven years. Of course, the weather didn’t cooperate. It didn’t rain all the time, there were some very sunny days, but as the photos show, it was fairly grey for our trip to London. We had a good time though. I’ll probably post more photos from the trip (including a visit to The Doctor Who Experience) in future. There was writing, of course. Total word count for August was 17,038 which is the lowest word count since March. Most of that time was spent on random scenes for a possible urban fantasy series. They were a lot of fun and I may well try writing a novella to see how it goes. I did finish a new short story that I wrote specifically for a very cool anthology. I submitted it a couple of days ago so now I have my fingers and toes crossed that the editor likes it. Time will tell. Talking of short stories… my … Read More
Not a lot of rain in Vancouver at the moment (bizarrely) but it’s time for my June update anyway. First up, writing. Most of the time was spent working on the latest zombie novel and I had a fantastic month. Total word count was 40,682 which is definitely the most successful month I’ve had so far this year and probably one of the best months since I started tracking (I need to go back and get my monthly data organised to check that). I finished draft zero of the novel a couple of days ago. Still plenty of work to do on it, but I’m very happy with how things are so far. I also outlined a new novella I’ll be writing in August. I’m really excited about this one so I’m keen to get the zombie novel out of the way so that I can start on it. The end of June also marks the fourth year of my writing streak. I’ve written fiction every single day for over 1,460 days. Now, writing every day certainly isn’t essential in order to be a successful writer, but it creating a writing habit can help a lot. My writing productivity has definitely … Read More
No, that title doesn’t make sense. So, May wrapped up a few days ago, so it must be time for a quick progress update. First up, writing. The entire month was spent working on the fourth of my zombie books. I wrote 27,411 words and it felt good. I love writing first drafts. The editing process is slow and painful for me and I spent a lot of time editing the previous books in the series this year so it’s been good to just sit down and blast through the story. I haven’t got summaries to compare word count from previous years but May was definitely my most productive month of 2017. So far. June is already shaping up to be even better. It was an urban fantasy sort of month for reading. I read all three Eric Carter books by Stephen Blackmoore and continued my audio re-listen of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series with Grave Peril and Summer Knight. All five books were good, not the best I’ve ever read but still well worth checking out if you like a bit of fantasy in your urban. I’m behind on my Pinterest page on the movies I’ve watched this year (too … Read More