My abiding memory of Rutger Hauer isn’t Wedlock or The Hitcher or even Blade Runner. It’s Split Second. Sort of. Back in the good old days my local two screen cinema would run one-off showings of less popular movies at a discount price. My mum and I saw a few of these films, including Conan the Destroyer. I saw Natural Born Killers on my own. One of these “Tuesday specials” was Split Second. It had “the bad guy from Blade Runner” in it and looked pretty cool so I decided to go. Like all sane people I arrived early to get a good seat. The cinema was empty so I picked the perfect spot and settled down to contemplate the futility of existence (or whatever it was we did before smartphones) while I waited for all the other Rutger Hauer fans to arrive. Nobody came. The lights went down. Nobody came. The trailers started up and I was still alone in the theatre. It slowly dawned on me that I now had a decision to make. Back in those days there was still an “intermission” between the trailers and the movie. During that time an usher, usually a woman, would … Read More
Tap. Tap. Tap. Is this thing on? [checks blog] [checks blog again] Oooh boy, it’s been a while. There are lots of things I should talk about really. Trips to Sweden, England and the US, lots of writing, video games, board games, books, movies and TV shows, live music, running. The weather. Maybe one day, but for today I want to talk about Script Lock, a podcast where writers Max and Nick Folkman “sit down with other writers and developers for an informal discussion about storytelling in video games.” It’s fantastic. It’s not a new show (it’s been running for over three years now) but a co-worker pointed me at it (I think) and I grabbed Episode 44: Rhianna Pratchett, Jill Murray, and Cara Ellison to listen to on one of my longer runs. I was immediately hooked. So hooked in fact that I ran farther than I’d planned to and now I’ve jumped back to the first episode to work through them all. There used to be a really good podcast by Simon Whistler called The Rocking Self Publishing Podcast. It was a great show, with lots of well researched interviews with interesting guests. Even if I wasn’t interested … 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
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