The End of the Apocalypse

Philip HarrisApocalypse WeirdLeave a Comment

Some bad news surfaced a couple of days ago. After 13 books, the Apocalypse Weird – the multi-author, shared world publishing project from Wonderment – is no more. For those unfamiliar with the project, the goal was to publish a series of interconnected books written by some of the hottest indie authors out there. Each author would create their own series and would wreak havoc on one part of the world – Texas or California or New Orleans for example. Each series would be tied together by some common elements. Over time the various series would come together into one big climactic event. Sadly, it’s not to be. Apocalypse Weird was an ambitious, exciting, some might say crazy, idea. Over the last nine months or so the Wonderment team have released 13 well written, entertaining, professionally produced books (including a cook book!). I haven’t read them all but the ones I have were fantastic and I was looking forward to reading the sequels. Unfortunately, publishing isn’t cheap. The cost of professional covers, professional editing, professional formatting quickly adds up, and that’s before you get to marketing. Wonderment just weren’t seeing the return on the books to cover the costs and were forced to make the painful decision to shutter the company. The … Read More

Amidst the Settling Dust

Philip HarrisChatter, StoriesLeave a Comment

It’s been a hectic few weeks since the launch of Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. My time’s been split between promoting the book, a busy period at my day job, renovations on our new apartment, a birthday (mine), and trying to get back to running after an extended period recovering from a niggling injury I’ve had for years. Time has been hurtling past at an alarming rate. I’m managing to write though – my streak is still going strong (839 days so far) and I’ve got several projects on the go at the moment. The bulk of my time has been spent on my zombie novel and it’s going extremely well. I’ve also been working with a very talented cover designer on a cover. I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out and it’s inspiring me to push even harder to make the book the best it can be. I’m aiming to release it early 2016, editors permitting. The edits on my Apocalypse Weird novel, Siren’s Call, came in this week and I’ll be working on those today. Not sure on the release date for that yet. And finally, I have a new short story coming out in a very cool anthology called UnCommon Bodies. My story … Read More

Top 5 Weird Aliens

Philip HarrisApocalypse Weird, ChatterLeave a Comment

Let’s face it, the world loves aliens – watching them, reading about them, arguing about whether they exist. It’s not a new phenomenon by any means – Johannes Kepler’s book, Somnium, details a race of “daemons” who live in the moon and that was written in 1608 but even after four hundred years, the idea of meeting beings from another planet hasn’t lost its appeal. Aliens have provided some of the most iconic images in pop culture – the xenomorph and its face huggers, daleks, cybermen, the predator, chewie to name just a few  But, let’s face it, some aliens are just weird. To celebrate the fact that Eric Tozzi’s alien infested Apocalypse Weird novel, Phoenix Lights is on offer for the bargain price of 99c, here’s five of the weirdest aliens ever to grace our screens… Mac from Mac and Me Yeah… E.T. = Cute “Mysterious Alien Creature” = Creepy Gilbert the Alien from Get Fresh I can’t say I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching Get Fresh but the blend of Gaz Top and the spectacularly low budget Gilbert looks like a winner to me. Boohbah What is it with children’s television? Apparently, this bizarre race of creatures appear whenever children are laughing. <shudder> The Abzorbaloff Let’s face it, … Read More

Two Years of Writing

Philip HarrisMetrics, WritingLeave a Comment

It’s been a while since I made a pure metrics post, I’ve been focusing on writing and editing, rather than writing about writing and editing, but I recently passed a milestone that I thought was worth talking about. On 30th June 2013, I sat down and decided I would write every day, and I haven’t missed a day since – which means a couple of weeks ago I hit the two year mark of my writing streak. So, what does 2 years of writing look like? (Click to enlarge) To save you getting your calculators out, all those spiky lines add up to 535,588 words (366,065 of which were shiny new stuff, the rest were revisions). I spent 37 days, 14 hours, 56 minutes of my life writing those words. That’s 593 words per hour overall but that rate increases to 790 words per hour when I’m writing something new. This graph shows how I split my time between outlining, writing new words, rewriting old work or revising. (Click to largify) It’s pretty clear from that what I’ve been doing for the last few weeks – revising. That’s good though, one of my goals for this year has been to revise the almost finished stories and novels I have kicking … Read More

Building the Apocalypse – The Middle of the End

Philip HarrisApocalypse Weird, WritingLeave a Comment

After three rounds of my own revisions, my Apocalypse Weird novel, tentatively titled Siren’s Call, has gone off to Wonderment Media’s editor, Ellen Campbell. Now the waiting begins as Ellen reads through the draft and tracks down any issues – not just bad grammar and spilling mistales but also parts of the story that are too slow or don’t make sense or just basically need to be improved. A lot of writers find this bit of the process very nerve-racking, and to some extent I do too. But I also enjoy making the book better and getting other people’s perspective is a key part of that. I’ve used editors on all my indie books and that won’t ever change – I just can’t bring myself to put a book out there until it’s run past several fresh pairs of eyes to catch as many issues as humanly possible. By the time it’s finished, Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet will have been through five different editors and proofreaders (as well as one or two beta readers). There’ll still be issues, I’m sure (even the big publishers miss things), but I’ll have done everything I can to get it as close to perfect as possible. An editor can really make or break a project. Thankfully, … Read More

5 Things I’ve Done Since I Last Posted on My Blog

Philip HarrisChatter, WritingLeave a Comment

It’s been a while since I last posted here, over a month in fact. I’ve been very busy during that time, but here’s a few highlights to get me back on the blogging horse… 1 – Wrapped up Siren’s Call At least, I’ve wrapped up the fourth draft which is the last draft before I send it off to Ellen Campbell, the editor who’ll be whipping it into shape. I’m really happy with how the book turned out. It was great fun to write and feedback from the people who’ve read it so far has been excellent. I can’t confirm the release date just yet but you shouldn’t have too long to wait. 2 – Saw Kieran Strange and The Doubleclicks Perform Live Neither of us were familiar with Kieran Strange but we enjoyed her show. Anyone with a song called Merry Undead Christmas must be good. This was the first time we’d seen The Doubleclicks live and they were predictably awesome. Their brief rendition of the Doctor Who theme was worth the price of admission on its own. 3 – Watched Mad Max: Fury Road If I get some time, I’ll post my thoughts on the film but suffice to say, I loved it. So much that I’m tempted … Read More

Building the Apocalypse – The Beginning of the End

Philip HarrisApocalypse Weird, Metrics, WritingLeave a Comment

My Apocalypse Weird novel, Siren’s Call is done. I wrapped up the draft on Saturday evening (inspired, perhaps, by going to see Mad Max Fury Road earlier in the day). This is what the final week’s writing looked like. That’s 4,647 words (in the end this draft was 68,162 words long). In reality, the actual Siren’s Call word count was a bit less than that because I also started playing with a new idea and wrote 1,361 words  on a different novel, most of it on Sunday. I won’t be working on that novel properly for a while (probably not until next year), but I wasn’t ready to start editing Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet which is what I should really be doing. So, I did a little bit of “filler” writing, just playing with the concept, trying out the voice and putting down the initial ideas I had for the opening scene. I quite often do this sort of experimentation as a quick rest between projects. I write every single day (currently my streak is at 688 days) but sometimes I’m not quite ready to work on the next project. Maybe I don’t have an idea yet, or it’s not fleshed out enough, or I … Read More

8 Things That Make Apocalypse Weird Cool

Philip HarrisApocalypse Weird, BooksLeave a Comment

There’s only about 60 hours to get on board the Apocalypse Weird Indiegogo crowd funding campaign so here’s 7 reasons why I think you should take a look at it. 1) It’s the first of its kind. This is, as far as I know, the first time so many traditionally published and indie authors have joined forces to create such a far reaching and ambitious shared world. 2) Where else can you find books that feature zombies, Terminators, terrors from the outer dark, mad scientists, solar pulses, hurricanes, Hoodoo Mafia, psychotic scientists, killer polar bears, blood cults, more zombies, killer viruses, mutant children, and ALIENS!? (Not all at once, obviously although that could be fun…) 3) Where else can you read about the forces of evil wreacking havoc in and on Nashville, Ellesmere Island, Chicago, Orlando, Disneyworld, Houston and most of the rest of Texas, New Hampshire, Los Angeles, the Mississippi Delta, ancient Sephervaim, Assyria and Babylon, Ohio, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Roanoke Island (Croatoan!), Detroit, Atlanta, Manhattan, Long Island, Phoenix, St Louis, The International Space Station, Ireland, Nepal and more, including London, England (that one’s mine)? 4) Where else can you read diverse, interconnected books by people like these guys:   5) It’s just … Read More

Siren’s Call is Finished…Sort Of

Philip HarrisApocalypse Weird, WritingLeave a Comment

I just finished the final tweaks to the first draft of my Apocalypse Weird novel, Siren’s Call. The final word count came in at 68,162. Still lots of work to do, but I’m very happy with how it’s turned out so far. Now it sits on my hard drive for a couple of weeks or so to fester. Then I’ll come back to it for a fresh look and two more revision passes before it goes to Ellen Campbell, the Apocalypse Weird editor. Don’t forget, the team at Wonderment Media (the masterminds behind the Apocalypse Weird project) are running an IndieGoGo campaign. There’s lots of cool stuff there, including signed books, limited edition hard covers, manuscript critiques and a lifetime subscription to Apocalypse Weird (which would include my book so it’s worth the money just for that. Maybe). Get a FREE copy of my short story, Only Friends by subscribing to my newsletter. [Siren’s Call is Finished…Sort Of by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 16th May 2015]

Building the Apocalypse – So Close

Philip HarrisApocalypse Weird, MetricsLeave a Comment

Time for another update on progress on my Apocalypse Weird novel, Siren’s Call (working title). I had hoped this post would be a celebratory “I’ve finished the first draft of Siren’s Call” post but it wasn’t to be. Total word count was 5,002 for the week. As you can see, I switched into revision mode for some of that. As I’m working through a first draft I will often make notes in the text (I surround them with [ ] so that I can find them quickly). Before the first draft is complete I need to go back and either turn them into revision notes for the second draft or (more likely) fix them there and then. There were also a couple of places where I’d strayed off the plot a little and ended up in the weeds. I recovered but I left those diversions in the text so I’ve spent the last couple of days going back over them, removing the broken pieces and patching up what was left. I think in future, I’ll do that at the point I realise I’ve gone off track. It will probably be easier that way. I’ve also realised there’s a missing chapter. At one point, … Read More