Octoberish

Philip HarrisBooks, Chatter, Movies0 Comments

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 strip 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

September in October

Philip HarrisBooks, Chatter, Metrics, Movies0 Comments

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

“The odd uneven time”

Philip HarrisBooks, Chatter, Metrics, Movies, Writing0 Comments

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

Normal Service is Resumed

Philip HarrisBooks, Chatter, Metrics, Movies, Stories0 Comments

That’s more like it – my monthly update is back to being a couple of weeks late. In my defence, I had a race last weekend and a cold has been interfering with my ability to string coherent thoughts together this week. Yes, that leaves a week or so unaccounted for but hey, I’m here and that’s all that matters. April was the month when I finally got back to writing new words – just about. The first twenty eight days were spent revising the second book in my zombie series and the short story collection I’m putting together. It’s an odd feeling, going back over old short stories but I’m happy with how they’ve turned out. The book is now with my editor and I’ve commissioned the cover so it should be good to go out to my newsletter subscribers in a couple of months and on to Amazon shortly after that. But, on April 29th, I kicked off the fourth book in the zombie series. I have a good outline and the joy of getting back to writing new words unleashed a torrent of productivity and I wrote 4,244 words that day. That was the most words I’d written since 27th October … Read More

Not An April Fool

Philip HarrisBooks, Chatter, Metrics, Movies, Stories0 Comments

No, this isn’t a trick. I really am posting my monthly update on the first of the month. It wasn’t a particularly thrilling month as far as writing goes. I spent the whole month revising novels and short stories so my total count was a feeble 5,312 words. I haven’t checked but I suspect this is the least productive month I’ve had since I began my writing streak 1,372 days ago. I did squeeze in some outlining of the next zombie novel in there, plus a few paragraphs for an Urban Fantasy series I’m planning that I would love to be working on instead of all this revision. Most of the revisions were on the first two books in the zombie series, but I’ve also started compiling a collection of my short fiction. Which I guess is a sort of announcement (although if you’re on my mailing list you’ll already know about that). At the moment it looks like there’ll be about 22 stories and 85,000-ish words. There’s one more story I’m considering that would bump it closer to 100,000 but I’m undecided on that one. No title for the collection yet, but there’s three possibilities in the running at the moment. … Read More

Farewell, 2015

Philip HarrisChatter2 Comments

So, that was 2015. My wife and I continued our New Year’s Eve tradition of spending the evening at home watching horror movies. This year we went with The Babadook and Hellraiser: Revelations. The Babadook was excellent, very creepy. On paper it’s the usual horror film trope of a family (in this case a mother and her son)  haunted by a supernatural being but it’s very well done and stands out from the crowd. On the other hand, Hellraiser: Revelations is the most recent of the straight to video “sequels” to my favourite horror film and was predictably dire. At least this one had the decency to make it about Lemarchand’s box and the cenobites rather than just bolting Pinhead on either end of a low budget horror movie like the last couple of “installments”. Still terrible though, but then we knew that going in. Rent The Babadook, skip Hellraiser: Revelations. Overall, I’m happy with how 2015 turned out writing wise. I didn’t get as many titles released as I’d planned but both The Girl in the City and Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet did much better than I expected and the other projects I worked on, particularly Siren’s Call, are some of the best writing I’ve done. The demise of the Apocalypse Weird project put a bit of a … Read More

The Martian – A Review

Philip HarrisMovies1 Comment

Go and see this film.   You can find out more about my upcoming releases, and get four FREE books by signing up for my newsletter here. [The Martian – A Review by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 4th October 2015]

My 5 Favourite Films So Far This Year

Philip HarrisMovies0 Comments

My wife and I haven’t been watching as many films as we used to. My Pinterest board shows only 28 so far. That’s a similar pace to 2014 but way below 2013 when we watched 92 films across the whole year. As we’re close to the middle of the year, I figured I’d post my top five films so far. The top four were easy, but I struggled with the fifth. Bear in mind, these are films I’ve personally watched this year, whenever they were actually released. Oh, and I reserve the right to change the order and contents of my top five at will. Mad Max Mad Max is one of my favourite film franchises so I approached this with some trepidation but I loved it. And it gave me an excuse to watch the first three films again. Only Lovers Left Alive I talked about this one here on the blog – stylish, dark and subtle. Ex Machina I’ve got a soft spot for “quiet” science fiction (Moon, Melancholia, Sunshine) and Ex Machina hit all the right notes for me. Advantageous Another (very) quiet science fiction film, Advantageous is only available on Netflix and iTunes at the moment. Reviews have been mixed but … Read More

Flash Gordon Rewatch

Philip HarrisFlash Gordon Rewatch, Glitch, Videos1 Comment

When I was growing up, one of the highlights of the summer and Christmas school holidays was the BBC’s children’s programming. Every morning they’d air a Tarzan movie and episodes of serials including a French series that I can’t remember the name of and the old black and white fiction serials from the 1930s – Zorro, The Lone Ranger and Buck Rogers. I enjoyed them all, but my favourite was Flash Gordon starring Larry “Buster” Crabbe. I’d eagerly sit down each morning to see how Flash, Dale and the Doc managed to get out of whatever pickle they’d got themselves into the day before. I don’t know how many times I watched each series (I remember them being shown every year for most of my childhood, although I doubt that’s actually true), but they stuck with me, and I’ve always had a soft spot in my nerdy heart for those serials (helped by the 1980 movie of course). A couple of years ago, before I started indie publishing, I was trying to think of a way to add more interesting content to my blog and post more regularly. I was also trying to think of a new writing project that I could use to fill the time … Read More

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

Philip HarrisChatter, Writing0 Comments

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