Looking Forward, 2017

Philip HarrisChatter, Indie Publishing, RunningLeave a Comment

After posting my belated end of year wrap up, I figured I’d better also look forward to what’s ahead in 2017… I talked about setting goals on New Year’s Day and mentioned my big personal goal – running a marathon in under four hours. That goal has actually been in the back of my mind for a few years but 2017 is the year I’m really going to focus on my speed and fitness (and weight) and try to hit that. My wife and I recently worked out which races we’re going to take part in this year and it’s a fairly long list, but a lot of them will be used as training runs for my main goal of that sub-four hour marathon. Time will tell whether it will pan out but I’m looking forward to trying. I’ll probably make the odd post here about my progress for those who are interested in how a moderately unfit, middle aged guy prepares for a marathon. I also mentioned my eight book publishing schedule. That’s pretty aggressive, even though I have a couple of the books complete and two more in draft form. I’ve laid out the schedule for the first half of the year and this is what it … Read More

Farewell, 2016

Philip HarrisChatter2 Comments

Continuing my tradition of posting end of year wrap ups late… 2016 was a mixed year for me, personally. We lost a lot of great people including some of my idols (I’m listening to David Bowie’s new EP right now) and people close to me. The internet seems to be getting more and more toxic by the day, and the less said about Brexit and the US election the better. But there was plenty of ups to offset the downs. I moved into a new apartment that doesn’t turn into an oven in the summer, and a new role on a very exciting project in my day job. It means I’ll be busier than I’ve been recently, but the work will be much more fulfilling. My writing went very well, too. I hit 282,441 words over the whole year which is a new record (I wrote 275,872 words in 2014 and 255,470 in 2015). There was plenty of editing in there as well so I’m happy with that. I’ve got ambitious plans for this year, so I’m hoping to break 300,000 words. We’ll see. I worked on several new projects during that time including the second and third Leah King books, The … Read More

A Drafty Machine

Philip HarrisIndie Publishing, WritingLeave a Comment

It’s 4pm on Saturday afternoon here in Vancouver and I’ve just wrapped up the second draft of The Girl in the Machine which now sits at 67,671 words. After working through the notes I made on the print out of the first draft, I pulled out a few broken chapters, simplified some sections and general fixed a bunch of big picture issues. There’s still some smaller things that need fixing, some foreshadowing that needs to go in and lots of crafting of individual sentences but the heavy lifting is done. It took me a while longer than I’d hoped and this will be going to my editor later than I’d planned but it’s more important it’s a good story. And I think it will be. Tomorrow I scroll back to page one and start the third draft. In the meantime, here’s a rainbow. Sign up for my newsletter and get four free ebooks. CLICK HERE to get started. [A Drafty Machine by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 19th November 2016]

The Girl in the Machine – The First Draft

Philip HarrisWriting1 Comment

On November 7th I  hit the next big milestone on The Girl in the Machine – The first draft. <dun dun derrrrr> The final word count for the draft was 69,527. I immediately printed the whole thing off and the next day sat down to start editing. (Click to sneak a look at the opening chapter) I always do my first editing pass on paper using an actual pen. At this point I want to focus on big picture issues – continuity and plot holes mostly. If I edit on the computer, I tend to get distracted by the details and end up tweaking sentences instead of looking for the major problems. I do still mark clunky writing, unnecessary repetition that isn’t necessary, and things like that but I don’t get caught up trying to fix those issues. That comes later. I try to read through the whole book in one day so that I can keep track of the story properly and by the end of the day I’d done just that and had 226 pages covered with green ink (thanks Coke Zero). Since then I’ve been working through those notes, hacking out chapters, inserting foreshadowing, fixing the clunky writing I spotted. That took longer than the read through but it’s done. Now … Read More

An Unmitigated Disaster

Philip HarrisChatter, WritingLeave a Comment

I’m now about 66,000 words into the final book in the Leah King trilogy, The Girl in the Machine, and I’ve reached the point where I’m convinced it’s an unmitigated disaster. My outline is in shreds. There’s dozens of plot holes in every chapter. The character arcs aren’t arcs, they’re circles. I’ve forgotten to tie up at least three loose ends and there’s two more that I opened in chapter three that go nowhere. The critical scene involving the aardvark and the pug is physically impossible, and I’m pretty sure several of my character’s names change halfway through the story. Twice. Basically, I want to delete everything relating to this book and take up something sane like juggling scorpions. I’m not going to. Partly because scorpions are mean and that would be dangerous, but mostly because I’ve been here before. ON EVERY SINGLE BOOK I’VE WRITTEN. The Girl in the City, Unseen Planet, The Girl in Wilderness, The Ghost Smuggler, Siren’s Call and both my (currently unpublished) zombie books all went through this same phase. Experience has taught me that my mind is lying to me. I’m not writing in stone. Sure, I’ll have to go back and rewrite big chunks, fill in the holes, check names and facts, and generally … Read More

Time is Running Out

Philip HarrisBooks, Indie PublishingLeave a Comment

Just a quick Public Service Announcement – There’s now less than 48 hours to go before The Girl in the City goes back up to its normal price. And of course, for a limited time, The Girl in the Wilderness is available for 99c/99p (or the lowest price I can set in other countries) so you can get both for less than the price of something from the dollar store. Sign up for my newsletter and get a year of stories, completely free. CLICK HERE to get started. [Time is Running Out by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 7th October 2016]

Out Now – The Girl in the Wilderness

Philip HarrisBooks, Indie PublishingLeave a Comment

Finally, the day has come. After 124 hours of writing, two editorial passes, and the tender ministrations of three separate proofreaders, The Girl in the Wilderness is now available on Kindle. This is a book I hadn’t really planned on writing. The nugget of the idea came about when author Chris Pourteau asked me whether I was planning any sequels to The Girl in the City. I had a vague idea that I could continue Leah’s story, and said that I might – eventually. He promptly asked for the titles of the sequels, and I came up with The Girl in the Wilderness and The Girl in the Machine. I still don’t actually know why he wanted the titles, but I filed them away and didn’t think too much about it. Until, that is, the beginning of this year. I’d been working on my zombie series for quite a while and was starting to get a bit burned out. Looking around for something I could work on as a palate cleanser, I remembered those two titles. Several of the reviews of The Girl in the City mention they’d like to read more about my hero, Leah, and people were asking me whether I was planning sequels. I decided that writing a couple more … Read More

Coming Soon – The Girl in the Wilderness

Philip HarrisBooks, Indie PublishingLeave a Comment

About eighteen months ago I released my science fiction novella, The Girl in the City, and it’s almost time for the sequel to join it on the virtual bookshelves. I hadn’t planned on making The Girl in the City the first in a series. It’s a standalone story with no real loose ends (beyond wondering what happens next in the characters’ lives), but I kept coming back to Leah’s story and readers seemed to have an appetite for more, so towards the end of last year I decided to write two more novellas. As usual, that idea went out of the window pretty quickly and the sequels quickly turned into full length novels which means I’m spending a lot longer on them than I’d planned. C’est la vie. The second book, The Girl in the Wilderness, will officially be available exclusively on Kindle on October 4th but it’s actually available for pre-order right now.  The Girl in the Wilderness will be selling at an introductory price of 99c for a while until it gets its sales-legs and then it will go up to the normal price of $2.99. To celebrate the launch, I’ll also be giving away The Girl in the City from October 4th to October 8th. So, if you haven’t bought that … Read More

Cover Reveal – The Girl in the Wilderness

Philip HarrisBooks, Indie PublishingLeave a Comment

The Girl in the Wilderness is almost here! I’ve just sent the final manuscript to be proofread, and things are getting very real. And I have a cover. Which is good, because you can’t launch a book without a kick ass cover. If you’re on my mailing list you will have seen this (and got a new free story) yesterday, but for those of you who haven’t yet sampled the delights of my newsletter, I present the awesomeness that is the cover of my next book. A huge thank you to Adam at Around the Pages for putting together another fantastic cover. The Girl in the Wilderness is the sequel to The Girl in the City and will be available at the end of the September. If you haven’t read the first book you can get it free by posting a review of one of my other books and then getting in touch with me through the contact page on this site. I’ll send a copy for you to review, free of charge. Sign up for my newsletter and get a year of stories, completely free. CLICK HERE to get started. [Cover Reveal – The Girl in the Wilderness by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 2nd September … Read More

August Writing Update

Philip HarrisChatter, WritingLeave a Comment

I’ve realised I haven’t posted any writing updates for a while so I thought I’d avoid working on my latest short story by giving an update instead. The last few months have been reasonably good from a fiction point of view. My writing-every-day streak continues and sits at 1,147 days. I’ve just broken the 150k mark for words written this year (158,173 to be exact) so I’m pretty much on track to break my personal annual word count record (275,872). At this point, I’m pretty confident I can do that. I have several first drafts I want to get written, and they should drive up that word count pretty quickly. It won’t be obvious to anyone looking at my Amazon author page, but this year I’ve been trying to focus on finishing projects and getting them out into the wide world. That said, the last few months have been spent working on several projects. The Girl in the Wilderness This is the sequel to The Girl in the City that I hadn’t planned on writing. And when I did decide to write it I was expecting it to be another novella but a bit bigger than The Girl in the City. It turned out to be a full length novel … Read More