UnCommon Minds Q&A: Patrick S. Baker

Philip HarrisAnthologies, Authors, InterviewsLeave a Comment

My new story, Sitala, is being released in the UnCommon Minds anthology on 21st January. To celebrate, I’m interviewing some of the authors about their stories. Today, I’m talking to Patrick S. Baker about Chief Canis and the Helpful Locals   What attracted you to the UnCommon Minds project? I saw the open call on a Facebook group I belong and thought my story would be a good fit. And so it seemed to be. What was the inspiration for the uncommon mind in your story? I watched a TV show about military working dogs; guard dogs, bomb sniffers, etc. and saw the connection between the dogs and their handlers. So I just took that connection to a deeper, more science fiction/fantasy level. Also I’m a US Army veteran and like to write stories that feature veterans and the military. What are you most proud of about the story? How the connection between Canis and Buffy and between the team members came out. I think I gave the story a bit of “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother;” Even if the “brother” is a dog. What’s … Read More

UnCommon Minds Q&A: Zen DiPietro

Philip HarrisAnthologies, Authors, InterviewsLeave a Comment

My new story, Sitala, is being released in the UnCommon Minds anthology on 21st January. To celebrate, I’m interviewing some of the authors about their stories. Today, I’m talking to Zen DiPietro about Subliminal. What was the inspiration for the uncommon mind in your story? I wanted to portray someone who’s had everything about him stripped away, but still knows who he is at his core. Someone who manages to overcome his obstacles to fight for himself. It’s a metaphor for the struggle that we all face in life–the need to persevere and survive, and to use what we’ve learned to make us better. The story is a prologue to Translucid, the first full-length novel in this series. This unseen early event leads to everything else that happens, unbeknownst to the main characters. Because life is like that–a neverending cascade of events that flows from the past to the future. I wanted to show this early event, to highlight one such moment in time that touched off a series of events. What are you most proud of about the story? The structure of the story. There’s a repetitive element and I’d never written anything that unfolded that way. It was risky, and … Read More

UnCommon Minds Q&A: Ashleigh Gauch

Philip HarrisAnthologies, Authors, InterviewsLeave a Comment

My new story, Sitala, is being released in the UnCommon Minds anthology on 21st January. To celebrate, I’m interviewing some of the authors about their stories. Today, I’m talking to Ashleigh Gauch about In Loving Memory. What attracted you to the UnCommon Minds project? I loved UnCommon Bodies and Origins! Although In Loving Memory was already underway when I found out about the project, reading the open call gave me the courage to turn it into an empathy story rather than sticking to the typical “machines and technology will kill us all” stereotype that dominates the genre right now. What was the inspiration for the uncommon mind in your story? I’d been playing around with the idea of an AI built entirely on human memories and emotions for some time, but Kyrkos herself was actually based on a series of interviews I did with autistic friends. When I learned how they coped with difficulties regarding reading other people and understanding tone, I used the information to help showcase how Kyrkos learned the things Lana didn’t directly teach her. I passed my story over to them before submitting it, and even though the character wasn’t an autistic human, they loved the representation and … Read More

Batman. Star Wars. Cheese.

Philip HarrisInterviewsLeave a Comment

A while ago, Preston Leigh from The Leighgendarium was kind enough to invite me on to his 30-Minute Author Interviews podcast. We recorded the episode a couple of weeks ago and I had a lot of fun. So much that we ended up chatting for close to an hour about everything from video games to Batman to my hatred of cheese. You can find the interview on The Leighgendarium and while you’re there, check out the other interviews. Preston is a big supporter of indie authors and his interviews are always interesting. Oh, and we’re also running a competition on that page – you could win copies of all my ebooks. Sign up for my newsletter and get four free ebooks. CLICK HERE to get started. [Batman. Star Wars. Cheese. by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 21st December 2016]

A Leighgendary Giveaway

Philip HarrisInterviews1 Comment

It’s been a while since I posted anything here – we’ve hit the final stages of the project I’m working on in my day job and things have got very busy. But, despite my absence, my writing streak continues. I’m wrapping up the next draft of the zombie book and during the Christmas break I’ll be working on a new Glitch Mitchell short story that’s going to be in an anthology next year. I was also invited to take part in a series of interviews at the indie focused blog site, The Leighgendarium. It’s called The 12 Leighgendary Days of Christmas and my interview is the last in the series and went up today. It’s a real honour to appear alongside some of the coolest names in indie publishing including Nick Cole, Samuel Peralta and Daniel Arthur Smith so to celebrate, I put together a Leighgendary giveaway featuring thirteen books – one by each of the authors taking part in the 12 Leighgendary Days plus one other mystery book. The giveaway is extremely easy to enter and runs until 8pm EST on December 25th. So, drop by The 12 Leighgendary Days of Christmas and enter. And check out the rest of the interviews while you’re there. In fact, take a wander round the … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Deanne Charlton

Philip HarrisAuthors, InterviewsLeave a Comment

Welcome back to the UnCommon Bodies interview series. Today is a first for Solitary Mindset – I’m talking to a poet. Deanne Charlton has three poems in UnCommon Bodies – It Runs in the Family, Eternity in a One-night Stand, and Brenga’s Body. I’ve written a total of two poems in my life and they’re about as bad as you’d expect. Thankfully, Deanne was good enough to include one of hers at the end of the interview. What attracted you to the UnCommon Bodies project? I have been following PK Tyler for a while, and saw her call for stories. I had a couple of poems that I thought fit the theme, and another had been taunting me for years, unfinished. I sent them. She was gracious enough to read and consider them, and responded, “…these are delicious.  They read like water flowing between the rocks of a story”. On the topic of not having asked for poetry, she mentioned, “You have balls, girl, and I adore that”. As a female, I figured that meant I had one of those #UnCommonBodies she was looking for, and that I was “in”. As for the theme of the project in general, I believe most of us harbor darker thoughts about how we … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Jordanne Fuller

Philip HarrisAuthors, InterviewsLeave a Comment

Welcome back to the UnCommon Bodies interview series. Today I’m talking to Jordanne Fuller about Scars. What attracted you to the UnCommon Bodies project? I was originally enticed by the promo picture for people to submit. It had a really cool alternative looking woman on it and the idea kind of just jumped into my head. So I started writing… and it all kind of just came out. It was honestly the easiest thing I have ever gotten out of my head. Tell us about your lead character, what makes them UnCommon? The protagonist of Scars is a thirty-something woman named Abigail. She has had a life of various kinds of abuse, and the scars to prove it. Abby decides to get those scars covered by tattoos. This begins her foray into the future life of being a tattooed woman. Any plans to revisit the world of your story? The reason I called this particular installation “First Session” is because any tattoo laden walking canvas can tell you that it takes well over one sitting to do any large tattoo, let alone your entire body. She only has time to get a few scars covered and future sessions will visit her subsequent … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: SM Johnson

Philip HarrisAuthors, InterviewsLeave a Comment

Today’s UnCommon Bodies interview is with SM Johnson but before you go and read it, check out the book on Amazon. Just look at all those great reviews. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a book that good would you? What attracted you to the UnCommon Bodies project? When I heard last call for the UnCommon Bodies Anthology, I already had the characters (Pete and Rory) for Reserved in my head making noise at me. I had a pretty good idea of why Rory was so flighty, but I wasn’t exactly sure why Pete was bitter, and I was too busy working and being a grad student to really explore what was going on with Pete. Then I had a problem at work and was put on leave, which was horribly anxiety producing and stressful. And the best way for me to combat anxiety and stress is to write, so even though I only had a couple of weeks to produce a story for the Anthology, it was great timing. Tell us about your lead character, what makes them UnCommon? There are a couple of things about Pete that make him UnCommon. He’s in his 40s, for one, which … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Kim Wells

Philip HarrisAuthors, InterviewsLeave a Comment

Well, I’m still hungover from last night’s launch part for UnCommon Bodies but it’s not too late to join in the fun. I’m running three giveaways including one for 10 Kindle ebooks! You can find the event on Facebook here. Now we’re continuing the series of interviews with my fellow UnCommon Bodies authors with an interview with Kim Wells, author of the immensely entertaining Undead Girl. What attracted you to the UnCommon Bodies project? Pavarti does such amazing things and when I saw she had this project going, I thought, “do I have a story for this?” It just seemed like a very new idea where we could explore unconventional stories and hang out with a different crowd. So I wracked my brain and then realized I actually had a perfect story for it. Tell us about your lead character, what makes them UnCommon? Undead Girl goes in for a cyborg-assassin upgrade and wakes up half dead. She has cyborg arms, an implant in her brain, and a core body temperature, heart rate, and life signs that mean she shouldn’t be alive. But she is. She also has very vague memories of her life “before” and needs to figure out how to exist … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Pavarti K. Tyler

Philip HarrisAuthors, InterviewsLeave a Comment

Launch day for the UnCommon Bodies anthology has arrived! UnCommon Bodies features my short science fiction story Phantom Pain plus 19 other excellent tales. The anthology is themed around the title rather than genre which means there’s a wide range of stories – everything from science fiction to magical realism to horror (there’s some sexually explicit material too) – but every one of them is uncommonly original (see what I did there?). Here’s the publisher’s description: Step right up to the modern freakshow — We have mermaids, monsters, and more. You won’t be disappointed, but you may not get out alive. UnCommon Bodies presents a collection of 20 beautifully irreverent stories which blend the surreal and the mundane. Together, the authors explore the lives of the odd, the unbelievable, and the impossible. Imagine a world where magic exists, where the physical form has the power to heal or repulse, where a deal with the devil means losing so much more than your soul. You can buy the book on Amazon right now and if you’d like to chat with some of the authors and have a chance at winning some great prizes the launch party takes place on Facebook this evening. Over the last couple … Read More