Get a Year of Stories

Philip HarrisFree Fiction, StoriesLeave a Comment

For the last few months, I’ve been giving everyone who subscribes to my mailing list, four free ebooks – Bottled Lightning, Saviour, Curfew and Only Friends. The stories are a starter library of sorts and serve as a good introduction to my writing. This year, I wanted to go a bit further so I’m launching A Year of Stories. Every month I’m going to send my newsletter subscribers a short story. It might be something completely new, it might be an older story that’s not available any more or it might be something a little bit “different”. There’ll be a range of genres as well – I write anything from science fiction to urban fantasy to Lovecraftian horror and the monthly stories will span the whole range. The stories will go out at the end of every month and the first will be arriving in inboxes this weekend. Of course, everyone who subscribes will still get the four ebooks. All you have to do to sign up is CLICK HERE and enter your email address in the box. Easy. [Get a Year of Stories by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 26th January 2016]

The Girl in the City – An Excerpt

Philip HarrisBooks, Indie PublishingLeave a Comment

The Girl in the City has been out for a week now, and I’m really pleased with how it’s doing. Feedback and reviews have been very good, and it’s steadily racking up the sales and Kindle Unlimited borrows. Interest in my short stories, Curfew, Saviour and Bottled Lightning has picked up as well which is good to see. During its free run last week, Bottled Lightning hit the #2 spot on one of Amazon’s short science fiction charts and was downloaded over 250 times in a single day – pretty good for a standalone short story. The Girl in the City and the short stories are available from Amazon for 99c/99p – US UK Canada. Here’s the opening of the book to whet your appetite. The Girl in the City LEAH GRABBED THE SALVAGE AND RAN. Metal and plastic clattered and rattled in the cloth bag hanging around her shoulders as she threw herself down the slope, slipping and sliding on the loose earth. The lights of the encampment behind her cast long shadows across the ground but made it just about possible to see where she was going. She heard the Wild Ones shouting as they ran towards the pile of discarded circuit boards, wires, and lumps … Read More

Four Free Books

Philip HarrisBooks, Free Fiction, Indie PublishingLeave a Comment

To celebrate the launch of my science fiction novella,  The Girl in the City (available from Amazon for 99c/99p – US UK Canada) I’ve decided to make all three of my Kindle short stories free for the next couple of days. And of course, you can get a free copy of Only Friends by subscribing to my newsletter. Curfew [raw] [/raw] Violent gangs roam the streets of a city in chaos, preying on the innocent and the careless. Friends die. Family die. But there are worse things in the darkness. Worse things beyond the curfew. Download for free from Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada   Saviour [raw] [/raw] For Yuki, the cave is a sanctuary. It’s somewhere she can shelter from the deadly heat of the sun until winter comes. If she can survive that long. Download for free from Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada   Bottled Lightning [raw] [/raw] For husband and wife team, Alex and Lisa, the trip across the volcanoes of Mars is a chance to escape the monotony of life at Gale Crater. But now they’ve found something, or someone, and everything is about to change. Download for free from Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada   Only Friends [raw] [/raw] My short story, Only Friends was originally published in … Read More

Indie Publishing Update – January 2015

Philip HarrisIndie PublishingLeave a Comment

I finally decided to give indie publishing a try last year – starting with three short stories. Bottled Lightning (available on Amazon US UK Canada) was officially released on 29th September. Saviour (available on Amazon US UK Canada) was released on 6th October. Curfew (available on Amazon US UK Canada) came out a week later on 13th October. All three titles are in KDP Select so are exclusive to Amazon and can be borrowed through Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited. One of the things I like about indie publishing is the transparency in the indie community, so in the interest of continuing that transparency, here’s the numbers for the first three months of those titles. In total that’s 14 sales, 2 borrows and 181 free copies given away. That’s not quite Stephen King levels of success, but I’m very happy with those results, for several reasons. Firstly, it’s completely in line with my expectations. Short stories generally don’t sell unless you’ve already got a following of some sort, and even then they’re a tough sell. I wouldn’t expect people to spend money on a 15-20 minute read from someone they’ve never heard of. Secondly, those three titles were an experiment to get comfortable with indie publishing and limit the damage done by … Read More

It’s a Wrap

Philip HarrisBooks, Indie Publishing, Publications, WritingLeave a Comment

Today marks the release of my third and final-for-the-time-being indie release – Curfew. I lovingly hand-crafted all of these books and I’ll be posting a few lessons I’ve learned along the way but overall it’s been a fun experience. It’s been fairly time consuming though and although I was getting quicker with each release, there’s still a few things I’d do differently. In particular, the experience has reinforced the fact that no matter how many times you go over a manuscript, you can always find something new to tweak. And I’m not talking about mistakes or typos. These are just changes that make the text that little bit better. But eventually those changes aren’t really making the story better, they’re just making it different and you have to call it a day. I had to keep reminding myself that “Perfect is the enemy of done” and move on to actually publishing the story. This is my last indie release for a while but I have more titles lined up – both short stories and longer works. I won’t be building all of them by hand, I have writing I want to get done, but having that experience will help a lot when I start working … Read More

Cover Reveal – Curfew

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As promised, it’s cover reveal time, this time for my third-and-final-for-the-time-being release – Curfew. Curfew is a post-apocalyptic supernatural thriller featuring a photographer living in a war ravaged city. It’s a short story, slightly longer than Bottled Lightning and Saviour at about 22 pages. Here’s the opening The war had been raging for one hundred and sixty-eight years, two hundred and ninety-four days, seventeen hours, thirty-two minutes and six seconds when I was arrested. No one could remember why we were fighting. Was it north vs south? East vs west? Black vs white? If it had been any of those things in the beginning, it wasn’t now. Whatever boundaries there had once been had been blurred to extinction; now there were simply two sides hell-bent on destroying each other. And here’s the cover, courtesy of Humble Nations. Curfew will be released on Monday, 13th October for 99c in the US and the lowest I can make it in other territories. Kindle only at this point I’m afraid. And don’t forget, Bottled Lightning and Saviour are both available at an Amazon store near you: Bottled Lightning US UK Canada Germany France Italy Spain Japan Mexico Brazil India Australia Saviour US UK Canada Germany France Italy Spain Japan Mexico Brazil India Australia [Curfew by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 9th October 2014]

On Genre

Philip HarrisIndie Publishing, Out Now, Writing1 Comment

My name is Philip Harris and I’m a genre hopper. More of a genre careener actually. One minute I’m writing a straight up horror story like The Bone Boy, the next my characters are discovering alien lifeforms on Mars, the next they’re talking to people made of newspaper. I’ve written horror, fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, science fiction horror, something that might actually be a fairy tale, and pretty much everything in between, Sometimes, I can’t even tell what genre I’m writing in. My story, Piece Number 7, (published in Garbled Transmissions) is about the profound effect music can have on a person. To me, there’s a speculative fiction element to the story but it’s firmly rooted in the real world. In the end I filed it under magical realism. Whatever that is. And don’t get me started on Only Friends, the ebook I give away here on the site. I have no clue what genre that is. Depending on how you interpret the story, there may actually be no speculative elements in that one at all. And it’s not just my short fiction. My novels are all over the place as well. The Ghost Smuggler, is science fiction with a … Read More

Going Indie

Philip HarrisIndie Publishing, Out Now, WritingLeave a Comment

I’ve finally decided to go indie. Or at least, add indie publishing to my authorial bow (or quiver or whatever). I’ve been toying with the idea for quite a while, at least since this time last year, but I can remember very clearly the point at which I switched from hmmm maybe I should try this indie publishing thing to yes, I’m going to publish something. I was driving to work (along Terminal Avenue, specifically), rolling the idea of self-publishing something around in my head. I don’t know the exact date but it was in February. I know that because my wife was in the UK and the Winter Olympics was on. I was trying to come up with a way to dip my toe into the indie world without investing a ridiculous amount of time into editing, covers etc. I didn’t want to publish a full novel but I knew short stories had limited success. Then it hit me. I had an unpublished zombie story, The First Zombie Hunter, that was around 5,000 words long and had the potential to be expanded into a novella. It was perfect. It was something new to write but I had a good … Read More

One Year on Mars

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It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I was desperately searching through our kitchen, looking for peanuts to eat while I watched the Curiosity landing on Mars. I found the peanuts and, no doubt thanks to my help,  Curiosity safely touched down and began exploring the martian landscape. I’m not a huge space nerd but even so, I found myself completely wrapped up in the mission and I got a sense of what it might have been like watching the moon landings. I can’t help but wonder if we’ll see humans walking on Mars in my lifetime. That would be something special. The Curiosity landing also inspired me to write an as yet unpublished first contact story set on Mars – Bottled Lightning. It’s very much a character piece and Curiosity doesn’t actually make an appearance but it was the landing that got me thinking about Mars as a setting for the story. [One Year on Mars by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 5th August 2013]

It’s a Writing Wrap

Philip HarrisStories, WritingLeave a Comment

I finished revising my new story – Bottled Lightning – today and sent it out into the big wide world. I’m pretty happy with it, especially since I really didn’t like the first draft. I read it through for the last time today and I think I managed to whittle it into something I can be proud of – as someone on Twitter pointed out to me over the weekend, you’ll always think you can make something better. Whether or not it’s good enough for publication remains to be seen. I also finished Justin Cronin’s The Passage yesterday. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a vampire apocalypse novel – think zombie apocalypse but with vampires. I enjoyed it and I’ll read the sequel but despite a few unresolved threads I wasn’t so enamored with it that I felt I had to rush out and buy the next one. Instead, I started Caitlin R Kiernan’s latest book, Blood Oranges. I’m a couple of chapters in and enjoying it so far. So much, in fact, that a large portion of this evening will be spent reading. But first, more submissions.