It’s been a while since I posted here. I’ve been distracted by a bunch of things including: The Vancouver Half-Marathon Google Home Rain A Quiet Place Work Alexa Sandman Slim The Sun (the firey orb, not the newspaper) Breaking Bad Corona Dishwashers Avengers: Infinity War Nouvelle Vague The Expanse Among all of that I managed to finish draft zero of the next book in my Serial Killer Z series. Draft zero is the first point where I have the story down from beginning to end. It’s still very rough and there will be at least three revision passes before it’s done but it’s down and ready to be mauled into something resembling an enjoyable story. More on that as it progresses. I wrote another couple of stories as well, one for a middle-grade anthology and one for a podcast. No idea if either of them will get accepted but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. My next release will be a short story – Glitch Mitchell and the Island of Terror. That’s due out by the end of the week and I’ll be running a sale on Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet to celebrate. I’ve also updated my newsletter offer. I’m now … Read More
And We’re Back
The site has been moved to its new hosting company now which should solve the downtime issues I’ve been having. Hopefully all the links etc. are working but if you see any problems, please let me know.
My site has been running into a lot of issues this year. There’s a problem with the server hardware that means the site disappears randomly for 10-15 minutes. It’s usually fairly short but it’s happened over 70 times so far this year and my patience has run out. The tech support from my ISP left a lot to be desired. There’s no timeline for the problem being fixed and they weren’t the slightest bit bothered by the fact I was going to look for a new provider. Not even any crocodile tears. Or alligator tears. So, I have a new provider and I’m working on moving the site across. I wanted to do a site redesign at the same time but given the reliability issues are ongoing that will have to come later. The switch does mean the site will vanish completely at some point over the next few weeks. Hopefully, the downtime won’t last long, but if you head by and there’s no site it’ll be back in a day or two.
So that was 2017. What a year. The world continues to try to tear itself apart – insane weather, mass shootings, racism, and sexual assault dominate the news, and avoiding or at least reducing time spent on social media is increasingly becoming a critical coping mechanism for many people. Whatever slice of humanity you align yourself with, it’s hard not to feel that things are getting worse – for whatever definition of getting worse fits for you. At least a world filled with self-driving cars seems to quickly becoming a reality. I like the idea of self-driving cars. Hopefully they’ll make it to Vancouver before the city grinds to a halt under the weight of all the traffic. All that bleakness makes it hard to write, but despite the turmoil I’ve had a pretty good year. On the writing side, I got down a healthy 256,032 words. That’s a bit less than 2016 (282,441 words) and even further away from the 300,000 words I set as a goal. I’m still happy with that, though. I did a lot of editing which really lowers the daily word count. I missed some other goals, too. I’d planned to launch eight books but only managed … Read More
As we welcome in 2018, I’d just like to take a moment to thank you for your continued support. 2017 was a banner year for my writing. I wrapped up the Leah King Trilogy, launched the first four books of the Serial Killer Z series, and appeared in four different anthologies alongside some amazing writers. But none of that would mean anything if it wasn’t for my readers. So, to everyone who has read, reviewed, emailed, blogged about, shared, or supported my writing in any way, thank you. You’re the reason I sit in a darkened room for hours upon end, trying to find the right order for the right words to tell the movies in my head. Best wishes and a Happy New Year. [Thank You by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 1st January 2018]
Renanimated Writers Zombie Blog Crawl – A Zombie Top 5
I’m a member of a very cool Facebook group for fans of zombie books – Reanimated Writers. A bunch of us have put together a series of zombie related blog posts and today it’s my turn. I thought I’d go with a quick rundown of my top five zombies from TV and film – presented in reverse order. 5 – R R is the hero in Warm Bodies, a fun, romantic comedy horror. Or horror romantic comedy. Or something. Anyway, R, finds himself drawn to a still living woman he saves from a zombie attack. As their relationship develops, R begins to regain his humanity, but like all young couples, the path to love is strewn with undead body parts. The film is actually based on the first of Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies books. I haven’t read any of them, but I probably should. 4 – Oberst Herzog My wife and I saw Dead Snow as part of a horror film festival we attended during our honeymoon. It may even have been on the first night of our honeymoon. Make of that what you will. Where Warm Bodies is ultimately a feel good, cuddly zombie movie, Dead Snow is a classic, in your face, … Read More
September in October
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”
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
On Friday, my wife and I stayed up late to watch Nike’s attempt to break the 2 hour barrier for the marathon. It was an exciting couple of hours and although the attempt ultimately “failed” I found the whole thing very inspiring, especially going into race weekend for the Vancouver Marathon. Internet reaction to the attempt was (unsurprisingly) mixed, and I was going to post my thoughts but fellow speculative fiction author, Bill Dowis, summed up how I feel much more succinctly so I’m just going to point you here – http://www.billdowis.com/2017/05/08/breaking2-was-not-about-running-a-marathon/. Out Now [Breaking 2 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 8th May 2017]
Is it Really February Already?
My January 2017 update is only eleven days late compared to the thirteen days it took me to get to the January 2016 one so I’m going to call that a win. January was a busy month for me. First up, I got to trade in cold and wet Vancouver for warm and wet San Francisco for a few days (thanks day job). While I was there I got to experience delayed flights (booo), a California storm (wet and windy), San Francisco traffic (ugh), good food (two thumbs up) and Uber (got off to a shaky start but then two thumbs up). The trip ate into my writing time significantly (although I kept my writing streak up and reached 1312 days of writing) which isn’t helping me hit the aggressive schedule I have laid out for the beginning of this year, but I did get both Zombie Book 1 (working title) and Zombie Book Prequel (working title) finished and off to my editor. That was pretty much all the writing I did, apart from a final editing pass on Pod Fifteen, a science fiction short story which will be published in Tales from the Canyons of the Damned later this year. Total word count for the month was a … Read More