Category Archives: Cool Projects

Kickstarter – Sherlock Holmes: Adventures Beyond the Canon

I mentioned a few posts ago that a new Kickstarter was about to launch to fund an anthology of sequels to original Arthur Conan Doyle stories from the Sherlock Holmes canon.

The  Sherlock Holmes: Adventures Beyond the Canon Kickstarter campaign was launched on 1 August 2018, and it’s already been fully funded.

But that’s no reason to light a pipe, indulge in a seven per cent solution or go and have a flutter on the races (which was more Watson’s vice). If you back the Kickstarter, you can get hold of any or all of the three volumes, as well as back the book at higher levels and get even more Sherlock Holmes bookish deliciousness for your pains!

My story, ‘A Gentleman’s Disagreement’, will appear in the first volume of the anthology. It’s a sequel to ‘The Blue Carbuncle’ and follows what happens almost immediately after the end of the original story. It involves a second theft, some unpleasant accusations, a few incautious comments and a night in a prison cell for Dr Watson.

Here’s an excerpt:

I threw some papers from my chair onto the floor with the others, causing Holmes’s expression to spasm in disapproval, as though I had upset some order within the mess. I cheerfully ignored him as I took my seat, drew out my pipe and packed it from the Persian slipper.

I briefly felt sorry for the Countess, so unlucky in love. “His behaviour is scandalous,” I said, lighting my pipe with a match.

“You’ve forgiven her, then, for your night in prison?”

I puffed to ensure the tobacco was well lit and eased back in my chair. “It was an invigorating few hours at least,” I said magnanimously, “And the fault wasn’t entirely hers. Several of us had a hand in it.”

Holmes threw back his head and roared with laughter in that rare but wholehearted way of his, and I grinned.

“You are a diplomat, Watson,” he declared, still laughing.

“And you did apologise very handsomely for your share,” I said, saluting him with the stem of my new pipe, which he’d gifted me not long after the incident, “Though I’m grateful you secured my release before matters got out of hand.”

My friend sobered at the reminder. “Yes. Any longer in the lock-up with those old ‘friends’ of ours might have been less invigorating.”

“I was thinking more of the effect of the damp on my old wounds,” I demurred, though his evident concern, then as now, warmed me more than any apology.

The Kickstarter also includes interviews with the authors for every day of the campaign, talking about which story they chose to write a sequel to and why, among other things.

Learn more about Sherlock Holmes: Adventures Beyond the Canon or back it on Kickstarter.

Upcoming rewards for my Patreon supporters!

My first six months on Patreon have gone really well, and I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me there to write fiction! The second of the Duo Ex Machina novellas, Sacrifice, will wind up its chapter-by-chapter posting soon, and will then be prepped to go to all my supporters there as an ebook!

I’ve also reached my first income goal, which means a new short story collection will be produced in the next few months. All my supporters will get a copy of Scar Tissue and Other Stories as a reward before the book goes on sale elsewhere.

My Patreon supporters help me write fiction directly by paying a small amount each month. The income helps me to pay for things like covers, editing and proofreading. In time, I hope I’ll have enough income from all the mini-Medicis who support me to work a little less on the corporate writing side so I can write a little more on the fiction side!

What do you get for supporting me on Patreon?

Depending on your reward level, you get access to:

  • sneak peeks at Works in Progress
  • song lyrics
  • posts about music that has influenced me
  • writing advice/tutorials
  • chapters in my Duo Ex Machina series of M/M crime/romance novellas as they’re posted.

Duo Ex Machina

Everyone who supports me gets a copy of my first Duo Ex Machina novella, Fly By Night and, when it’s finished the fortnightly posting, the second, Sacrifice, will also be available to all my Patreon supporters.

I have three more novellas in the series planned, and those will also be posted chapter-by-chapter as well as being provided as ebooks as they’re completed.

Scar Tissue and Other Stories

I’m currently completing some stories for a short story collection, Scar Tissue and Other Stories, which contains previously published fiction as well as new stuff.

These stories includes flash fiction, Holmes♥Watson stories, stories set in the universes of my novels, including The Adventure of the Colonial Boy (canon-era Holmes♥Watson), The Opposite of Life (vampires in Melbourne), Ravenfall (M/M paranormal thriller) and the yet-to-be-published Kitty and Cadaver (urban fantasy with music).

Levels of support

  • For the $1 level, you’ll get free books, posts about my research and lyrics, and early cover reveals.
  • For $3, you’ll also get sneak peaks, fortnightly chapters of new books, art and music posts.
  • At $5 you also get bi-monthly writing tutorials.
  • $10 sees you get naming rights in stories and ebooks
  • At $15 I’ll also send you greeting cards three times a year!
  • Top level supporters can get autographed paperbacks and I’ll write you a personalised short story!

If you’d like to support me, at whatever level, you’ll be helping me write more fiction, so that’s win/win, right?

Support Narrelle M Harris on Patreon.

Thank you!

Audiobook coming for Baker Street Irregulars: The Game is Afoot

Baker Street Irregulars: The Game is Afoot is the second volume of an anthology series that places Sherlock Holmes (and often John Watson) in various alternative realities.

The first volume included versions where Holmes was a nun, a dog-like alien and even a parrot!

My story in this new volume, ‘The Problem of the Three Journals’, recasts Holmes and Watson as contemporary Australian hipsters! John’s a barista in the cafe they co-own and they still solve crimes together.

The book is due out on 24 April, which is not far away now – and the publisher has just announced that actors have been engaged to read the audiobook!

I’m absolutely thrilled to find that New-York-based Australian actor, Jamie Jackson, will be reading ‘The Problem of the Three Journals’, and thereby getting the accent right!

The other performers on the upcoming audiobook are Korey Jackson, Karen Chilton and Jonathan Todd Ross.

The full table of contents, and the actors who’ll be reading each story, are:

  • ‘The Problem of the Three Journals’ by Narrelle M Harris –Jamie Jackson
  • ‘Six Red Dragons’ by Keith RA De Candido– Korey Jackson
  • ‘The Adventure of the Diode Detective’ by Jody Lynne Nye –Karen Chilton
  • ‘Investigations Upon Taxonomy of Venomous Squamates’ by R Rozakis –Korey Jackson
  • ‘Papyrus’ by Sarah Stegall –Jonathan Todd Ross
  • ‘My Dear Wa’ats’ by Hildy Silverman – Karen Chilton
  • ‘A Scandal in Chelm’ by Daniel M Kimmel –Jonathan Todd Ross
  • ‘The Affair of the Green Crayon’ by Stephanie M McPherson –Jonathan Todd Ross
  • ‘A Study in Space’ by Derek Beebe –Korey Jackson
  • ‘Sin Eater and the Adventure of Ginger Mary’ by Gordon Linzner –Karen Chilton
  • ‘The Adventure of the Double-Sized Final Issue’ by Mike Strauss –Jamie Jackson
  • ‘A Very Important Nobody’ by Chuck Regan –Jamie Jackson
  • ‘Ho Ho Holmes’ by Nat Gertler –Jonathan Todd Ross

I don’t know yet when the audiobook will be out, but in the meantime you can pre-order Baker Street Irregulars: The Game is Afoot from Amazon, ready for delivery on 24 April!

Recommended Kickstarter: The Creature Court

It’s my week for writing about writers I love. Today it’s Tansy Rayner Roberts and her Creature Court series. Power and Majesty, The Shattered City and Reign of Beasts are a remarkable, richly realised, unpredictable and deeply satisfying dark fantasy trilogy about ancient battles, strange festivals, and shape shifters who can turn into one big beast or dozens of littler ones – with the bonus of really gorgeous frocks.

So imagine my delight to discover that the trilogy is being re-released, along with a brand new story! And imagine the delight doubled when I learned that the fabulously talented Kathleen Jennings would be providing art for the books!

If you’re already on board and can’t wait to support the project, go straight to Kickstarter and show your love.

If you want to know more about the books and the Kickstarter campaign, I asked Tansy Rayner Roberts a few questions.

Why have you decided to re-release the Creature Court series through a Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is still one of the best ways to crowdfund a substantial arts or publishing project if you have costs to be covered up front. After running the successful Mother of Invention campaign for Twelfth Planet Press last year I have confidence in my own ability to handle a more personal campaign. I knew I wanted to bring Creature Court back into print after I got the rights back last year, but doing it through Kickstarter means I can release them all at once, paying for fantastic new art and design.

You’ve mentioned the original three books and a fourth, new book, Cab aret of Monsters. Which books is the Kickstarter supporting?

The Kickstarter is for all four books. I decided to write a prequel novella set in the same world because I knew a lot of people who are close Tansy supporters (especially Australians) already have copies of the Creature Court trilogy on their shelves, and I haven’t revised the text substantially (though I have revised it). This way, there’s something new for people who have been buying my books all along!

You’re re-editing the books for the re-release. What does that entail? Why did you decide to do that?

It’s not so much a decision, to edit before a rerelease… I have been laying out the books myself and I am physically incapable of doing that without making a few changes here and there. Sometimes it’s word choice, or rephrasing. More commonly it’s basic proofing – I was particularly surprised how many errors had got through the final volume of the series as printed!

I haven’t made any huge changes though I did find an alarming inconsistency in the flashback/backstory timeline which took a little behind the scenes industrial engineering before I was happy with it. They’re still essentially the novels I wrote between 2004-2011.

How did Kathleen Jennings get involved with the project?

I asked her! Kathleen and I have known each other for a long time now, and I love her work so much. It’s been exciting seeing an Australian artist take on such big international projects. We have a similar attachment to historical aesthetics, so I knew I wanted her on board if I possibly could – and I’m so grateful she was able to make time in her schedule for me.

We’ve worked through a lot of ideas already, and I’m excited to see how the books turn out. One of Kathleen’s talents is extremely detailed silhouette art which she creates with cut paper. We also have a great cover designer, Cathy Larsen, who will be producing the typography with vintage fonts to get across the 1920’s feel that infuses the novels.

How is her art going to be used in the re-rereleases and the new, fourth book of the series?

Book covers primarily – four book covers in one year is a major commitment (it helps a lot when you can pay the artist, hence the Kickstarter) but it’s really exciting to have all of them designed at the same time, and allows us to have a real coherence across the covers.

The novella cover will be developed over the next month or so and then the trilogy later in the year. I also commissioned some pieces up front so I could show our backers the visual style that we were aiming for – hence the lovely flapper with sword banner on the main Kickstarter page, and the iconic Art Deco pin design which Kathleen produced.

Several of our rewards including postcards will be based on Kathleen’s art… and I’m really hoping we make our stretch goals so I can offer the beautiful enamel pin in a variety of colours.

If you could turn into an animal (or a whole lot of little ones) – what animal would it be?

My first instinct was to wonder what animal is most industrious. I’ll take ten of those! Though cats have a pretty great life. I could happily live out my years as a sleepy bed full of cats.

Get on board the Creature Court Kickstarter

(I’m supporting at the Come to the Cabaret level ‘cos I want all the Jennings art as well as the new book!)