Category Archives: Cool Projects

Works in Progress 2018 (aka Narrelle’s To Do List is Scary)

Hello all. I’m already bolting out of the gate in 2018 with a series of projects that promise to keep me chained to the keyboard all year.  Yes, that is the sound of me cheering. I quite like my keyboard.

Besides working hard on the day job, I spent January preparing the re-release of the second book of the Duo Ex Machina series, Sacrifice. My Patreon supporters are getting the re-edited chapters of that book every two weeks, and when completed, they’ll get a thank you copy of the book and it’ll go on general sale.

Now that the individual chapters are scheduled in Patreon, I’ll be working on the third and brand new novella in the Duo Ex Machina series,  Number One Fan.

One of the other things I’m working on  is the expansion of Grounded (a sample of which was posted for Patreon supporters in December).  The things I’m writing into it are slotting in very naturally, and now I wonder why I didn’t include them in the first place.  I hope to have completed these edits by the middle of February and soon after be ready to resubmit to the publisher who asked to see a longer version.

I’ve also devised a cover for the proposed short story collection, Scar Tissue and Other Stories. It will contain some of my (edited) Lost and Found flash fictions and reprints of older stories. I’m also planning a number of brand new stories too – a few more Lost and Founds, and a some other short stories, perhaps set in the universes of Ravenfall and Kitty and Cadaver

Scar Tissue and Other Stories is planned to be a reward for Patreon supporters once I reach my first goal of $100/month. I’m not quite there yet, but if you’d like to help me reach that goal (and access reward copies of books, sneak peeks of works in progress and other exclusive content) that would be grand.

These aren’t my only planned projects for 2018.  Among the others are:

  • A re-release of The Opposite of Life
  • Writing the third of the Gary and Lissa books so that there’s a trilogy
  • A series of short stories for Clan Destine Press – The She Wolf of Baker Street
  • A story collection set post-The Adventure of the Colonial Boy
  • Working with a UK artist to develop a potential picture book.

Ambitious, I know. But I’m full of ideas! With fortune and good planning, I might even get all these started (and some even finished) by the end of the year.

Wish me luck.

News: Support me on Patreon! (There are books in it for you)

Narrelle M Harris on Patreon

In December 2017 I began a Patreon account to help fund my fiction writing.

My first Patreon project is to re-release my first book, made up of two novellas – Fly By Night and Sacrifice – as a novella series under the banner, Duo Ex Machina.

The Duo Ex Machina series is about Frank Capriano and Milo Bertolone, loving couple and members of the two-man band, Duo Ex Machina, and their infrequent and unpleasant encounters with crime.

Fly By Night

My first Patreon target has been achieved – I’ve re-edited and re-released Fly By Night with a beautiful new cover by Willsin Rowe.

Sacrifice is being edited and posted as fortnightly chapters to my supporters, and will be released to them as a complete e-book in due course.

I’ll be writing three more e-books in the series: Number One Fan, Kiss & Cry, and Little Star, each set in years and decades following the first two novellas, set in 1999 and 2004 respectively.

Your Patreon pledges will allow me to make time to write these three new novellas, as well as paying Willsin Rowe for new cover art and formatting of the final stories for mobi and epub versions.

I’ll also be collecting a number of other short stories and writing new ones for free story collection, Scar Tissue and Other Stories, when I reach my initial income goal of $100 a month.

I aim to give my backers value for money, so there’ll be posts about Melbourne (where most of the stories will be set), my inspirations, sneak peaks of other works in progress, bits of other writing and writing tutorials (depending on which tier you support).

Stay tuned for the new cover images and new releases, or support me on Patreon for early access to the stories, other fiction, writing advice and more!

Become a Patron!

If you you’d rather buy Fly By Night outright, you can find it at:

New Release: Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook

Today is the launch day for Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook – an anthology of Sherlock Holmes stories set in different parts of Australia in 1890.

I was delighted to have an opportunity to write another Holmes story set in Colonial-era Victoria after my Holmes/Watson 1893 romance, The Adventure of the Colonial Boy, and promptly set about using my goldfields research in a more traditional Holmes+Watson tale.

Bonnier Publishing’s blurb on the fully illustrated anthology says:

It’s 1890. Holmes’s fame has spread even to the colonies, and he and his stalwart chronicler Watson are swept up in an array of mysteries Down Under. They find themselves summoned from place to place, dealing with exciting and unique mysteries in every corner of this strange island continent.

My story, “The Mystery of the Miner’s Wife”, begins with Watson in a grumpy mood in a Melbourne coffee palace , but soon Sherlock Holmes and his Boswell are catching the train to Ballarat to solve a peculiar murder. Here’s an extract:

The sergeant’s weary eye lighted first on me, and after an uninterested sniff, on Holmes. He sniffed again. “This is a London detective, is it?” asked the surly fellow. “He doesn’t look much. I’d bet we’ve got detectives twice as good even here in Ballarat, let alone Melbourne or Sydney.”

Holmes’s fine lips quirked in a swiftly suppressed grin. “A betting man, are you?” he challenged in good humour, “What about a wager, then. I’ll tell you a secret about yourself and if I’m right, you’ll fetch Detective Meredith for us. Does that sound fair, Sergeant-?”

“Clark,” smirked the sergeant, “And if you’re wrong?”

“A sovereign, and the boast that you have bested the London detective, Sherlock Holmes.”

My story has a marvellous illustration by Jan Scherpenhuizen, one of three people providing gorgeous images, a la The Strand Magazine, for the anthology. The other two artists are Philip Cornell  and Marcelo Baez.

I’m so proud to be in the company of my fellow Holmesian writers: Kerry Greenwood and Lindy Cameron, Meg Keneally, Kaaron Warren, Lucy Sussex, L.J.M. Owen, T.S.P. Sweeney, Jan Scherpenhuizen, Will Schaefer, Robert Veld, Doug Elliott, Philip Cornell, Raymond Gates, Jason Franks, Steve Cameron, and Christopher Sequeira (who also edited the book).  Baker Street Irregular Bill Barnes provides the introduction.

Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook is now available:

Hardcover

Kindle

Or you can check Echo Publishing for more details.

Interview with Type 40 – Pop Culture artisans!

If you’ve ever attended a Supernova, Armageddon or ComicCon event in Australia, chances are you’ve seen one of the amazing Captain America shields or Thor hammers built by Allan Carey of Type 40 in Melbourne. Allan is also known as ‘The TARDIS Guy’, so he has his fingers in many geek pies.

Right now, Allan and Type 40 are running a Kickstarter campaign for a series of beautifully designed and made Call of Cthulu leather document wallets. Naturally, I wanted to ask him all about it.

Interview with Allan Carey

1. You’re well known for your Captain America shields and Thor hammers – what led you to Cthulhu-embossed leather document wallets?

I’ve spent years making shields and hammers for fans, enthusiasts and collectors and have even made a shield for Stan Lee and a hammer for Chris Hemsworth. I love making them and my love of comics and superheroes was the reason I made them in the first place. In fact, most of what I make is because I want one and that’s exactly what led me to making the leather document wallets for Call of Cthulhu, the role-playing game.

I have been playing the game for over 30 years now and still run a game for friends weekly. So when I had the occasion to meet Michael O’Brien from Chaosium, the company that owns the game, it was an exciting opportunity for me to approach him and ask if I could produce some high end items for their game.

Some people show appreciation for the things they love by buying merchandise, collecting memorabilia or even writing about them. I make things. It brings me a lot of joy and I get to keep the first one I make.

2. What’s been the most challenging part of creating the wallets?

A big part of developing a new product, especially bespoke, handmade items, is that if you are going to make more than one, you have to have a reliable and repeatable process. So getting that right is by far the hardest part. Making sure that each one carries the same level of craftsmanship and the quality doesn’t dip at all, no matter if you make 1, 10 or 100.

The other part was choosing which symbol to emboss in the leather. In the end we chose classic and highly recognisable symbols from the game Call of Cthulhu: the Elder Sign which protects against evil and the Great Old Ones. We also commissioned an original piece of artwork by Seth Laster as an extra special add-on. We like to go the extra mile.

3. What’s been the most rewarding or fun part?

It would have to be working on a game and with a company that I have been both a fan of and a loyal devotee to for over 30 years. The games they produce and write have been formative in how I view role-playing games and who I write and run my own games since my first taste. I can’t believe how lucky I am.

Alongside that, I would say that seeing the official logos of Chaosium embossed on the leather prototypes was very exciting. Something I made with the logo of something I’ve loved blew my mind a little.

4. What has been the reaction to the wallets during the Kickstarter campaign?

Good, very good. Because it is a Kickstarter, most people won’t see the product until it is in their hands and that can be difficult. My portfolio is filled with items that do look good on display but are designed to be held and touched. It is the same with the wallet: it is meant to be touched and used. However, that hasn’t stopped people backing the Kickstarter. People are excited and have even been asking when we will do something similar for Runequest.

5. For those who love the idea of the wallets, but Cthulhu not so much, do you have plans for other pop-culture related leather goods in the future?

Well we are always open to new ideas, but the work books are so full at the moment that it is all we can do to keep up. The process of creating a new piece is so intensive it has to have an audience waiting for it. That said, we do already have the patterns, the cutting knives and leather for these wallets. So, all we really have to do is create the artwork and make the embossing irons. So if anyone has any ideas…

6. What’s your favourite thing about your work at Type 40?

Definitely the feeling I get when I hand over a piece I have made for someone. The look on their face, the joy in receiving their new shiny shield.

I know this feeling, because even after all these years, I still get that feeling each time I finish one in the workshop. I’m basically turning adults back into children for just a moment. It’s amazing.

7. What would your theme song be? (personally or for the business)

Big Spender – Shirley Bassey

(Here’s a video from YouTube – get inspired! Links after the clip!)