Category Archives: Duo Ex Machina

2018: My writing year – and my year to come: 2019

On the brink of a new year, I’m looking back on 2018 with satisfaction and maybe a smidge of exhaustion. 2019 looks to be just as full of writing challenges and delights!

In case you missed anything, I’ve summarised my writing year below – and teased with some of my upcoming projects for 2019!

Thank you all for your support during the year – 2018 was fraught in many ways, but I hope it brought rewards as well. May 2019 bring you more of what you love, and more of what heals you.

<3 Narrelle

2018

Holmes and Watson in Love

My second Improbable Press Holmes/Watson book came out in June. A Dream to Build a Kiss On is a single story arc told over 100 stories of exactly 221 words each and the last word of each story begins with b. 221b. 🙂 It’s the first of a series of 221b stories for IP. (The second was A Study in Velvet and Leather, which I adore.)

Writing 100 stories in that format, and with a contemporary setting, was a challenge which I enjoyed immensely. I may even take it up again later next year!

Music

Although not yet published, Kitty and Cadaver made an official debut with a song! “The Rain Song” appears about half way through the book. The band Bronze has released it on their EP The Razorback Five Track.

(And yes, one of the songs on the EP is inspired by that Ausploitation horror film, Razorback!)

Here is “Rain Song” – a song about precipitation which is also a spell to make it rain!

Short Fiction

I sold a few Holmes and Watson stories during the year: in one, I recast them as contemporary Australian hipsters in “The Problem of the Three Journals“, solving crime and serving excellent coffee, for the Baker Street Irregulars: The Game Is Afoot anthology.

A Gentleman’s Disagreement“, a sequel to “The Blue Carbuncle”, is a more traditional story from Dr Watson’s point of view, in

I admit the most fun I had with short fiction this year was my contribution to Grant Me the Carving of My Name, a collection of stories about Richard III edited by Alex Marchant and designed to raise funds for the Scoliosis Association UK.

One of my very few science fiction tales was published this year too – “Earworm Armageddon“, told from the PoV of a deaf protagonist, was picked up by Jay Henge publishing for Wavelengths.

Patreon and Duo Ex Machina

My most massive achievement this year – in term of words and time – was setting up my Patreon, through which I’ve re-edited and re-published my two M/M crime novellas, Fly By Night and Sacrifice.

These novellas were first published in 2004 by Homosapien Press. Now I’ve repackaged them as the Duo Ex Machina series, and the third (and brand new) novella, Number One Fan, is being published in fornightly chapters for my Patreon supporters. (Thanks guys!)

I also prepped a few reprinted stories and wrote a whole slew of fresh ones for the Scar Tissue and Other Stories collection for my Patreon supporters. (Thank you again – you guys are the best.)

My patrons received the book in November, and the official release (a co-production with Clan Destine Press) is scheduled for around February 2019, after a few delays pushed it back.

2019

Three books!

So before the year even begins, I have writing news for 2019. There’s Scar Tissue and Other Stories for February – which, among other things, contains short stories set in the Ravenfall, The Adventure of the Colonial Boy, The Vampires of Melbourne series and Kitty and Cadaver universes!

Then in March, the third Duo Ex Machina novella, Number One Fan, will finish its chapter-by-chapter run and be prepared for an ebook release.

Pipping that one at the post will be Grounded, a spec fic romance about two people who can’t fly in a world with wings. Escape Publishing has done a beautiful job of the cover and I’m excited to see this book released on 20 March!

Still to come

Of course, this only brings us to March. I’m sitting on an announcement for a short story that’s been accepted – when the anthology is officially announced I’ll send out the news first in my new newsletter, Mortal Whispers.

The first novel I’m working on for the year (now that Grounded is all edited and ready to go) is Kitty and Cadaver.  I’m hoping for that to come out mid year in time for some SF conventions in June.

I plan to tackle the third in the Vampires of Melbourne series, which will coincide with a re-release of the first two books as ebooks with new covers.

I’ll also be working on the fourth Duo Ex Machina novella, Kiss and Cry from April onwards.

Folks. It’s gonna be another big year!

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!

Location: Hardware Lane

This post first appeared on my Patreon for my Fly By Nighters supporters on 6 April 2018

My first confession is that this image is not actually in Hardware Lane, which runs parallel to Elizabeth Street (between Queen and Elizabeth Streets) starting at Bourke Street and going through to Lonsdale. Between Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale, it becomes Hardware Street, even though it’s shorter than the Lane.

The paved Lane between Little Bourke  and Lonsdale Streets is closed to traffic, because it’s full of outdoor seating for cafes and restaurants. At one end, a  nightclub called Khokolat has operated out of a basement premises at #43 since at least 2005.

At the other end, The Golden Monkey – another downstairs bar, decorated 1920s Shanghai style and named for the a statuette in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – is at the other. It opened in around 2007.

These days, Khokolat and a costume shop are opposite the most excellent Kirk’s Wine Bar, but in 2009 it was just one of several more generic cafes on the street.

It’s great for me that both those places were operating in 2009, when Number One Fan is set.

But that doesn’t explain the photo above.

That, my friends, is a promo photo (taken on Niagara Lane I think) for Hardware Lane Costumes, located on the first floor of 43 Hardware Lane. That puts it above Khokolat and, for my purposes, right next to an invented office where Frank and Milo have, in 2009, just set up a little space to manage business and answer fan mail.

How will I be using these locations in the story? I’m not entirely sure yet, but if I don’t get one of those boys into a princess costume at one point, I don’t even know myself.

In the meantime, with both Hardware Lane and Hardware Street postively lush with excellent cafes like Kirks, Hash, The Hardware Societe and La Petite Creperie, I’ll have somewhere pleasant to sit and plot to my heart’s content.


My Patreon supporters are helping to fund the writing and production of the Duo Ex Machina series. Number One Fan will be the third book in the series, and a brand new addition to it!

Another Scar Tissue Art sneak peek

Last month I shared a sneak peak of some photo art that will appear in Scar Tissue and Other Stories, which I’ll be releasing when my Patreon reaches $100 a month. (Only $20 a month to go, guys!)

I only have three more stories to write for that collection, too! One will be set in the Kitty and Cadaver universe, another in the Ravenfall universe, and the third will be a take on the Orpheus legend.

These images, however, belong to the flash fiction series Lost and Found, based on photographs of lost/found objects I’ve taken on my wanderings. I won’t give you titles this time, though I encourage you to post your guesses about where the photos come from. 🙂

As with the previous images, these embellished photographs are from pictures I’ve taken myself and then fiddled with in the Enlight program on my iPad.

If you’re considering supporting me on Patreon, I already have SO MUCH there for you to read and enjoy, whatever your support level. Every supporter gets an e-copy of the re-release of Duo Ex Machina Book 1: Fly By Night and in due course, every supporter will get the e-book of Scar Tissue and Other Stories.

Supporters at the $1 ‘Fly By Nighters’ level will see posts on my research (books, Melbourne, locations) as well as poems and lyrics (many of the latter will be used in the third Duo Ex Machina book, Number One Fan.)

Supporters at the $3 ‘Backstage Pass’ level can read all the Fly By Nighter level post, as well as all the chapters of the edited, re-released Duo Ex Machina Book 2: Sacrifice that have been posted to date, sneak peaks of works in progress or stories about to be released (including the recently released ‘The Problem  of the Three Journals’ in Baker Street Irregulars: The Game is Afoot) and the upcomiong Holmes♥Watson romance A Dream to Build a Kiss On.

‘Class Act’ supporters ($5 a month) get all of those two tiers plus bi-monthly writing tutorials – two are currently there for the reading, with a third due at the end of May.

And if you’re a ‘Name that Tune’ supporter at $10 a month, you get naming rights within one story a year, and an ebook when it’s available!

So if the mood takes you to support my writing via Patreon, you have a lot of reading to get on with from the start! And of course my eternal thanks! Not to mention other rewards, which are listed for each tier.