Tom Harris

Writer of edgy Middle Grade & Young Adult Fiction

An Ode to Tony Hart: The Amber Gallery

An Ode to the Selfless: Aftermath of a Book Launch

On September the 8th, 2017, Blackwell’s Bookshop in Portsmouth gave birth to The Amber Moon Part One: Of Shadows & Dragons.

[Brilliant Pic by Claire Tewkesbury]

Launch Pic 3

The thing about these events is that however much they help to massage a writer’s ego that has been battered more times than Friday-night cod fillets, none of it happens without the selfless support of others…

So here’s my ode to those who really made Friday night what it was…

The brilliant Jo and her team at Blackwell’s are simply extraordinary! For weeks now, I’ve been delivering things, hoarding and cluttering up the office and they’re still talking to me! The professionalism, expertise and creative drive they have to set up the shop and make it look so resplendent in amber, is dizzying! Nothing is too small a request and they go out of their way to make the big day as special as possible, for everyone in attendance.

A few weeks ago, some friends at work – at The University of Portsmouth Students’ Union – Fiona ‘Marvel’ Cook and Stuart ‘Pullman’ Owens – approached me, offering their time and skills to help out at the launch. We had a bit of a chat, and as both are fine bakers/cake makers, amongst the other stuff they are brilliant at, they took on the task of creating these delicious beauties….

The Amber Moon Mirror Glaze:

[Cake by Stuart Owens]

Amber Moon Cake

Doctor Tan’s Hot Chocolate and Snow & Rosie Boots’ Fairy Cupcakes:

[Cake & Pic by Fiona Cook]

Tan and Rosie Cupcakes

Then came Brendan ‘DJ Cheddar: For One Night Only’ McCarthy who stepped up to help out with the music for the After Party at my Cricket Club. Without his help, and giving up his time, the evening would not have provided moments that made me laugh so hard, I think I broke more ribs than I own…

[Pic sourced from The Archives of DJ Cheddar courtesy of Brendan McCarthy]


The support didn’t stop there and my work colleagues from the Student Union, Sport and Rec and the wider University were amazing in promoting the launch for me on social media, wish me well with private messages, emails and texts. So many of them came to the event, despite the weather and the general fatigue at the end of yet another busy week ahead of Freshers’ Week 2017.

I started playing cricket for US Portsmouth three seasons ago. My teammates and their families are amazingly supportive and bloody hilarious! Laughing that hard is truly good for the soul, and I am very lucky to be able to do that pretty much every day I spend with this lot! They turned out in their numbers at Blackwell’s and at the after party back at the club, where Messrs Toms and Gadd outdid themselves with some very high brow performance pieces, including the very best of what the UK has to offer in terms of impromptu drama and song.

United Services CC

Huge thanks to Ross, for being a terrific host as always and allowing us the freedom to caterwaul our way deep into the night!

So many more of my family and friends, including my old MA buddies also braved a miserable Friday at rush hour to help me celebrate. Even those who couldn’t attend, have been amazing with their messages of support and sharing the event on social media channels.

You come to realise that the real stars of any book launch are the people behind the scenes, your friends and your guests who make everything seem so much more real and so very special. So, thanks to the unseen, the selfless and the giving… It’s a privilege to be a part of your story, however large or small the part you give me to play…


*Look out for a follow-up post later this week including all the great photos and pics from the launch



KINDLE RELEASE: The Amber Moon Part One: Of Shadows & Dragons

Welcome to the Thief Trials…

Book 3 in my Wings, Wands & Weird Worlds series is now available on Kindle.

Follow the links to get your copy today.



Thanks to those who have already downloaded on pre-order. I really hope you all enjoy the new book.

Here’s a sneak preview of Page 1, from my very own KINDLE.

Kindle Front Page



The Amber Moon Launch Party – 08/09/17

So what is it about September the 8th…?

The 251st day of the year, I hear you say?

Or, that in 1504 Michelangelo’s ‘David’ was unveiled in Florence?

And who could forget that in 1888, in England, the first 6 Football League matches were played, whilst in London the body of Annie Chapman was discovered, as the legend of the Ripper gathered momentum…?

No? Then how about 1966 when Star Trek premiered on our screens with Episode 1 – The Man Trap?

Could it be you recall that in 1991, Macedonia became independent?

All the above are of huge historical significance, and so in honour of these events, on Friday September 8th in 2017, I would ask you to become part of world history and join me to celebrate the launch of The Amber Moon Part One: Of Shadows & Dragons.

The event may not make a Wikipedia page until 23 years after my death, but what I can say with absolute certainty is that it will start around 5pm at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Portsmouth.

There will be plenty of free party food and drink available to  help celebrate the third book in my Wings, Wands & Weird Worlds series, including such crowd favourites as Amber Moonshine, Amber Ale & our old favourite – The Amber Cupcakes; plus Jo’s incredible sesame sausages!

I really hope you can make it for a part of, or all of the night, as we’ll be sure to go on afterwards as it’s not a school night…

I hope to see you all there…and here’s a few memories from the last launch just to get you in the mood 🙂

Here’s to September the 8th



Launch Photos 14Launch Photos 1

Launch Photos 4Launch Photos 15

The Amber Moon Part One: Of Shadows & Dragons – Cover Reveal

So here it is, the brand new cover for The Amber Moon Part One: Of Shadows & Dragons. Really pleased with it and very excited ahead of the Kindle release and the Paperback launch. News on both coming very soon!


Front Cover Image
© Cornelius20
ID 66864264 |


The Third and penultimate book in my Wings, Wands & Weird Worlds series will be available on Kindle and in Paperback soon. I’ll keep you posted on the release dates and the all important cover reveal in the coming weeks, but to whet your appetite here is the back cover blurb…

Over four deadly trials on the island of Mataquin, North and Rosie must steal four amber mosaics which are also the final pieces in Tan’s deadly endgame to awaken the legendary and mythical power of the Amber Room.
With the threat of The End Book still hanging over them and those they love; Rosie and North must battle other thieves and fairies to stay alive and win through the trials. Battling Dragons and Shadows is hard enough, but when an arranged marriage forced upon them by the rites of ancient fairy lore comes to light, it threatens to tear apart their partnership forever.
North and Rosie must prevail and buy time enough for the spies of the Ange Gardien to breach the powerful enchantments that shield the land of Rosie’s birthplace, the land of the three moons, and deliver the vital chain message, that could change their fate and that of the known universe.
Welcome to The Thief Trials…

Brain Feeding: A Monster Calls

An utterly compelling read, its tone reminiscent of a classic fable in parts, A Monster Calls is one of those rare books that you wished you’d never read, so you could read it all over again.

It tells the story of a young boy battling far bigger fears than the most gruesome and terrifying of all monsters – the reality of his Mum, losing her battle with cancer…

Its roots are fixed in the mechanics of a troubled young mind, where imagination and fantasy become barriers to the harshest of all realities. Yet Ness doesn’t dwell on the loss as many of these tales often do. It’s not a story that grinds you down and makes you wish you’d never wallowed in it – it’s quite the opposite.

It’s a beautiful concept delivered with simplicity, respect and elegance.

The origins of the story were the brainchild of talented YA Author Siobhan Dowd, who before her tragic passing wrote some fantastic fiction of her own – The London Eye Mystery in particular, which is back on my reading list – but Ness takes up the baton here and produces something truly special in completion.

The atmospheric illustrations of Jim Kay add so much for me too, as a huge graphic novel fan, I would definitely check out this illustrated version if you haven’t already.

Read it on your own, read it with your kids, take it down the park and read it to anyone who’ll listen. You can’t fail to be inspired by something as stunning as this.

This is exactly what I mean by Brain Feeding

Truly outstanding

*A Monster Calls is available from Blackwell’s Bookshop in Portsmouth & via Amazon


They want me out there. Think that they can lure me to them.

Dad always warned me about two for one deals.

My heart is breaking as they take a bite from his shoulder. The flesh tears. He smiles through it all and then he’s gone.

I just watched my dad get eaten. Part of me hears the ping of a message, but I can’t take my eyes off what is happening. What is wrong with me?

I shake it off as they snarl, their bloodied muzzles taunting me at the glass. I can smell the metallic crimson, wafting through the broken rubber seals.They’ve torn him to pieces.

They may have done this, but I know who’s truly to blame…


He’ll pay for this.

I stare into their dead, congealed eyes as I pull the curtains closed on reality and I dart back to my laptop.

A new message. J is back online.

I know about the field.

How? What? I don’t type the words, cause my hands are still trembling…

It is some time before I reply…


Okay. Let’s meet.


Let’s meet. You don’t have long.

Don’t have long? What does he know?

What happens when I turn 14?

There’s no reply to that. Maybe he doesn’t know.

Meet at the field. Meet in 4.

I sit back in my chair and this time it isn’t Crowley’s government hackers who break the connection. It’s me.

I slap my laptop shut and bag up what’s left of my life.

I take one last look at the curtains, imagining the horror playing out beyond the window and with tears rolling down my cheeks, I take a deep breath and head for the door…



Word of the Year: 2016

Every year, per annum in fact, Oxford Dictionaries come up with a ‘Word of the Year.’ I’m not sure if the adjudication panel hold a reality-style word-off series of auditions or not, but the word of the year for 2016 is an adjective and is…


‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’

So, why of all the words in all the world, that had to walk into our lives, did they choose this one?

It won’t have escaped your attention that 2016 has been a year dominated by politics with the EU/Brexit Referendum & the U.S Presidential election. It is in this area that has seen a spike in the usage of the word, and its association with the phrase – Post-truth politics.

So there you have it.

The Word of the Year, 2016, is post-truth…


There are plenty of other words they could have come up with in my eyes, but hey, this is a family show, right?

Who will be the ‘Word of the Year’ in 2017?

Do words get nervous at awards ceremonies? I bet Agitated and Alarmed do.


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