Meet Phillip

Phillip Carter is an Author, Poet, occasional Comedian, Podcaster, and Publisher. His work typically confronts the big mysteries of the universe by dropping a character in the middle of them and observing how they find their way out.

 

Phillip’s philosophy for plotting a story:

“The story needs to be going somewhere. I don’t mean that there should always be constant action scenes, but that something interesting needs to happen on each page. Even if two characters are just resting on a rock after their spaceship has crashed, there should be something interesting in their conversation. For that reason I tend not to be a fan of sex scenes or eight-page descriptions of food, because they don’t vary much, they just happen. I prefer to skip that stuff unless it’s genuinely important to the story, such as Lax Morales eating cactuses. That comes back later in his story and it’s my way of giving him a symbol, something that makes him memorable. It’s also a clue for a future plotline, but I won’t spoil that here.”

 

Phillip’s debut novel, Who Built The Humans?, is a curious mix of thoughtful Science Fiction and surreal satire. The forty seven chapters can be read in almost any order, but a straightforward front-to-back read gifts the reader with a multiverse on the brink of collapse, where alien shapeshifters and grey-faced planet thieves fight for control of reality.

The book is broken down into eleven parts, each following its own universe in a vast cosmic web. These can be enjoyed individually or as parts to a larger whole, with signs at the end of each chapter giving the reader a choice. So far most fans of Who Built The Humans? have read it front-to-back, but there are a few who got sucked into one particular universe and explored the novel in a new direction.

 

Phillip’s concept behind Who Built The Humans?:

“I had finished the first draft of my novel The Stephanie Glitch in late 2016 when the first idea for Who Built The Humans? arrived in my head. It was originally going to be a small leaflet used to advertise Stephanie, but I soon found it unfolding into something much larger. I put Stephanie on hold whilst I was writing it, pouring all of my time into crafting this strange multiverse. The basic idea behind it was to invent a novel that fans of short stories could enjoy. I wanted each chapter to be manageable for people who might not otherwise be able to concentrate on a novel. It’s been really nice to hear all the compliments from my fans about how Who Built The Humans? was the first book they have managed to complete in a long time. It means I succeeded in my goal. I made a massive story that is easy to read, and that makes people laugh.”

 

Phillip is currently putting together a radio show, and combined with two upcoming poetry collections and the release of pre-orders for The Stephanie Glitch, 2022 seems like it will be an interesting year. From the outside, what is most interesting about Phillip’s writing is that even across genres, there is an underlying structure that binds his work into a multiverse. Characters from WBTH appear in the poetry collections, technology from TSG appears in WBTH. It is all building into something quite strange but very pleasant to read.

 

Phillip’s thoughts about worldbuilding:

“For me a story must have its own structure and shape to justify its existence. When I write short stories I put a lot of thought into how the story needs to feel, and that feeling is often a changing shape in my mind. For longer works I tend to draw up a plot map and spend a while cutting anything that feels ‘fluffy’ or less interesting than the main story.”

 

Phillip’s explanation of the FRAGMENTED MULTIVERSE series:

“There is an overarching subplot in Who Built The Humans? that exists for my nerdier fans to uncover. It ties in to The Stephanie Glitch, which is why Stephanie makes a brief appearance alongside a Sarah AI unit. Without spoiling too much, both books are part of a planned trilogy, which will explore the hidden origins of the human race. One common thread I can spoil is the triangular Intersect starships that appear most prominently in WBTH, but also show up in TSG. They’ll become a key component of the third book, so each book is loosely connected, with some characters showing up in all three, sometimes at their own funerals. They are time machines after all.”

 

Because Phillip’s work encompasses so many forms and genres, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly where most of his audience have arrived from. He sold the first pre-orders of Who Built The Humans? in early 2020 to fans of his memes, and he’s found an audience for his sci-fi poetry in people who sometimes say they don’t even like poetry, which is confusing.

 

Phillip’s thoughts on his audience so far:

“I imagine each project will have a slightly different audience, so I’m really fascinated to see how people feel about what I have planned. I’ve already had some people tell me I’m their favourite poet, which is amazing. I didn’t think I’d be able to convert diehard sci-fi fans into poetry lovers, but here we are.”

 

 

Phillip Graduated from Edge Hill university in 2017 with a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. He studied Fiction, Scriptwriting and Poetry, as well as Digital Game Design. In 2015 he was awarded a scholarship for excellence in the creative arts, and in 2017 he won a plastic tiara and a comedian award at the university’s unofficial leaver’s ball.

 

Phillip’s thoughts on university:

“I actually was a bit naughty and submitted different parts of The Stephanie Glitch to different classes throughout my third and fourth year. We were meant to submit a new story to each thing, but I made the argument that I wanted to have something finished by the end of the degree and I managed that. Stephanie’s a poet so naturally we tore her work apart in poetry class. I remember once a tutor said to me ‘Stephanie’s a competent poet’ and I told him I’d tell her. She really invaded my mind in that last year, for a while becoming more real than I am. My favourite module was the Digital Games one though. We were meant to make fifteen minutes of an RPG and I completely lost my mind and made mine over an hour. It was basically a complete game after I finished the MA, and I’m actually getting back into it soon. It was about magic cats doing catnip and hallucinating their way into the astral plane, where they had to defeat an evil flea.”

 

Since graduating Phillip has started work as a publisher and a content creator:

“I’ve got a Patreon for writing now, which is basically a subscription service to get writing tips and secret stories from me. There’s a tier for editing services as well, which means you can hire me month by month to edit your work. I’m also looking into publishing TSG or another book chapter by chapter somewhere. At the moment it’s on Wattpad. I’m going to start livestreaming myself playing Minecraft in a few weeks when the 1.18 update comes out too, as I’ve always wanted to merge my improv comedy with livestreaming. I have a lot going on, but if I didn’t I think I’d very quickly get bored and invent something else. I still have more than enough time to write, but I am really enjoying making people laugh on livestreams and getting to know my fans. There are a few regular viewers now which is cool. I have my own fanbase. It’s surreal.”

 

Shortly after this interview Phillip dissolved into the carpet.

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Phillip is pictured here holding a spine he harvested from a parallel universe version of himself. He plans to use it to trick time-censors into thinking they already killed him in their own future.

( If you want the experience of having your own Phillip at home, look at this image through 3D glasses )