Darkwor(l)ds appeared in 2002, shortly before I left London. Frustrated with trying to find publishers for my work, I put a few of my stories together in a chapbook. One friend (Chris Wing) did the typesetting and another (Caroline Berry) realised my ideas for the front and back cover. Two of the stories were reprints: Best Wishes had appeared in a wonderful magazine/fanzine called Dummy, put together by a collective of women in 1999 and Perpetual Motion had recently appeared in the last issue of Kimota SF/horror magazine, which had been limited to 100 copies. Of the other stories, In The Clear Light Of Day had been accepted by co-editors Rosanne Rabinowitz and Justina Robson for an anthology of horror by female writers, which sadly never saw publication, the rest were also unpublished at that time.
I was reasonably happy with the end product. The only real mistake I made was not having them edited – and it gave me the freedom to sell some via the Barbelith forum (political/music website inspired by Grant Morrison’s work) and the Forbidden Planet shop in central London. Eventually all but one of the stories was re-written and published in the independent press or anthologies: In The Clear Light Of Day became Blue (Kzine/Killing It Softly 2), The World Beneath My Feet appeared in Cover Of Darkness (as The World Beneath) and Owl-Blasted appeared in Necrologue: The Diva Book Of The Dead And The Undead. I ditched the sixth story (Silent Drowning) as I wasn’t entirely happy with it.
I don’t know how many copies of Darkwor(l)ds I have left, tucked away in a cupboard, but a recent discussion about the chapbook resulted in some interest. At some point I’ll have to dig them out.
Meanwhile – I’ve been asked to take part in an extremely exciting new project. Details are confidential at the moment, but if it comes off I’ll make an announcement.
All images and text © Julie Travis