As of this week, it’s been a decade since the release of Darkness Watching, the first book in the Darkworld series, so I suppose I should write a retrospective of sorts.
The book was initially released through a small press and then re-released nearly a year later with a shiny new cover. And then rereleased again in 2016 when I got my rights back to publish the series independently. To say it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster is an understatement.
I wrote the series during a tumultuous period of my life in which I was finishing and graduating from university and taking my first steps into true adulthood, and those themes seeped into the series. It’s for that reason that I call the series New Adult despite the label not really being used for non-contemporary romance books, and that’s why it’s so different from the rest of my catalogue. It’s a snapshot of a time when I was trying to figure out what kind of writer I wanted to be. I’d had to shelve my first ever series permanently a year beforehand, and yet this new idea had planted its roots in the ashes, formed of an amalgamation of old ideas and new ones.
As I nurtured the idea, it grew into a five-book series that challenged me in ways I never anticipated. Not least because it was also my introduction to the publishing world. In the process, I learned how to revise on a deadline, how to write a sequel, and how to finish a series for the first time. I learned a lot about working with editors and cover artists that I later took with me to self-publishing when I decided to go down that route.
I think all writers have mixed feelings on their first published work, and that’s certainly true for me. Darkness Watching is raw and angsty and a little messy, but I’m a glad the book exists, both as a snapshot of that time of upheaval, and as a first step on the road to a publishing career. Ultimately, the Darkworld series paved the way for me to build the life for myself that I wanted.
And to those of you who’ve been around since those days, who’ve followed my career from the start - thanks for everything.