The Unintended Changeling
Completed 65,000 word manuscript, Upmarket Fiction
Grace is a 29-year-old woman living in Dublin, who spends most of her time drinking and partying. After a particularly bad night out, she wakes up on a sheep farm in Donegal having lost the ability to use language. She has no idea how she got there and is uncertain whether she has been cursed by the Tuatha Dé Danann (Irish fairy folk), or is having an emotional breakdown. Either way, Grace is afraid of returning home without being able to defend herself among her large and domineering family.
The farmer, Jamie, struggles with his own mental health issues. He decides to let Grace stay at the farm to act as a buffer between himself and the rest of his community.
At first, Grace dislikes Jamie and the farm as they remind her of the poverty of her own upbringing. But as Grace and Jamie learn to communicate with sign language, Grace finds herself freed from the roles that have always dictated her life. However, in order to regain her voice, she must find the courage to confront both metaphysical forces and psychological barriers, or continue her life in silence.
The Unintended Changeling explores the objectification of leading female characters in fairy tales by taking a traditional Irish fairy tale and reworking it so that the female protagonist must ultimately fight against her own objectification in order to resolve her situation.
The plot is woven into the seasons so that time and place form one of the primary forces in the story, ultimately dictating Grace’s actions and emotions.
The use of magical realism in this story is similar to that of Murakami’s Killing Commendatore, Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach and Karen Russell’s Swamplandia!. It drives the narrative and reflects a psychological struggle.
The Moon and the Night
In progress manuscript
Emma’s time is dictated by the weight of others’ expectations. Her father’s expectation that she will follow in his footsteps and run the family’s hotel. Her mother’s expectation that Emma will be a mirror for her own emotions. Her husband’s expectation that Emma will unquestioningly manage everything for him. When a global computer crisis throws the economic and social systems into chaos, the weight of Emma’s responsibilities become more than she can handle.
The Moon and the Night is a novel about the complexity of relationships set against a surreal backdrop. Like a Haruki Murakami or Douglas Coupland novel, this story asks the reader to step outside the boundaries of what is expected, to explore the fundamental question of what it means to be a person in society.