The Unintended Changeling
Completed 80,000 word manuscript, Literary Fiction
Grace is a young woman who feels inept and unable to assert herself among her large extended family. To distract herself, she spends most of her time partying in Dublin. When Grace wakes up hungover on a sheep farm in Donegal, she doesn’t know how she got there, and she’s shocked to realize that she has lost the ability to use language. She is uncertain whether she has been cursed by the Tuatha Dé Danann (Irish fairy folk), or whether her situation has psychological roots. Regardless, she fears returning home without being able to speak or write, since her family would be able to assert even more control over her.
At first Grace dislikes Jamie, the young, unkempt farmer, who represents 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. Elements of magical realism are used to provide pivotal points of action and add to the dream-like quality of Grace’s situation.
The moon and the Night
In progress manuscript
Emma’s time is dictated by the weight of other’s 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 to reflect her mother’s emotions. Her husband’s expectation that Emma will take care of everything for him. When a global computer crises throws the economic and social systems into chaos, the weight of Emma’s responsibilities becomes more than she can manage.
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, the 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.