Alyona was disfigured as a child. She has done her best to forget the accident in which she was maimed and her mother eviscerated. And the scarred ghost that caused it.
Now an adult, Alyona has returned to Saint Petersburg to seek answers from her grandmother. But it’s not long before Alyona realises the old woman is haunted by memories of starvation and siege. The Saint Petersburg she has found herself in is a place of suspended death, and the cursed, scarred figure encroaches closer than ever before.
I began the first version of this work in 2009. Though it doesn’t resemble that early draft in the least, I still consider it the same manuscript. Since that time it has undergone many painstaking revisions and several significant re-writes. The greatest shift came about after an extended stay in Saint Petersburg, where I lived with extended family and reconnected with my own family history. In 2015, Birch was long-listed for the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers.
Status (2018) Preparing the manuscript for submission to publishers.
Bury the Sun
Freak, behemoth, loner: May is an outsider in the regional town of Blaire. A cleaner in an animal shelter, she has an affinity with broken things, like the dangerous dogs she helps put down. When she is assaulted by the owner of a euthanized dog, the attack is witnessed by a delinquent sixteen year old named Layla. Bury the Sun follows these two very different women, trapped in the crucible of a small town where no action goes unnoticed and no past unpunished.
Status (2018) First edit. 100,000 words and culling.
Cabinet of Wonders
Status (2017) Writing draft zero. 70,000 words and growing.