The Grove on the Edge of the World is a collection of stories written in the span of 2013 – 2015 and published in January 2017. Some stories were inspired by speculative fiction of other authors like Neil Gaiman, Oscar Wilde, and others – by the history and medieval classes the author was taking during the summer of 2013.
All stories in part reflect the inner world of the author, and in part – the living social-political atmosphere that composes the author’s environment. Similarly, The Grove on the Edge of the World was part influenced by the whirlpool of isolation, unsatisfying relationship, as well as studies in history of Which Hunts and discovering all those socio-political short ends of the sticks that women were getting during the Witch Hunt panics (primarily, in Scotland, in 16th century).
The writing style of the collection was in part inspired by children literature of Neil Gaiman (Coraline, Big Hair, his retelling of fairy tales) and Oscar Wilde’s The House of Pomegranates. At the same time, drawing from tried and true influences, Alia was trying to achieve something more that composing a collection of tales. While writing, she did think about how these tales could be understood by children and what kind of morals can be excreted from the collection. As a writer, even though her collection might be never read by children, Alia was wondering how children could confront the concept of Gender-fluidity in fairy tales and how this concept can be made seamless in fairy tales. This is how the tale (and the protagonist) of the Monster Ball came to mind.