Related to: '100 Ways to Be As Happy As Your Dog'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder & Stoughton

100 Ways to Be More Like Your Cat

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon

From the bestselling author of One Hundred Ways For a Cat To Train Its Human comes a new guide on how to improve your own life by learning from your cat.Content, living in the moment, finding pleasure in small things - your cat knows exactly how to get the best out of life. So let your cat be your guru as Celia Haddon shows in 100 ways how adopting their outlook can lead to our own happiness. Stretch out, relax, find a warm spot - and enjoy purrfection.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Joy of Cats

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon

Anyone who lives with a cat will know of that strange and mysterious bond that grows between human and animal and which can bring such joy and fulfilment. Cats make houses into homes, heal stress and provide fun and entertainment. In this exquisitely produced anthology, drawn from the writing of cat lovers through the ages, Celia Haddon offers a testimony and a tribute to that unique and rewarding relationship between humans and their feline companions in which cats, in their utmost complexity, remain among us, but not of us. Above all, she reminds us of the truth of why cats matter.

Hodder & Stoughton

The First Ever English Olimpick Games

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon

Quirky and funny, while also being a serious account, this entertaining little paperback takes a historical event, THE FIRST EVER OLIMPICK GAMES, and looks at what it reveals about life in England in the seventeenth century: the history, monarchy, religion and politics. In a delightful manner, Celia Haddon tells the story of an incongruous mix: a Cotswold field and the Olympic Games and so brings history to life in a direct, readable and enjoyable way.The founder of the games, Robert Dover, was a lawyer and 'the Great Inventor and Champion of English Olimpicks'. He had the support of James l who had himself written about suitable, manly sport, partly in answer to the Puritans who thought all games led to sin and sex. From the start Dover's games were a political, as well as a sporting, statement.The Civil War put an end to the games. They were revived by Charles ll and continued into the 19th century when a Victorian Puritan vicar put an end to them on the grounds of licentious behaviour. Today they are still held - but as a shadow of their former glory.

Hodder & Stoughton

One Hundred Secret Thoughts Cats have about Humans

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon

Adopt a rescue human. They think they are adopting you. Humans that need homes go to special places where cats are kept. These are rescue humans.Humans can't caterwaul - except in the bath or sometimes when they play the piano.They cannot purr. Cat psychologists suggest that this gap in the human vocal repertoire is due to their lack of inner confidence and serenity.Baby humans don't have anyone of their own age to play with, but it doesn't matter as much as it would for a kitten as they are amazingly retarded. Gay tom humans make the best pets.Don't miss Celia Haddon's new book, 100 Ways to Be More Like Your Cat, a guide on how to learn from your cat to lead a better life.

Hodder & Stoughton

One Hundred Ways for a Cat to Find Its Inner Kitten

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon

Purrfect ways to understand the meaning of your inner kittenhood and humans, ­ the dysfunctional species that stifle your inner kitten joy.Finding your inner kitten is about finding serenity and peace. It's never too late, at any age, to have a happy kittenhood. The secret of this lies in your ability to integrate and transform your experiences with an inferior species, humans.Stop relying on humans to fulfill your physical, emotional and inner-kitten needs. You must take responsibility for your own welfare. Humans are emotionally inadequate. They cannot understand the purradigm of the cat-human partnership. Humans expect lifelong loyalty and love, failing to understand that this is the human part of the relationship. Their inevitable disappointment warps the relationship.Bowls of food are no substitute for proper hunting. The hard wired instinct to eye, stalk, pounce, tear off feathers and eat prey is unused and the inner kitten is unfulfilled.Catnip mice are no substitute for real mice. Humans enjoy playing with them. We cats do not recognise them as mice though we will occasionally join in this silly human game ­ out of sheer good manners. Don't miss Celia Haddon's new book, 100 Ways to Be More Like Your Cat, a guide on how to improve your life by learning from your cat.

Hodder & Stoughton

One Hundred Ways for a Cat to Train Its Human

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon

Hodder & Stoughton

One Hundred Ways to Say I Love You

Celia Haddon
Authors:
Celia Haddon

This beautiful book abounds with expressions of the richness of love, each in its own unique way: it will inspire you to put your own sentiments into words, and as a gift to a beloved one, it will say 'I love you'.

Adam Hills

Adam Hills is an Australian comedian and television presenter. Alongside his stand-up, he is known in Australia for hosting the music and quiz show Spicks and Specks and the talk show Adam Hills Tonight. His combination of positive uplifting comedy and spontaneity has seen him receive a number of awards and glowing reviews along the way. In 2012, he hosted a one-off series for Channel 4 airing over 2012 London Paralympics called The Last Leg. Now in its 12th series, the show is one of the most popular shows in the UK. This is his first book.

Adrian Plass

Adrian Plass is one of the most-loved Christian writers in the UK. He is the bestselling author of The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37¾ - which with its various sequels has sold millions of copies around the world. A somewhat bemused Anglican, Adrian and his wife Bridget live in the north of England travel widely to speak in churches, prisons, schools, and at festivals and literary events in the UK and around the world.

Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh is known to millions through the popular BBC TV programmes British Isles: A Natural History, How to be a Gardener, Ground Force and Gardeners' World. But he started out in far humbler beginnings, in a rural childhood on the edge of Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire.After a spell at Kew he became a horticultural journalist, as an Editor of gardening magazines, before becoming a freelance broadcaster and writer.He has twice been named 'Gardening Writer of the Year' and for four successive years was voted 'Television Personality of the Year' by the Garden Writers' Guild. In 2004 he received their Lifetime Achievement Award.Alan has appeared on radio and television both as a gardening expert and as an interviewer and presenter, fronting such programmes as Points of View, Pebble Mill, Songs of Praise, Titchmarsh's Travels and Ask the Family, and since 1983 has presented the BBC's annual coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show. He now has his own daytime TV show on ITV, The Alan Titchmarsh Show. Alan has written more than forty gardening books, as well as seven best-selling novels, including his 2008 success, Folly, which have all made the Sunday Times Bestsellers List. Alan has published three volumes of memoirs; Trowel and Error sold over 200,000 copies in hardback when published in 2002, and Nobbut A Lad, about his Yorkshire childhood, was published in October 2006 with similar success, and his third volume of memoir Knave of Spadeswas a Sunday Times bestseller.He was made MBE in the millennium New Year Honours list and holds the Victoria Medal of Honour, the Royal Horticultural Society's highest award. He lives with his wife and a menagerie of animals in Hampshire where he gardens organically.

Brian Beacom

Brian Beacom is an award-winning entertainment writer at the Herald and Times group of newspapers based in Glasgow. He has written four books and two plays.

Camilla Morton

Camilla Morton was attending fashion shows long before she was invited. She studied at St Martin's and worked on Vogue. She moved to Paris to polish her look, rather than her French, and worked for John Galliano at Dior. She has written for the Times, Telegraph magazine, Harpers Bazaar and Time, among others. Her first book, HOW TO WALK IN HIGH HEELS, has been translated into seventeen languages.

Cesar Millan

Founder of the Dog Psychology Center in Los Angeles, CESAR MILLAN is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Cesar's Way, Be the Pack Leader, Member of the Family. How to Raise the Perfect Dog and Cesar's Rules. He is the star of The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, the Nat Geo Wild Channel's top-rated show. In addition to his educational seminars and work with unstable dogs, Cesar co-founded the Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping shelters and rescue groups. 'Cesar you're a marvel, an absolute marvel' - Paul O'Grady, The Paul O'Grady Show.'[Cesar] arrives amid canine chaos and leaves behind peace.' - Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker.

Charlotte Rea

Charlotte Rea is a veterinary surgeon currently working in a large London animal charity hospital. She graduated from vet school in 2008 and has since gone on to post-graduate certificate in small animal medicine.She has spent several stints abroad working with various animal charities including in Nairobi for Kenya Wildlife Services and Worldwide Veterinary Service projects in Lisbon and on the Greek island of Samos. She is passionate about animal health and welfare and has spent nearly a decade of her life dedicated to the animals of London, including pampered dogs and cats, homeless and stray pets and city farm animals. Charlotte lives in north London with her husband, young daughter and eccentric, fluffy cat.

Harry Thompson

Harry Thompson invented many TV comedy hits such as Have I Got News For You and Da Ali G Show. He was the author of several acclaimed bestsellers, including PETER COOK: A BIOGRAPHY and PENGUINS STOPPED PLAY, as well as a historical novel, THIS THING OF DARKNESS which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He worked as a producer at Talkback TV and in his spare time he ran the infamous cricket team, the Captain Scott XI. Harry Thompson died in 2005.

James Bowen

James Bowen is the author of the bestselling A STREET CAT NAMED BOB and THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BOB. He found Bob the cat in 2007 and the pair have been inseparable ever since. They both live in north London.

James May

James May is a writer, broadcaster and co-host of The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime. He has presented series for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. His previous books include James May's Man Lab, Car Fever and How to Land an A330 Airbus.

Joey Essex

Joey Essex was born in 1990 in Bermondsey, South London, before moving to Essex. He has starred in nine series of the hit ITV2 show The Only Way is Essex and appeared in the 2013 series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!. He owns his own shop, Fusey, in Brentwood, Essex. This is his first book.

John Grogan

John Grogan's first book, Marley & Me was a number one international bestseller and was released as a major movie in 2008, breaking box office records. The DVD was released in July 09. John lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Jenny, and their three children. His latest book, The Longest Trip Home is out now.

Lesley Bown

Lesley Bown is an accomplished writer who has published in almost every format - from books to articles, screenplays, scripts, television shows, sitcom pilots and sketches. She is also a journalist, and she wrote a popular comedy blog from the perspective of Bridget Jones' mother - Pamela Jones' Diary - http://pamelajonesdiary.blogspot.com/