Related to: 'The Big Over Easy'

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

Early Riser

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER'Fforde pours his brilliant imagination into every corner of this world' Daily Mail'Fforde keeps the puns and neologisms coming thick and fast while exploring every facet of his novel's intriguing premise' Financial TimesEvery Winter, the human population hibernates. During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness, and devoid of human activity. Well, not quite. Your name is Charlie Worthing and it's your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses. You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense; nothing more than a quirky artefact borne of the sleeping mind. When the dreams start to kill people, it's unsettling. When you get the dreams too, it's weird. When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity. But teasing truth from Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping and stamp collecting, ensure you aren't eaten by Nightwalkers whose thirst for human flesh can only be satisfied by comfort food, and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk. But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you'll be fine.Praise for Jasper Fforde:'Forget all the rules of time, space and reality; just sit back and enjoy the adventure' Telegraph'True literary comic genius' Sunday Express'Ingenious' Terry Pratchett

Hodder Paperbacks

The Last Dragonslayer

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde
Hodder & Stoughton

The Eye of Zoltar

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde
Hodder & Stoughton

The Thursday Next Collection 1-3

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

The first three novels in Number One bestselling author Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, following the adventures of Swindon's favourite literary detective: THE EYRE AFFAIR, LOST IN A GOOD BOOK and THE WELL OF LOST PLOTS.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Song of the Quarkbeast

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

A long time ago Magic faded away, leaving behind only yo-yos, the extremely useful compass-pointing-to-North enchantment and the spell that keeps bicycles from falling over.Things are about to change. Magical power is on the rise and King Snodd IV of Hereford has realised that he who controls Magic controls almost anything. Only one person stands between Snodd and his plans for unimaginable power and riches.Meet Jennifer Strange, sixteen-year-old acting manager of Kazam, the employment agency for sorcerers and soothsayers. She may only have one functioning Wizard and her faithful assistant 'Tiger' Prawns to help her. But one thing is certain: she will not relinquish the noble powers of Magic to big business and commerce without a fight.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Woman Who Died a Lot

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde
Hodder & Stoughton

One of our Thursdays is Missing

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde
Hodder & Stoughton

Shades of Grey

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde
Hodder & Stoughton

First Among Sequels

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

The fifth book in the phenomenally successful Thursday Next series, from Number One bestselling author Jasper Fforde. 'Ingenious - I'll watch Jasper Fforde nervously' Terry Pratchett on The Eyre AffairFourteen years after she pegged out at 1988 SuperHoop, Thursday Next is grappling with a recalcitrant new apprentice, the death of Sherlock Holmes and the inexplicable departure of comedy from the once-hilarious Thomas Hardy novels.Her idle sixteen-year-old would rather sleep all day than save the world from imminent destruction, the government has a dangerously high stupidity surplues, and the Stiltonista Cheese Mafia are causing trouble for Thursday in her hometown of Swindon. Then things begin to get bad. As Reality Book Shows look set to transplant Reality TV Shows and Goliath invent a trans-fictional tourist coach, Thursday must once again have her wits about her as she travels to the very limits of acceptable narrative possibilities to rescue the reading experience from almost certain destruction . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

The Fourth Bear

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

The Gingerbreadman - psychopath, sadist, convicted murderer and cake/biscuit - is loose on the streets of Reading. It isn't Jack Spratt's case. Despite the success of the Humpty Dumpty investigation, the well publicised failure to prevent Red Riding-Hood and her Gran being eaten once again plunges the Nursery Crime Division into controversy. Enforced non-involvement with the Gingerbreadman hunt looks to be frustrating until a chance encounter at the oddly familiar Deja-Vu Club leads them onto the hunt for missing journalist Henrietta 'Goldy' Hatchett, star reporter for The Daily Toad. The last witnesses to see her alive were The Three Bears, comfortably living out a life of rural solitude in Andersen's wood. But all is not what it seems. Are the unexplained explosions around the globe somehow related to missing nuclear scientist Angus McGuffin? Is cucumber-growing really that dangerous? Why are National Security involved? But most important of all: How could the bears' porridge be at such disparate temperatures when they were poured at the same time?

Hodder Paperbacks

Something Rotten

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

The fourth book in the ingenious Thursday Next series, from Number One bestselling author Jasper Fforde.'Don't ask, just read it. Fforde is a true original' - Sunday Express on Lost in a Good BookThursday Next, Head of JurisFiction and ex-SpecOps agent, returns to her native Swindon accompanied by a child of two, a pair of dodos and Hamlet, who is on a fact-finding mission in the real world. Thursday has been despatched to capture escaped Fictioneer Yorrick Kaine but even so, now seems as good a time as any to retrieve her husband Landen from his state of eradication at the hands of the Chronoguard. It's not going to be easy. Thursday's former colleagues at the department of Literary Detectives want her to investigate a spate of cloned Shakespeares, the Goliath Corporation are planning to switch to a new Faith based corporate management system and the Neanderthals feel she might be the Chosen One who will lead them to genetic self-determination. With help from Hamlet, her uncle and time-travelling father, Thursday faces the toughest adventure of her career. Where is the missing President-for-life George Formby? Why is it imperative for the Swindon Mallets to win the World Croquet League final? And why is it so difficult to find reliable childcare?

Hodder Paperbacks

The Well Of Lost Plots

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde
Hodder Paperbacks

Lost in a Good Book

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde
Hodder Paperbacks

The Eyre Affair

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

The first book in the phenomenally successful Thursday Next series, from Number One bestselling author Jasper Fforde. 'Always ridiculous, often hilarious ... blink and you miss a vital narrative leap. There are shades of Douglas Adams, Lewis Carroll, 'Clockwork Orange' and '1984'. And that's just for starters' - Time OutMeet Thursday Next, literary detective without equal, fear or boyfriend.There is another 1985, where London's criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of the new crime wave's MR Big.Acheron Hades has been kidnapping certain characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom. Jane Eyre is gone. Missing.Thursday sets out to find a way into the book to repair the damage. But solving crimes against literature isn't easy when you also have to find time to halt the Crimean War, persuade the man you love to marry you, and figure out who really wrote Shakespeare's plays.Perhaps today just isn't going to be Thursday's day. Join her on a truly breathtaking adventure, and find out for yourself. Fiction will never be the same again ...

Jill Dawson

Jill Dawson is the author of the novels Trick of the Light, Magpie, Fred and Edie, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, Wild Boy, Watch Me Disappear, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize, The Great Lover, Lucky Bunny, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Crime Writer, which won the East Anglian Book of the Year. An award-winning poet, she has also edited several poetry and short story anthologies.Jill Dawson has held many Fellowships, including the Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. In 2008 she founded a mentoring scheme for new writers, Gold Dust. She lives in the Cambridgeshire Fens.www.jilldawson.co.uk

Joe R. Lansdale

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Sunset and Sawdust, Rumble Tumble and The Bottoms. He has received the British Fantasy Award, the American Mystery Award, the Edgar Award, the Grinzane Cavour Prize for Literature, and seven Bram Stoker Awards. He lives with his family in Nacogdoches, Texas. Visit his website at www.joerlansdale.com, follow him on Twitter @joelansdale or find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JoeRLansdale.

Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer is the bestselling author of more than 100 inspirational books, including The Power of Simple Prayer, Approval Addiction, Power Thoughts and Battlefield of the Mind. Joyce's 'Enjoying Everyday Life' radio and television programmes are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences.

Juliet Grames

Juliet Grames was born outside of Hartford, Connecticut, into a tight-knit Italian-American family. She attended Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in history from Columbia College. For the last fifteen years she has worked in book publishing, and is currently Associate Publisher at Soho Press, where she edits literary fiction, crime fiction, and literature in translation. She lives in Brooklyn.

Karen Raney

Karen Raney recently gained an MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths and was awarded the Pat Kavanagh Prize for All the Water in the World when the novel was still a work-in-progress. A painter, academic, and former editor, Raney teaches Fine Art at the University of East London. She grew up in the US and lives in London.

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is a U.S. Special Forces veteran who served in Vietnam, a former police officer in Portland and Oakland, and a screenwriter. He has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana, and has taught college-level English. His two previous Hanson novels are Sympathy for the Devil and the New York Times Notable Book Night Dogs. He may be the only person in U.S. history to have won two NEA grants for creative writing as well as two Bronze Stars.