Related to: 'Strange the Dreamer'

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

Night of Cake and Puppets

Laini Taylor
Authors:
Laini Taylor

Which is what one always hopes will happen: for life to take over and be bigger and more marvellous than what we can dream up on our own.**********In the gorgeously illustrated edition NIGHT OF CAKE & PUPPETS, a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy is brought to life: the magical first date of Zuzana and Mik. This is the perfect love story for fans of the series and new readers alike. **********Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her 'rabid fairy', her 'voodoo eyes' are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or 'Violin Boy', her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to meet him, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It's a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter's night before finally leading him to the treasure: herself!Violin Boy's not going to know what hit him.**********'WOW. I wish I had written this book.' Patrick Rothfuss on DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE

Hodder & Stoughton

The Complete Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy

Laini Taylor
Authors:
Laini Taylor

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy is unbounded by genre but located at a magical crossroads where The Passage meets Philip Pullman and Twilight meets Pan's Labyrinth.Karou is a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague, but she has a second life working as the errand-girl to the creature Brimstone from Elsewhere: a world of gods, chimaeras and seraphims. But her already extraordinary life is pushed into new realms when the door between Earth and Elsewhere begins to close and Karou is thrust into a war that could change both worlds forever.With DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT and DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS in one place you won't have to be 'tearing at your hair and gnashing your teeth waiting for the next installment' (Stephenie Meyer) - step into a world of gods and monsters and be prepared for love, violence and magic aplenty.

Hodder & Stoughton

Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Laini Taylor
Authors:
Laini Taylor

It began with DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONEIt continued with DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHTIt ends with DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERSCommon enemy, common cause.When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.And, perhaps, for themselves. But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.What power can bruise the sky?From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theatre that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

Hodder & Stoughton

Lips Touch

Laini Taylor
Authors:
Laini Taylor
Hodder & Stoughton

Spicy Little Curses Such as These: An eBook Short Story from Lips Touch

Laini Taylor
Authors:
Laini Taylor
Hodder & Stoughton

Days of Blood and Starlight

Laini Taylor
Authors:
Laini Taylor

It began with the breathtaking DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE... This November, the story continues in the astounding, must-read sequel, DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHTOnce upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living - one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers' arms to take their turn in the killing and dying. Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon's secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel - a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness. This was not that world.

Hodder & Stoughton

Goblin Fruit: An eBook short story from Lips Touch

Laini Taylor
Authors:
Laini Taylor

From the author of the astounding must-read novel DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, comes a vividly imaginative short story, GOBLIN FRUIT (from the award-winning short story collection LIPS TOUCH). Kizzy wanted it all so bad her soul leaned half out of her body hungering after it, and that was what drove the goblins wild, her soul hanging out there like an un-tucked shirt.Beware of souls that want too much. Kizzy's family are from the Old Country. They cut the heads off chickens, have anvils in their yard and sing songs in a language that her teachers have never heard of. They believe in talking foxes, witch soldiers and goblins who crave the souls of a particular type of girl. Girls who wish they were prettier, had normal relatives and, most of all, were noticed by the boy they have fallen for at school. Girls like Kizzy...

Hodder & Stoughton

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Laini Taylor
Authors:
Laini Taylor

Caitlin Davies

Caitlin Davies was born in London in 1964. She is the author of five novels and five non-fiction books, and has worked as a teacher and freelance journalist for 25 years. In 1989 she moved to Botswana where she worked for the country's first tabloid newspaper, the Voice, and later as editor of the Okavango Observer. She received a Journalist of the Year award. From 2014-2017 she worked as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Westminster, Harrow, in the faculty of Media, Arts & Design. Caitlindavies.co.uk@CaitlinDavies2

Deon Meyer

Deon Meyer lives near Cape Town in South Africa. His big passions are motorcycling, music, reading, cooking and rugby. In January 2008 he retired from his day job as a consultant on brand strategy for BMW Motorrad, and is now a full time author. Deon Meyer's books have attracted worldwide critical acclaim and a growing international fanbase. Originally written in Afrikaans, they have now been translated into twenty-eight languages.THIRTEEN HOURS was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger and won the Boeke Prize in South Africa - the first time in the prize's 16 year history that a South African book has won. His novels have also won literary prizes in France, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, and the film rights to seven of his novels have been optioned or sold.Deon has also written two television series, and several screenplays for movies. In 2013 he directed one of his original scripts for the feature film The Last Tango.Visit the author's website at www.deonmeyer.com and follow him on Twitter @MeyerDeon

Helena Coggan

Helena Coggan wrote the first draft of her debut novel, The Catalyst, when she was thirteen. It was published two years later and was named as one of 2015's Debuts of the Year by the Guardian and Amazon, and featured by The Sunday Times, the Observer, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Daily Metro, the Sunday Express, Radio 4, NBC, and BBC Breakfast. Up until she started writing it, she spent most of her time waiting for her Hogwarts letter to arrive, or for the Tardis to appear in her garden; she would like to pretend she has stopped doing this now, but doubts she ever will. She lives in London with her parents and sister, and spends most of her time suppressing the thought that she should probably be doing her homework. The Reaction, the sequel to The Catalyst, is her second novel.

Ilka Tampke

Ilka Tampke was awarded a Glenfern Fellowship in 2012. Her short stories and articles have been published in several anthologies. She lives in Woodend, Australia. Her debut novel Skin was published to critical acclaim. Songwoman is her second novel.

Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring out of the window and chewing the end of a pencil. He lives and works in Wales and has a passion for aviation.Visit Jasper's website, www.jasperfforde.com, find him on Facebook, www.facebook.com/jasperffordebooks, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jasperfforde.

Jess Richards

Jess Richards was born in Wales in 1972, and grew up too fast in south west Scotland where she lived with her English parents and three brothers, watching the ferry boats going to and from Northern Ireland. She left home at 17, went over the border to England, and lived for a year in Carlisle, before moving to Devon. She gained a first class degree from Dartington College of Arts when she was 21. After brief stints busking and carrying on in both Leeds and London, she moved to Brighton aged 23 where she has grown up a bit slower, and has lived and worked ever since. Her debut novel, SNAKE ROPES, was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for the Green Carnation Prize.jessrichards.co.uk/www.twitter.com/jessgrr1

Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-four internationally bestselling novels, including My Sister's Keeper, House Rules and The Storyteller, and has also co-written two YA books with her daughter Samantha van Leer, Between the Lines and Off the Page. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and children. Jodi's UK website is www.jodipicoult.co.uk and she can be found on Facebook and Twitter at facebook.com/JodiPicoultUK and twitter.com/jodipicoult. She also has a YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/JodiPicoultOfficial.

John Connolly

John Connolly is author of the Charlie Parker mysteries, The Book of Lost Things, the Samuel Johnson novels for young adults and, with his partner, Jennifer Ridyard, co-author of the Chronicles of the Invaders. John Connolly's debut - EVERY DEAD THING - introduced the character of Private Investigator Charlie Parker, and swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers. All his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He was the winner of the 2016 CWA Short Story Dagger for On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier from NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes Vol 2.In 2007 he was awarded the Irish Post Award for Literature. He was the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award and the first Irish writer to win an Edgar award. BOOKS TO DIE FOR, which he edited with Declan Burke, was the winner of the 2013 Anthony, Agatha and Macavity awards for Best Non-Fiction work.

Laini Taylor

Hi! I write fantasy books. My latest is STRANGE THE DREAMER, about a young librarian, a mythic lost city, and the half-human children of murdered gods. Check it out :-) Before that I wrote the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE trilogy, which has been translated into 32 languages. It's about a blue-haired art student raised by monsters, a broken angel, and a war that has raged for 1000 years in another world. I also wrote LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES, which was a National Book Award finalist, and the DREAMDARK books. As well as various short stories and novellas. Thanks for reading!! www.lainitaylor.com; @lainitaylor

Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver captivated readers with her achingly beautiful first novel, BEFORE I FALL. She followed that up with her bestselling young adult Delirium Trilogy and three adult novels. Her newest book, REPLICA, is out in late 2016.She is also the author of three novels for young readers, including the CURIOSITY HOUSE series. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.Find more information at www.laurenoliverbooks.com, or connect with Lauren on Twitter (/OliverBooks) and on Facebook (/laurenoliverbooks).

Lisa Jackson

LISA JACKSON is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than seventy-five novels, including Ready to Die, Afraid to Die, You Don't Want to Know, Running Scared, Without Mercy, Malice and Shiver. She has over twenty million copies of her books in print in nineteen languages. She lives with her family and a rambunctious pug in the Pacific Northwest. Find out more atwww.lisajackson.comwww.facebook.com/lisajacksonfanswww.twitter.com/readlisajackson

Mandasue Heller

Mandasue Heller was born in Cheshire and moved to Manchester in 1982. She spent ten years living in the notorious Hulme Crescents which have since become the background to her novels. Not only is she a talented writer, but she has also sung in cabaret and rock groups, seventies soul cover bands and blues jam bands.www.facebook.com/mandasue.hellerwww.twitter.com/mandasueheller