Related to: 'One Hundred Answers from Spirit'

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.

Coronet

Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Gordon Smith
Authors:
Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith is the medium's medium who outstanding gifts are recognised by prominent sceptics and which have been tested in laboratory conditions at Glasgow University, with astonishing results.But usually when we try to assess the claims of psychics and mediums or evidence of supernatural phenomena we are examining events taking place outside the controlled conditions of the scientific laboratory. In this new book Gordon Smith argues that most suitable standards we can apply when trying to decide whether or not it is reasonable to believe such claims are the same standards we usually use to assess disputes in human affairs - the standards of the law court.As a leading medium Gordon Smith is part of an 'apostolic succession' of mediums that goes back through famous mediums like Albert Best, Helen Duncan and DD Hume to the start of Spiritualism modern times in American in the mid nineteenth century. In this book he examines the historical evidence, admitting fraud where he finds it, but showing that great weight of testimony proves the reality of these supernatural and spiritual phenomena 'beyond reasonable doubt'.As leading barrister Maria Ahern writes in her foreword: 'I have assessed the evidence in this book. Just as I would in a trial. There is credible evidence from various unconnected sources all giving evidence that points the same way. The evidence has been collated by a credible source; Gordon Smith is widely acknowledged as a gifted medium and has provided many with evidence of one of life's great unanswered questions'. She advises the reader: 'Look at the evidence, assess it fairly, allow for any sensible and appropriate doubt and reach your verdict'.

Coronet

The Best of Both Worlds

Gordon Smith
Authors:
Gordon Smith

The Best of Both Worlds is the true story of how childhood misery and trauma helped Gordon Smith discover a gift that has helped many people throughout the world. He has helped those who are in mourning come to terms with death and bereavement by working as a medium to put people in touch with their loved ones who have passed over.Gordon held off telling the story of his discovery of spiritual powers, as he believed his mother would have hated people knowing the poverty they came from or the abuse that her son suffered. After her death, Gordon decided it was time to tell his incredible story from humble beginnings all the way to becoming an internationally praised medium working for some of the most famous and powerful people in the world.His previous volume of memoirs Spirit Messenger was a massive bestseller but only now is he able to tell the unvarnished astonishing truth.

Alister McGrath

Alister McGrath is the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University, and Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford. After initial academic work in the natural sciences, Alister turned to the study of theology and intellectual history, while occasionally becoming engaged in broader cultural debates about the rationality and relevance of the Christian faith. He is the author of many academic and theological works, as well as the bestselling The Dawkins Delusion and, most recently, his acclaimed C. S. Lewis - A Life.

Annie Kagan

Annie Kagan began writing songs at the age of fourteen. At fifteen she was signed by a producer from Columbia Records. At sixteen she was performing in New York City cafes and clubs. After ten years as a songwriter and performer Annie returned to college, graduating with honours and became a Doctor of Chiropractic with a successful private practice on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Attracted to Eastern spiritual traditions, Annie studied yoga and pursued an intense meditation practice. Following her inner voice, she left her career as a doctor and abandoned her hectic city life in search of serenity in a small house by the bay on the tip of Long Island.Annie returned to songwriting, collaborating with Grammy and Emmy award-winning producer Brian Keane. Brian's high regard for her lyrcis inspired Annie to join a writers' workshop. While Annie was writing her first novel, her brother Billy died unexpectedly and began speaking to her from the afterlife.She is excited to bring together her talents as a lyricist, performer and healer in order to touch the lives of others with Billy's communications from the other side.

Colleen Houck

Formerly a student at the University of Arizona Colleen Houck has worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years. Tiger`s Curse is her first book, which has already received literary praise and digital success. Her self-published eBook claimed the no.1 spot on Kindle`s children`s best-seller list for seven weeks. She lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a white stuffed tiger. Find out more on www.tigerscurse.com and connect with Colleen on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ColleenHouck.

David Mitchell

Born in 1969, David Mitchell grew up in Worcestershire. After graduating from Kent University, he taught English in Japan, where he wrote his first novel, Ghostwritten. Published in 1999, it was awarded the Mail on Sunday John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, number9dream, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and in 2003, David Mitchell was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. His third novel, Cloud Atlas, was shortlisted for six awards including the Man Booker Prize, and adapted for film in 2012. It was followed by Black Swan Green, shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which was a No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller. Both were also longlisted for the Booker. In 2013, The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice From the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida was published in a translation from the Japanese by David Mitchell and KA Yoshida. It was an immediate bestseller in the UK and later in the US as well.

Glennon Doyle

GLENNON DOYLE is the author of the New York Times bestseller Carry On, Warrior and the founder of the online community Momastery, where she reaches more than one million people each day. She is also the creator and president of Together Rising a non-profit organization that has raised over four million dollars for families around the world through its Love Flash Mobs, which have revolutionized online giving. Glennon is a sought-after public speaker and her work has been featured on The TODAY Show, The Talk, OWN, NPR, and in The New York Times, Glamour, Newsweek,the Huffington Post, and in other television and print outlets. Glennon lives in Florida.momastery.comtwitter.com/Momasteryfacebook.com/glennondoyleinstagram.com/glennondoyle

Graham Hancock

As East Africa correspondent of The Economist in the early eighties Graham Hancock began to write a series of highly acclaimed books on economics, politics and foreign aid. His life took a whole new turn when he became fascinated by rumours that the Ark of the Covenant is real artefact, hidden somewhere in northern Africa. The story of his detective work, tracking it down to its supposed final resting place became the international bestseller The Sign and the Seal (now in production as a feature film.) More bestsellers in the field of 'alternative history' followed, including Fingerprints of the Gods, Keeper of Genesis (the latter co-authored with Robert Bauval) and Heaven's Mirror. In Supernatural he described his experiences journeying to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs amongst tribes people for whom they represent a gateway into supernatural realms. His ideas on exploring new dimensions in consciousness became the subject of his controversial TED talks.Graham Hancock's books have been translated into twenty-seven languages and have sold over nine million copies worldwide. His public lectures and broadcasts, including two major TV series for Channel 4, Quest for the Lost Civilisation, and Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age, have further established his reputation as an unconventional thinker who raises controversial questions about humanity`s past.

Jake Arnott

Jake Arnott was born in 1961, and lives in London. He is the author of THE LONG FIRM, published by Sceptre in 1999 and subsequently made into an acclaimed BBC TV series. His second novel, HE KILLS COPPERS, was also made into a series by Channel 4. He has since published the novels TRUECRIME, JOHNNY COME HOME, THE DEVIL'S PAINTBRUSH and THE HOUSE OF RUMOUR.

Jeremy Howick

An Oxford researcher with over 75 publications and a classic textbook, Jeremy Howick is well qualified to write Doctor You. A world-renowned placebo researcher and his work has been featured in The Times and The Washington Post, as well as on Sky News, and the BBC.

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.

Karen Robards

Karen Robards is the internationally bestselling author of over forty romantic suspense novels, which have regularly appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists, among others. She is the mother of three boys and lives with her family in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.You can find out more at www.karenrobards.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorKarenRobards or follow her on Twitter @TheKarenRobards.

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 latest book, RINGER, was published in 2016. Her new novel BROKEN THINGS will be published October 2017. 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

Lorna Byrne

Lorna Byrne has been seeing and talking to angels since she was a baby. Now that her family is raised she talks openly about what she has learned. She lives quietly in rural Ireland. She is the author of the international bestsellers Angels in My Hair, Stairways to Heaven, A Message of Hope from the Angels and Love From Heaven. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. For more information, visit www.lornabyrne.com or follow Lorna on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lornabyrneangels

Marian Green

Marian Green (born 1944) is a British author who has been working in the fields of magic, witchcraft and the Western Mysteries since the early 1960s. She founded and continued to organise the Quest Conference held every year in the UK and has edited the magazine Quest since founding it in 1970. She created the Green Circle, a network of magicians and pagans in 1982.She was previously a council member of the Pagan Federation and the editor of Pagan Dawn.Green runs residential and non-residential weekends and correspondence courses through the Invisible College, which she founded. She is the author of over 20 books. Her manuals are widely used in the witchcraft community.

Michele Guinness

Michele Guinness is a well-known speaker and the bestselling author of The Guinness Spirit, Is God Good for Women?, Autumn Leave and, most recently, Archbishop. She worked for many years as a broadcast journalist, then in PR for the NHS, eventually heading up NHS communications for Cumbria and Lancashire. She is now retired with two children and three grandchildren, and divides her time between Kent and France with her husband, Canon Peter Guinness.

Pamela Young

Pamela Young is a retired social worker. She grew up in north-west England and still lives there with her husband Simon. Pamela has three granddaughters and spends a lot of time with her family. In her spare time she enjoys visiting sacred places and going on spiritual pilgrimages. She also likes walking, reading and meditating. Hope Street is her first book.

Peter Stanford

Peter Stanford's previous investigations into the history, theology, enduring appeal and cultural significance of religious ideas include Martin Luther: Catholic Dissident; Judas: The Troubling History of the Renegade Apostle; The Devil - A Biography; Heaven - A Traveller's Guide to the Undiscovered Country; and The She-Pope, an investigation of the Pope Joan legend. His other books include biographies of Bronwen Astor, Lord Longford and the Poet Laureate, C Day-Lewis, plus the polemical Catholics and Sex that became an award-winning Channel 4 series in 1992. He is a senior features writer at the Daily and Sunday Telegraph titles, and contributes to the Independent, the Observer, the Daily Mail and the Catholic weekly, the Tablet, where he is a columnist. He has presented programmes on BBC 1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, as well as BBC Radios 2 and 4 and the BBC World Service.