Related to: 'Tell Me No Secrets'

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.

Mulholland Books

Untitled Julie Corbin 2

Julie Corbin
Authors:
Julie Corbin

Mulholland Books

Her Watchful Eye

Julie Corbin
Authors:
Julie Corbin
Mulholland Books

What Goes Around

Julie Corbin
Authors:
Julie Corbin
Mulholland Books

Now That You're Gone

Julie Corbin
Authors:
Julie Corbin
Hodder Paperbacks

Unspoken

Lisa Jackson
Authors:
Lisa Jackson
Mulholland Books

The Saint in London

Leslie Charteris
Authors:
Leslie Charteris

Three more stories of Saintly adventure show Simon Templar interpreting the law to his own advantage. In The Simon Templar Foundation, a poisonous legacy from his enemy Rayt Marius gives him the opportunity to make a great deal of money - if he can survive equally great danger. The Higher Finance puts him up against the police, a reclusive millionaire, and the wild beast that roams his mansion at night. And in The Art of Alibi, he faces the most impudent opponent of all: someone who is stealing his symbol, and committing crimes in his name.

Mulholland Books

The Saint Intervenes

Leslie Charteris
Authors:
Leslie Charteris
Mulholland Books

The Saint Goes On

Leslie Charteris
Authors:
Leslie Charteris

In these three classic stories, the Saint investigates crimes that have left the police confounded. In The High Fence, he hunts down a villain who somehow manages to kill people just before they can reveal his identity; The Elusive Ellshaw sees him on the track of a man meant to have died a year before; and a letter calling for help sends him to a sleepy seaside pub disturbed by mysterious underground rumblings in The Case of the Frightened Innkeeper. One thing is sure: despite death threats, gunfire and kidnapping, the Saint will go on until his curiosity is satisfied.

Mulholland Books

The Saint in New York

Leslie Charteris
Authors:
Leslie Charteris
Hodder Paperbacks

Shiver

Karen Robards
Authors:
Karen Robards
Hodder Paperbacks

The Night Before

Lisa Jackson
Authors:
Lisa Jackson
Hodder Paperbacks

The Morning After

Lisa Jackson
Authors:
Lisa Jackson
Hodder Paperbacks

Breakdown

Sara Paretsky
Authors:
Sara Paretsky
Hodder Paperbacks

Red, White, and Blood

Christopher Farnsworth
Authors:
Christopher Farnsworth

A political operative and a volunteer are brutally murdered. Written in their blood on the wall of the crime scene: IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK.In 145 years, Nathaniel Cade, the President's vampire, has fought one particular evil over and over again: the source of urban legends and nightmares across the country. It has gone by many names and guises, but is best known by the one that all children instinctively fear: the Boogeyman. No matter how Cade kills him, the Boogeyman always comes back.When the killer begins targeting the president's people on the campaign trail, Cade and his human handler, Zach Barrows, are tasked with cleaning up the mess before it spills over into the upcoming election. Cade and Zach must stop the one monster Cade has never been able to defeat completely. And they must do it before the Boogeyman adds another victim to his long and bloody list: the President of the United States himself.

Hodder Paperbacks

Sleepwalker

Karen Robards
Authors:
Karen Robards
Hodder Paperbacks

Perdition

James Jackson
Authors:
James Jackson

An epic thriller of the Crusaders' valiant last stand in the Holy Land. After two hundred years of Christian domination, it is the turn of the Saracen to seek revenge. In Acre, the defenders await their fate. Knight and bishop, mercenary and merchant, all will be tested and all may perish. No quarter will be given and no mercy shown.William of Beaujeu, Grand Master of the Templars, will stop at nothing to secure the city and preserve his legendary military order. Among the garrison are allies - the adventurer de Flor, Theobald, the young Hospitaller, the court dwarf Amethyst, the camel master Selim and the orphan boy and spy Benedict. But in their midst prowl the feared Assassins and a rabble army of Italians. Deserted by the pope and the princes of Europe, Acre faces annihilation. But can something be salvaged from perdition?

Hodder Paperbacks

You Don't Want to Know

Lisa Jackson
Authors:
Lisa Jackson
Hodder Paperbacks

The Last Victim

Karen Robards
Authors:
Karen Robards

Dr Charlotte Stone sees what others do not.An expert in criminal pathology, Charlie regularly sits face-to-face with madmen. She's been obsessed with learning what makes human monsters commit terrible crimes since she was sixteen, when a man butchered the family of her best friend Holly, then left the girl's body on a seaside boardwalk one week later.Charlie kept quiet about her eerie postmortem visions of Holly and her mother. And even years later, knowing it might undermine her credibility as a psychological expert, she tells no one about the visits she gets from the spirit world.Now all-too-handsome FBI agent Tony Bartoli suspects the Boardwalk Killer is back. A teenage girl is missing, her family slaughtered. With time running short for the innocent girl, Bartoli turns to the only person who could stop this vicious murderer.But Dr. Charlotte Stone sees what others do not. And she sees the Boardwalk Killer coming for her.

Hodder Paperbacks

Do Me No Harm

Julie Corbin
Authors:
Julie Corbin
Hodder & Stoughton

Where the Truth Lies

Julie Corbin
Authors:
Julie Corbin