Related to: 'Wounds of Honour: Empire I'

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

The Scorpion's Strike: Empire X

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches
Hodder Paperbacks

Onslaught: The Centurions II

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

The author of the bestselling Empire sequence continues his new trilogy: the epic story of the uprising of the Batavi in AD 69.'A master of the genre' - The TimesAD 69: The Rhine frontier has exploded into bloody rebellion, and four centurions who once fought in the same army find themselves on opposite sides of a vicious insurrection. The rebel leader Kivilaz and his Batavi rebels have humbled the Romans in a battle they should have won. The legions must now defend their northern stronghold, the Old Camp, from the enraged tribes of Germany, knowing that they cannot be relieved until the civil war raging to the south has been resolved. Can they defend the undermanned fortress against thousands of barbarian warriors intoxicated by a charismatic priestess's vision of victory?

Hodder & Stoughton

Retribution: The Centurions III

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

The action-filled climax of the epic story of the Batavi uprising in AD 69, from the author of the bestselling Empire series. 'A masterclass in military historical fiction' - Sunday ExpressVictory is in sight for Kivilaz and his Batavi army. The Roman army clings desperately to its remaining fortresses along the Rhine, its legions riven by dissent and mutiny, and once-loyal allies of Rome are beginning to imagine the unimaginable: freedom from the rulers who have dominated them since the time of Caesar. The four centurions - two Batavi and two Roman, men who were once comrades in arms - must find their destiny in a maze of loyalties and threats, as the blood tide of war ebbs and flows across Germania and Gaul. For Rome does not give up its territory lightly. And a new emperor knows that he cannot tolerate any threat to his undisputed power. It can only be a matter of time before Vespasian sends his legions north to exact the empire's retribution.

Hodder Paperbacks

Betrayal: The Centurions I

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

AD 69: The Rhine frontier has exploded into bloody rebellion, and four centurions who once fought in the same army find themselves on opposite sides of a vicious insurrection.The rebel leader Kivilaz and his Batavi rebels have humbled the Romans in a battle they should have won. The legions must now defend their northern stronghold, the Old Camp, from the enraged tribes of Germany, knowing that they cannot be relieved until the civil war raging to the south has been resolved. Can they defend the undermanned fortress against thousands of barbarian warriors intoxicated by a charismatic priestess's vision of victory?

Hodder & Stoughton

The Empire Collection Volume III

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

The most recent three novels in Anthony Riches' thrilling EMPIRE series, including The Emperor's Blood, Thunder of the Gods, Altar of Blood, now available in one page-turning collection.The Emperor's Blood (VII)Centurion Marcus Aquila is back in Rome, hunting the men who destroyed his family. But the urge to exact his own brutal justice upon the shadowy cabal of assassins who butchered his family means that he must face them on their own ground, risking his own death at their hands. A senator, a gang boss, a praetorian officer and, deadliest of all, champion gladiator Mortiferum - the Death Bringer - lie in wait.Thunder of the Gods (VIII)With Rome no longer safe, Marcus and his Tungrian legion are ordered east to the desolate border lands where Rome and Parthia have vied for supremacy for centuries. Ordered to relieve the siege of an isolated fortress, their task is doomed to bloody failure unless they can turn the disaffected Third Legion into a fighting force capable of resisting the terrifying Parthian cataphracts. And Marcus must travel to the enemy capital Ctesiphon on a desperate mission, the only man who can persuade the King of Kings to halt a war that threatens the humiliation of the empire and the slaughter of his friends.Altar of Blood (IX)Ordered to cross the river Rhenus into barbarian Germany and capture a tribal priestess who may be the most dangerous person on the empire's northern border, the Tungrians are soon subject to the machinations of an old enemy who will stop at nothing to sabotage their plans before they have even set foot on the river's eastern bank. With two of the Bructeri tribe's greatest treasures in their hands, they must regain Roman territory by crossing the unforgiving wilderness that was the graveyard of Roman imperial strategy two hundred years before.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Empire Collection Volume I

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches
Hodder & Stoughton

The Empire Collection Volume II

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

The EMPIRE sequence continues with books IV-VI in Anthony Riches' bestselling series, available in a page-turning collection, including The Leopard Sword, The Wolf's Gold and The Eagle's Vengeance.The Leopard SwordThe Roman agents who nearly captured Marcus Aquila have been defeated by his friends. But to protect those friends from the wrath of the emperor, he must leave the province which has given him shelter. As centurion of the second Tungrians, he leads his men from Hadrian's Wall to the Tungrians' original home. There he finds a different world from the turbulent British frontier - but one with its own dangers. A bandit chieftain is robbing with impunity. And now he threatens to destabilize the whole northern frontier of the empire.The Wolf's GoldMarcus Aquila and the Tungrians have been sent to Dacia with the mission to safeguard a major source of imperial power. The mines contain enough gold to pave the road to Rome. They would make a mighty prize for the Sarmatae tribesmen who threaten the province, and the outnumbered auxiliaries are entrusted with their safety in the face of an invasion. The Tungrians will have to fight to the death to save the honour of the empire - and themselves.The Eagle's VengeanceThe Tungrians return to Hadrian's Wall to find chaos, with the legions overstretched, struggling to man the northern frontier. The Tungrians are sent into the northern wastes, where a lost symbol of imperial power of the Sixth Legion awaits them. Protected by an impassable swamp, the eagle of the Sixth legion must be recovered if the legion is to survive. Marcus and his men must penetrate the heart of the enemy's strength, if they are to rescue the legion's venerated standard. If successful their escape will be twice as perilous...

Hodder & Stoughton

Altar of Blood: Empire IX

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

'A master of the genre' The TimesThe ninth novel in the thrilling Empire sequence leads Centurion Marcus Aquila and the Tungrians to the battlefield that was one of Rome's most disastrous defeats.The Tungrians have no sooner returned to Rome than they find themselves tasked with a very different mission to their desperate exploits in Parthia. Ordered to cross the river Rhenus into barbarian Germany and capture a tribal priestess who may be the most dangerous person on the empire's northern border, they are soon subject to the machinations of an old enemy who will stop at nothing to sabotage their plans before they have even set foot on the river's eastern bank. But after their Roman enemy is neutralised they face a challenge greater still. With two of the Bructeri tribe's greatest treasures in their hands they must regain Roman territory by crossing the unforgiving wilderness that was the graveyard of Roman imperial strategy two hundred years before. And capture by the Bructeri's vengeful chieftain and his warband can only end in one way - a horrific sacrificial death on the tribe's altar of blood.

Hodder & Stoughton

Thunder of the Gods: Empire VIII

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

'A master of the genre' The TimesThe eighth book in the Empire sequence takes Centurion Marcus Aquila and his Tungrian legion on a dangerous mission to the heart of the Parthian empire.With Rome no longer safe Marcus and the Tungrians are ordered east, to the desolate border lands where Rome and Parthia have vied for supremacy for centuries.Ordered to relieve the siege of an isolated fortress, their task is doomed to bloody failure unless they can turn the disaffected Third Legion into a fighting force capable of resisting the terrifying Parthian cataphracts.And Marcus must travel to the enemy capital Ctesiphon on a desperate mission, the only man who can persuade the King of Kings to halt a war that threatens the humiliation of the empire and the slaughter of his friends.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Emperor's Knives: Empire VII

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

The seventh novel in Anthony Riches' acclaimed Empire sequence brings Marcus Aquila back to Rome, hunting the men who destroyed his family. But the revenge he craves may cost him and those around him dearly.The young centurion's urge to exact his own brutal justice upon the shadowy cabal of assassins who butchered his family means that he must face them on their own ground, risking his own death at their hands.A senator, a gang boss, a praetorian officer and, deadliest of all, champion gladiator Mortiferum - the Death Bringer - lie in wait. The knives are unsheathed, and ready for blood . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

The Wolf's Gold: Empire V

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

'A master of the genre' The TimesFresh from their victory in Germania, Marcus Aquila and the Tungrians have been sent to Dacia, on the north-eastern edge of the Roman Empire, with the mission to safeguard a major source of imperial power. The mines of Alburnus Major contain enough gold to pave the road to Rome. They would make a mighty prize for the marauding Sarmatae tribesmen who threaten the province, and the outnumbered auxiliaries are entrusted with their safety in the face of a barbarian invasion. Beset by both the Sarmatian horde and more subtle threats offered by men who should be their comrades, the Tungrians must also come to terms with the danger posed by a new and unexpected enemy. They will have to fight to the death to save the honour of the empire - and their own skins.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Eagle's Vengeance: Empire VI

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches
Hodder Paperbacks

The Leopard Sword: Empire IV

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches
Hodder & Stoughton

Fortress of Spears: Empire III

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

In the enthralling third volume of Empire, Anthony Riches takes the legions deep into north Britannia, where the survivors of the rebellion still hope for revenge.'A master of the genre' The TimesThe Romans have vanquished the rebel alliance, leaving Calgus, Lord of the Northern Tribes, the prisoner of the chieftains he once led. But the new Roman leader will not let them rest. He forms an audacious plan to capture Dinpaladyr, the Selgovaes' fortress of spears, and return it to the hands of a trusted ally. Marcus Aquila - burning for revenge on an enemy army that has killed one of his best friends - is part of the select group of infantry chosen to go north with the Petriana cavalry and take the fort before the rebel army can reach it. He believes his disguise as Centurion Corvus of the 2nd Tungrians is still holding. But he is just a few days ahead of two of the emperor's agents, sent from Rome to kill him. Pitiless assassins who know his real name, and too much about his friends.

Hodder Paperbacks

Arrows of Fury: Empire II

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

'A master of the genre' The TimesThe Battle of the Lost Eagle saved Hadrian's Wall, but the new Roman governor of Britannia must stamp out the rebellion of the northern tribes or risk losing the province. Rampaging south with sword and flame under the command of their murderous chieftain Calgus, they have stretched his forces to the limit.For Marcus - now simply Centurion Corvus of the 1st Tungrian cohort - the campaign has become doubly dangerous. As reinforcements flood into Britannia he is surrounded by new officers with no reason to protect him from the emperor's henchmen. Death could result from a careless word as easily as from an enemy spearWorse, one of them is close on his heels. While Marcus is training two centuries of Syrian archers to survive a barbarian charge and then take the fight back to their enemy, the new prefect of the 2nd Tungrians has discovered his secret. Only a miracle can save Marcus and the men who protect him from disgrace and death . . .Anthony Riches once again brings meticulous research together with brilliant storytelling to capture the authentic feel of what life was like for the Roman Army in a brutal war with a remorseless enemy.

Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller's first novel, Ingenious Pain, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and greeted as the debut of an outstanding new writer. It won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour Prize for the best foreign novel published in Italy.It has been followed by Casanova, Oxygen, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award in 2001, The Optimists, One Morning Like A Bird, Pure, which won the Costa Book of the Year Award 2011, and The Crossing.Andrew Miller's novels have been published in translation in twenty countries. Born in Bristol in 1960, he currently lives in Somerset.

Anna Jacobs

Anna Jacobs grew up in Lancashire and emigrated to Australia, but still visits the UK regularly to see her family and do research, something she loves. She is addicted to writing and figures she'll have to live to be 120 at least to tell all the stories that keep popping up in her imagination and nagging her to write them down. She's also addicted to her own hero, to whom she's been happily married for many years.She is the bestselling author of over eighty novels and has been shortlisted for several awards, and Pride of Lancashire won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2006.You can find out more on her website, www.annajacobs.com or on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Anna.Jacobs.Books.

Anthony Riches

Anthony Riches began his lifelong interest in war and soldiers when he first heard his father's stories about World War II. This led to a degree in Military Studies at Manchester University. He began writing the story that would become Wounds of Honour after a visit to Housesteads in 1996. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and three children.www.anthonyriches.comwww.twitter.com/AnthonyRiches

Carrie Snyder

Carrie Snyder is the author of two books of short fiction. Her second, The Juliet Stories, soon to be published by Two Roads, was a finalist for Canada's Governor General's Award and a Globe and Mail Top 100 book. Girl Runner, her debut novel, has been shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. Carrie lives in Waterloo, Ontario with her family and blogs as Obscure CanLit Mama. carriesnyder.com twitter.com/carrieasnyder facebook.com/carriesnyderauthor

Charles Frazier

Charles Frazier grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. COLD MOUNTAIN, his highly acclaimed first novel, was an international bestseller, selling over one million copies and winning the National Book Award in 1997. It was the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film directed by Anthony Minghella and starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Renee Zellweger.A second novel, THIRTEEN MOONS, was published by Sceptre in 2006 and NIGHTWOODS, Charles' latest novel set in a lakeside town in 1960s North Carolina, was published in September 2011. To find out more, visit Charles' Facebook page www.facebook.com/CharlesFrazierAuthor or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Charles_Frazier.