Related to: 'My Dear Child'

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 Mind Connection

Joyce Meyer
Authors:
Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer, #1 New York Times bestselling author, explores the power of positive thinking and the undeniable connection between the mind, mouth, moods and attitudes.Are your thoughts random and meaningless, or do they affect your life in ways you have not yet understood? In THE MIND CONNECTION, Joyce Meyer explains that the quality of your thoughts directly affects your quality of life. What you think impacts your words, attitude, decisions and emotions. It's all connected: thoughts affect your entire life by influencing how you relate to yourself, other people and to God. Joyce expands on the wisdom of her bestsellers Battlefield of the Mind and Power Thoughts to show you how to develop and maintain the right mental position - no matter what you face. Through practical advice and Scriptural insights, she'll help you think with purpose and gain the confidence to claim the life you were meant to lead. (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Hodder & Stoughton

You Can Begin Again

Joyce Meyer
Authors:
Joyce Meyer

It's never too late for grace. Look closely enough and you'll see that theme all through the Bible. Page after page, story after story--God delights in turning tragic endings into new beginnings. The barren give birth, doubters become deliverers, and harlots are recast as heroes. In every biblical fresh start, we are reminded that with God, new beginnings aren't the exception; they're the rule.Using a blend of inspiring stories, Scriptural principles, and straight-talk, in You Can Begin Again, Joyce Meyer powerfully demonstrates that God isn't done with you yet. If you're stuck in a rut, disappointed by an outcome, hurting from a wound, failing in an endeavour, struggling in a relationship, or unsure about the future . . . don't give up. Don't give up on yourself, and don't give up on the God who loves you. If you thought it was too late, it's not. With God you can begin again.

Adrian Plass

Adrian Plass is one of the most-loved Christian writers in the UK. He is the bestselling author of The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37¾ - which with its various sequels has sold millions of copies around the world. A somewhat bemused Anglican, Adrian and his wife Bridget live in the north of England travel widely to speak in churches, prisons, schools, and at festivals and literary events in the UK and around the world.

Andrew Michael Hurley

Andrew Michael Hurley is based in Lancashire. His first novel, The Loney, was originally published by Tartarus Press as a 300-copy limited edition, before being republished by John Murray. It went on to sell in twenty languages, win the Costa Best First Novel Award and the Book of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards. Devil's Day, his second novel, was picked as a Book of the Year in five newspapers, and won the Encore Award.

B.K.S. Iyengar

B.K.S. Iyengar was a living legend who taught yoga in unique way to all his students. His style of yoga is called 'Iyengar Yoga' and is now being followed by certified teachers across the world.

Brian D. McLaren

Brian McLaren is a bestselling author, internationally acclaimed speaker and outspoken advocate for 'a new kind of Christianity'. Named one of Time magazine's 25 most influential Evangelical Christians, McLaren was a pastor for over 20 years. He is a frequent guest on radio and television programmes, and an in-demand blogger on faith and public policy (brianmclaren.net). @brianmclaren

Dan Harris

Dan Harris is an Emmy Award-winning anchor and correspondent for ABC News. He is also the host of the 10% Happier podcast and the cofounder of the 10% Happier meditation app. He lives in New York City with his wife, Bianca; their Son, Alexander; and three extremely needy rescue cats.

Gavin Extence

Gavin Extence lives in Sheffield with his wife and children. He has written two previous novels, the Richard and Judy bestseller, THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS and THE MIRROR WORLD OF MELODY BLACK, which was described as 'a cross between Bridget Jones' Diary and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' by a Simon Mayo Book Club reviewer.

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.

Krish Kandiah

Krish Kandiah is Founder and Director of the adoption and fostering charity Home for Good and an Ambassador for the relief charity Tearfund. He is in demand as a speaker, consultant and social entrepreneur. He lives with his wife and seven children, including fostered and adopted children, in Oxfordshire, UK.

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

Martin Manser

Martin Manser is a professional reference-book editor. He is also a language consultant with national companies and organizations. Martin is Part-time tutor at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London and Part-time visiting lecturer at Buckinghamshire New University.

Neale Donald Walsch

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual thinker whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous With God series that has been translated into 34 languages, and has been a bestseller for Hodder since publishing the first back in 1997.Each of the Conversations with God books have made the New York Times Bestseller list, the original Conversations with God occupying that list for over two and half years. In response to this, Neale created the Conversations with God Foundation, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to inspiring the world to help itself move from violence to peace, from confusion to clarity, and from anger to love.His latest book When Everything Changes, Change Everything is in the New York Times Bestsller list and made the Amazon Top 10 in its first week of publication. A timely book, and immediately useful, Neale discusses the practical applications of God-inspired insights on the way to move on and the right reasons to do so. In the current glocal climate, this is the perfect book for anyone who feels challenged in these tough times.Married to his wife Nancy, Neale lives on a retreat site in the woods of Southern Oregon, USA.

New International Version

The New International Version is the world's most popular modern English Bible translation. Developed by Biblica, formerly the International Bible Society, the New International Version is the result of years of work by the Committee on Bible Translation, overseeing the efforts of many contributing scholars. The translators are drawn from a wide range of denominations and from various countries and they continually review new research in order to ensure the NIV remains at the forefront of accessibility, relevance and authority.www.hodderbibles.co.uk www.facebook.com/NIVBibles

Nicky Gumbel

Nicky Gumbel is the pioneer of Alpha. Alpha is an international organisation that runs the Alpha Course which is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Nicky read law at Cambridge and theology at Oxford, practised as a barrister and is now vicar of HTB in London.@nickygumbel

Richard Carlson

The late Richard Carlson, PhD, was the author of the internationally bestselling Don't Sweat the Small Stuff series. He lived with his wife and two children in northern California until his tragic death in December 2006.

Rupert Sheldrake

Dr Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than eighty technical papers and ten books, including A New Science of Life. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, where he was Director of Studies in cell biology, and was also a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. From 2005-2010 he was the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project for research on unexplained human abilities, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge. He is currently a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California, and a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut. He is married, has two sons and lives in London. Follow Rupert on Twitter @RupertSheldrake. His web site is www.sheldrake.org

Timothy Keller

Timothy Keller was born in Pennsylvania and educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. He became a Christian at university, was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in America and worked as a pastor for nine years.He was asked to start Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan in 1989, and under his leadership the church's congregation experienced unprecedented growth from 50 to 5,000 members. His target audience consists mainly of urban professionals, whom he believes exhibit disproportionate influence over the culture and its ideas.The 'Influentials' Issue of New York Magazine featured Dr. Keller as "the most successful Christian evangelist in the city by recognizing that young professionals and artists are 'disproportionately influential' in creating the country's culture and that you have to meet this coveted demographic on its own terms."Timothy Keller is renowned for his clear, reasoned approach to Christian apologetics and his book THE REASON FOR GOD: BELIEF IN AN AGE OF SCEPTICISM was named Book of the Year for 2008 by World Magazine.Timothy Keller lives in New York City with his wife Kathy and sons David, Michael and Jonathan.

Walter Brueggemann

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. Widely considered one of the most influential Bible interpreters of our time, he is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and the author of dozens of books, including Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now, The Prophetic Imagination and The Message of the Psalms.

Wm Paul Young

Wm Paul Young was born a Canadian and raised among a technologically stone-age tribe by his missionary parents in the highlands of what was then New Guinea. He suffered great loss as a child and young adult, and now enjoys the 'wastefulness of grace' with his family in the Pacific Northwest.Paul wrote the first version of THE SHACK many years ago when his children were small. He wanted them to understand God's grace, and that his concern and love for our wellbeing is constant. Over the years THE SHACK has grown, developed and through many different versions turned into the great success it is today.