Related to: 'The Journeyman Tailor'

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 Paperbacks

In Honour Bound

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Barney Crispin, a Captain in the SAS, is as tough as they come. He is sent on an urgent mission to the Afghanistan border: to destroy one of the Soviet Mi-24 helicopters, a highly sophisticated and virtually invulnerable piece of military equipment, and retrieve the hardware. In order to do so, he needs the help of the Mujahidin resistance and must first train them in the ways of stealth and sabotage.But the guerillas he trains are ill-equipped and disorganised. Their attempt fails and several of them are killed in the process. Against orders and with only eight missiles and a local boy as his guide, Barney decides to undertake the mission alone, his own solitary battle for vengeance...

Hodder & Stoughton

A Line in the Sand

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder Paperbacks

Traitor's Kiss

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder & Stoughton

Rat Run

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder & Stoughton

The Glory Boys

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder Paperbacks

The Contract

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder Paperbacks

Archangel

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder & Stoughton

Home Run

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder & Stoughton

The Untouchable

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Albert Packer is the supreme baron of London crime, ruling his domain with a ruthless fist and thinking of himself as the Untouchable. As yet another criminal case against him collapses, Packer turns his attention to expanding his heroin empire abroad, deciding to travel to Sarajevo himself in order to cut out the middle man. But the Customs & Excise unit tasked with taking him down are determined not to give up. Packer may be king on his home turf, but on the war-torn streets of a city where justice is enforced by gangster warlords, he might just make a mistake. And Joey Cann, obsessed with bringing Packer to justice, will be there when he does.

Hodder & Stoughton

Red Fox

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Beautiful seductive and extremely dangerous Franca Tantardini is one of Italy's most ruthless political extremists. When she is captured in a shoot-out her fanatical young lover Giancarlo Battestini vows to set her free and with quiet watchfulness waits for the moment to strike.In Rome a British businessman Geoffery Harrison has been taken hostage by a ruthless organised crime syndicate - kidnap is after all a growth industry. The British Government are adamant that they will not pay the two-million-dollar ransom and discharge responsibility to the Italian police. As political wrangling takes hold Battestini sees a weakness and realises that the only way to secure the release of his beloved Franca is to capture Harrison and bargain his life for hers.The authorities are confronted with a terrible choice. Should they release a woman who has masterminded the murder of so many or let an innocent man die?

Hodder Paperbacks

At Close Quarters

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Peter Holt, a young diplomat, witnesses the horrific murder of his fiance and the British Ambassador within days of a new posting to the Soviet Union. The report of the murder lands on the desk of a British Intelligence officer who suspects Palestinian involvement, althought the Russians insist that it was not a terrorist attack.The British government are determined to extract revenge and Holt is the only man able to identify the assassin. He is sent to the Lebanon and the perilous Beqa'a Valley, which serves as a stronghold for the most extreme guerilla groups. Unauthorised access to the valley is virtually impossible, and capture by the Syrian Army would result in torture and death. His only company is Noah Crane, an Israeli expert sniper, who acts as his mentor and guide. But when Syrian Intelligence learn of their presence, their cover is blown. And now it is too late to turn back.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Heart of Danger

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

A mass grave is uncovered in a devastated Croatian village and the mutilated body of a young Englishwoman Dorrie Mowat is exhumed.Her mother who detested Dorrie when she was alive is determined to find out how her daughter died. But with civil war tearing apart the former Yugoslavia none of the authorities are interested in what they view as a minor war crime. She employs private investigator Bill Penn a former MI5 officer who anticipated a short trip to Zagreb where he will compile a meaningless report and receive a good fee at the end of it. But once he has seen the killing ground Penn becomes determined to find the truth behind the young woman's death.As Penn searches for evidence of war crimes he finds himself pitted against a ruthless opponent who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks...

Hodder & Stoughton

Kingfisher

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder Paperbacks

A Song in the Morning

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder & Stoughton

Killing Ground

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder Paperbacks

Holding The Zero

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Gus Peake should have kept his job and stayed at home, but an old family debt of friendship draws him to the remote wastes of Northern Iraq and to a savage forgotten war between Kurdish guerillas and Saddam Hussein's military strength.To the brutal, no-quarter combat, Peake can bring the skills he has learned as a marksman. But there is no room for mistakes on the field of battle and he must quickly learn to deal out random death at long distance, and help the guerillas to reach their goal, the city of Kirkuk, the old capital of the Kurdish people.From Baghdad, Iraq sends Major Karim Aziz, the most dedicated and professional sniper in Saddam's army. For both men their duel, from which only one can walk away, becomes an obsession. And it will only take one shot, echoing in the mountains and vallegs, to settle the score...

Hodder & Stoughton

Condition Black

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

The Persian Gulf, 1991. Saddam Hussein is determined that Iraq should stop at nothing to arm herself with nuclear warheads.An English scientist, struggling to make ends meet, is seduced into the conspiracy. Meanwhile, young FBI agent Bill Erlich hears that a close friend has been murdered in Athens. Vowing to avenge him at any cost, Erlich uncovers a name: Colt, a dangerous British mercenary now working for the Iraqi government.Unaware that he is the only thing standing in the way of the total collapse of the Middle Eastern military situation, Erlich follows his target to England, where he is faced with one final confrontation.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Fighting Man

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder Paperbacks

The Waiting Time

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

On a winter's night at the height of the Cold War, in a small town on East Germany's coastline, a young man is dragged from the sea and killed by the regmine's secret police. The witnesses are terrorised into silence. But a British woman is present and hears the shot which ended her lover's life.A decade later, times have changed, and old enemies have become new friends. An ex-Captain in the Stasi's Counter Espionage section, Dieter Krause is an honoured guest at the headquarters of British Military Intelligence. He is confident that the skeletons in his past are hidden until...Corporal Tracy Barnes, a clerk, attacks him in the officers' mess. She was there at the scene of the young man's murder ten years before. She knows Krause is responsible. But she can't prove it - she needs the witnesses to talk. To make them do so, she must follow Krause to Germany. For her, the waiting time is finally over...

Hodder & Stoughton

The Unknown Soldier

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Deep in the world's greatest desert, the leadership of Al Qaeda, hunted and pursued, is regrouping to strike again.In this group one man stands out. His loyalty to the cause is total. To look into his face and memorise it is to court death.Searching for him amid the endless dunes are American and British experts in counter-terrorism. But the Outsider is no ordinary prey.If the Outsider is allowed to disappear again, he will re-emerge in a busy western city with a suitcase designed to wreak mass murder on detonation . . .