Related to: 'The Walking Dead'

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

Harry's Game

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
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 Paperbacks

A Line in the Sand

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

In a village on the Suffolk coast, Frank Perry waits for his past to arrive. A decade before he spied for the Government on the Iranian chemical and biological weapon installations. His information damaged their killing capacity for years.Now, Iran will have its revenge and has despatched their most deadly assassin to fulfil the task. Codenamed the Anvil, he will move with stealth towards his chosen objective unless Perry's protectors can reach him first.As he draws nearer, the ring of steel around Perry grows tighter. But against a faceless adversary, and with the job fatally compromised by the stifling political bureaucracy surrounding it, there seems little chance that the past will not have its day once more...

Hodder Paperbacks

The Glory Boys

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

THE TARGET: Israel's leading nuclear scientist, giving a lecture in London. THE ASSASSIN: A Palestinian terrorist, the lone survivor of a three-man hit squad ambushed by Israeli Intelligence in France while on their way to London. THE MERCENARY: Ciaran McCoy, formerly of the IRA, and The Assassin's only contact in London. THE MAVERICK: Jimmy, an alcoholic, over-the-hill MI5 agent assigned to protect the Israeli scientist. Jimmy is arguably the most dangerous of the lot, but only when sober. Will he be able to prevent a brutal killing?

Hodder Paperbacks

The Contract

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Discharged from the British Army in disgrace, Johnny Donoghue is eager to redeem himself. His task is to slip undercover into East Germany and persuade a prominent scientist working on Soviet missile systems to defect.But no one warns Johnny of the dangers involved in crossing the border, nor can he ever imagine the effect the actions of fickle politicians will have on his task. Nothing can prepare Johnny for the impact of the momentous decision the scientist will be forced to make, and no one could have predicted the involvement of the scientist's headstrong daughter . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

Archangel

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

When British Intelligence asks Michael Holly, a mechanical engineer, to run an errand for them in the Soviet Union, the consequences of capture are never mentioned. But what seems a simple handover carries unimaginable risks, and now Holly is facing fifteen years imprisoned in a gulag in the midst of the frozen tundra. Along with his fellow inmates, Holly has to find the strength to fight the camp's brutal regime in any way he can. But Camp 3 is the place where hopes and dreams are brought to die. Against the might of the Soviet state, is Michael Holly strong enough to sustain his will to survive?

Hodder Paperbacks

Home Run

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Mattie Furniss has run British Intelligence agents in Iran from his desk in London for two decades. But when he is ordered to the country himself, it is clear that times are desperate. One of Furniss' key informants and close friends is Charlie Eshraq, a young Iranian whose family was murdered during the revolution. Charlie is determined to avenge their deaths and becomes involved in drug smuggling to fund his campaign. When the daughter of a prominent MP dies from a heroin overdose and the British establishment demands a crackdown on Iranian drug traffickers, Mattie and Charlie suddenly find themselves alone in the spider's web. In a hostile environment where their every move is watched, will they be able to escape alive?

Hodder Paperbacks

The Untouchable

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder & Stoughton

Field of Blood

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Sean McNally swore his oath to the IRA. But then he turned his back on the violence and the hatred and went south to the Republic. Life was good until they came for him to do one last job. But in its aftermath McNally is captured and is facing a lifetime's imprisonment. Unless he dares think the unthinkable . . . and becomes a tout.Lieutenant David Ferris never wanted to join the army but found himself there anyway. In a cruel twist of fate his path crosses that of Sean McNally's and he quickly becomes a pawn on the frontline of a brutally tense war of nerves. As McNally prepares to gives evidence Ferris must confront his own destiny. Not only is his life at stake but also that of the future of the entire command structure of the IRA . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

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 & Stoughton

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 is determined to exact 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 learns 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
Hodder Paperbacks

Kingfisher

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

A group of four students, Ukrainian Jews, are fighting for recognition within the Soviet Union. They are tired of being treated as second-class citizens and are prepared to use violence if necessary. When one of their number is captured after shooting a policeman, they know time is running out. Their only hope is to hijack a plane, fly to the West and then on to Israel.One country after another refuses to let them land, untill the plane finally sets down in Britain, low on fuel. Charlie Webster, an Intelligence officer on the Soviet desk, is brought in to negotiate with the hijackers. But it is unclear whether they are political refugees or dangerous criminals. As the government wavers, the students become increasingly desperate and start to lose patience, and control.

Hodder Paperbacks

A Song in the Morning

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder Paperbacks

The Journeyman Tailor

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

In the villages and on the mountains of County Tyrone, in the heartland of the Provisional IRA's most active Brigade, the golden rule is 'Hear nothing, see nothing, know nothing'. To collaborate with British Intelligence is to invite an inescapable death sentence.But there is word on the mountain that inside the Brigade there is a 'tout', an informer. He will be identified, interrogated, tortured, then hooded and shot.Gary Brennard, the MI5 field agent, and Parker, who runs the informer, have to protect their man at all costs: he is the critical asset to hold on to until the stakes are high enough... and if the innocent step into the crossfire, that's just bad luck.

Hodder Paperbacks

Killing Ground

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

A young English schoolteacher, Charlotte Parsons, is invited to resume her job as nanny to the children of a well-to-do Sicilian family. But this time Charley is the centre figure in a desperate plot by the US Drug Enforcement Agency to trap Mario Ruggerio, would-be head of the Sicilian Mafia, the man who masterminds a multi-billion dollar international drugs trade. Charley is to be the bait in the trap and, in deciding to return to the Ruggerio family in Palermo, is about to enter the killing ground...

Hodder Paperbacks

Holding The Zero

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder Paperbacks

Condition Black

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

It is only month before Saddam Hussein instructs his troops in invade Kuwait, and the Iraqis will stop at nothing to achieve nuclear capability. They are actively targeting scientists from the West who can help them acquire the intelligence they need.When Bill Erlich, a young FBI agent, learns that one of his closest friends has been murdered in Athens, he vows that he will find the killer, even if it means breaking the rules. The man he suspects is a British mercenary known as Colt, who has been working for the Iraqi government, and is as elusive as he is dangerous.Erlich follows Colt to England, where he has been dispatched to recruit a disaffected scientist. Determined to bring Colt to justice at whatever cost, Erlich crosses an invisible line beyond which there is no return...

Hodder Paperbacks

The Fighting Man

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder Paperbacks

The Waiting Time

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour