Related to: 'The Zealot's Bones'

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

The Brighter Buccaneer

Leslie Charteris
Authors:
Leslie Charteris
Mulholland Books

The Saint in London

Leslie Charteris
Authors:
Leslie Charteris
Mulholland Books

The Saint Intervenes

Leslie Charteris
Authors:
Leslie Charteris
Mulholland Books

The Saint in New York

Leslie Charteris
Authors:
Leslie Charteris

In Prohibition-era New York, criminals rule the city: the gangsters do what they like, and pay the judges for the privilege; the few honest cops are helpless; and above them all the Big Fellow pulls the strings. With that many sinners, cleaning up the town will take a Saint...Simon Templar is a long way from home, and facing great danger from directions both expected and entirely unforeseen. But he promised to do the job; and a saint never goes back on his word.

Mulholland Books

The Saint Versus Scotland Yard

Leslie Charteris
Authors:
Leslie Charteris

In these three stories, the Saint finds himself embroiled in further plots and facing new enemies. The Inland Revenue sees him up against the most unyielding opponent ever - the taxman. In The Million Pound Scandal, a good deed leads Simon to uncover a plot to undermine the Italian economy, and in The Melancholy Journey of Mr Teal the Saint's retirement plans are scuppered when a couple of murderous diamond smugglers object to his scheme of taking their loot for his pension.

Mulholland Books

The Saint and Mr Teal

Leslie Charteris
Authors:
Leslie Charteris

Simon Templar is the Saint - daring, dazzling, and just a little disreputable. On the side of the law, but standing outside it, he dispenses his own brand of justice one criminal at a time.In Paris, a dying man claims his brother can make gold... a secret that men are prepared to kill for. In London, a small-time American criminal sets up a violent gang, only to learn that there are certain things the Saint will not put up with. And in the Scilly Isles, drug-smuggling, drugged beer and a damsel in distress combine to make for a most unusual holiday for Simon Templar. In these three stories, the Saint needs all his wits to survive - and to stay out of jail.

Hodder Paperbacks

Do Me No Harm

Julie Corbin
Authors:
Julie Corbin

'The taut plot is full of well-timed twists. A solid pyschological thriller.' Independent on Sunday'Creepy and gripping, this pacy read will give you goosebumps!' Closer'[An] intricate story that ticks all the right boxes.' The BookbagFrom the author of WHAT GOES AROUND. A family held together by lies but about to be torn apart by a devastating secret . . . Perfect for fans of Louise Jensen and Jenny Blackhurst.When her teenage son Robbie's drink is spiked, Olivia Somers is devastated. She has spent her adult life trying to protect people and keep them safe - not only as a mother, but also in her chosen profession as a doctor. So she tries to put it down to a horrible accident, in spite of the evidence suggesting malicious intent, and simply hopes no-one tries to endanger those she loves again.But someone from the past is after revenge. Someone closer to her family than she could possibly realise. Someone who will stop at nothing until they get the vengeance they crave. And, as she and her family come under increasing threat, the oath that Olivia took when she first became a doctor - to do no harm to others - will be tested to its very limits.

Don Mann

Don Mann has been associated with the Navy SEALS for the last thirty years, as a platoon member, assault team member, boat crew leader, or advanced training officer. Up until 1998 he was on active duty with SEAL Team 6. Visit his website at www.usfrogmann.com.

Elodie Harper

Elodie Harper is a journalist and prize winning short story writer. Her story 'Wild Swimming' won the 2016 Bazaar of Bad Dreams short story competition, run by The Guardian and Hodder & Stoughton and judged by Stephen King. She is currently a reporter and presenter at ITV News Anglia, and before that worked as a producer for Channel 4 News. She is married with a young son.

Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly is the author of The Poison Tree, The Sick Rose, The Burning Air, The Ties That Bind and Broadchurch: The Novel, inspired by the mega-hit TV series. In 2013, The Poison Tree became a major ITV drama and was a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2011. Born in London in 1976, she lives in north London with her husband and daughters.www.erinkelly.co.ukwww.twitter.com/mserinkellywww.facebook.com/Erin-Kelly-Author

Julie Corbin

Julie Corbin is Scottish and grew up just outside Edinburgh. She has lived in East Sussex for the last twenty-five years and raised her three sons in a village close to the Ashdown Forest. She is trained as a nurse and combines running the medical department in a boarding school with writing novels, short stories and currently a radio play.Her psychological thrillers have been described as 'creepy and gripping' (Closer) and 'remarkably assured... suspenseful narrative' (Daily Mail)She speaks at writing events, book groups and libraries, and runs writing workshops for beginners and more experienced writers.Visit Julie's website at www.juliecorbin.com and follow her on Twitter @Julie_Corbin

Leslie Charteris

Leslie Charteris was born in Singapore and moved to England in 1919. He left Cambridge University early when his first novel was accepted for publication. He wrote novels about the Saint throughout his life, and was one of the 20th century's most prolific and popular authors. He died in 1993.Visit www.lesliecharteris.com for more information.

Marco Vichi

Marco Vichi was born in Florence in 1957. The author of twelve novels and two collections of short stories, he has also edited crime anthologies, written screenplays, music lyrics and for radio, and collaborated on and directed various projects for humanitarian causes.His novel Death in Florence won the Scerbanenco, Rieti, Camaiore and Azzeccagarbugli prizes in Italy. Marco Vichi lives in the Chianti region of Tuscany.You can find out more at www.marcovichi.it.

Meg Hutchinson

Meg Hutchinson lived for sixty years in Wednesbury, where her parents and grandparents spent all their lives. Her passion for storytelling reaped dividends, with her novels regularly appearing in bestseller lists. She was the undisputed queen of the clogs and shawls saga. Passionate about history, her meticulous research provided an authentic context to the action-packed narratives set in the Black Country. She died in February 2010.

Paul Cleave

Paul Cleave is an award-winning author who divides his time between his home city of Christchurch, New Zealand, where all his novels are set, and Europe, where none of his novels are set. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages and have sold over a million copies. He's won the Ngaio Marsh Award three times, the Saint-Maur book festival's crime novel of the year award, has been shortlisted for the Edgar, the Barry and the Ned Kelly Awards. When he's not at home with the stereo cranked up loud and working on his next novel, he can normally be found on a tennis court, a golf course, or throwing a Frisbee somewhere.

Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is the author of numerous New York Times bestselling thrillers. She lives in Arlington, Texas. Visit her website at www.sandrabrown.com and connect with her on Twitter: @SandraBrown_NYT

Sara Paretsky

Sara Paretsky was named 2011 Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. She is the winner of many awards, including the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement from the British Crime Writers' Association and the CWA Gold Dagger for Blacklist. In 2015 she received the Theakstons Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award. She lives on Chicago's south side with her husband.Visit Sara's website, www.saraparetsky.com, find her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SaraParetsky, and follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/SaraParetsky

Sophie Hannah

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling crime fiction writer. Her crime novels have been translated into 34 languages and published in 51 countries. Her psychological thriller The Carrier won the Specsavers National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year in 2013. In 2014 and 2016, Sophie published The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket, the first new Hercule Poirot mysteries since Agatha Christie's death, both of which were national and international bestsellers. Sophie's novels The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives have been adapted for television as Case Sensitive, starring Olivia Williams and Darren Boyd. Sophie is also a bestselling poet who has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE and A-level throughout the UK. Sophie is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. She lives in Cambridge with her husband, two children and dog.

Stephen Leather

Stephen Leather is one of the UK's most successful thriller writers, an ebook and Sunday Times bestseller and author of the critically acclaimed Dan 'Spider' Shepherd series and the Jack Nightingale supernatural detective novels. Before becoming a novelist he was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mirror, the Glasgow Herald, the Daily Mail and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. He is one of the country's most successful ebook authors and his titles have topped the Amazon Kindle charts in the UK and the US. His bestsellers have been translated into fifteen languages and he has also written for television.You can learn more from Stephen's website, www.stephenleather.com, find him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenleather.Stephen also has a website for his Spider Shepherd series, www.danspidershepherd.com, and for his Jack Nightingale series, www.jacknightingale.com.

Tana French

Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the United States and Malawi. She is the author of In the Woods (winner of the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry awards for Best First Novel), The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbour (winner of the LA Times prize for Best Mystery/Thriller) and The Secret Place. She lives in Dublin with her husband and two children. She keeps a website at www.tanafrench.com