Related to: 'Great British Bake Off - Perfect Cakes & Bakes To Make At Home'

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

Great British Bake Off – Bake it Better (No.7): Sweet Bread & Buns

Linda Collister
Authors:
Linda Collister

Bake it Better: Sweet Breads includes everything you need to know about baking delicious sweet bread.Whether you are new to baking and looking for simple, easy recipes or a more confident baker seeking to refine your skills, with The Great British Bake Off you can be sure you're getting scrumptious and tried-and-tested recipes.The recipes themselves include classics and modern bakes, from simple to more challenging showstoppers -Bake it Better will take you a journey from first timer to star baker. There are expert tips about ingredients, equipment and techniques, with easy-to-follow step-by-step photographs.The Great British Bake Off: Bake It Better are the 'go to' cookery books which gives you all the recipes and baking know-how in one easy-to-navigate series.

Hodder & Stoughton

Made In Spain

Miriam González Durántez
Authors:
Miriam González Durántez
Hodder & Stoughton

Great British Bake Off – Bake it Better (No.1): Classic Cakes

Linda Collister
Authors:
Linda Collister

Bake it Better: Classic Cakes includes everything you need to know about baking delicious and beautiful cakes. Whether you are new to baking and looking for simple, easy recipes or a more confident baker looking to develop your skills and repertoire, with The Great British Bake Off you can be sure you're getting scrumptious, tried-and-tested recipes.The recipes themselves include traditional classics and modern bakes, and progress from simple through to more challenging showstoppers - Bake it Better will take you a journey from first timer to star baker. With expert advice about ingredients, equipment and techniques, and easy-to-follow step-by-step photographs.The Great British Bake Off: Bake It Better are the 'go to' cookery books which gives you all the recipes and baking know-how in one easy-to-navigate series.

Hodder & Stoughton

Great British Bake Off – Bake it Better (No.4): Bread

Linda Collister
Authors:
Linda Collister

Bake it Better: Bread includes everything you need to know about baking delicious bread. Whether you are new to baking and looking for simple, easy recipes or a more confident baker looking to develop your skills and repertoire, with The Great British Bake Off you can be sure you're getting scrumptious, tried-and-tested recipes.The recipes themselves include traditional classics and modern bakes, and progress from simple through to more challenging showstoppers - Bake it Better will take you a journey from first timer to star baker. With expert advice about ingredients, equipment and techniques, and easy-to-follow step-by-step photographs.The Great British Bake Off: Bake It Better are the 'go to' cookery books which gives you all the recipes and baking know-how in one easy-to-navigate series.

Hodder & Stoughton

Great British Bake Off: Celebrations

Linda Collister
Authors:
Linda Collister
Yellow Kite

Deliciously Ella

Ella Mills (Woodward)
Authors:
Ella Mills (Woodward)

The bestselling debut cookbook from Deliciously Ella that's taken the healthy eating world by storm!From sumptuous desserts, to food on the go, delicious dips, raw treats and rainbow bowls of awesome veggies, Ella's philosophy is all about embracing the natural foods that your body loves and creating fresh, simple dishes which are easy to make and taste amazing. Featuring more than 100 new sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free recipes to excite your taste buds, this collection will inspire you to eat for better health, glowing skin and boundless energy.A reformed sugar monster herself, Ella knows just how daunting the idea of changing your diet can be. Her must-read blog, DELICIOUSLY ELLA, which gets two million visitors a month from all over the world, was inspired by her own health adventure and everything she has learned by healing herself simply through diet. It's truly amazing to see what you can do with these simple ingredients and how you can so easily create a deliciously healthy version of your favourite dishes.More than anything, Ella wants to show that this way of eating is absolutely not about deprivation and starvation, but instead is about embracing a positive, healthy way of life.

Alex Hollywood

Alex Hollywood is passionate about food and firmly believes that cooking and eating should be about one thing: enjoyment, not worrying about presentation and whether your roux is made to Michelin-star standards. Having grown up in Kent, Alex's cooking has been shaped by her Norwegian great-grandmother, her French godmother, her father's love of Spain, and her time living in Cyprus. Her twitter feed @Hollywood_wife has quickly built up fans eager for recipe ideas and food tweets. Alex is a regular on ITV's Lorraine. My Busy Kitchen is her first book.

Belinda Jones

Following ten years as a magazine journalist and travel editor, Belinda Jones began writing novels inspired by her adventures. She has travelled to over twenty-five countries and hopes to write her way around the world by the time she's done! (Now if only airlines allowed dogs to travel alongside you - at the very least they could dispose of those darn mini pretzels.)

Catriona McPherson

Catriona McPherson was born in the village of Queensferry in south-east Scotland in 1965 and educated at Edinburgh University. She left with a PhD in Linguistics and spent a few years as a university lecturer before beginning to write fiction. The first Dandy Gilver novel was short-listed for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger 2005 and the second was long-listed for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year Award 2007. In 2012 DANDY GILVER AND THE PROPER TREATMENT OF BLOODSTAINS was nominated for a Historical Macavity Award. Catriona writes full-time and divides her time between southern Scotland and northern California.www.dandygilver.comwww.catrionamcpherson.comwww.twitter.com/CatrionaMcP

Chrissie Manby

Chrissie Manby is the author of twenty romantic comedies including A PROPER FAMILY HOLIDAY, THE MATCHBREAKER and SEVEN SUNNY DAYS. She has had several Sunday Times bestsellers and her novel about behaving badly after a break-up, GETTING OVER MR RIGHT, was nominated for the 2011 Melissa Nathan Award. Chrissie was raised in Gloucester, in the west of England, and now lives in London. Contrary to the popular conception of chick-lit writers, she is such a bad home-baker that her own father threatened to put her last creation on www.cakewrecks.com. She is, however, partial to white wine and shoes she can't walk in. You can follow her on Twitter @chrissiemanby, or visit her website www.chrissiemanby.co.uk to find out more.

Ella Mills (Woodward)

Ella Woodward is the author of must-read food blog www.deliciouslyella.com. She has created a hugely successful app to accompany the blog, opened her own delis in three central London locations and launched her own line of energy balls. Ella's debut book Deliciously Ella was a number 1 bestseller when it was first published in January 2015, becoming the fastest selling debut cookery book since records began. It was also named as Amazon's biggest selling book of 2015. She was awarded a prestigious Observer Food Monthly award for Best Food Blog 2015. Her follow-up book, Deliciously Ella Every Day has been another hit bestseller. Ella discovered her passion for plant-based recipes after being diagnosed with a rare illness called Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS). She couldn't walk down the street, slept for 16 hours a day and was in chronic pain most of the time. Conventional medicine failed to help her, so she decided to completely overhaul her diet and overnight the self-confessed 'sugar-monster' gave up meat, gluten, dairy, sugar and all processed food. The results were incredible. Though initially far from confident in the kitchen, Ella started blogging about her new approach to food and posting recipes, and quickly amassed a huge online following.

Emma Marsden

EMMA MARSDEN is a food writer and stylist who studied at Leiths School of Food & Wine. She was Cookery Editor at Good Housekeeping magazine and is a regular contributor to Harrods' magazine. She has written a number of books including Heart on a Plate, Fortnum & Mason's Afternoon Tea and Honey & Preserves, WeightWatchers' The Smart Cook and Sainsbury's Kitchen Know-How.

Gino D'Acampo

Born in Torre del Greco, Naples, in southern Italy, Gino inherited his grandfather's love of cooking and studied at the Luigi de Medici Catering College. Gino appears regularly on TV, most recently in Gino's Italian Escape and Let's Do Lunch with Gino and Mel, and as a resident chef on ITV's This Morning.

Gordon Ramsay

Scottish by birth, Gordon was brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. With an injury prematurely putting an end to any hopes of a promising career in football, he went back to college to complete a course in hotel management and his dedication and natural talent led him to train with some of world's leading chefs.In 1993 Gordon became chef of Aubergine in London and within three years was awarded two Michelin stars. In 1998, at the age of 31, Gordon set up his own restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, which quickly received the most prestigious accolade in the culinary world - three Michelin stars. One of only four chefs in the UK to maintain three stars, Gordon was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to the industry.Now internationally renowned, Gordon has opened a string of successful restaurants across the globe, from Italy to LA. 2011 has proved to be another exciting year and saw the opening of Bread Street Kitchen in London's City district, as well as a venture across the pond in Montreal, Canada.Gordon has become a star of the small screen both in the UK and internationally, with two top rated shows in the US. Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen are both into their third and ninth series respectively, whilst his latest show, Masterchef US, is now in its second series and is proving to be another massive hit with viewers. Gordon has also published a number of books, many of which have become best sellers across the world, notably his autobiography, Roasting in Hell's Kitchen.Gordon lives with his wife and four children in South London, along with their two bulldogs Rumpole and Romeo.

Harold Mcgee

Harold McGee writes about the chemistry of food and cooking, and the science of everyday life. He has worked alongside some of world's most innovative chefs, including Thomas Keller and Heston Blumenthal. He lives with his family in California.

Kirstie Allsopp

Kirstie Allsopp has starred in Channel 4's Kirstie's Vintage Home, Kirstie's Handmade Britain, and Kirstie's Homemade Home and is the co-presenter, with Phil Spencer, of Location, Location, Location and Relocation, Relocation. She got her first job with interior decorator Nikki Haslam, worked for Country Living magazine before setting up a property buying business with a friend. Kirstie lives in Devon and West London with her partner Ben Anderson and their two sons and two stepsons.

Mark Hyman

An internationally respected physician, researcher, educator, activist, and author of numerous New York Times best-selling books, Dr. Hyman has dedicated his life and career to ensuring optimal health - UltraWellness - for all individuals. His book, The Blood Sugar Solution, addresses the global epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular and other related diseases.His revolutionary "secret" to achieving UltraWellness? Dr. Hyman is the world's leading pioneer and practitioner of a ground-breaking and emerging approach to medicine that treats our system, not our symptoms. This new health paradigm is a systems-based, patient-centered method (called Functional Medicine) to preventing and treating disease and promoting health that works on two intertwined platforms: identifying and addressing the underlying causes of disease instead of just managing and masking symptoms and employing emerging trends in science and medicine, and integrative medicine. Dr. Hyman teaches that there are seven keys to achieving UltraWellness, centering on Optimizing Nutrition, Cooling Off Inflammation, Balancing Hormones, Optimizing Digestive Health, Enhancing Detoxification, Boosting Energy and Metabolism and Calming the Mind. By connecting these dots, he provides a way of get our bodies to work the way they were designed. We come to understand all the influences on our biology which are at the root of illness, and how our lifestyle and environment interact with our genes to create the imbalances or balances that are the real determinants of disease or poor health.Practicing what he preaches, Dr. Hyman is the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, where he directs a team of physicians, nutritionists and nurses who utilize this comprehensive, life-changing approach to health, involving diet and lifestyle modifications, in combination with nutritional and specialized testing, nutritional supplementation, and medications to add

Martin Chiffers

Patissier and Chocolatier MARTIN CHIFFERS is an international pastry consultant with over thirty years' experience who has worked at some of the world's most famous venues, including Harrods, Raffles Hotel in Singapore and The Savoy Hotel in London. He is the only pastry chef in the world to have won the European Pastry Cup Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie twice with Best Sugar and Chocolate Piece, and the highest points in all categories consecutively.

Miriam González Durántez

Miriam is the author of the Mumandsons blog, www.mumandsons.com. She is also a partner at a city law firm where she runs the International Trade practice as well as a non-Exec Director for UBS in Spain, and the Honorary President of Canning House. She was previously the Middle East Adviser of the External Relations Commissioner in the European Union, having started her career as a Trade Negotiator at the World Trade Organisation. Miriam is the former Champion of the Inspiring Women Campaign that brings female role models to girls at state schools. She is currently setting up a new international campaign - Inspiring Girls - to connect female role models and girls worldwide to raise aspirations, encourage girls to aim high and fight gender stereotypes.

Taylor Clark

Taylor Clark has worked for Portland's alternative weekly newspaper. This is his first book.