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

Fresh

Donal Skehan
Authors:
Donal Skehan
Hodder & Stoughton

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

Linda Collister
Authors:
Linda Collister
Hodder & Stoughton

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

Linda Collister
Authors:
Linda Collister
Hodder & Stoughton

Great British Bake Off: Celebrations

Linda Collister
Authors:
Linda Collister

Donal Skehan

Donal Skehan has been cooking since age four when he flipped his first pancake! Inspired by a family of passionate foodies, cooking and eating hearty home cooked food has always been a way of life. Donal is the author of seven cookbooks; Fresh was named as one of Good Food magazine's Top 10 cookbooks of the year. He's the host of Saturday Kitchen, star of cookery shows on RTE and The Food Network, and has his own hit YouTube channel. Donal was born and raised in Dublin and is currently living in LA.

Ed Smith

Ed Smith is a regular contributor to Borough Market's online magazine and Market Life, its print magazine. He also writes 'Five of the Best' features for The FT Weekend Magazine, and for The Guardian, The Telegraph and various other publications. At the 2015 Fortnum and Mason Food and Drink Awards he was named 'Best Online Restaurant Writer' and he was shortlisted for 'Best Cookery Writer'. In 2016 his blog Rocket & Squash was shortlisted for the Guild of Food Writers' Best Blog Award. His first cookbook On the Side was published in spring 2017 to great acclaim.

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 deli in central London 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.

George Craig

George started a band One Night Only with a schoolfriend at the age of twelve. They made the top ten - and are still going strong today - while George developed a sideline in modelling after he was scouted by Burberry's Christopher Bailey.

Gino D'Acampo

Gino was born in Napoli in the south of Italy into a large family. The food they ate was very traditional - simple recipes based on fresh and healthy fruit, vegetables, fish and meat.'My grandfather said that a good recipe doesn't need many ingredients because if the ingredients are good quality and full of flavour, why do you have to cover up or change their taste'. This is a philosophy Gino has stuck to since he first started in the kitchen. After training at the Luigi de Medici Catering College, Gino came to London at 19 and worked at The Orchard Restaurant in Hampstead and then at the Cambio restaurant in Surrey.Working with Tesco on their Finest range led to his first TV appearance on Great Food Live on UKTV Food and a TV chef was born! With a cheeky smile and exceptional talent, he was well on the way to becoming one of the UKs most popular chefs.Gino is the author of several best-selling books including Fantastico!, Gino's Pasta, Italian Home Baking and Gino's Italian Escape.He is married to Jessica and they have three children, Luciano, Rocco and Mia.

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.

Liam Charles

Liam Charles was the youngest contestant on 2017's Great British Bake Off at 19 years old. He was the breakout star, winning over the public with his deliciously sweet baking creations and charisma. Liam Charles, from Hackney, London, is a student currently studying Drama at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the co-presenter on the new series of Bake Off The Professionals and he is the star of his own Channel 4 baking show called Liam Bakes. His debut cookbook was published in July 2018.

Mark Hyman

Mark Hyman, MD, is the director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, and founder and director of The Ultra-Wellness Center. He is the bestselling author of numerous books, including Eat Fat, Get Thin, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, and The Blood Sugar Solution.

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.

Monty Don

MONTY DON is a well-known gardening writer and broadcaster. He lives with his family, garden and dogs in Herefordshire. His previous books include the Sunday Times best-seller Nigel and Paradise Gardens.@TheMontyDon/themontydon

Terry Edwards

Terry trained under the Michelin-starred chef Paul Heathcote in his hometown of Liverpool before moving to London to work at Le Gavroche with Michel Roux Jr and later working with Mark Hix.