Related to: 'The Scorpion's Strike: Empire X'

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

Retribution: The Centurions III

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

The action-filled climax of the epic story of the Batavi uprising in AD 69, from the author of the bestselling Empire series. 'A masterclass in military historical fiction' - Sunday ExpressVictory is in sight for Kivilaz and his Batavi army. The Roman army clings desperately to its remaining fortresses along the Rhine, its legions riven by dissent and mutiny, and once-loyal allies of Rome are beginning to imagine the unimaginable: freedom from the rulers who have dominated them since the time of Caesar. The four centurions - two Batavi and two Roman, men who were once comrades in arms - must find their destiny in a maze of loyalties and threats, as the blood tide of war ebbs and flows across Germania and Gaul. For Rome does not give up its territory lightly. And a new emperor knows that he cannot tolerate any threat to his undisputed power. It can only be a matter of time before Vespasian sends his legions north to exact the empire's retribution.

Hodder & Stoughton

Onslaught: The Centurions II

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches
Hodder & Stoughton

The Empire Collection Volume III

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

The most recent three novels in Anthony Riches' thrilling EMPIRE series, including The Emperor's Blood, Thunder of the Gods, Altar of Blood, now available in one page-turning collection.The Emperor's Blood (VII)Centurion Marcus Aquila is back in Rome, hunting the men who destroyed his family. But the urge to exact his own brutal justice upon the shadowy cabal of assassins who butchered his family means that he must face them on their own ground, risking his own death at their hands. A senator, a gang boss, a praetorian officer and, deadliest of all, champion gladiator Mortiferum - the Death Bringer - lie in wait.Thunder of the Gods (VIII)With Rome no longer safe, Marcus and his Tungrian legion are ordered east to the desolate border lands where Rome and Parthia have vied for supremacy for centuries. Ordered to relieve the siege of an isolated fortress, their task is doomed to bloody failure unless they can turn the disaffected Third Legion into a fighting force capable of resisting the terrifying Parthian cataphracts. And Marcus must travel to the enemy capital Ctesiphon on a desperate mission, the only man who can persuade the King of Kings to halt a war that threatens the humiliation of the empire and the slaughter of his friends.Altar of Blood (IX)Ordered to cross the river Rhenus into barbarian Germany and capture a tribal priestess who may be the most dangerous person on the empire's northern border, the Tungrians are soon subject to the machinations of an old enemy who will stop at nothing to sabotage their plans before they have even set foot on the river's eastern bank. With two of the Bructeri tribe's greatest treasures in their hands, they must regain Roman territory by crossing the unforgiving wilderness that was the graveyard of Roman imperial strategy two hundred years before.

Hodder & Stoughton

Betrayal: The Centurions I

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

AD 69: The Rhine frontier has exploded into bloody rebellion, and four centurions who once fought in the same army find themselves on opposite sides of a vicious insurrection.The rebel leader Kivilaz and his Batavi rebels have humbled the Romans in a battle they should have won. The legions must now defend their northern stronghold, the Old Camp, from the enraged tribes of Germany, knowing that they cannot be relieved until the civil war raging to the south has been resolved. Can they defend the undermanned fortress against thousands of barbarian warriors intoxicated by a charismatic priestess's vision of victory?

Hodder & Stoughton

The Empire Collection Volume I

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches
Hodder & Stoughton

The Empire Collection Volume II

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

The EMPIRE sequence continues with books IV-VI in Anthony Riches' bestselling series, available in a page-turning collection, including The Leopard Sword, The Wolf's Gold and The Eagle's Vengeance.The Leopard SwordThe Roman agents who nearly captured Marcus Aquila have been defeated by his friends. But to protect those friends from the wrath of the emperor, he must leave the province which has given him shelter. As centurion of the second Tungrians, he leads his men from Hadrian's Wall to the Tungrians' original home. There he finds a different world from the turbulent British frontier - but one with its own dangers. A bandit chieftain is robbing with impunity. And now he threatens to destabilize the whole northern frontier of the empire.The Wolf's GoldMarcus Aquila and the Tungrians have been sent to Dacia with the mission to safeguard a major source of imperial power. The mines contain enough gold to pave the road to Rome. They would make a mighty prize for the Sarmatae tribesmen who threaten the province, and the outnumbered auxiliaries are entrusted with their safety in the face of an invasion. The Tungrians will have to fight to the death to save the honour of the empire - and themselves.The Eagle's VengeanceThe Tungrians return to Hadrian's Wall to find chaos, with the legions overstretched, struggling to man the northern frontier. The Tungrians are sent into the northern wastes, where a lost symbol of imperial power of the Sixth Legion awaits them. Protected by an impassable swamp, the eagle of the Sixth legion must be recovered if the legion is to survive. Marcus and his men must penetrate the heart of the enemy's strength, if they are to rescue the legion's venerated standard. If successful their escape will be twice as perilous...

Hodder & Stoughton

Altar of Blood: Empire IX

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches
Hodder & Stoughton

Thunder of the Gods: Empire VIII

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches
Hodder Paperbacks

The Eagle's Vengeance: Empire VI

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

'A master of the genre' The TimesThe Tungrian auxiliary cohorts return to Hadrian's Wall after their successful Dacian campaign, only to find Britannia in chaos. The legions are overstretched, struggling to man the forts of the northern frontier in the face of increasing barbarian resistance.The Tungrians are the only soldiers who can be sent into the northern wastes, far beyond the long abandoned wall built by Antoninus, where a lost symbol of imperial power of the Sixth Victorious Legion is reputed to await them. Protected by an impassable swamp and hidden in a fortress atop a high mountain, the eagle of the Sixth legion must be recovered if the legion is to survive.Marcus and his men must penetrate the heart of the enemy's strength, ghosting through a deadly wilderness patrolled by vicious huntresses before breaching the walls of the Fang, an all-but-impregnable fort, if they are to rescue the legion's venerated standard. If successful their escape will be twice as perilous, with the might of a barbarian tribe at their heels.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Emperor's Knives: Empire VII

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches
Hodder Paperbacks

The Wolf's Gold: Empire V

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches
Hodder Paperbacks

The Leopard Sword: Empire IV

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches
Hodder Paperbacks

Fortress of Spears: Empire III

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches
Hodder Paperbacks

Arrows of Fury: Empire II

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches
Hodder Paperbacks

Wounds of Honour: Empire I

Anthony Riches
Authors:
Anthony Riches

Alexander Cordell

Alexander Cordell was born in Ceylon in 1914, was educated mainly in China and joined the army in 1932. After WWII, during which he served in France, he became a civil servant, spending three years in Hong Kong. He wrote more than thirty novels including the highly acclaimed 'Mortymer Trilogy' - The Rape of the Fair Country, The Hosts of Rebecca and Song of the Earth. He died on 13 November 1997 aged eighty-three

Anna Jacobs

Anna Jacobs grew up in Lancashire and emigrated to Australia, but still visits the UK regularly to see her family and do research, something she loves. She is addicted to writing and figures she'll have to live to be 120 at least to tell all the stories that keep popping up in her imagination and nagging her to write them down. She's also addicted to her own hero, to whom she's been happily married for many years.She is the bestselling author of over eighty novels and has been shortlisted for several awards, and Pride of Lancashire won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2006.You can find out more on her website, www.annajacobs.com or on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Anna.Jacobs.Books.

Antonia Hodgson

Antonia Hodgson's first novel, The Devil in the Marshalsea, won the CWA Historical Dagger 2014 and was shortlisted forthe Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year, the John Creasey Dagger for Best FirstNovel and the HWA Debut Crown. It was also a Richard & Judy and WaterstonesBook Club selection. Her second book, The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins, was published in 2015 to widespread critical acclaim.Antonia was born and grew up in Derby and studied English at the University ofLeeds. She lives in London, where she works as an editor. 2

Carrie Snyder

Carrie Snyder is the author of two books of short fiction. Her second, The Juliet Stories, soon to be published by Two Roads, was a finalist for Canada's Governor General's Award and a Globe and Mail Top 100 book. Girl Runner, her debut novel, has been shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. Carrie lives in Waterloo, Ontario with her family and blogs as Obscure CanLit Mama. carriesnyder.com twitter.com/carrieasnyder facebook.com/carriesnyderauthor

Chris Ryan

Former SAS corporal and the only man to escape death or capture during the Bravo Two Zero operation in the 1991 Gulf War, Chris Ryan turned to writing thrillers to tell the stories the Official Secrets Act stops him putting in his non-fiction. His novels have gone on to inspire the Sky One series Strike Back. Born near Newcastle in 1961, Chris Ryan joined the SAS in 1984. During his ten years there he was involved in overt and covert operations and was also sniper team commander of the anti-terrorist team. During the Gulf War, Chris Ryan was the only member of an eight-man unit to escape from Iraq, where three colleagues were killed and four captured. It was the longest escape and evasion in the history of the SAS. For this he was awarded the Military Medal. He wrote about his experiences in the bestseller The One That Got Away, which was adapted for screen, and since then has written three other works of non-fiction, over twenty bestselling novels and a series of childrens' books.