Related to: 'Falling Leaves and Fireworks: a funny and feel-good autumnal enovella'

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.

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The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club: the perfect laugh-out-loud romantic comedy

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

'Funny, warm and engaging; this year's must-read! 5****' By the Letter Book ReviewsIn the quaint seaside town of Newbay, a beginner's cookery course is starting. And three very different students have signed up...Liz's husband has left her for a twenty-something clean-eating blogger, and she's determined to show the world - and her daughter - she's just as capable in the kitchen. John, newly widowed after fifty years of marriage, can't live on sympathy lasagnes forever. To thirty-year-old workaholic Bella, the course is a welcome escape from her high-pressure job. Their only common ground: between them, they can barely boil an egg! Enter talented chef Alex, who is determined to introduce his pupils to the comforts of cuisine. As Liz, John and Bella encounter various disasters in the kitchen, the unlikely trio soon form a fast friendship. Their culinary skills might be catastrophic - but could the cookery club have given them a recipe for happiness?The wonderful new novel from bestselling author Chrissie Manby is perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Trisha Ashley, Cathy Bramley, and The Great British Bake Off.Praise for The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club:'A lovely book which brought a tear to my eye in places' - Broadbeansbooks'Heartwarming' - The Book Bag'Funny and emotional...a MUST READ this autumn' - On My Bookshelf'A very warm tale full of different kinds of love; just delicious!' - Netgalley Reviewer'If you want a funny, emotional read that will leave you wanting more then you need this book in your life!' - Goodreads'I loved this book... the perfect place to find a recipe for happiness!' - Goodreads'What an absolute joy to read...such a lovely story' - Goodreads'A winning recipe of a story... I devoured it from cover to cover!' - Goodreads 'Just the breath of fresh air that I needed... I could have kept reading for many more pages!' - Netgalley'I adored this hilarious book!' I Read Novels'Chrissie Manby has cooked up a fine tale' Cultural Wednesday'What a wonderfully lighthearted and uplifting novel, one I couldn't put down' - Bloglovin'An absolute joy to read - highly recommended for when you need a little pick-me-up!' - Brew and Book Reviews

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A Fairy Tale for Christmas: a funny, feel-good, glorious Christmas romp

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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A Wedding at Christmas

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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A Proper Family Adventure

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Could you spend two weeks at sea with your family?Thanks to an unexpected windfall, the Bensons are treating themselves to a luxury cruise. With stop-offs in Barcelona, Rome and Marseilles, plus constant entertainment onboard, it's a dream come true . . . Or is it? Last time Chelsea Benson went on holiday with this lot she nearly went crazy.Her mum and sister are convinced Chelsea's boyfriend Adam will propose on the ship. Chelsea's sure he won't, but she can't help feeling butterflies as they set sail. Is Adam going to pop the question, or will the only thing to pop be Chelsea's ego?Onboard dramas, family upheavals, memories and sunshine . . . Fall in love with the Benson family, and treat yourself to a five-star family cruise, all without leaving your sofa.Praise for Chris Manby'Manby's novels are made for holidays' - Glamour'A gloriously delicious read!...Packed with warm characters and hilarious situations' - www.handwrittengirl.com

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A Proper Family Christmas

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Annabel Buchanan has the perfect life. A loving husband, a beautiful house, a happy family.So, when her daughter Izzy falls dangerously ill, Annabel will do everything she can to find the organ donor Izzy so desperately needs. And that includes tracing her own biological family. The Bensons.The Benson family are loud, brash, and very different to what Annabel was expecting. But beneath the chaos and the drama, are they a warm and loving family at heart?With the festive season fast approaching, it's time to see if the Bensons and Buchanans can come together to help Izzy and find a way to have a proper family Christmas. . .Told with Chrissie Manby's classic combination of wit and charm, this feel-good family novel is the perfect book to curl up with during the winter holidays. Because you can't choose your family but you can choose to avoid them.Praise for Chrissie Manby:'Nothing short of brilliant' - Marie Claire 'Manby's novels are made for holidays' - Glamour 'Deliciously funny' - HeatONCE IN A LIFETIME, the latest novel from Chrissie Manby, is available now!

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A Proper Family Holiday

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Could you survive a week-long holiday with your entire family? Newly single magazine journalist Chelsea Benson can't think of anything worse.Your grubby small nephew torpedoing any chance of romance with the dishy guy you met on the plane . . .Your eighty-five-year-old granddad chatting up ladies at the hotel bar . . .Getting nothing but sarcastic comments from your older sister, who's always been the family favourite . . .And all this is before your parents drop their bombshell.Is a week enough time for the Bensons to put their differences aside and have some fun? Or is this their last ever proper family holiday?Heartwarming and funny, this is the perfect summer read for fans of SOPHIE KINSELLA and LINDSEY KELK. And provides a great excuse for ignoring your annoying family members . . .Praise for Chris Manby'A gloriously delicious read!...Packed with warm characters and hilarious situations' - handwrittengirl.com'Smart and entertaining' - Closer

Hodder & Stoughton

Writing for Love

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Practical, inspiring, and filled with her trademark wit and charm, Chrissie Manby describes the writing process - from where she gets her ideas to a practical guide to planning the structure of a novel. A must-read for chick-lit fans and aspiring authors. EXCLUSIVE: contains chapters 1-4 of Chrissie's novel WHAT I DID ON MY HOLIDAYS.

Hodder & Stoughton

Kate's Wedding

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

'Laugh-out-loud funny . . . Unputdownable' - HeatA tongue-in-cheek comedy, perfect if you're missing the buzz of the 2018 royal wedding!Thirty-nine-year-old Kate had almost given up on love when she met her fiance. Now she's planning for the wedding she never dreamed she'd have. But things seem to be slipping out of her control. Diana, born on the day of the 1981 Royal Wedding, never doubted that one day she would find her prince. Newly engaged, and with Daddy's credit card in her grasp, she's in full Bridezilla mode. Against the backdrop of the other couple getting married in April 2011, both women prepare for the most important day of their lives. But will each bride get her perfect day? Or will it all become a right royal fiasco?'I've always liked Manby's books and this is my favourite so far . . . deeply cringe-making, sometimes poignant and often hilarious . . . I loved it. Six stars, hurrah!' - Daily Mail

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Getting Over Mr Right

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Have you ever had your heart broken? How did you get over it? Did a tub of ice cream cheer you up? Did you delete his number and start again? Are you now friends with your ex? Perhaps you're godmother to his children?In which case, this book is not for you.But if you reacted with denial, begging or a spot of casual witchcraft, then you've come to the right place. This is one woman's journey from love to lunacy and back again . . .Praise for Chris Manby'Be prepared to get completely lost in this deliciously funny read' - Heat'Destined to keep you up until the small hours' - Daily Mirror

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Seven Sunny Days

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Sun, sea and serious drama.When Rachel Buckley announces that she is going to tie the knot, her best friends Yaslyn and Carrie Ann organise a luxury 'hen week' in sun-soaked Turkey.It should be the perfect send off to single life. But her friends have packed more than just sun creams and bikinis - they've also brought with them a serious amount of emotional baggage.Add unlimited free cocktails, rampant reps and a nasty dose of sunstroke and suddenly seven sunny days puts even the firmest friendships to the test.Praise for Chrissie Manby'...a good giggle by the pool this summer... the perfect sunbathing companion.' - OK!'A fun summer read' - Daily Express

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Crazy in Love

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Heiress and celebrity Birdie Sederburg has been used to getting everything she wants. That is, until hot young actor Dean Stevenson (quite literally) crashes into her life.Birdie's convinced she's found The One. But Dean is only in it for his career, and is resisting her charm offensive. Still, Birdie is not prepared to admit defeat. As her obsession with Dean grows, she realises she may have to do something drastic to make him fall in love with her.But is getting herself kidnapped in order to win his heart going over the top? How far would you go for love?

Hodder & Stoughton

Deep Heat

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

Spa Wars

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

When Emily Brown's life and business is turned around by a surprise visit from Carina Lees, an immaculately-groomed reality TV star, she can't believe her luck. With just one other member of staff to help her out at her Essex salon The Beauty Spot, Emily is pushed for time as well as money. So Carina's patronage and the subsequent financial success of the salon is more welcome than a sunbed session in December.But even with the assistance of skilled-yet-shabby new girl Natalie, things start to go mysteriously wrong, and it soon becomes clear that someone's got it in for the salon. And with tactics dirtier than a gardener's fingernails, the battle of the beauticians commences. For, under all the make-up and manicures, Carina is not who she seems and, although confronting the past can be painful, Emily eventually has to stare the truth in the face and realise it's what's inside that really counts . . .Praise for Chris Manby'Nothing short of brilliant' - Marie Claire'Delicious read' - Daily Mail

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Flatmates

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Have you ever shared a flat with your so-called friends? Do you remember with a shudder the squabbles over the itemised phone bill, the cleaning rota and whose turn it is to do the washing up? If so, you'll sympathise with the three troubled occupants of No. 67 Artesia Road.Fiona - who's been offered a glorious job in New York, but can't bear to leave Tim, her brilliant - but none-too-devoted - fiancé.Kerry - who's fed up with spending Saturday night alone in front of the TV, fantasising about her devastatingly handsome - but unavailable - boss.Linzi - who won't be tied down by anybody or anything.They think they've got problems. But nothing can prepare them for the chaos which ensues when Linzi's latest boyfriend arrives on the scene. Gorgeous but feckless, Gaetano spells trouble with a capital 'T'. And soon events are spiralling out of everyone's control . . .Praise for Chrissie Manby'If you've ever shared a flat, been to a bad party or fallen in love with the wrong man, you'll find this book spot on' - Company'Manby's hilarious novels still shine out' - OK!

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Girl Meets Ape

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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Second Prize

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Dashing, dishy and utterly uninterested. No one else can compete.Lara Fenton is obsessed with finding a man, especially since her best friend Julie got engaged. Salvation soon arrives in the divine form of Hugh Armstrong-Hamilton.Yes, Hugh has his faults, but who doesn't? So what if he never picks up the bill? Big deal if he cancels dates at the last moment. And who cares about a few insults from his snooty friends? Hugh is a god - her god, and any other man would seem like second prize in comparison. Or would they . . .?Praise for Chrissie Manby'A laugh-every page, romping read. Excellent!' - B Magazine'Clear-sighted emotional honesty' - Good Book Guide

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Getting Personal

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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Running Away From Richard

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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Lizzie Jordan's Secret Life

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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Ready or Not?

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Every bride is entitled to some pre-wedding jitters. And who wouldn't think twice about marriage when their fiancé gets their eyebrows shaved off just in time to look horrendous for the photographs?But what if it's not the ceremony that freaks you out but the happy ever after? Heidi Savage wonders whether she can really forsake all others for macho, beer-swilling Ed. The what-if's are too pressing to ignore...Will the answer come in the form of her ex-boyfriend Steven? Grown-up, gorgeous and good-with-children. Is Heidi's dilemma simply a case of the 'grass is greener on the other side'?Praise for Chris Manby'Dry wit that sits just beneath the surface...A delicious read' - Daily Mail'Nothing short of brilliant' - Marie Claire