Related to: 'Untitled'

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

The Intimate Memoirs of an Edwardian Dandy: Volume 6

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Hodder & Stoughton

The Intimate Memoirs of an Edwardian Dandy: Volume 1

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We all have to start somewhere, and that notorious rake and roué, Rupert Mountjoy, started with a bang . . . Brought up in the delightful English countryside, Rupert, aged fifteen when we meet him, is ready to savour the traditional sporting delights of the privileged English gentleman - and to master the equipment needed for them. Who better to introduce him to these pastimes than a bevy of lusty, libidinous country girls?

Hodder & Stoughton

The Intimate Memoirs of an Edwardian Dandy: Volume 2

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Going up to Oxford takes on an entirely new meaning when lusty Rupert Mountjoy begins his university career. Already well-schooled in the fine art of seduction, and having passed his entrance examinations with flying colours, he is more than ready to matriculate . . . And, as luck would have it, he finds many a frisky female to tempt him into the luscious groves of academe. For this is the dawning of the era of emancipation, when women conducted tutorials on private parts, and when they were more than willing to send freshers down . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

The Intimate Memoirs of an Edwardian Dandy: Volume 3

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That notorious roué Rupert Mountjoy, having beavered enthusiastically through his studies at Oxford, is now free to enjoy the delights of London Society. And he doesn't beat about the bush - he just gets straight in there . . . At the throbbing heart of Edwardian London he encounters many an old friend and makes many a new conquest. Whether jousting alone or hunting in packs, he is always ready to play the oldest game in the world with the exotic American Nancy Carrington, his old but ever ready flame Diana, and droves of devilish parlour maids. And when a grand reception in York is organised for the king, what better way to travel than by train, thundering through tunnels and letting off more than a little bit of steam?

Hodder & Stoughton

The Intimate Memoirs of an Edwardian Dandy: Volume 4

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After over-strenuous indoor exercises in London, Rupert is advised to get some peace and quiet. At first sight, the sleepy Devonshire village of Little Farcombe looks unexciting, but Rupert is soon taken in hand by the insatiable daughter of the local squire and then encounters a variety of most stimulating country characters. There is the passionate Miss Dunstable who enjoys nothing better than playing ball games with her strapping young gardener, and the curvacious Mrs Wilkinson who welcomes all newcomers to the village in her own very special way - whilst her husband watches through the keyhole! And still to come is the ravishing eighteen-year-old Amber, fresh out of school and eager to experience all of life's pleasures . . .

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The Intimate Memoirs of an Edwardian Dandy: Volume 5

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The Erotic Memoirs of a Lusty Victorian Rake: Volume 1

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To the scion of an aristocratic family in Imperial Vienna on the verge of his sixteenth birthday, the sight of a housemaid's delightfully rounded breasts makes him more determined than ever to cast off his unwanted virginity. And, to his great delight, the young Johann Gewirtz is seduced by the skilful embraces of two saucy young female students as well as those of a full-bosomed chambermaid during a summer holiday with his schoolfriend Carl. The lucky Johann's sensual education continues apace thanks to a pretty artiste from a travelling circus and a charming gypsy girl who will do anything - but anything - for him if he will help her gain employment in his parents' household. The lusty teenage Johann is more than happy to oblige all his newly-found conquests and still finds time to help steer his friend Carl through his own rite of passage - as well as satisfying the needs of Wanda, a desirable young miss living on his father's estates in far-off Poland . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

The Erotic Memoirs of a Lusty Victorian Rake: Volume 2

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In 1885 sixteen-year-old Johann Gewirtz leaves Imperial Vienna and the Continental fleshly delights that he has begun to explore so avidly to complete his education in England. Although he is given a delicious farewell, courtesy of two of the luscious chambermaids in the Gewirtz household, he is somewhat apprehensive about what life will hold for him at the Harcourt Academy for the Sons of Gentlefolk. However, Johann's spirits are buoyed up on the journey by some sensual fun with uninhibited sisters from Ireland, and a wild two days in Paris with his Uncle Pieter and the famous artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. Little wonder that Johann is feeling rather tired by the time he reaches London. But he summons up new reserves of strength to enjoy further romps with two raunchy young English girls before settling in at his new school.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Erotic Memoirs of a Lusty Victorian Rake: Volume 3

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There comes a time in every young man's life when he should extend his 'affections' to the beautiful girls of foreign lands - this is just such a moment for notorious turn-of-the-century philanderer Count Johann 'Johnny' Gewirtz. Johnny comes to England to complete his education at 'Harcourt Academy for the Sons of Gentlefolk' in Berkshire. To his delight, he discovers a bevy of pretty maidens eager and willing to succumb to his continental charms.

Hodder Paperbacks

Black Pearl Anthology II

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David Nicholls

David Nicholls is the bestselling author of US, ONE DAY, STARTER FOR TEN and THE UNDERSTUDY. His novels have sold over 8 million copies worldwide and are published in forty languages. David's fifth novel, SWEET SORROW, will be published by Hodder in July 2019. David trained as an actor before making the switch to writing. He is an award-winning screenwriter, with TV credits including the third series of Cold Feet, a much-praised modern version of Much Ado About Nothing, The 7.39 and an adaptation of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. David wrote the screenplays for Great Expectations (2012) and Far from the Madding Crowd (2015, starring Carey Mulligan). He has twice been BAFTA nominated and his recent adaptation of Patrick Melrose from the novels by Edward St Aubyn won him an Emmy nomination. His bestselling first novel, STARTER FOR TEN, was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club in 2004, and in 2006 David went on to write the screenplay of the film version.His third novel, ONE DAY, was published in 2009 to extraordinary critical acclaim, and stayed in the Sunday Times top ten bestseller list for ten weeks on publication. ONE DAY won the 2010 Galaxy Book of the Year Award. David's fourth novel, US, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014 and was another no. 1 Sunday Times bestseller. In 2014, he was named Author of the Year at the National Book Awards.

Davina Langdale

Davina Langdale studied Zoology at Bristol University, and worked with 93 chimpanzees and a hippo in Northern Zambia. She returned to the UK to take a postgraduate diploma in journalism at the London College of Printing, and after a brief stint in that field she realised that fiction was her true love. The Brittle Star is her first novel.

Jessica Andrews

Jessica Andrews writes fiction and poetry. She grew up in Sunderland and has spent time living in Santa Cruz, Paris, Donegal, Barcelona and London. She has been published by the Independent, Somesuch Stories, AnOther, Caught by the River, Shabby Doll House and Papaya Press, among others. She teaches Literature and Creative Writing classes and co-runs literary magazine The Grapevine, which aims to give a platform to under-represented writers.jessica-andrews.com

John Connolly

John Connolly is author of the Charlie Parker mysteries, The Book of Lost Things, the Samuel Johnson novels for young adults and, with his partner, Jennifer Ridyard, co-author of the Chronicles of the Invaders. John Connolly's debut - EVERY DEAD THING - introduced the character of Private Investigator Charlie Parker, and swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers. All his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He was the winner of the 2016 CWA Short Story Dagger for On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier from NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes Vol 2.In 2007 he was awarded the Irish Post Award for Literature. He was the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award and the first Irish writer to win an Edgar award. BOOKS TO DIE FOR, which he edited with Declan Burke, was the winner of the 2013 Anthony, Agatha and Macavity awards for Best Non-Fiction work.

John Grisham

John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade, specialising in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. One day, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987.His next novel, The Firm, spent 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and became the bestselling novel of 1991. Since then, he has written one novel a year, including The Client, The Pelican Brief, The Rainmaker and The Runaway Jury.Today, Grisham has written a collection of stories, a work of non-fiction, three sports novels, five kids' books, and many legal thrillers. His work has been translated into 42 languages. He lives near Charlottesville, Virginia.

Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer is the bestselling author of more than 100 inspirational books, including The Power of Simple Prayer, Approval Addiction, Power Thoughts and Battlefield of the Mind. Joyce's 'Enjoying Everyday Life' radio and television programmes are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences.

Julian Stockwin

Julian Stockwin was sent at the age of fourteen to Indefatigable, a tough sea-training school. He joined the Royal Navy at fifteen before transferring to the Royal Australian Navy, where he served for eight years in the Far East, Antarctic waters and the South Seas. In Vietnam he saw active service in a carrier task force. After leaving the Navy (rated Petty Officer), Julian practised as an educational psychologist. He lived for some time in Hong Kong, where he was commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve. He was awarded the MBE and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He now lives in Devon with his wife Kathy. More information can be found on his website at www.julianstockwin.com.

Juliet Grames

Juliet Grames was born outside of Hartford, Connecticut, into a tight-knit Italian-American family. She attended Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in history from Columbia College. For the last fifteen years she has worked in book publishing, and is currently Associate Publisher at Soho Press, where she edits literary fiction, crime fiction, and literature in translation. She lives in Brooklyn.

Karen Robards

Karen Robards is the internationally bestselling author of over forty romantic suspense novels, which have regularly appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists, among others. She is the mother of three boys and lives with her family in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.You can find out more at www.karenrobards.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorKarenRobards or follow her on Twitter @TheKarenRobards.

Laini Taylor

Hi! I write fantasy books. My latest is STRANGE THE DREAMER, about a young librarian, a mythic lost city, and the half-human children of murdered gods. Check it out :-) Before that I wrote the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE trilogy, which has been translated into 32 languages. It's about a blue-haired art student raised by monsters, a broken angel, and a war that has raged for 1000 years in another world. I also wrote LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES, which was a National Book Award finalist, and the DREAMDARK books. As well as various short stories and novellas. Thanks for reading!! www.lainitaylor.com; @lainitaylor