Related to: 'The Year With Angels'

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.

Coronet

Prayers from the Heart

Lorna Byrne
Authors:
Lorna Byrne
Coronet

Angels at My Fingertips: The sequel to Angels in My Hair

Lorna Byrne
Authors:
Lorna Byrne

Angels at My Fingertips takes us back to the territory that made Angels in My Hair a million selling, international bestseller. Stories of Lorna's early life in rural Ireland, of how angels helped and guided her through traumatic events, lead to a detailed description of what angels are like, the different types of angels, how they behave in interact with God and other angels as well as human beings, their role during our lives and after death. Angels at My Fingertips also contains an account of how Joe, her husband, who died young in Angels in My Hair returns to visit her. For the first time Lorna reveals the role of the souls of our loved ones who may return from heaven briefly to help and guide us. Information as detailed as this never been published anywhere before now.Since she went public about her unprecedented gifts, Lorna's reputation has grown. The Catholic Church is at last beginning to show recognition, asking her to speak in churches, and leading American theologian Matthew Fox has compared her to the medieval saint, Hildegard of Bingen. Her unique qualities have been recognised by leading Islamic theologians too.Lorna's last two books for have been Sunday Times number one bestsellers and Message of Hope from the Angels was also the number one bestselling MBS book in the year it was published.

Coronet

Lorna Children's

Lorna Byrne
Authors:
Lorna Byrne

Hodder & Stoughton

Love From Heaven

Lorna Byrne
Authors:
Lorna Byrne

LOVE FROM HEAVEN provides a unique insight into love; its origin, its importance and the different ways we can love. Lorna explains why it is that we love ourselves so little and teaches how readers can release more of the love that we all have locked away inside ourselves. She describes how we get into the habit of finding fault with our lives, how we have a choice not to harden our hearts and give into hate, why our expectations of romantic love are unrealistic and how we will cause massive problems for ourselves and future generations if we don't start loving the planet more.Lorna also tells us of the wave of love that God has, on occasions, released in the world and its impact on humanity. This book will transform the way readers think about love; it will stir up the love that is within them, making them more compassionate, happier and helping to change their lives and those of the people around them.(P)2014 Hodder & Stoughton

Coronet

A Message of Hope from the Angels

Lorna Byrne
Authors:
Lorna Byrne
Coronet

A Christmas Message of Hope from the Angels

Lorna Byrne
Authors:
Lorna Byrne
Coronet

Stairways to Heaven

Lorna Byrne
Authors:
Lorna Byrne

Alison Jean Lester

Alison Jean Lester was born to an American father and a British mother, and educated in the US, the UK, China and Italy. She spent twenty-five years working, writing and raising her children in Japan and Singapore before relocating to the UK in 2016. She is the author of the novel Lillian on Life and has had short stories published in Ecotone, Good Housekeeping, Synaesthesia and Barrelhouse.

Amy Bradley

The first thing you must know about Amy Bradley is that drawing really is her favourite thing, she's been doing it for as long as she can remember! That's why for her being an illustrator is the world's BEST job!!She works from a quirky studio in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, where every one of her illustrations is hand drawn, making use of digital techniques to create colourful illustrations that offer a truly refreshing, fun and energetic approach. She has worked with Andy on several books, including 'How To Be A Brilliant Teenager'.

Andy Cope

Andy describes himself as an author, happiness expert, qualified teacher and learning junkie. He has spent 10 years researching 'positive psychology' culminating in a 'PhD in Happiness' from Loughborough University. He has developed a series of keynotes and courses centring on themes of happiness and flourishing, which he delivers in business and schools across the world. Andy has written several best-selling personal development books, including 'The Art of Being Brilliant', and is also a best-selling children's author. His 'Spy Dog' series has enjoyed huge global success.

Anthony Trevelyan

Anthony Trevelyan was born in Lancashire. He read English at Trinity College, Oxford, before going on to further studies at Lancaster University. Currently he lives with his wife near Manchester, where he takes part in performance events such as Flim Nite and First Draft. He works as a teacher of English and Creative Writing at a sixth form college in Stockport. His first novel, The Weightless World, was published by Galley Beggar Press in 2015 and was longlisted for the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize.

Ashley Hay

Ashley Hay is the internationally acclaimed author of the novels The Body in the Clouds, The Railwayman's Wife and A Hundred Small Lessons. The Railwayman's Wife was honoured with the Colin Roderick Award by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the most prestigious literary prize in Australia, among numerous other accolades. She has also written four nonfiction books.She lives in Brisbane, Australia.ashleyhay.com.au

Benedict Wells

Benedict Wells was born in 1984 in Munich. At the age of six, he started his journey through three Bavarian boarding schools. Upon graduating school in 2003, he moved to Berlin, where he decided against an academic education and instead started to dedicate his time to writing. In 2016 he won the European Union Prize for Literature for his third novel, The End of Loneliness, which has been in the German bestseller list for over a year. After years of living in Barcelona, Wells has recently returned to Berlin.

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.

Eiko

Eiko, aka queen of the splits, is a yoga teacher and former aerobics instructor from Osaka, Japan. Her yoga techniques are famed for their health benefits and have helped a huge number of people become more strong and flexible. Eiko's video demonstrating how to do the splits went viral on Twitter and Facebook, and has been viewed 6 million times on YouTube. Even her yoga students who are in their 70s can do the splits with ease.

Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand grew up in Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, where she was a teaching/writing fellow. She now lives with her husband and their three children on Nantucket, Massachusetts, where her novels are set.You can follow Elin on Twitter @elinhilderbrand or find out more on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/ElinHilderbrand.

Eloisa James

After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor. Currently she is the Director of Creative Writing in the English Department at Fordham University in New York City. She lives and writes in New Jersey with her husband, a Dante scholar and Italian knight, and their two children.

Emily Reynolds

Emily Reynolds is a journalist specialising in mental health, technology, science and feminism, writing for WIRED, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, and VICE among others. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her early twenties, and since then has been raising awareness and supporting other young people with mental health issues. She also co-founded the Words by Women Awards in 2016.

Eugene Peterson

Eugene Peterson is a pastor, author, scholar and poet. He grew up in Montana and earned his B.A. in philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, his S.T.B. from New York Theological Seminary, and his M.A. in Semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University. He served as a pastor for 29 years and then became Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, retiring in 2006.Eugene Peterson is perhaps best known for his book THE MESSAGE: THE BIBLE IN CONTEMPORARY LANGUAGE and is also known for his involvement in the Renovaré spiritual formation movement. The books in his spiritual theology series, including THE JESUS WAY and PRACTISE RESURRECTION, are widely acclaimed.Now retired from full-time teaching, Eugene and his wife Jan live in the Big Sky Country of rural Montana.

Fran Cooper

Fran Cooper grew up in London before reading English at Cambridge and Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She spent three years in Paris writing a PhD about travelling eighteenth-century artists, and currently works in the curatorial department of a London museum. These Dividing Walls is her first novel.