Related to: 'Make Them Sorry'

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.

Mulholland Books

Walk Away

Sam Hawken
Authors:
Sam Hawken

Camaro Espinoza is 'the deadliest female protagonist since Jon Land's Caitlin Strong and Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander' (Booklist).Camaro Espinoza is a former combat medic whose past is shrouded in mystery. Having finally achieved a measure of calm and anonymity, Camaro receives a distress call from her sister Annabel. Living a modest life in a small town in California, Annabel has become trapped in an abusive relationship with a bad man named Jake Collier who threatens to make her daughter his next victim.Camaro rushes across the country to defend her sister for what may be the last time. For Jake has a sibling of his own, an ex-Marine named Lukas who is every bit as unhinged as Camaro is uncompromising. For all Camaro's stealth and wit, she can only last so long against such relentless force.As a pair of federal marshals pick up the trail, and a bounty hunter with a debt to settle closes in, Camaro's smart enough to know that standing her ground is the last thing she should do. But if there's one thing she can't do, it's walk away - even with a freight train like Lukas barreling towards her.

Mulholland Books

The Night Charter

Sam Hawken
Authors:
Sam Hawken

Camaro Espinoza has spent her whole life protecting people: at home, in the army, whenever she can. Sometimes, that's meant leaving bodies behind. Now she's running a boat off the Miami shore, keeping a low profile and aiming for a simple life.Then a man named Parker comes by with an errand to run near the Cuban coast. He's offering good money, and bad trouble. Camaro is reluctant - but Parker's in deep with the wrong people and he has a daughter who'll suffer if he doesn't come home.Camaro's not the sort to ignore the girl's plight. She's used to being wanted, but she's never really been needed before. As she tries to protect Lauren, she finds herself in the midst of double crosses, international intrigue, broken promises and scattered bullets. And this time she may not be able to escape unscathed.

Angela Clarke

Angela Clarke is the Sunday Times bestselling author of the Social Media Murders series. Her debut Follow Me was named Amazon's Rising Star Debut of the Month, longlisted for the CWA's Dagger in the Library, and shortlisted for the Good Reader Page Turner Award. Angela has appeared on CBS Reality's Written In Blood, on stage for BBC Edinburgh Fringe and on BBC News 24's Ouch comedy special Tales From the Misunderstood, at Noirwich, Camp Bestival, Panic! (in partnership with the Barbican, Goldsmiths University and the Guardian), at City University, at HM Prisons, and she hosts BBC 3 Counties Tales From Your Life, and the Womens' Radio Station Three Books show. She won the Young Stationers' Prize 2015 for achievement and promise in writing. A sufferer of EDS III, Angela is passionate about bringing marginalised voices into publishing. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Colleen Houck

Formerly a student at the University of Arizona Colleen Houck has worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years. Tiger`s Curse is her first book, which has already received literary praise and digital success. Her self-published eBook claimed the no.1 spot on Kindle`s children`s best-seller list for seven weeks. She lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a white stuffed tiger. Find out more on www.tigerscurse.com and connect with Colleen on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ColleenHouck.

Douglas Lindsay

Douglas Lindsay was born in Scotland in 1964, at 2:38 am. Thirty-five years of little note ensued, before the world heralded the publication of his first book, The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson, which was adapted was adapted for the screen starring Robert Carlyle, Ray Winstone and Emma Thompson. As he was leaving the house to undertake a public engagement for the first time, his wife kissed him on the cheek and said, 'Whatever you do, don't be yourself...' Sadly, Lindsay continues to ignore her advice to this day.Lindsay worked at the Ministry of Defence for over ten years and is married to a diplomat. He has lived in Dakar, Belgrade, Warsaw and Tallinn, an experience that inspired Song of the Dead. He now lives and writes full time in Somerset with his wife and their two children. Find him on Twitter at @DTSLindsay.

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.

Joe R. Lansdale

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Sunset and Sawdust, Rumble Tumble and The Bottoms. He has received the British Fantasy Award, the American Mystery Award, the Edgar Award, the Grinzane Cavour Prize for Literature, and seven Bram Stoker Awards. He lives with his family in Nacogdoches, Texas. Visit his website at www.joerlansdale.com, follow him on Twitter @joelansdale or find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JoeRLansdale.

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.

Lisa Jackson

LISA JACKSON is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than seventy-five novels, including Ready to Die, Afraid to Die, You Don't Want to Know, Running Scared, Without Mercy, Malice and Shiver. She has over twenty million copies of her books in print in nineteen languages. She lives with her family and a rambunctious pug in the Pacific Northwest. Find out more atwww.lisajackson.comwww.facebook.com/lisajacksonfanswww.twitter.com/readlisajackson

Mandasue Heller

Mandasue Heller was born in Cheshire and moved to Manchester in 1982. She spent ten years living in the notorious Hulme Crescents which have since become the background to her novels. Not only is she a talented writer, but she has also sung in cabaret and rock groups, seventies soul cover bands and blues jam bands.www.facebook.com/mandasue.hellerwww.twitter.com/mandasueheller

Michael Koryta

Michael Koryta's novels have won the LA Times Book Prize and the Great Lakes Book Award and been nominated for the Edgar, Shamus, Quill and Barry awards. A former private investigator and newspaper reporter, he published his first novel at the age of twenty-one. His work has been translated into twenty languages.Visit Michael Koryta's website at www.michaelkoryta.com and follow Michael on Twitter @mjkoryta

Mick Herron

Mick Herron's first Jackson Lamb novel, Slow Horses, was described as the 'most enjoyable British spy novel in years' by the Mail on Sunday and picked as one of the best twenty spy novels of all time by the Daily Telegraph. The second, Dead Lions, won the 2013 CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger. The third, Real Tigers, was shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and both the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. The fourth, Spook Street, was shortlisted for the Gold Dagger and won the Steel Dagger. London Rules is the fifth.Mick Herron was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives in Oxford.

Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of three previous novels, and a human resource professional. A graduate of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, Sally started writing novels after the birth of her first child. Sally has lived around the world, spending extended periods in Singapore, the UK, and Canada, and she now writes full-time from her home in Melbourne, where she lives with her husband and two young children.

Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is the author of numerous New York Times bestselling thrillers. She lives in Arlington, Texas. Visit her website at www.sandrabrown.com and connect with her on Twitter: @SandraBrown_NYT

Sara Paretsky

Sara Paretsky was named 2011 Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. She is the winner of many awards, including the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement from the British Crime Writers' Association and the CWA Gold Dagger for Blacklist. In 2015 she received the Theakstons Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award. She lives on Chicago's south side with her husband.Visit Sara's website, www.saraparetsky.com, find her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SaraParetsky, and follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/SaraParetsky

Sarah Alderson

Sarah is a British born, LA based author and screenwriter. Sarah left the UK in 2010 to travel the world with her husband and then toddler daughter (a journey documented in her memoir Can We Live Here?). After living in Bali, Indonesia for 5 years, during which time she published seven young adult books, they moved to California, where Sarah now balances screenwriting for TV and films with writing novels. She also has a successful career as a romance author under the pen name Mila Gray.

Scott Sigler

A Michigan native and Newcastle United football fan, Scott Sigler now lives in San Francisco with his wife and their two dogs.Sigler's debut thriller EarthCore was the world's first podcast-only novel, picking up 10,000 subscribers. His next podcast novel, ANCESTOR, saw 700,000 episodes downloaded by fans, and satellite network Sirius Satellite made it their first serialised audiobook. To date, Scott's fans have downloaded over 3 million files of his fiction and his four novels are now available in print in the UK.For more information and news visit www.scottsigler.com and follow Scott Sigler on Twitter @scottsigler

Stephanie Garber

Stephanie Garber wanted to be an explorer until she realised most of the world had already been discovered. So she started creating her own worlds, which is why she now writes imaginative fiction. When she's not writing, Stephanie teaches creative writing at a private college in northern California. LEGENDARY will be her second novel.

Stephen King

Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Sleeping Beauties (co-written with his son Owen King), the short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, the Bill Hodges trilogy End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel, and shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award). Many of King's books have been turned into celebrated films, television series and streamed events including The Shawshank Redemption, Gerald's Game and It.King is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.