Related to: 'Safe: How to stay safe in a dangerous world'

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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Strike Back Novel 5

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan
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Soldier's History of the SAS

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan
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Black Ops

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan
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Red Strike

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan
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Head Hunters

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan
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Global Strike

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan

Charles Street was once a highly-respected agent working for MI6, until a terrible mistake cost him his job. Now he's a desperate man, living on past glories and struggling to make ends meet. Until he makes a discovery that has the power to bring down the new President of the United States. But when Street tries to cash in on this discovery, he finds himself pursued by a Russian snatch squad.Strike Back hero John Porter and Regiment renegade John Bald are recruited by their handler to head to Washington, D.C. Their mission: find Street before the Russians.What begins as a routine exfiltration quickly descends into a brutal struggle and the ex-SAS legends will need to use all of their fighting instincts to stay alive.A startling revelation that leads from the White House to the Kremlin threatens to trigger a new global conflict...

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Warlord

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan

'The action comes bullet-fast and Ryan's experience of covert operations flash through the high-speed story like tracer rounds.' The SunThe fifth book in the Danny Black series. On the border of the United States and Mexico, a war is raging that can never be won by conventional means.The drug cartels are rampant. Their victims number in the tens of thousands. Men, women and children are butchered in the most obscene ways imaginable. Of all the cartels, the most violent is Los Zetas. Originally made up of former Mexican special forces turned bad, they are perhaps the most ruthless and highly trained criminals in the world.Which is why only the most ruthless and highly trained operatives can ever hope to be a match for them.Enter the Regiment.When the CIA reaches out to the British military for help, SAS legend Danny Black and his team are despatched to give the Zetas a taste of their own medicine. Working deniably and under the radar, their mission is to sow death and mayhem among the cartel, and to coax out from hiding their elusive leader, the iconic Z1.But as Danny is about to find out, the arm of the cartel is long, their sickening strategies underhand and brutal. And in the dog eat dog world of this clandestine, bloodthirsty war, nothing is ever quite as it seems.It will take all the SAS team's skill to break through to the heart of the cartel. And even that might not be enough...

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Shadow Kill

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan

Held up by rebel forces in a brutal siege, John Porter is tested to the limit in the African jungle. Strikeback hero John Porter is sent on a mission with Regimental scallywag John Bald. Where Porter plays it by the book, Bald will always want to break the rules.They are sent to Sierra Leone to extract Ronald Soames, a former CO of the Regiment and now right-hand man to the President. But when Porter and Bald arrive the Englishman has disappeared, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. Rebels are threatening to take over the country and its diamond mines - and to massacre all foreigners.Porter and Bald find themselves fighting shoulder to shoulder with the Regiment psychopath who is already embedded in the country.But it soon becomes clear that the Firm has lied to them about the true nature of the mission.What seems at first to be a battle to control Sierra Leone's diamond mines will turn out to about a much greater evil - and with a trail that leads back to both Westminster and the Kremlin.

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Deathlist

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan

If you love the Strikeback series, pre-order the thrilling new book, Red Strike, now. Coming February 2019.John Porter, hero of the original Strikeback novel and TV series returns in an exciting adventure, when old enemies attack the SAS. 1999. A bitterly cold morning in the Brecon Beacons, and the soldiers trying out for SAS Selection are preparing to face their toughest test yet. Overseeing the soldiers is John Porter: once a promising young Blade, now a broken man and a drunk, seeing out his days in the Regiment Training Wing. But before the Fan Dance can begin, six masked gunmen carry out a devastating attack. Dozens of soldiers are killed. In the aftermath of the massacre, and with a government desperate for action, Porter and another surviving operator, John Bald, are taken to a secretive briefing in London. Their orders - to hunt down and kill those responsible for the attack. What follows is a deadly game of kill or be killed as Bald and Porter lead a Strike Team across Europe on a blood-soaked mission of revenge. But as they draw closer to their ultimate target, the men discover that there is a greater threat - much closer to home...

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Bad Soldier

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan
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Hellfire

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan
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Killing for the Company

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan

From the author of the bestselling Danny Black series and hit TV show Strikeback. Former SAS legend Chris Ryan brings you his sixteenth novel and it is full of all his trademark action, thrills and inside knowledge.2003. Invalided out of the SAS Chet Freeman makes his living in high-end security, on a temporary contract for an American corporation called the Grosvenor Group. He catches a young woman, a peace campaigner, eavesdropping on a meeting the Group is holding with the British Prime Minister. The Group's interests include arms manufacture, and what Chet and the young woman overhear seems to imply that it is bribing the Prime Minister to take his country into an illegal war. Could this possibly be true? Somebody believes that this is a secret that needs covering up, because Chet and the girl are attacked. Hunted down, they go into hiding, and a deadly game of cat and mouse begins.Nearly ten years later tension is reaching breaking point in Jerusalem. The now ex-Prime Minister is working as a Middle East peace envoy. As the city descends into anarchy and rival armies are poised to turn it into a battlefield, Chet's best buddy, Luke, is part of a team tasked by the Regiment with extracting the ex-Prime Minister.At the height of the battle Luke discovers a conspiracy far more devastating than any arms deal.

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The Kill Zone

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan
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Osama

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan
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Masters of War

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan
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Hunter Killer

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan

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Chris Ryan Extreme: Most Wanted

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan
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Chris Ryan Extreme: Night Strike

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan

The second book in the Chris Ryan Extreme series. Former SAS hero John Bald is a man at war with himself and fighting a losing battle with the bottle. But then he is reluctantly thrust back into battle...In the race to develop ever more powerful weapons, technology has become the new frontline in global terrorism. And when one of America's most cutting-edge defence contractors suspects a sleeper cell operating in its midst, the Firm reaches out to its most cold-blooded son. Bald's mission: kill the sleeper before they can smuggle top-secret weaponry into the hands of the West's deadliest enemies.But the mission goes sideways, and Bald is the fall guy. Now he must pursue the sleeper from the ghettos of Florida to the war-torn streets of Tripoli, in a relentless hunt for the technology and the truth. Shadowed every step of the way by a ruthless CIA hitman, Bald soon finds that the lines between friend and enemy are blurred, and he'll have to call on all his warrior instincts to stay alive...The Chris Ryan Extreme books take you even further into the heart of the mission with even more extreme action, more extreme language and more extreme pace. Like Call of Duty or Medal of Honor, you'll feel part of the team. Chris Ryan Extreme: Night Strike has already been published as four separate shorter missions on ebook.

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Medal of Honor

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan

In this new Chris Ryan adventure, the best soldiers in the world come together to fight Al-Qaeda. It is the early days of the war in Afghanistan. SAS hero, Jock, has never fought alongside America's select Tier 1 Operators before now, but when their mission goes pear-shaped, he will find out just what they are made of... Battling against overwhelming odds in unknown territory, and with the enemy well dug-in, even the most elite soldiers with the most advanced weaponry at their disposal are put to the ultimate test of skill and courage.

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Chris Ryan Extreme: Hard Target

Chris Ryan
Authors:
Chris Ryan