Related to: 'Rob Parsons: The Sixty Minute Father and The Sixty Minute Marriage'

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

Rob Parsons Omnibus: Sixty Minute Mother/Father/Marriage

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Hodder & Stoughton

Rob Parsons: Heart of Success, Money Secret, Wisdom House

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

The Heart of Success, The Money Secret and The Wisdom House capture wisdom from Rob's own experiences and of others he's met.'Rob Parsons has an uncanny ability for asking life's most challenging questions in an unobtrusive way.' - Jill Garrett, The Gallup Organisation'Before you read one more book on how to climb the corporate ladder read this: it will help you make sure the ladder is leaning against the right wall.' - Kevin Kaiser, INSEAD'Get ready for an incredible journey of self-discovery.' Bob Gorzynki, author of The Strategic Mind

Hodder & Stoughton

Let Me Tell You A Story

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Rob Parsons is a bestselling author who has travelled widely across the UK and around the world, sharing his own stories of the ups and downs of life and faith with over a million people at live events over the past 30 years.Let Me Tell You A Story brings together some of the very the best of these stories - heartwarming and challenging tales that make up a compendium of insights on faith and family, love and loss, money and priorities, dreams and goals.Pull up a chair and settle in to enjoy as the storyteller weaves his spell...

Hodder & Stoughton

Rob Parsons: The Sixty Minute Mother, The Sixty Minute Marriage

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

The Wisdom House

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

You don't always have to learn the hard way.On the spur of the moment, the morning after the birth of one of his grandchildren, Rob Parsons wrote the baby a letter.And then Rob began to think about how he hoped he'd have the chance to talk with all his grandchildren as they grew. He imagined them coming into his study, settling into one of the two comfy armchairs in front of the fire and opening up about the challenges they were facing.Perhaps it would be when they were beginning their first job, buying their first house, getting married or starting a family. Or perhaps they'd talk long into the night, when their hearts were broken or friends had betrayed them. Perhaps he would have the chance to help them rebuild the dream that somebody had trodden on.'Come on in, take a seat - tell me what's been going on...'Rob knew he wouldn't have all the answers. But maybe he could help - just a little.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Grandparent

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

What They Didn't Teach Me in Sunday School

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

Loving Against the Odds

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Here is a book for all couples - those with strong marriages who want to protect their relationship, those going through difficult times, and those considering marriage.With humour and honesty it deals with issues that are relevant to every marriage, including; communicating more effectively, over coming financial pressure, why interest in sex sometimes dies, the affair, and dealing with conflict.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Money Secret

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Practical and life-changing, THE MONEY SECRET will totally revolutionise your attitude to money and show how it can either be the source of freedom and happiness or a burden of guilt and debt. When you have finished this powerful story you will want to cut up your credit cards forever and rid yourself of the power of the banks and lenders and advertisers who dupe us all into a spending frenzy based on false promises and slick delusions. As well as offering solutions this book will challenge the status quo and question current spending habits. Rich or poor, we have all at some time felt in despair about money and its power over our lives. Rob Parsons shows a new way forward which will change your life, focus your priorities and put you back in control.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Marriage

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Mother

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

Teenagers!

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Father

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

THE SIXTY MINUTE FATHER sets goals to help every father ensure that he doesn't miss out on the greatest opportunity of his life. His advice includes: Put dates in your diary that are important for your children; talk to your baby as if she understands every word; if you have to be away write your children a letter; tell them how you spend your day.This is a book for fathers that every mother will want to read!

Hodder & Stoughton

The Heart of Success

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Jack's father was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his time - the only problem was that the old man had no time, no friends, and died early. The prospect of following in the family tradition seems less than appealing to Jack but on the first day of his MBA he meets a retired professor who offers him a class that wasn't exactly on the curriculum: how to make it in business without losing in life. Over a series of memorable evenings the professor shares with Jack seven laws to turn his life around.Don't settle for being money rich - time poorBelieve that the job you do makes a differencePlay to your strengthsBelieve in the power of dreamsPut your family before your careerKeep the common touchDon't settle for success; strive for significance

Hodder & Stoughton

What Every Kid Wished their Parents Knew

Rob Parsons, Lloyd Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons, Lloyd Parsons

Rob Parsons teams up with his teen-age son, Lloyd, to write a warm and witty guide to parent/child communication. With cartoon illustrations.

Anna Jacobs

Anna Jacobs grew up in Lancashire and emigrated to Australia, but still visits the UK regularly to see her family and do research, something she loves. She is addicted to writing and figures she'll have to live to be 120 at least to tell all the stories that keep popping up in her imagination and nagging her to write them down. She's also addicted to her own hero, to whom she's been happily married for many years.She is the bestselling author of over eighty novels and has been shortlisted for several awards, and Pride of Lancashire won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2006.You can find out more on her website, www.annajacobs.com or on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Anna.Jacobs.Books.

Brother Andrew

Brother Andrew was born in Holland and became a Christian while serving in the Dutch army. After leaving the army he applied for Bible school in the UK and studied at the Bible Training Institute (now the International Christian College) in Glasgow, Scotland. He has worked tirelessly to strengthen the persecuted church all over the world, encouraging believers in their faith and sharing the gospel with some of the most unlikely people.His book GOD'S SMUGGLER tells the story of the start of his work, smuggling Bibles into communist countries illegally during the Cold War, which developed into the worldwide ministry now called Open Doors International. GOD'S SMUGGLER became an international best-seller with over ten million copies sold in English.After the fall of communism in Europe, Brother Andrew shifted his focus to China and the Middle East, and the incredible story of his ongoing ministry can be read in his next book LIGHT FORCE.His most recent book is SECRET BELIEVERS: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MUSLIMS TURN TO CHRIST?.

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.

Emily Rapp

A former Fulbright scholar and graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Emily Rapp is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon and Slate among other pubblications. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers' Award, a James A. Michener Fellowship at the University of Texas-Austin, and the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence fellowship at Bucknell University. She is currently professor of creative writing and literature at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and a faculty member in the University of California-Riverside MFA Program. For more information on Emily, visit her website, http://emilyrapp.com.

Glen David Gold

Glen David Gold was born and grew up in California, where he currently lives. His first novel, CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL was published in 2001, when it was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, and has been translated into 14 languages. His second novel, SUNNYSIDE, was published in 2009. His short stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Playboy and McSweeney's.