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

Let Me Tell You A Story

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
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

The Wisdom House

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

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

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Grandparent

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

'If you have children, buy this book for your parents now. If you are a grandparent, don't go near your grandchildren until you have read it!' Rosemary ConleyThere are many different kinds of grandparents - tired-out or over-eager, super-involved or unsure how to help, unwilling or ever-ready. In this simple book Rob Parsons will help you reach the common aspiration: to be the best grandparent that you can possibly be.- The baby stage: helping out without interfering - How to help your own children find their way as parents- Loving your grandchildren without spoiling them- When to intervene, and when to keep out of it- Finding your place within a blended family- Becoming invaluable (rather than insufferable) to your daughter-in-law

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

Take an hour to read a book that will change your marriage forever! Rob Parsons presents an action plan to revolutionise every relationship. Includes: Are affairs good for a marriage? - How to argue - effectively - Why many men say, 'My wife's not interested in sex' - Why cutting your credit card in half can save your marriage - How a divorce will affect your children.

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
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

Adrian Plass

Adrian Plass is one of the most-loved Christian writers in the UK. He is the bestselling author of The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37¾ - which with its various sequels has sold millions of copies around the world. A somewhat bemused Anglican, Adrian and his wife Bridget live in the north of England travel widely to speak in churches, prisons, schools, and at festivals and literary events in the UK and around the world.

Andy Jones

In one form or another, Andy has always been a writer. At school, he passed notes in class and scribbled rude words on lampposts. At University, he wrote a PhD in biochemistry and forged tickets to various balls. And as an advertising copywriter, has written commercials for everything from baby food to booze. But it wasn't until he was well into his thirties that Andy stared writing fiction. If he could write a letter his younger self, it would urge him to stop messing about and get on with it. FOUR is his fourth novel, but should probably be his tenth. Find Andy on Twitter and Instagram @andyjonesauthor, and Facebook /andyjonesauthor.

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.

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.

Dr Mike Shooter

Dr Mike Shooter CBE is a former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and was the first child psychiatrist to hold that post. He is now an honorary fellow of six Royal Colleges and has spoken from public and professional platforms, written and advised governments in many parts of the world. An ex-journalist, Mike is a passionate believer in the power of stories and the need to share them - those of his patients and his own. He still lives in the Welsh Valleys, amidst a large family, many animals, and the community with whom he worked for more than 40 years.