Related to: 'How to Hold a Grudge'

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

Haven't They Grown

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah
Hodder Paperbacks

Did You See Melody?

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

'Outstandingly brilliant' Clare MackintoshDid she really see Melody?The stunning new pageturner from the Queen of Psychological Suspense. Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can't afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied - by a man and a teenage girl.A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist - but Cara's fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can't possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder.Cara doesn't know what to trust: everything she's read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?******What people are saying about DID YOU SEE MELODY?'I was hooked!...there was a cracking ending!' GoodReads reviewer'Really good reading that moved at a fast pace and kept me engaged throughout. Highly recommended.' GoodReads reviewer'Oh superb. Excellent. All the other expletives. Ms Hannah still showing us how twisting a plot is done properly.' GoodReads reviewer

Hodder & Stoughton

The Narrow Bed

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah
Hodder & Stoughton

A Game for All the Family

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

'Tension, thy name is Sophie Hannah' IndependentJustine thought she knew who she was, until an anonymous caller seemed to know better...After escaping London and a career that nearly destroyed her, Justine plans to spend her days doing as little as possible in her beautiful home in Devon.But soon after the move, her daughter Ellen starts to withdraw when her new best friend, George, is unfairly expelled from school. Justine begs the head teacher to reconsider, only to be told that nobody's been expelled - there is, and was, no George. Then the anonymous calls start: a stranger, making threats that suggest she and Justine share a traumatic past and a guilty secret - yet Justine doesn't recognise her voice. When the caller starts to talk about three graves - two big and one small, to fit a child - Justine fears for her family's safety. If the police can't help, she'll have to eliminate the danger herself, but first she must work out who she's supposed to be...

Hodder & Stoughton

Pictures Or It Didn't Happen

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

Would you trust a complete stranger?After Chloe and her daughter Freya are rescued from disaster by a man who seems too good to be true, Chloe decides she must find him again to thank him. But instead of meeting her knight in shining armour, she comes across a woman called Nadine Caspian who warns her to stay well away from him. The man is dangerous, Nadine claims, and a compulsive liar. Alarmed, Chloe asks her what she means, but Nadine will say no more. Chloe knows that the sensible choice would be to walk away - after all, she doesn't know anything about this man. But she is too curious. What could Nadine have meant? And can Chloe find out the truth without putting herself and her daughter in danger?

Hodder Paperbacks

The Telling Error

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah
Hodder Paperbacks

The Carrier

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

***WINNER OF THE SPECSAVERS NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR CRIME THRILLER OF THE YEAR 2013***He swore he was a killer. The truth was worse.An overnight plane delay is bad.Having to share your hotel room with a stranger is worse.But that is only the beginning of Gaby Struthers' problems.Gaby has never met Lauren Cookson before. So how does Lauren know so much about her? How does she know that the love of Gaby's life has been accused of murder? Why is she telling her that he is innocent? And why is she so terrified of Gaby?If you loved Gone Girl, you'll find this chilling domestic thriller impossible to put down.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Sophie Hannah Collection 1-3

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

The first three novels from bestselling author and queen of psychological suspense, Sophie Hannah: LITTLE FACE, HURTING DISTANCE and THE POINT OF RESCUE.Little FaceShe's only been gone two hours.Her husband David was meant to be looking after their two-week-old daughter. But when Alice Fancourt walks into the nursery, her terrifying ordeal begins, for Alice insists the baby in the cot is a stranger she's never seen before . . . Hurting DistanceThree years ago, something terrible happened to Naomi Jenkins - so terrible that she never told anybody.Now Naomi has another secret - the man she has fallen passionately in love with, unhappily married Robert Haworth. When Robert vanishes without trace, Naomi knows he must have come to harm. But the police are less convinced, particularly when Robert's wife insists he is not missing . . .The Point of RescueSally is watching the news with her husband when she hears a name she ought not to recognise: Mark Bretherick.Last year, when Sally's work trip was cancelled at the last minute, she decided not to tell her husband that the trip had fallen through. Instead, she booked a week off work and treated herself to a secret holiday. All she wanted was a bit of peace - some time to herself - but it didn't work out that way. Because Sally met a man - Mark Bretherick. All the details are the same: where he lives, his job, his wife Geraldine and daughter Lucy. Except that the man on the news is a man Sally has never seen before. And Geraldine and Lucy Bretherick are both dead . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

Something Untoward: Six Tales of Domestic Terror

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

Six short tales of chilling suspense from bestselling author Sophie Hannah, plus an exclusive extract from her new psychological thriller, THE CARRIER, coming out in February 2013.

Hodder Paperbacks

Kind of Cruel

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah
Hodder Paperbacks

Lasting Damage

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

The unnervingly good sixth psychological thriller from bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah, not to be missed for readers of Clare Mackintosh and Paula Hawkins.'Jaw-droppingly assured' Daily Express'A first-class whodunnit' Scotsman Don't go into the other woman's house . . . It's 1.15 a.m. Connie Bowskill should be asleep. Instead, she's logging on to a property website in search of a particular house: 11 Bentley Grove, Cambridge. She knows it's for sale; she saw the estate agent's board in the front garden less than six hours ago.Soon Connie is clicking on the 'Virtual Tour' button, keen to see the inside of 11 Bentley Grove and put her mind at rest once and for all. She finds herself looking at a scene from a nightmare: in the living room, in the middle of the carpet, there's a woman lying face down in a huge pool of blood. In shock, Connie wakes her husband Kit. But when Kit sits down at the computer to take a look, he sees no dead body, only a pristine beige carpet in a perfectly ordinary room . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

A Room Swept White

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah
Hodder Paperbacks

The Other Half Lives

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah
Hodder & Stoughton

Hurting Distance

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

The second stunning thriller from queen of psychological crime, Sophie Hannah, perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh and Paula Hawkins.'Superbly creepy' Guardian 'Rivetingly original' Sunday Times Sometimes love must kill before it can die. Three years ago, something terrible happened to Naomi Jenkins - so terrible that she never told anybody.Now Naomi has another secret - the man she has fallen passionately in love with, unhappily married Robert Haworth. When Robert vanishes without trace, Naomi knows he must have come to harm. But the police are less convinced, particularly when Robert's wife insists he is not missing.In desperation, Naomi has a crazy idea. If she can't persuade the police that Robert is in danger, perhaps she can convince them that he is a danger to others. Then they will have to look for him - urgently. Naomi knows how to describe in detail the actions of a psychopath. All she needs to do is dig up her own troubled past . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

The Point of Rescue

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

Sally is watching the news with her husband when she hears a name she ought not to recognise: Mark Bretherick. Last year, a work trip Sally had planned was cancelled at the last minute. Desperate for a break from her busy life juggling work and a young family, Sally didn't tell her husband that the trip had fallen through. Instead, she booked a week off work and treated herself to a secret holiday. All she wanted was a bit of peace - some time to herself - but it didn't work out that way. Because Sally met a man - Mark Bretherick. All the details are the same: where he lives, his job, his wife Geraldine and daughter Lucy. Except that the man on the news is a man Sally has never seen before. And Geraldine and Lucy Bretherick are both dead . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

Little Face

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

The first extraordinary psychological suspense thriller from internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah. Not to be missed for readers of Clare Mackintosh and Paula Hawkins'Terrifying' Scotsman'Ingenious' Sunday TimesIt's every mother's nightmare . . .She's only been gone two hours.Her husband David was meant to be looking after their two-week-old daughter. But when Alice Fancourt walks into the nursery, her terrifying ordeal begins, for Alice insists the baby in the cot is a stranger she's never seen before.With an increasingly hostile and menacing David swearing she must either be mad or lying, how can Alice make the police believe her before it's too late?

Adam Hills

Adam Hills is an Australian comedian and television presenter. Alongside his stand-up, he is known in Australia for hosting the music and quiz show Spicks and Specks and the talk show Adam Hills Tonight. His combination of positive uplifting comedy and spontaneity has seen him receive a number of awards and glowing reviews along the way. In 2012, he hosted a one-off series for Channel 4 airing over 2012 London Paralympics called The Last Leg. Now in its 12th series, the show is one of the most popular shows in the UK. This is his first book.

Akala

Akala is a BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, writer and social entrepreneur, as well as the co-founder of The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company. With an extensive global touring history, Akala has appeared at numerous festivals both in the UK and internationally, and has led innovative projects in the arts, education and music across South East Asia, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. Akala has also appeared on Channel 4, ITV, MTV, Sky Arts and the BBC promoting his music and poetry, and speaking on wide-ranging subjects from music, race, youth engagement, British/African-Caribbean culture and the arts, with numerous online lectures and performances that have millions of views on YouTube. More recently known for his compelling lectures and journalism - he has been awarded an honorary degree from Oxford Brookes University and the University of Brighton, written for the Guardian, Huffington Post and the Independent, and spoken for the Oxford Union and TEDx - Akala has gained a reputation as one of the most dynamic and articulate talents in the UK.

Alex Loyd

Dr Alexander Loyd, PhD, ND, is the international bestselling author of The Love Code (hardcover title Beyond Willpower, Harmony, 2015) and The Healing Code (Grand Central Life & Style, 2011). He has been featured live on NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and PBS news programs as an expert in healing the source issues underlying illness and disease. Dr Alex lectures all over the world in person and on radio, Internet, and television, with approximately 150 speaking engagements a year. With little money and no advertising, he built the largest practice of its kind in the world, with hundreds of thousands of clients in 50 states and 167 countries (and counting). He lives in Leipers Fork, Tennessee, with his wife Hope and sons Harry and George.

Alice Judge-Talbot

Alice Judge-Talbot is a blogger, writer and entrepreneur from Buckinghamshire, a quiet place she found herself in when she became a single mum to two under two at the age of twenty-seven. She started her blog in 2009 when she found herself pregnant in a group of friends where 'Mum' was a word used for the woman you called when you broke up with your boyfriend, knowing nobody in her real life had even an inkling of a baby on the horizon. Since then, Alice has written frankly, funnily and emotively on the subjects that affect mums the world over: from pregnancy and childbirth to post-natal depression, divorce and life as a single mother. She is now the thriving and proud mother of a five and seven year-old, writing a successful blog called More Than Toast as well as a column for the Telegraph, and she has thankfully worked out what day the bins go out.