Related to: 'Deep Heat'

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

The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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A Fairy Tale for Christmas: a funny, feel-good, glorious Christmas romp

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

'Fabulously funny and festive. An absolute treat full of warmth and romance' - Alex Brown, author of The Secret of Orchard CottageA wonderful, heart-warming Christmas novel from Chrissie Manby, perfect for curling up with in front of the fire.What could be more magical at Christmas than a fairy tale come true?It's the festive season and the members of the Newbay Theatre Society, more commonly known as the NEWTS, are preparing to put on a show. Being cast as Cinderella is the realization of a dream for newcomer Kirsty, not least because she hopes starring in a panto under the direction of her boyfriend Jon will bring them closer together. But Kirsty soon learns that it's not all glitter and good cheer behind the scenes at the amateur theatre as bitter rivalries nurtured through decades, wardrobe mishaps and suspicious near-fatal accidents threaten to derail the production. And then there's Prince Charming himself. Will working together with Jon bring Kirsty her happy ever after... or reveal their love to be nothing but a 'showmance'?With Christmas just around the corner, it's going to take more than a Fairy Godmother to get Kirsty and her cast-mates to the ball.What readers are saying about A Fairy Tale for Christmas:'Filled with Christmas cheer...a captivating story!''A lovely, warm read...highly, highly recommended!''A beautiful sparkly warm festive book that will have you feeling ready for the Christmas season!''A warm, funny, festive read... an unmissable festive treat''A gorgeous, funny, touching story... I was hooked from the first page!'

Hodder Paperbacks

A Wedding at Christmas

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

A warm, wonderful and funny Christmas novel from Chrissie Manby - the ideal treat this festive season. Mince pies and mayhem guaranteed!What comes to mind when you picture a wedding at Christmas? A gorgeous white dress accessorised with a thick velvet cape... bridesmaids in red velvet too? An arch of Christmas greenery: holly and ivy and boughs of fir. Candles and fairy lights. Snow!Chelsea Benson has just twelve weeks to organise her perfect winter wedding. Her family and friends pitch in to help, but sisterly squabbling, issues with money and an Ice-Queen mother-in-law soon threaten Chelsea's plans for her big day. And that's without the firework fiasco...Rescuing Chelsea's dream of a proper family wedding might just take all the magic of Christmas...

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A Proper Family Adventure

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder Paperbacks

A Proper Family Christmas

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

A Proper Family Holiday

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Could you survive a week-long holiday with your entire family?Newly single magazine journalist Chelsea Benson can't think of anything worse.Your grubby small nephew torpedoing any chance of romance with the dishy guy you met on the plane . . .Your eighty-five-year-old granddad chatting up ladies at the hotel bar . . .Getting nothing but sarcastic comments from your older sister, who's always been the family favourite . . .And all this is before your parents drop their bombshell.Is a week enough time for the Bensons to put their differences aside and have some fun? Or is this their last ever proper family holiday?Heartwarming and funny, this is the perfect summer read for fans of SOPHIE KINSELLA and LINDSEY KELK. And provides a great excuse for ignoring your annoying family members . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

What I Did On My Holidays

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

Writing for Love

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Practical, inspiring, and filled with her trademark wit and charm, Chrissie Manby describes the writing process - from where she gets her ideas to a practical guide to planning the structure of a novel. A must-read for chick-lit fans and aspiring authors. EXCLUSIVE: contains chapters 1-4 of Chrissie's new novel WHAT I DID ON MY HOLIDAYS.

Hodder & Stoughton

Kate's Wedding

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

Getting Over Mr Right

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Have you ever had your heart broken? How did you get over it? Did a tub of ice cream cheer you up? Did you delete his number and start again? Are you now friends with your ex? Perhaps you're godmother to his children? In which case, you're a weirdo and this book is not for you. But if you reacted with denial, begging or a spot of casual witchcraft, then you've come to the right place. This is one woman's journey from love to lunacy and back again ...

Hodder & Stoughton

Marrying for Money

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

When the glamorous Grosvenor sisters arrive in the exclusive Hamptons beach town of Little Elbow, they can't help but cause a stir.Gorgeous Grace and Charming Charity are soon hot favourites on everybody's guest-list. Except that of their neighbour, Marcella Hunter. Heiress Marcella doesn't want the competition and when Grace starts dating Marcella's 'Plan B' man - dull but extraordinarily rich Choate Fitzgerald - the gloves are off. Marcella determines to find out where the sisters really came from. And exactly how they can afford to rent a six-bedroom beach house in this millionaires' playground. In the process, however, it's discovered that quite a few of the people spending that summer in Little Elbow are not exactly what they seem . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

Seven Sunny Days

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

The Matchbreaker

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

When Lindsey Parker's father announces that he is to remarry, Lindsey does what any good daughter would do: wishes him congratulations, then sets about trying to kill his fiancee.Fortunately, Lindsey's botched attempt at bumping Karen off fails, but it does succeed in driving her away. Jubilation turns to guilt when Lindsey realises her father is genuinely broken-hearted. The only way to mend it is to get Karen back.But Karen already has a new man. In an attempt to break the new couple up, Lindsey turns honey-trapper. The mission: to seduce her ex-future-step-mother's boyfriend. The problem: she's falling in love with him . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

Girl Meets Ape

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Dr Jennifer Niederhauser is a brilliant but uptight zoologist. As new head of the chimpanzee project at Prowdes Animal Sanctuary, she thinks she's got it made. But the regime is ramshackle, the chimpanzees uncontrollable and her first meeting with head keeper Guy Gibson finds him naked and covered in baby oil.Worse still Prowdes is virtually bankrupt. Then a TV documentary crew arrives. Exposure could be their economic salvation but there's a problem. The show's presenter, chimpanzee expert Dr Timothy Lauder, is Jennifer's ex-boyfriend. Things could get hairy . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

Second Prize

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Dashing, dishy and utterly uninterested. No one else can compete. Lara Fenton is all washed up. Single at 25, she's desperate to find a man, especially since her best friend Julie got engaged. Salvation arrives in the divine form of Hugh Armstrong-Hamilton. Yes, Hugh has his faults, but who doesn't? So what if he never picks up the bill? Big deal if he cancels dates at the last moment. And who cares about a few insults from his snooty friends? Hugh is a God - her God, and any other man would seem like second prize in comparison. Or would they...?

Hodder & Stoughton

Flatmates

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

Lizzie Jordan's Secret Life

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Lizzie Jordan considers herself one of life's failures. Unlike her high-flying friends, Lizzie works as a typist, shares a grubby flat and 'makes do' with her accountant boyfriend.But she has a secret love - Brian, a handsome American that she dated at university, five years ago. In her emails she pretends her life is a whirl of extravagant parties and million-pound business deals.Then Brian announces he's coming to stay! Lizzie's secret life is about to be rumbled unless she comes up with a cunning plan . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

Getting Personal

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder Paperbacks

Running Away From Richard

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Just graduated from drama school, Lizzie Jordan is looking forward to a glittering career at the RSC. She's also looking forward to becoming Mrs Richard Adams (Lizzie just knows that her live-in artist boyfriend is about to propose any day now). So how come, just one month later, Lizzie finds herself sharing a cockroach-infested house in Venice Beach, California, working as a waitress in a notorious transvestite bar, and pretending to be the fiancee of one of the hottest directors in Hollywood; a man who just happens to be gay? Why does life never seem to work out the way Lizzie Jordan planned?

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Ready or Not?

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby