Monday, April 15, 2013

Author Interview: John Carlin

In 2012, we had the opportunity to publish a unique math book by John Carlin. It gives tips and tricks to solve even difficult math in your head, and it's definitely worth the read. Today's post was written by the author.

The name of my book is Don’t be Baffled at Binomial Blvd & Algebra Ave. The book is a bridge or transition book from Arithmetic to Algebra. It uses mental math to teach how algebra is related to arithmetic. It contains a lot of what is commonly called Vedic Math, but goes farther than that since there are techniques and examples in the book you won’t see anywhere else. The book is nonfiction and is tilted toward students that are junior high age. Typically, that is the age where students sometimes just check out on math. Adults may find it of interest also.

I have run across people from other cultures that were almost so agile with numbers it was amazing. Most of them learned math at an early age starting with an abacus. I have always been fascinated by them and wished that my own math experiences included some early alternative learning methods. About ten years ago I discovered Vedic Math and was amazed at the simplicity of it. I will be a very happy if the book helps even a few students develop better math skills.

I have only been writing for about three years. I started because I discovered that actually writing about a topic like this actually made me a better mental math calculator. Typically I write in a spare bedroom that we converted into a computer room/study. I talk aloud to myself as I write at times, so the need for a little quiet and seclusion is rather important. My advice to others about writing is to do everything you can to foster your creativity. Write when you are well rested, take notes when a good idea hits you, write in spurts, change genres, or projects when you are blocked. Get exercise, stay relaxed, and don’t force it. Motivation can’t be forced either, but you can be patient and set some really small incremental goals to accomplish until a new wave of motivation establishes itself again.

I want my readers to give up their preconceived notions about math. Don’t judge yourself to be bad at it based on prior experiences which may include bad teachers and texts. Think of it as a game you want to raise your skill levels in. One where you aren’t competing against someone so much as you are competing against your own former best. That approach leads to personal growth and enjoyment of the subject. My book is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and as an ebook.

Thank you, John!

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