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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where on Earth Do You Get Your Ideas?--Part Cinco

Hey!  This Spanish number looks familiar, because it was just Cinco de Mayo.  Here at "It's Like Making Sausage," I provide an educational service as we practice counting in foreign languages.  All together now:  "Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco..."

And since I'm being educational, I'll tell you about the genesis of my non-mystery work-in-progress.  If all goes well, I will have two books out next year, the seventh Faye Longchamp mystery from Poisoned Pen Press and, from Pearson, Mathematical Literacy in the Middle and Secondary Grades.

I sorta fell into this educational work when an educational consulting group found that they could draw math lessons from my mysteries. (I didn't put math in there on purpose, but my education is in physics and engineering, and it just pops up.  Who you are comes out in what you write.  You can't help it.)

So for the past few years, I've done a bit of speaking at teachers conferences and at schools.  You can find a piece of one those presentations, as well as teachers' guides for all my books, on my website.  While speaking to the National Council of Teachers of English, I met a YA literature professor whose specialty is math literacy. For the past five years, we've done presentations and published a paper and have finally landed this book contract. 

My goals with this work are twofold.  First, I'm a parent and I've spent some time teaching and I'm a citizen who's interested in making sure our kids are as well-educated as possible.  I like the idea of contributing to the world of education.  And second, there's the possibility that this education book will get the word out about my novels to a whole new group of people.  We'll be using my books for a few examples, and we'll be getting around the country, training teachers in how to better communicate with their math students.  This can only be a good thing for my career.

I'm already getting a some school sales and school library sales, but the potential is huge. Just putting one book in each school library in the country would be a big sale. Or one of each of my backlist. Or thirty in every senior English classroom...
But between here and there, I need to write half an education book and a whole mystery.  I'm getting tired, just thinking about it.  But it's also very exciting...


  1. Congratulations on a successful fiction series *and* your math literacy book. Very cool.

  2. Thanks, Michelle! Faith and I are working on two of the chapters now--one on word structure in mathematics and one on mathematics in popular culture. It's interesting stuff.