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Monday, 2 August 2010
Welcome Jacqui Murray
Good morning Jacqui. It's lovely to have you today. Please note today Virtual Book Tours is giving a $10 Amazon gift card to a lucky person who leaves a comment.
Please tell us a bit about yourself Jacqui.
Hi Margaret. Thank you for having me. I was born in Berkley California to Irish-German parents. After receiving a BA in Economics, another in Russian and an MBA, I spent twenty years in a variety of industries while raising two children and teaching evening classes at community colleges. Now, I live with my husband, adult son and two beautiful Labradors. I write how-books, five blogs on everything from the Naval Academy to tech to science, as well as a column for the Examiner on tech tips.
So tell me Jacqui,what made you write your books?
When my daughter wanted a book on how to get into the Naval Academy, all she could find were books that told her how hard it was, how selective they were, how very few could achieve it. My daughter brushed them off, but I wondered how many kids would be discouraged by that approach and decided to write a book explaining how to achieve the goal, not why kids couldn’t. In Building a Midshipman: How to Crack the USNA Applications, I stress how teens can solve the problems that stand in their way rather than why they can’t, how they can get where they want to go rather than why they can’t get there. That worked for my daughter and I have no doubt it will work for others. From what I hear from readers, it’s true.
My tech workbooks are the same. When I went back to teaching, I could find no workbooks for teaching technology to K-5. There were how-tos, but not geared for students of that age group. So I decided to write them. I geared the books for parents with nominal computer skills, homeschoolers and lab specialists. It outlines the method I use in my classes that gets kids from the most basics of computer skills in kindergarten to Photoshop by fifth grade. I’m not surprised that the method works, and is now being used in school districts all over the country
How facinating. All your books look like they are really needed. Well done on seeing the niche in the market. So what inspires you to write
Mostly, I’m inspired by the human ability to solve problems. People often think they can’t, they’re not smart enough, but they always are. In my books, I present no-nonsense, intuitive solutions to reputedly complicated problems. For example, the Naval Academy takes less than ten percent of applicants, yet, by following the advice I share, that goes up to a 50-50 chance. Another example, parents often tell me they are amazed how much their students can do after just a few years in my technology program. I’m not—not because I’m a great teacher, but because I present it in a manner that children are empowered to solve their problems, which allows them to learn more efficiently.
What’s next on your writing agenda?
I am working on a fiction series. I love science and want to pass that passion on to students, so my fiction endeavors have that goal in mind. My first fiction novel, To Hunt a Sub, is a techno-thriller about nefarious characters using brainy science to steal America's Trident submarines and how an equally-brainy female grad student stops them. It won the Southern California Writers Conference Outstanding Fiction Award last year and is in the final stages of rewrite. I have an excerpt available on Scribd.com.
Wow, how wonderful. Congratulations. Where can your followers find you?
Anyone interested in my books, here is where you can find them:
and the publisher's website
Buy my Ebooks.
If you’re interested in To Hunt a Cruiser, leave a comment on my WordDreams blog and I’ll let you know when it’s out.
I also write a column for Examiner.com.
I invite everyone to read that, add comments, follow me!
Twitter I go by the name @askatechteacher
What do you do to overcome the loneliness of being a writer?
I’m not lonely. I enjoy being solitary. I have a wonderful husband, two dogs and two adult children, so I have as much distraction as I can handle. Other than that, I find researching my books exciting, editing the story is exhilarating.
What’s your advice to new writers
God love America, there are no boundaries for what you can accomplish. That’s what made both of my books--Building a Midshipman and 55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom—possible. Here’s a tip you can live by, though: Start at the beginning and don’t stop until you get there. Good luck!
Thank you jacqui for sharing your news and books with us today. Good Luck with them all.