My new book Detective Dwayne Drake and the Case of the Mathematical Misfit is slowly going through the process of becoming reality! I'm really excited to share the work of the new illustrator, Yuffie Yuliana. She is fantastic.
Check out the preview of the new cover. This will be another children's book for early elementary students and teaches simple addition. If you're looking for a dynamic book that's fun for you to read and entertaining to your child or your students. This book fits the bill.
The process of making a cover is simple but not easy. First, the artist sketches it out. This can take many hours. After Yuffie finishes she asks for my input. Once she receives my feedback she adds the colors and then layers on the text. This process usually takes a couple of days and sometimes many conversations back and forth.
Then once the colors and text have been added a beautiful cover is created!
Hiding behind a book. It's one of the best places to hide when you're in school. If your caught teachers tend to let you go because they're happy that you are actually reading.
It was in this world of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Classic Literature and Fiction that I buried myself. I hid from math and science, and peeked out in history to enjoy the stories and ducked back down when it came time to learn dates and places. In Gym I
was free to run, compete and excel. In English class I also revealed myself.
It was there that I could write and express myself without having to verbally articulate positions. I had time to think and processes information. These are two things that are difficult if your dyslexic or if your dyslexia was possibly misdiagnosed as an audio processing disorder (imagine having a conversation on your phone that keeps breaking up and trying to figure out what the other person is saying and then respond intelligently). English class was where my love of writing started and was my first step to the eventual publication of Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of The Alphabet Thief.
English and Gym and the occasional History class were the back bone of my GPA. It was all the reading, however, that actually helped me pass the ACT with a decent score. That along with my athletic ability allowed me to get into The University of Michigan.
End of Part II
Clues to who we will become are often found in college. Like most, I found the University of Michigan to be an exhilarating place.
With all that freedom, I didn't do much work that first Fall Semester. At the end of the indoor track season I found myself on academic probation. Having just over a 1 point grade point average with the threat of not only being kicked off the team but also asked to leave the University was an eye opening experience.
The great thing about being an athlete at Michigan was the support that was provided. I was assigned a tutor whose main task was to keep me organized. Not only that, but my close friends on the team were good students and encouraged me to improve my academics.
I was also tested again and the diagnoses of Dyslexia was reconfirmed. With this diagnoses I was able to detour around any language classes. Somehow, I was also able to avoid any type of class that involved mathematics as well. With the social support of the university staff and my friends and my artful dodging of anything having to do with numbers my grades slowly improved.
After that first year I also discovered that I could hide behind books at the college level. However, hiding behind books in college is actually called studying. In the ensuing years I managed to take a whole bunch of literary classes that only required a lot of reading and writing. I also took creative writing classes in which I consistently received high Bs and the occasional A. Professor Carolyn Balducci, who taught creative writing in the Humanities, was a huge supporter of my early writing and encouraged me to develop my skills as a writer.
End Part III
If you have Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder (like I do) or any other learning "disability" than you know what it is to fear.
Fear of being called on in the class room.
Fear of not knowing the answer.
Fear of not even knowing the question.
Learning to overcome those fears and their adult manifestations and becoming confident in my own intellectual abilities has been an on going processes. Part of that process was finally getting Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of The Alphabet Thief out there.
Academically I felt like I was a late bloomer a really, really late bloomer. My parents were able to take me to a specialist who helped me learn to read and speak without messing up my "r"s. It was with her that my love of reading took root and it was through my mother's reading to me while sick with the chicken pox that allowed the love to blossom.
I was always afraid of looking stupid so I put on the "I don't care" front. I was always ready to make a comment to divert the attention from myself. If I wasn't doing that I was hiding behind a book.
End of Part 1