I did an interview some time ago with a fellow author and blogger Alexander Zoltai, on my book and I thought I would share an excerpt from it.
You can read the rest of the interview here.
How did you become involved with the subject of your most recent book, Anyone Can Get An A+?
I have been interested in books on better study strategies since I was in high school. I was struggling in the first year of high school, and then I aced my 10th grade board exams, in the process learning a lot of study skills and techniques. I had the idea to write a book sharing these techniques, but it remained just an idea for the longest time. More recently, I started to read up on the subject again, and decided to put down all the things I learnt during my own university years, weaving in the scientific knowledge I had read about. Although there are many books out there on this topic, I think mine is pretty unique because it addresses common student problems such as procrastination, stress, and poor time-management, as well as giving advice on optimum nutrition and the right mental attitude.
What were your specific goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
I wanted to share all the surprising things I learnt in the course of my extensive reading on this topic, and link the science to my own experiences. I had inadvertently stumbled upon a lot of useful techniques that I wanted to share with students, but in a simple and easy-to-apply manner. I also wanted to address some of the common misconceptions and myths that hold many students back from not even attempting to be successful at mastering certain subject areas and getting good grades at school. I really want to reach out to every student who lacks confidence in their own abilities, or who have been derided by peers or authority figures as not being smart – I want to assure every student that given the right study skills and approach, they can handle any subject or course.
I believe that I have been able to successfully convey what I most wanted to, and feel gratified by all the 5-star reviews I received. I can tell the book is resonating with readers. However, I won’t feel satisfied till I can reach out to many more students, and give them the benefit of the advice in the book.
What’s the most important thing people don’t know about your subject that they need to know?
Most students who are struggling at school (or adults contemplating going back to school), think that maybe they simply lack the aptitude for a certain subject, or that maybe in order to do well, they would have to become a grind and study every single minute. Neither of these things are true, and I found from my research and my personal experience, that good study habits can actually help you to study a reasonable number of hours and still do well.
Additionally, if you’re not doing well in a particular subject area, it just means that your brain hasn’t had the chance to develop a solid foundation in that subject, which you can rectify by going back to the basics, simplifying the topic as much as possible, and mastering each aspect of the subject separately. When you put it all together, you will realize that suddenly you know a lot more than you did before, and more than you thought you could know.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I loved doing the research for this book, because the subject is genuinely interesting to me. I also enjoyed adding in anecdotes and personal experiences to illustrate the principles I was writing about.
O.K., what was the hardest part of writing this book?
The hardest part was surprisingly the editing stage. Usually, I find writing the first draft of a book quite difficult, but for this book, the initial draft just poured out of me, and I completed it in less than 3 weeks. The editing process however, took much longer than anticipated, mostly because I was having some difficulty explaining the research underpinning the advice in the book, while still maintaining its readability. However, the hard work was justified, because I have been told several times that the book is very conversational and easy to read, which is a relief, because I am mostly used to writing for an academic audience.
Not sure if this is a fair question but where would you recommend folks go to read more about this subject?
I have a pretty comprehensive reading list at the end of my book that references many useful and readable sources on the subject.