Thursday, December 18, 2014
Interview With Author Jean Burk
1. What type of books do you write? Educational guide books for students to have success in their journey through high school, college and beyond! My “College Prep Genius” books are an accumulation of information about how students can ace standardized tests for college entrance and scholarships! “High School Prep Genius” is like a personal high school counselor/expert that gives the parents and students a step-by-step guide through each month of each year with information that most guidance counselors don’t know that will help students gain an incredible edge. Our Vocabcafé book series are fun and wholesome novellas that each contain 300 SAT level words in context with the definition and pronunciation at the bottom of the page to instantly reinforce high level vocabulary building. They easily help students learn to speak and write on a professional level!
College is so expensive and the average student spends 20 years (2 decades) of their life paying off loans and families are looking for answers. As a one-income family, twelve years ago, we had no money for college and a friend told me that there was so much money based on a test score so this intrigued me to start researching standardized tests since colleges go up on their rankings nationally based on their test scores, the higher the test scores-the more money students get! After going through numerous test questions to find what does and does not work, and looking for the recurring patterns found on the test, my son became a National Merit Scholar and we threw away seven trash bags full of college offers! (free tuition, full-rides, free room/board, grad school money, study-abroad stipends…) Then after my daughter received free college/scholarships my friends wanted to know what we did and that is when I wrote the book, “College Prep Genius” and ultimately created a practical class to go with it to teach students how to how these type of tests.
In the last ten years, many of my students have raised their SAT scores 600 points, become National Merit Scholars and even gone to Ivy-Leagues for free! The reason most students bomb test is because the questions are purposely misleading and the wrong answers look appealing. The students are only given a minute per question and most do not finish the test on time. We teach how to answer every question in 30 seconds or less.
When students learn the hidden, recurring patterns/profiles on each test, they can cut their time in half and answer all the questions quickly and correctly. This is for all students since many valedictorians and top 10% students come to my class because they bombed the test.
Here are a few video testimonials:
To view a couple of speeches I gave a few years ago about free college and acing the SAT, go to: www.collegeprepgenius.com/freedownload
2. What is your newest book about? My newest book (not finished yet) is about why there’s only a 16% chance of your/average student graduating from college and how a parent can change that course now. It is based on why most schools are not teaching the right subjects for college success, the reason for the lack of motivation of today’s students, the 20-40 hours of wasted time each week that parents spend on “certain” sports (from an early age) that is absolutely useless for scholarship money, etc. It will give parents a roadmap for success starting in elementary school and beyond, winning scholarships in grade school, earning college money from the cradle on.
3. What inspired you to write it? After teaching my program in numerous public, private, charter and homeschool settings, I’ve seen tens of thousands of students who are discouraged because no one had given them the correct information at the right time-often it is too late for certain milestones that they could have easily achieved had they known about them. Parents put a lot of trust in their school counselors and unfortunately most of them are too overwhelmed with changing schedules and dealing with discipline problems to help students-spending about 30 minutes per year, per student and that’s not enough time to lay out a four-year plan for anyone and many are ignorant on vital information that students need to succeed! Parents must become proactive and the main source because ultimately they are the ones paying for college. It is exciting to students, especially those in poor districts, have hope in attaining college/career dreams when they have felt/been told they are not smart enough or don’t have the money to get a degree in a field of their choice. My synopsis is that: any student can go to college and can go for FREE!
4. What is the writing process like for you? As a visionary, my writing can be very scattered because I have over ten books (not just education/college) that I’m working on so when I get an idea/inspiration I add to it. Fortunately I am surrounded by analytical perfectionist that help me coral my thoughts and bring them into a more uniformed arena and keep me focused on one project at a time.
5. What did you do before you became an author? I was a homeschooling mother who wanted to raise my children up to be a disciple in Christ with Godly character, who were independent thinkers, and an asset to society. They were my first priority and it was worth every bit of sacrifice to stay home with them to do this because nobody loved them more than my husband and I.
6. How does it feel to be a published author? I really don’t think much about it because I simply found a need and filled it and then found out that most people were in the same boat (no money for college) and it seem like a natural thing to share what we found out with others to help change their lives as well.
7. Any advice for struggling writers? Yes, just do it knowing you will make mistakes, and that you will revise many, many times and you will always feel like there is more to add but you must have a stopping point. When you have more to say, either revise/update later or write another book highlighting the new ideas.
8. Where do you see book publishing heading? Even in the age of digital publishing/e-book readers, there will always be that desire to hold a hard copy in one’s hands as you absorb, highlight, make notes on key points in a book or want to sink into a lawn chair and escape the world with that all-absorbing novel. We must teach the next generation to not lose this art as technology takes over our world.
For more information, please consult: www.collegeprepgenius.com
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014