Wednesday, July 07, 2010

New Paltz, land of surprising attitudes

I don't want this to come off as a critical post, because the person I'm referencing here is one of the most decent individuals around town.

Here's the basics of the exchange at one of the outside tables at The Bakery in New Paltz:

"You still homeschool?"

"Yes," he said.

"Then I have something you should check out. It's this internet site that..."

"Why would I want my kid on the internet?"

Now that either implies a very high prudential judgment (the internet is "a vast wasteland") or someone who thinks that the internet equals pornography. One does not, for instance, look behind the door unless one has stood there oneself, perhaps.

But the internet is not a vast wasteland and there's no reason to believe it equals pornography. With that out of the way, this is what I was trying to get across to this fine person about homeschooling:
The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere.
This is about the real beginning of a real revolution in education on the internet. My message is do not ignore it. The Khan Academy is right here. It's free. Salman Khan isn't charging you anything. He's an M.I.T. graduate who gave up a lucrative career and is on a mission to teach the way he wished he had been taught.

This is a solution to education that many homeschooling parents in New Paltz, and parents who have thought about homeschooling, have been looking for. This is good. It is good.

Monday, July 05, 2010

New Paltz makes a stirring cameo appearance in 'Corpse in Armor'

Both New Paltz the small town and SUNY New Paltz make important cameo appearances in my book Corpse in Armor, the counterterrorism thriller.

It's actually more than mere cameo appearances, as several breathtaking scenes go down in New Paltz. Some local friends who have read 'Corpse' have noted how they had a good laugh at the way town and campus are portrayed.

You can get a copy of Corpse in Armor here, from Amazon. But don't go looking for the New Paltz scenes (which would require a couple weeks of on location shooting if the book is made into a movie). Start from the beginning and read it straight through. You won't be able to put it down, anyway.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Summer Reading

Look, I’m going to recommend one book and one book only for your summer reading, and it’s my book.

Corpse in Armor is the title and you can get it here from Amazon.

It is a counterterrorism thriller. It eerily predicted the Russian spy ring that has just been caught, right down to one of the spies being the daughter of a former high-ranking KGB officer. I don’t want to give too much away, but it goes way beyond that revelation.

I need to sell a whole hell of a lot of copies of this book and I need to sell them now. So if you’ve hesitated to get a copy, by all means stop hesitating.

And I need your word-of-mouth help, too. The sales so far have been linear. The book is getting around, but slowly. If you have read it and have really liked it, then please tell people about it.

I don’t know if it’s a “you’ve got to read this book” kind of book. That’s for every reader to decide. But if it hits with that sort of impact, then please let your friends and neighbors know.

To my friends who have lent a hand so far, I can’t thank you all enough. This novel, which I’ve tried to make an accessible and compelling reading experience, something hard to put down, creates a parallel fictional world that shifts the reader’s perspective to allow fresh light on the question of what terrorism is, what America is, and where the forces at play come from.

In fact, in the most timely sense, it answers the question “What happened to the KGB?” That’s right in the headlines this week.

It also answers the question, “What is the connection between the far Left and Islamic terrorism?”

And it describes the highest-priority dangers that we face, and shows the spirit of America in the face of those dangers.

I need to get it from a linear sales situation to a geometric sales situation. And that can only really happen via word of mouth.

Help me get it around.