Author Interview: Julie Roberts and The Wow Factor

4:00 AM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

The opinions here are 100% mine!  This post contains affiliate links.

Last week you got to meet one of my college sorority sister's, Erica, when she shared her experiences teaching in Mumbai, India.  This week I am fortunate enough to have another one of my college sorority sisters here sharing about her new education book, The Wow Factor.

Julie and I have known each other since 1999 and have stayed in contact through social media over the years.  In fact I remember when she was scouting out stories for her first book (I liked it at the bottom) about crazy college roommate stories.

When I found out that Julie had a new book out that focused on education, I reached out to see if she would answer some questions on her book, her inspiration, and her writing process with me and my readers.

What was your inspiration for this book?

The main inspiration for this book came from my desire to share what teachers may experience behind the scenes. On the surface teachers need to put on a strong front for parents, students, and administrators. Yet there is a lot that goes on that is often kept out of public view. 

Teaching is an emotional job because you often put your heart into your work and students. There is a lot politics in education today; test scores, enrollment, trying to please difficult people. This book gave me the chance to openly express my views and make others aware of some of the challenges and triumphs teachers may face.

Who should read this book? and Why?

Anyone who has an interest in education could enjoy this book. Parents, education workers, politicians, and students thinking about becoming teachers would all gain from it. It is a short, easy read that gets right to the point. It helps people see the classroom experience from a teacher's perspective. 

Everyone has their own agenda and it doesn't always align with who they are interacting with. By helping to bring understanding between groups, this book assists people to work more cooperatively in improving education. This book aims to bring more empathy and support for those on the front line in education.

Explain your revision process.

The revision process for this book was slow and thorough. I wanted it to be as enjoyable and error-free as possible. Once the first draft was finished, I reread it myself, and then submitted it to my publisher to make revisions. We then ordered our first proof, which is a rough draft of the printed version. 

Each proof had to be carefully screened by myself and my publisher. I also had a close friend and family member read it over as well. Because when you are dealing with your own writing, it can be easier to overlook the errors. It took several proofs before it was ready for release. Once we had a proof that appeared mistake-free, it was approved for sale.

What book has influenced you the most? Why?

The teaching book that has influenced me the most was Rafe Esquith's, There Are No Shortcuts. I really enjoyed this book because it gave a straightforward, common sense approach to teaching. There are many teaching methods pushed today that are displayed as magical techniques in education. 
Many successful teachers are forced to teach in ways that don't work well for them; yet they are pressured to follow the trend. 

From my own experience, I agree with Rafe. What works in teaching is really a lot more simple than some curriculum pushers want to admit: hard work, focus, and dedication. Students are in control of their own success, teachers need to help them take charge of their learning.

Summary from Amazon

“Sometimes you need to rock the boat to stop it from sinking.”~ Julie Roberts 

There is lots of news buzzing around about education today; broad topics such as curriculum reform and budget cuts are covered often by the media. Teachers and students are mentioned as large masses, but their personal experiences are rarely singled out. Government officials and school administrators make daily decisions about education, yet we rarely learn the names and faces of those affected by them. 

The Wow Factor goes beyond the headlines and takes you through one teacher’s journey through her first eight years in teaching. Starting with her college years, author Julie Roberts shares her passage from an insecure rookie, all the way to a veteran teacher. This story gives a no-holds-barred approach to Roberts’s outrageous encounters in and out of the classroom. From dealing with difficult coworkers, parental bullies, and cowardly administration, Roberts discloses her strong views based on personal experiences and battles. 

True tales of victory, disappointment, and shock are filled on each page. The Wow Factor is guaranteed to amaze you with its raw honesty and outlook. This book will definitely leave you with a “Wow” reaction by revealing what really happens after the bell rings.

Check out Julie's first book too

Summary from Amazon

Caution: what you are about to read is real: names have been changed to protect the identities of the innocent and the demented. 

If you haven’t yet started the college living experience, then this book is what you need. Unlike other college anecdotes you might have seen, this one doesn’t give a deceiving, sunshine approach to collegiate living. It isn’t trying to soothe or coddle you when the world seems harsh, but instead gives clear, cold hard truths about what can happen when students choose to leave the nest. 

So be warned: these are true stories of roommate experiences that people have lived to share. Some will make you want to laugh, weep, repent, disinfect, or heave. It’d be best to wait until mom and dad drive away before opening this book; that way you can’t change your mind and run back home. No doubt about it, Dorothy said it all when she left Oz, “There’s no place like home.” This book contains insane tales of deficient hygiene, soiled environments, untreated psychosis, and sexual malfunctions. Be advised that you may find it to be amusing yet strangely disturbing. Enjoy!


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