Friday, January 31, 2020

The Mathematics of Mystery


HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I love math. Do you? I’m not “good” at it, whatever that mean, and I have been known to ask Alexa for percentages. (I am pretty good at figuring out how much an article of clothing costs if I know the original price and know it’s 40 percent off. It’s all about practice.)

But I love it because it has answers. There’s a thing you can find (usually) if you go about it a right way. Sometimes, and this was my downfall in class, I was never quite sure why you’d want to know it. But we all have our skills. And our limitations.

That’s one reason I am so thrilled to introduce you to the incredible and brilliant Sulari Gentill. Her newest book is AFTER SHE WROTE HIM.  (Look at that cover!)

She’s got some ideas about the connection between math and mystery writing. They connect? Yes, they do. Sulari lives on a small farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, where she grows French Black Truffles and writes about murder and mayhem. And—math.
Here’s her calculation.  

The Mathematics of Mystery 
 
Some novelists are all but born knowing they should write.  Some study literature, or creative writing, become experts is the academic form of the art.  Some belong to families of writers and words are their legacy.
But not me.
I came to writing via the scenic route, completely oblivious to the fork in the road ahead which would lead me into this life.  Before I was a writer, I was a lawyer.  Before that, I thought I wanted be an Astrophysicist.   Indeed, it took me about a year at University, enrolled in what I have come to think of as the “Big Bang Theory” stream, to realise that I didn’t ... and, in that time, I sat through a lot of pure and applied mathematics classes.

I might bemoan those lost hours spent trying to prove one plus one equals two from first principles—actually more involved than you’d think—but I have come to realise that everything that went before I decided to write is at least material, and sometimes, more than that.  Sometimes what came before becomes technique.

Now people appear to easily see the connection between the practise of law and that of writing fiction, though I’m not sure the profession would welcome the correlation.  One doesn’t want to create the impression that lawyers make things up!  My background in mathematics, however, seems at first glance a less natural precursor to storytelling.  And yet, it is probably the greater influence on my work.

In terms of material, mathematics gave me very little, aside from the fact that I could well imagine that some of my classmates kept a couple of bodies in their refrigerators for company.  Aside from that, a knowledge of Gaussian curvature and set theory does not really contribute much to a plot and even less to the development of character.

But that year wrangling numbers did teach me a couple of things which are crucial to my work as a mystery writer.

Firstly, it ingrained the concept of logical thinking, the idea that proposition A can exist if, and only if, proposition B existed first.  This thinking is of course the kind of inductive logic we have come to regard as deductive reasoning, which is, in turn, essential for a mystery plot to hold together. 

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it taught me where the interests of mathematics and that of storytelling diverge.

One of the first things you learn in the study of mathematics is that there are many ways to arrive at the one solution and sometimes there are in fact many solutions to the one problem, all of which are “correct”.  A solution can involve a hundred pages of working, or be achieved in three elegant lines.

For a mathematician it is the elegant solution that is the holy grail.  It is the territory of the truly gifted, who can glance at a string of symbols and numerals to recognise the heart of an equation, and then know how to extract that heart with surgical precision.  I remember those students... twenty minutes after the three hour exam began they would put down their pens and sit smiling at the rest of us as we scribbled frantically, content in the knowledge that they were a species more evolved.  They were probably also the ones with the bodies in their refrigerators.

I think in my entire mathematical career I came up with an elegant solution only once, and that was more accident than design.  My answers were generally of the hundred page variety, multiple routes to reach a solution which stopped at dead ends, attempts to use theorems that did not fit, pages of increasingly panicked scrawl,  ink smeared with tears and sweat and blood, until finally, exhausted and broken, I battered out a solution that was probably correct, but  definitely not elegant.

But you see, it turns out that I’m a storyteller not a mathematician.

In the inelegant solution lies the story.  A tale of valiant attempt, of heartbreak, frustration and perseverance, sometimes of failure.  There is none of that in the brilliant three line epiphany.  The stylish solution is likely a work of genius, possibly poetry, but it is not a story.  For that, there must be those untidy attempts, those many pages of not knowing, and above all, a fear of failure.

So that misspent part of my youth spent studying mathematics taught me not only how to solve the puzzle (eventually), but the value of not doing so too cleanly. It showed me how to embrace the struggle that the genius never knows.  And that is the art of the mystery writer.

HANK: Oh, isn't that truly thought-provoking?  Speaking of which,  let me tell you a bit about Sulari’s new book, AFTER SHE WROTE HIM.
The synopsis says:
Madeleine d'Leon doesn't know where Edward came from. He is simply a character in her next book. But as she writes, he becomes all she can think about. His charm, his dark hair, his pen scratching out his latest literary novel . . .
Edward McGinnity can't get Madeleine out of his mind—softly smiling, infectiously enthusiastic, and perfectly damaged. She will be the ideal heroine for his next book.
But who is the author and who is the creation? And as the lines start to blur, who is affected when a killer finally takes flesh?
After She Wrote Him is a wildly inventive twist on the murder mystery that takes readers on a journey filled with passion, obsession, and the emptiness left behind when the real world starts to fall away.”

On the cover? Is Dean Koontz. Who says “A pure delight…cleverly conceived and brilliantly executed. Reds and readers, I cannot wait to read this.

And look how great that cover is! Just look again.

SO, Reds and readers, how do you feel about math? And a copy of AFTER SHE WROTE HIM to one very lucky commenter!




A reformed lawyer, Sulari Gentill is the award-winning author of the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, which chronicle the life and adventures of her 1930s Australian gentleman artist, and the Hero Trilogy, based on the myths and epics of the ancient world. 
Sulari has won and been shortlisted in many awards including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Australian Book Industry Awards, the Davitt Awards, the Ned Kelly Awards, and the Scarlett Stiletto Awards.  She was the inaugural Eminent Writer in Residence at the Australian Museum of Democracy. 
Most recently, Crossing the Lines, an unusual postmodern mystery—which will be released in the US by Poisoned Pen Press in April 2020 as After She Wrote Him—won the 2018 Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Novel.  Give the Devil His Due, the 7th in Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, was just published.
She lives on a small farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales. 
@sularigentill (Twitter and Instagram)




119 comments:

  1. AND THE WINNER of Ann Parker's MORTAL MUSIC is: Karen in Ohio! Email me your address! YAY!

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  2. Oh, Joan--my comment does NOT count as being first! oxoox

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  3. Congratulations on your new book, Sulari . . . "After She Wrote Him" sounds amazing and I’m looking forward to reading it.

    I am definitely not a math person . . . I can talk my way through the easy stuff, but all those equations and theorems are like Greek to me. I just roll my eyes and remind John that I driving directions leave me just as mystified . . . .

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    1. Thank you Joan. I don't think I'm a math person either...it just took me a while to realise!

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    2. But it’s fascinating though, it’s another language, right? That we just don’t know. Most of us at least :-)

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  4. I am a math person. I'm an accountant, so I'm definitely a math person. Not the kind of math you are talking about, however. That kind of stuff scares me.

    Congrats on the new book. It has a very intriguing premise.

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    1. Thank you Mark. I am the daughter and sister of accountants. Despite this, and my background in math, Trust Accounting was the bane of my existence at Law School! ��

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    2. Trust accounting! That has many meanings :-)

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    3. :-) I thought I'd escaped math by enrolling in a law degree... and then in my final year there was Trust Accounts. Sigh.

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  5. I am blown away by reading the synopsis. What a fabulous book. And now it looks like I'll need to catch up with the Rowland Sinclair mystery series.

    Definitely not a math person. Numbers are fine, but math - nope. You draw an interesting analogy between writing and following the the theory to dead ends and solutions. What a great way to look at a story.

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    1. Thanks Kait. I wonder sometimes if mathematical process underpins the way I write stories or if instead I've always used story to understand math.

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    2. Yes, it’s a fascinating way of thinking… There is an answer, there always is… It’s all about how you get there.

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  6. Sulari, I'm so delighted to see you here on the Reds. You are one of the authors on my Eant to Read Authors list, and After She Wrote Him is where I'm going to start. You have me hooked.

    Also, I love that you explained the connection between your writing and your mathematical ability. My son has always been excellent at math, not something he got from me, and he's equally talented in storytelling/writing. Although he's only started a book and has some other scribblings, I encourage him in it. But, I never quite got how he could be good at both math and literary matters. Thank you, Salari for helping me to better understand it.

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    1. You're welcome Kathy, and thank you. I hope your son continues to love both.

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    2. My half siblings are all very math oriented, and equally musical! But it makes sense that those things go together.

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  7. Basic math? Absolutely. Voodoo math? No. Just no. I’ve got the latest Rowly book on top of the TBR pile. After She Wrote Him sounds wonderfully twisted! It was a pleasure meeting you at Bouchercon and stalking you a bit!

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    1. Hi Pat...I think of you whenever I look at my boots! Absolute pleasure to meet you too. Love the term VooDoo math!

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    2. I’ll wait… There’s definitely a story there! Boots?

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    3. I first encountered Pat in an elevator in Dallas and just as I was stepping out she said, "You're Sulari Gentill, I love your books!"...which of course is a writer's dream. The only thing was that I wasn't quite sure if she said books or boots... I was wearing my beloved red boots... It was a crisis of not knowing why I was flattered...

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    4. Sulari, I adore your red boots, too! And wish I had met you at Bouchercon!

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    5. Hi Deborah. I wish I'd met you too. It was my first visit to America since I was a teenager, but I'm looking forward to coming back as soon as life allows!

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    6. You are so right, that is the best thing you could ever hear! And boots, too.

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    7. Grin. We cleared up the boots/books controversy the next day when we sat next to each other at a panel. I blame elevator noise and my accent.

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  8. I'm with you on writers needing the terrifying messy solution - and your book sounds elegantly terrifying! As for math, I wouldn't know an elegant solution if it bit me. I don't even understand the concept.

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    1. The messier the better - terror is rarely elegant!

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    2. True! But truly, it’s an amazing moment when you figure something out… In math or in writing.

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    3. Yes... a very similar moment of clarity.

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  9. After She Wrote Him just moved to the top of my TBR list— can’t wait to see who is the author and who is the creation!

    The relationship between math and writing mysteries is interesting, not something I’ve thought about before. The relationship between math and music is a more common concept. At any rate, that type of math is beyond me. I’m good at the basics, what I think of as arithmetic, but certainly nothing elegant has ever come out of my attempts in mathematics.

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  10. Thank you Cindy. Yes, math is much more commonly associated with music or even painting. But writers will use anythig and everthing in their experience - even a dark past in math. I have, however, come to the conclusion that elegance is overrated!

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  11. Congrats on the book. After She Wrote Him sounds really creative and different from anything else -- can't wait to read it.

    My personal history with math is convoluted. I went through high school and most of college being the classic artsy, avoid-math-at-all-costs kind of student. Then I took an econ course and fell in love with it and got an undergraduate major in it. I managed to do that with only basic math. But I decided to go on to grad school, and for that I had to go back and pick up math courses through Calculus II. I have never worked a day using my master's degree in economics, but I do find that all that math changed my thinking somewhat. Now in my day job as a fundraising professional -- mostly grant writer -- I seem to have an advantage over many because I can comfortably handle both the narrative and the budget.

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    1. I can see where it would be an advantage Susan. There's always a story in the figures!

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  12. I am so bad at math. I mean, I can use a calculator to figure out most of what I need to, but I would in big trouble if I ever needed to do all of that by hand/mind again (like back in school). There is definitely a reason I majored in English!

    That said, After She Wrote Him sounds absolutely fabulous. And a cover blurb from Dean Koontz is none too shabby.

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    1. Thank you Kristopher. It is a lovely quote. I'm so blown away by the generosity of American writers in supporting the work of their colleagues. I am deeply honoured by Dean's opinion of my book but those endorsements also make me feel very warm and fuzzy about this profession of ours.

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    2. Exactly! That one blurb tells so much, doesn’t it?

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  13. How exciting is this! Wow! I've never been "good" at math but at the same time I appreciate it because I have always thought that numbers "behave" compared to letters and even words that you cannot always count on to remain the same. However in higher mathematics maybe that isn't true; don't know because that is beyond me. Sulari, you got the logic of it all and used that to create what certainly sounds like a great story. Loved the term 'elegant solution.' Sometimes on quizzes I can intuit the correct answer but I'm lost if I have to prove how I got there. Your book sounds marvelous and I cannot wait to read it!

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    1. Thank you Judi. Proving it in math, as in life, is often the bloody part!

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    2. I had a math teacher once who kept trying to tell us why it was important to estimate the answer. I never understood that. Now I do, there’s just a way of understanding what’s in the realm of logic…

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  14. But Sulari— I am also equally intrigued by your book! Can you tell us a little bit how you came to write it?

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    1. I've always allowed myself to "believe" in the characters I'm writing... like a child with imaginary friends. But of course, though I've always played close to the line between imagination and delusion, I have stayed on the right side of it. But I wondered what might happen if a writer allowed herself to cross it, to truly believe, to fall in love with her own creation. At the same time, I have occasionally speculated about what Rowland Sinclair might think of me, the writer who creates so much trouble for him. After She Wrote Him came out of those musings. It is in many respects my love letter to writing itself.

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    2. Writers do fall in love with their creations, I think. I've always been convinced that Dorothy Sayers fell in love with Lord Peter Wimsey!

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    3. I was in love with him, too! Did you see the Broadway show City of Angels? About the writer and the detective who… Created each other?

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  15. Love the concept of this book, Sulari! Have you seen the movie Stranger than Fiction? Emma Thompson plays a writer whose main characters always die at the end of the book she is writing--I won't say more. But this mathematical twist is pure genius--who is the author and who is the character? Can't get more twisty perfect than that! Can't wait to read it!

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    1. Thank you. Is that the one with the scissors motif, Flora? If so, yes...many years ago. The details are vague but I recall loving it.

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    2. , I have to find out right away! And what about Adaptation?

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  16. Oh. My. Goodness! Talk about intriguing. I’m looking forward to reading this story. But math? Not so much. While I greatly regret ignoring the value of my math classes in school, I have done nothing to rectify my ignorance of the beauty of numbers in my adult life.

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    1. I'm sure your adult life is none the poorer for it Amanda! The beauty of numbers has for me simply been transformed into my instinct for words. Believe me I do not miss the equations and proofs!

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    2. Now, of course, computers will do it all for us…

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  17. Oh Sulari, this book sounds wonderful! I love math although it was not something I studied formally, just took the required courses for my degree. But if I had the opportunity and energy to go back to school, I'd major in math and physics. I love finding math in nature and in music, and I've read many books with math as a character. Because it is alive, isn't it.

    I've ordered AFTER SHE WROTE HIM, one more reason to look forward to April. Your premise has me on the edge of my seat intrigued.

    And how lovely to meet you. Thanks for being here today.



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    1. Lovely to meet you too, Ann. Thank you. Yes, very alive. Human beings are drawn to order or the pursuit of it. Math and mysteries have that in common.

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    2. Oh agree! Did you ever read the book Godel Escher Bach? It is one of my all-time favorites.

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    3. On my way to look it up, Hank

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  18. Like Hank said in the opening, I like math because it has answers. The correlation between math and mystery writing is an interesting one that I had never thought of before. The book sounds captivating. The synopsis already has me hooked!

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    1. Thank you Abby. Math promises us an answer at the end, however bloody getting there may be. Mystery too.

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  19. Congratulations on your new release! Math and music, math and foreign language, so math and murder makes perfect sense.

    Hank, I told my daughters any successful bargain-hunter could knock off percentages in her head as she plowed through the 75% off rack. They took me seriously!

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    1. Thank you Margaret. And bargain-hunting is a very useful way to hone mental math skills!

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    2. Exactly! And you don’t even realize it’s math… Like boys and baseball stats.

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  20. Mind-bending concept for this book, Sulari!

    Since your parents are both accountants, you probably recognize that there is a distinct difference between math and arithmetic. I realized a long time ago that I am very, very good at arithmetic: I can add and subtract, multiply and divide accurately in my head, even somewhat complex strings of numbers. I love numbers, and enjoy playing with them, including at tax time. But I am crap at pure math.

    My friend Karen and I used to travel to shows together, where we shared a booth and sold our books and other products. I was usually the trip accountant, because Karen stunk at figuring out who sold what, and which shared expenses were whose. However, she had invented and written about a complex patterndrafting system that I have still never figured out, despite working with not only hers, but several other systems. The math involved just flummoxes me every time. Yes, there is also geometry involved, but that is math, not arithmetic.

    Really looking forward to seeing who is the creator and who is the createe!

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    1. Thank you Karen. My dad and sister are accountants, my mother was an artist, I'm something of hybrid I think. I am more like your friend. Pure mathematical concepts intrigue me but I'm terrible at number crunching. My husband has to do all the chequebook balancing or we'd be in prison!

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  21. What an intriguing plot idea, Sulari! I'm looking forward to reading After She Wrote Him.

    I teach college writing. May I use this post as an example of how math and English can influence each other? My freshmen compartmentalize each subject and don't see connections, let along a big picture of what their education is about.

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    1. Hi Cathy. Yes, please feel free to use this post. I'd be honoured.

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    2. Thank you, Sulari! Thank you, too, for the copy of your book!

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  22. If Sulari is in Australia, I guess it might be more difficult for her to comment? It's late at night there right now. But I hope she will be able to chime in.

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    1. Hi Karen. Thank you. It's actually just ticked over to 4am. I couldn't sleep for worrying you all would think I was ignoring you, so decided to get up. It's actually quite a peaceful time to be talking to you.

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    2. Thank you for getting up early for us!

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    3. You are so generous! Now go back to sleep! xxx

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  23. This novel sounds unique and captivating. Math was the most difficult part of school for me. I could never master this subject and suffered greatly because of it. Languages, literature, history etc. were my favorites.

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    1. Thank you. The arts were always my favourite too, but I didn't find Math difficult. Even so, I was always an outsider in Math... I could replicate the thinking, even understand it, but it was never the way I naturally thought.

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  24. I'm verbal all the way. I took math through 11th grade, and I managed to get decent (not great) grades, but when calculus loomed . . . nope! I still don't know what calculus is, or what it's for. Didn't take any math in college either. I do find that algebra and percentages are useful, but that's it for me. However, I find Sulari's book sounds fascinating!

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    1. Thank you Margie. Calculus does tend to loom!

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    2. I would always say to my trigonometry teachers… Tell me one reason why I need this! And one of them said: it’s how they figure out how many parking spaces can fit in a parking lot. That made total sense to me, and I think about that every time I am in a parking lot.

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  25. Welcome to Jungle Reds! Were you near the fires in Australia? Congratulations on your new novel. Is it a stand alone novel or part of the Rowland series?

    Math is fascinating. Some people are good at math and some people struggle at math. I am ok at math. As Hank said, it takes practice!

    Diana

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    1. Hello Diana. Thank you. Yes - unfortunately I'm in the middle of the fires in Australia. Batlow, where I live, is the little town in the mountains that was deemed undefendable. The blaze did take out almost everything on my farm but it left my house standing. Sadly, the fire season is not over yet and we're bunkering down against more fires today. It's been an interesting January!

      After She Wrote Him is stand alone, though I really don't think I could have written it if I hadn't written 8 Rowland Sinclair novels first.

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    2. Hello Sulari, holding good thoughts that you and everyone stay safe from the fires. Your novels sound wonderful and I will look for them at my library.

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  26. Wow!!! So glad Hank said to look at the cover twice - brilliant!!!! Not a math person here but admire the gift in others. I really loved what you said about logic, Sulari! This book sounds amazing! Can’t wait to read it!

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  27. I have always loved math. I used to do math problems for fun, which my son says is the definition of nerd. I love logic problems and mysteries, so I understand the connection between math and mysteries. This book sounds wonderful. I wish I could write but will content myself with reading.

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  28. Math was not my friend in school. Really, why would I ever need to PROVE that a triangle is a triangle? I find some of the applications interesting- game theory, statistical analysis, etc. But there's no way I could ever do it.
    kozo8989@hotmail.com

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    1. Hi Alicia - I think in the end I discovered I couldn't do it either... or at least, that I didn't want to do it!

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  29. Hi, Sulari! Hank was right about the cover, it is fabulous! And I love the way you explain higher math. I was one of those 100% verbal kids--failed 9th grade algebra 3 times, although I somehow managed to squeak through a good college degree in biology. I think, however, that if I'd had teachers who'd explained equations to me as stories, I might have gotten it.

    After She Wrote Him is a brilliant concept and I can't wait to read it. I hadn't come across your Rowland books but am now looking those up, too!

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    1. Thank you Deborah. Math is one of those things that you have to "get". Stories are the only way by which I have any hope of understanding anything!

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  30. If the book as half as interesting as this post was, I'm in! I must read it. As for math - I was raised in the time / place/ circumstance where we were all supposed to believe it was "too hard for girls." I always did very well in school and couldn't understand how this could be so baffling to me. So I was amazed and thrilled and then confident when I GOT IT! Not sure I could ever say I love it, but I love being able to solve a real world problem using math.

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    1. Thank you! There is that wonderful feeling when you "get it". Like a door being opened so you can see out.

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    2. And then you can’t believe how you could have missed it before…

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    3. Exactly... the same 'of course' feeling after a mystery is revealed.

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  31. Has anyone seen “The Man Who Knew Infinity” with Dev Patel? It’s the story of one of the greatest math minds ever,Srinivasa Ramanujan. He made history in a tragically short life. Jeremy Irons plays his mentor. If you even like math just a wee bit, this isn’t to be missed. Maybe on Netflix or Prime.

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    1. Oh I will look! But it sounds sad…

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    2. We did see it. A fascinating story, and a wonderful performance by Dev Patel.

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    3. I haven't but shall look for it. Thank you.

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  32. Fascinating premise, Sulari! My math experience? I enjoyed basic math, despite being a bit dyslexic, but fell in love with algebra. Except... I was regularly marked down because I skipped steps in the equations because I could 'see' the answer. And algebra was invaluable when I was in nursing school, as back then, you had to be able to calculate dosages--no smart phones with programs for the number crunching.

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  33. I've always WANTED to be good at math. 1) I was in honors math in school but I didn't discover that I was numerical dyslexic until AFTER graduating. Doh! 2) I remember a school friend who was in advanced math in college who had this blissed out look on her face, saying "It all makes sense now. Everything." 3) There's a wonderful online site, The Great Courses, that offers many many many college courses for purchase and I have to confess I have bought some math ones along with history and literature with the hopes of getting to them someday. 4) And in a last random math thought, actress Danica McKellar has written some great nonfiction books including MATH DOESN'T SUCK that I've thought would be great gifts for younger folk and I wish they had been available the eons ago that I was in school. 5) I'm intrigued by your book! Glad you visited here!

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    1. Thank you PK. Ms McKellar is right. Math doesn't suck. It is the misunderstood villain.

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  34. well I'm def going to check that book out - even if I don't understand it all I love a good challenge - so... scientific/mathmatical read here I come! I've been reading some philosophy books this year and I wonder why I waited so long?

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    1. Thank you Pauline. I'm not sure After She Wrote Him is mathematical, just my influences and processes. It is probably philosophical though.

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    2. Well, it's at least--binary, right? One or the other is true...

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  35. Hi, Sulari! As an analytical chemist math is a daily part of my life (and I was once interested in astrophysics but the math was a bit extreme ;-) ) It was wonderful to meet you at Bouchercon and hope our paths cross again in the future. Also, best wishes for no more environmental calamities in your life!
    John.

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    1. Hello again John. Yep - astrophysics is extreme in many ways! I still find the night sky breathtaking though. Lovely to have met you too. And thank you... we shall attempt to keep further environmental disaster at bay.

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    2. I missed SO many people at Bouchercon! Sulari, are you gong to Sacramento? John, are you?

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    3. I wish Hank! Maybe the one after... was it New Orleans?

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    4. Hi, Hank! Yes I plan on being in Sacramento and look forward to seeing you there!

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  36. Hi, Sulari:

    I hope seeing you here means your life is now somewhat more settled down (?)the books sounds great and I pre-ordered this AM. I now there is something wonderful about math...but not for me. An excellent student generally, I had to evade my high schools expectation I would take advanced math and physics.Only geometry sort of, kind of made sense to me...because proofs sort of tell a story. I actually may be somewhat innumerate, because I also can't remember phone numbers or cooking temps. Irony: something I learned in high school algebra - Boolean logic - turned out to be useful every day of my working life for many years. (Pre-World Wide Web, you couldn't do digital research without it!)

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    1. Hello Triss. It has settled a little. We're back home at least to clean up the debris and try to save trees. I studied Boolean logic too in the Computer Science part of my degree. I must say I'm glad that's all behind me! I could do Math but I was never as comfortable with numbers as I am with words.

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    2. Oh, SUlari, it must be terrifying. I can't even imagine. Can we send you anything?

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    3. Thank you - that's such a lovely thought. But we're okay. The house is still standing... it's mainly the garden and big trees that took the brunt of it, and that just requires time and rain.

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  38. I wasn't good at math until I became a Special Education teacher. I had to break equations down in order to explain them! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Linda... breaking things down is one of those techniques I learned through Math which works for almost everything!

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  39. One last comment to say thank you to Hank, the Jungle Reds and all of you for having me. It's been and absolute pleasure.

    Cheers

    Sulari xx

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