My first book signing…A guest post by Derek Thompson
I never wanted to be a writer when I was young and to be honest the reason was I wasn’t very good at it. So somehow it seems that I just kind of fell into this writing gig. This being the case I’ve been learning a lot on the go and trying not to completely screw up this potential I have to help others. This means that basically my hand has been held from the start of putting together my book. I’ve only really found out what the next step in the book writing process is when someone else tells me what it is. That strategy was working just fine until a few weekends ago when I had my first book signing and no one was there to hold my hand.I was at a mental health conference promoting my book when one of my first customers asked me to sign their copy. Like I said I’m learning as I go and I’m not very good at this so I begin to panic because for some unknown reason I never considered having to sign the books. I blame this on the fact that no one told me I might have to do this common sense task of signing my own book where I sold it. Of course I wasn’t going to put the same generic and lame thing on each book. This meant I needed to be clever and witty right then and of course those things were exactly what I couldn’t do. Instead I froze up and my mind went blank; not good. But just then I noticed the woman waiting on me to sign the copy had a brace on one arm so I wrote:“I hope my book doesn’t make you laugh so hard that you fall down and hurt your other arm.”I didn’t feel real good about it once I was done and was anxious to see her reaction when she read it. Unfortunately she put the book in her bag and disappeared in the crowd leaving me with my curiosity on just how bad I was at this book signing thing.Its crazy (pun intended) to think I’m telling a story about signing my book because prior to starting my blog as a therapeutic release for my bipolar disorder I hadn’t written anything since my Freshmen year in college. If you remember the reason for this is that I pretty much sucked at writing. So I decided to save the world from my endless coma splices and run-on sentences and avoided writing like the Plague.However after suffering from a psychotic manic episode a lot of things change about a person; one of those for me just happened to be my feelings about writing. I then started my blog as a way to vent and deal with the madness that had become my bipolar life to my family and friends. I never thought people I didn’t know would enjoy reading my writing but my blog eventually turned into my humorous memoir about bipolar disorder and now I’m trying to not suck at book signings. I must admit though I’m starting to get the hang of this writing gig and I think I’m starting to really like it. Sure I still have to ask repeated questions and lean on others along the way but I’m getting better. For instance that woman I was worried about injuring with my fall down humor came back the next day and bought another book because she had laughed so hard at what I had written.
About the author:
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I've Lost My Damn Mind: A Manic's Mood Chart
by Derek ThompsonPaperback, 222 pagesPublished January 27th 2012 by CreateSpace
Synopsis:I figure that if I have to endure the worst parts of bipolar disorder, like psychosis, I get to laugh as much as possible along the way. Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I've Lost My Damn Mind: A Manic's Mood Chart is the story of one Millennial's bipolar life, with moments ranging from the ridiculous to the terrifying to the hilarious. Blending pop culture references and cyberspeak with psychiatric terms, it combines the funny, conversational tone of Sh*t My Dad Says with a nonlinear narrative structure similar to that of Manic.The book began as a blog: if you had a delusional relationship with Britney Spears, wouldn't you brag about it to the entire world? To create the book, I organized the blog entries like a mood chart, a therapeutic tool which assigns colors to states of mind. The entries are divided into three sections, Depressed, Normal and Elevated, and cover the past three years: my psych ward getaways, my vision of fighting alongside Jesus at Armageddon, my attempts to find a woman who accepts that I sometimes lose my mind. Therapy "sessions" with a fictional psychiatrist provide my present-day reflections on each entry. (I had to create my ideal shrink because I tend to fight with the real ones.)Somewhere Over the Rainbow will be the first humorous memoir about bipolar by a member of the Millennial Generation--today's young adults. My book's humor, cultural references and Internet origins will appeal to Millennials, now entering their twenties and thirties, as well as younger Gen Xers.More than an account of coming to terms with a mental health condition, it's a story of being young and feeling lost, dealing with heartbreak and still finding plenty to laugh about, no matter what happens.
Derek Thompson grew up in South Charleston, Ohio, where he earned the nickname “Butter” by his middle school crush. He basked in the glory of girls finally talking to him but unfortunately and eventually the true meaning of the nickname was revealed and attributed to some poorly timed bad dental hygiene practice. Putting this social disaster behind him he went on to receive a BA in communication in 2005 at Wittenberg University. He then pursued a corporate sales career at AT&T where he excelled in the high paced sales environment up until 2008.It was at this time he was unexpectedly and rudely interrupted by his first manic episode which changed everything; they tended to be real bitches like that. The BMD took him back home where he struggled to understand what his new diagnosis of bipolar disorder type I was and meant. To cope with this confusion he began writing a blog, which eventually became his humorous memoir, as a therapeutic process to deal with his new crazy life and have some fun along the way. Derek currently resides on one of his family’s farms in rural Ohio where he wrote Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I’ve Lost My Damn Mind: A Manic’s Mood Chart.You can learn more about the author at his website.
For more information about the tour and the full schedule, please visit the tour host website: Pump Up Your Book.