Friday, May 18, 2012

Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Tour - Somewhere Over the Rainbow I've Lost My Damn Mind by Derek Thompson (Author Interview and Giveaway)


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. Because it doesn’t follow the usual narrative format, the reader can flip through at random or take the traditional cover-to-cover route. 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.


I had the opportunity to interview  Derek Thompson, and am excited to share his responses below.  Enjoy.  And, don't forget to check out his book.

Author Interview Questions:

Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)? 

Somewhere Over the Rainbow began as a therapeutic release for me in the form of a blog. It had been about a year since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I was feeling pretty lost. I decided to start writing because I couldn't find anything out there that really engaged me and I could relate to. After suffering another setback last year I had to take a year off to focus on my health and I took full advantage of the time. During this time I decided to write the first humorous memoir about bipolar disorder by a member of the Millennial Generation. 

How did you get interested in writing this particular genre?  

I'd say the genre actually picked me. Seeing how the book is a humorous memoir about my bipolar life based off my blog I was pretty limited in my choices; although the humor side I did add.

Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books? 

I really enjoy any interesting non-fiction and especially memoirs that reveal a new world to me. On the fiction side I'm a pretty big fan of Chuck Palahniuk. But to be honest the past few yeas I've spent an inordinate amount of time reading anything I could get my hands on in concerns of bipolar disorder. I've spent countless hours buried in spiritual books to memoirs to scholarly journal articles. All that being said I heard Hunger Games is pretty good.

What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal? 

I don't really have a normal working day when it comes to writing. I still use it as a therapeutic release so a schedule is not really in the cards. A lot of the times when I get inspired its at random instances in the day when I'm driving down the road or something inconvenient like that. I'll get my ideas down and then later when I find the time I'll go back to the house and write. To sum up this confusing answer I'd say I'll write whenever the mood strikes me; and being bipolar you're guess is as good as mine when that is. 
What is the hardest part of writing for you?  

For me the toughest part of writing actually deals with the internal struggle I have over topics. Having been through things from two psychotic manic episodes to severely deep depression it can be difficult to write about that vulnerability. I've written about a lot of uncomfortable and difficult situations I've experienced. I at times go back and forth on whether or not I want to share some of these times with people I may never know. That being said I usually go with honesty because I feel it's the best way to help others out there who may be struggling like I was.

What’s the best thing about being an author?  

The best thing about being an author for me is that it provides a way to deal with madness that has been my life over the past few years. When I had lost trust in my docs and in my meds and basically in a lot of things dealing with my diagnosis my writing helped me get through it. Writing has been able to get me through some pretty rough times by allowing me to laugh at them. It's one of the few things I've found that really works for me.

What are you working on now?  

I'm in the early planning stages of trying my hand at a novel. I'm going to hopefully write a story that's loosely based on my own experiences that will allow the reader to experience what a psychotic manic episode feels like. I'm thinking it's going to be a mysterious adventure through a manic mind.

What advice would you give aspiring writers?  

I think writing to entertain yourself is a pretty good way to write.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?  

Q: Do you think you could score a goal on Hope Solo with a penalty kick?
A: Absolutely.


Want to win a copy of Derek's book?  He is offering one lucky reader a chance to win a copy of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter form below.

About the Author:

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

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