Thursday, May 3, 2012

Somewhere Over theRainbow, I've Lost My Damn Mind Book Tour: Spotlight & Giveaway

Somewhere Over theRainbow, I've Lost My Damn Mind 
by Derek Thompson 
Genre: Humor memoir 
Pages: 222

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 the book's website.

ABOUT THE BOOK: 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.

BOOK EXCERPT: Growing up in South Chuck, there were a couple of things that absolutely intimidated the buh-Jesus out of me. The first was the Future Farmers of America Tractor Day at school. Now, for those of you who have not had the ultimate pleasure of participating in an FFA Tractor Day, I’ll attempt to explain this nightmare scenario. Because the FFA is a nationally chartered high school organization, they get to wear these really sharp felt-like blue and gold jackets, and they are afforded certain privileges throughout the year. One of these privileges is similar to Spirit Week for Homecoming, only I didn’t get threatened by my date’s stepdad with his watch and stepdaughter’s safe return speech and “fear tactic” like I did on Homecoming. On the final day of the week they have Tractor Friday, when they allow the students to drive tractors to school. No, really, I have the pictures to prove it.

The hallways of the school were filled with cowboy hats (I never understood this because I’ve never seen a ranch in South Chuck), Wranglers (had their advantages when worn by a select few young ladies), Lacers (boots, I think), the smell of tobacco, and then me, all during FFA week leading up to the Tractor Day on Friday. Of course I was going to be driving a tractor on Friday because I was supposed to be a farmer or something, and I knew I’d get the smallest tractor. I just had that feeling; plus, I didn’t know how to drive tractors. My younger brother was driving a beast of machinery that had twelve tires and barely fit under the power lines stretching across the road. My tractor was the infant baby brother to Poncho’s. No matter how much smoke I blew out the pipe and how much I revved my Massey, it just didn’t matter. I was still intimidated by FFA Tractor Day.

I preferred riding in the semi, when we were either hauling to the elevator or coming from the fields. I enjoyed it so much because I didn’t have to do anything and could sit back and enjoy the ride. This would backfire from time to time, when I dozed off only to wake up alone. The truck had stopped, the cab was empty, and it was dead silent. That feeling of utter aloneness was a feeling I didn’t like so much.

When I was recovering from manic episode uno, I went through some deep depression that took my disdain for aloneness and amplified it. I was a few months out of the hospital when this started to happen, and it got so bad that I would pray to not wake up the next day. I saw no point to anything. I’ve been told depression usually follows manic episodes (I think of it as a counterbalance to being so high) and after my last episode in The Nasty I wanted so badly to not feel the effects of depression again. No such luck.

The feelings of aloneness, inadequacy, worthlessness, and all their cousins have showed up again, and I still don’t like them so much. Depression makes me question why all this happened, why was I given BMD and to begin to regret that it happened and feel sorry for myself. I knew the Big D was coming this time around, so I was sort of ready for these feelings, but I was no match for them in the end, really. It takes all my energy and focus to fight them off, and that unfortunately has consequences in other aspects of my life. It makes me feel as if it’s not fair, and I envy others around me whose problems I wish I had.

But I can’t remember when I’ve encountered anything in life that was truly fair. If everything was fair and even, where would I find the drive to better myself? I’d be living in a boring, predictable world. I’d rather live in a world that makes me fight for everything, because when I finally get it, there will be nothing sweeter--well, maybe an FFA Tractor Day where I drive the beast.

The author is giving away one paperback copy of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I've Lost My Damn Mind to one of our readers. To enter to win, simply leave a comment and your email address. This contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.

This tour is presented by Pump Up Your Book! Book Tours.


  1. Sounds very interesting

  2. It's pretty amazing that the author can laugh at the tough times in his life.
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