We are so excited to be hosting Shane Burcaw for an author talk and book-signing on November 29 from 2-4pm! Books will be available for purchase. The event will be held in the lovely Laros Room. A good time is guaranteed. GUARANTEED I SAY. Register here.
A Bethlehem native, Shane is the author of Laughing at My Nightmare, an incredibly hilarious and moving memoir. He is also an entrepreneur, award-winning blogger, Emmy-winning producer, and inspirational speaker. Born with a progressive neuromuscular disease, Shane has been battling a weakening body since birth. Early on he discovered that approaching his problems with a sense of humor made them much easier to deal with and overcome. He shares that message on his popular blog and through his nonprofit organization, Laughing At My Nightmare, Inc.
And today, he answers some questions from BAPL Library Director Josh Berk!
JB: First off, I have a very librarian question to ask about the book. Its subject heading in the Library of Congress bibliographic record indicates “juvenile non-fiction.” When you wrote, did you intend it to be for young people? Teens? Any specific audience in mind?
SB: One of my early concerns was that my publisher wanted it to be a YA book. I worried that they would censor me to make the book more “appropriate.” But after several discussions with my editor, I realized YA doesn’t necessarily mean PG-13. They let me tell my story exactly how I wanted to, so the only audience I was imagining while writing was “someone who hasn’t met me.” There’s swearing and sex and other topics that might not be the best for very young readers, but otherwise, the book is an honest reflection of life, which I think teens will identify with.
JB: Who are some of your favorite authors and literary inspirations?
SB: George Saunders has been my favorite lately. His short stories are incredible. I’ve been a fan of Hemingway for many years, and I think some of my simple-sentence stylings are a reflection of reading and studying his work. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is the last book I read that made me go “Wow.”
JB: Is there anything you’ve ever wanted to do at a book signing but haven’t had the chance to do yet? Should we hire a metal band or dancers or something?
SB: Can we get a get a smoke machine and leave it on for the entire duration of my reading?
(Ed. note: Yes.)
JB: Is it true that you are a Phillies fan? Me too! This is not a very good question.
SB: I am, unfortunately. It was not a fun season to be a Phillies fan.
JB: Do you have plans for a second book? Mind if I pitch some titles? I have Shane New World, The Shaner in the Rye, and One Hundred Years of Shane-itude. Feel free to use any or all of those.
SB: I will be using all of these. Or how about Uncle Shane’s Cabin? I am working on some new projects though. Don’t want to give too much away, but this memoir won’t be the last book you see by me…
Thanks so much to Shane for answering these questions! And thanks to you for reading! I hope to see you at the library on November 29!