Author Interview with Tom
1. How did you come up with the title?
Interesting actually how we came up with the title. We were torn between WHAT IS NORMAL and I JUST AM. Brainstorming with Linda Radke, our publisher of Five Star Publications in Chandler, AZ,, we went back and forth and finally decided that we did not want to offend anyone by using the word normal and so we went with I JUST AM.
2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Absolutely there is a message and that is that we want people to understand that people with Down syndrome are JUST like anyone else. They have hopes and dreams and goals and want to be accepted by everyone for who they are and not for their disability.
3. How much of the book is realistic?
Our book is as realistic as can be as it contains many pictures of Bryan and his family and friends and also his thoughts and dreams. It also includes a section on facts about DS and language guidelines.
4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
We would not change one thing. We are very proud of I JUST AM!
5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part was probably matching Bryan's comments with specific pictures.
6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned a lot about what Bryan thinks about himself and his disability. If I did not go forward with this project I probably would never have known!
7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I have ALWAYS wanted to write a book! There have been several times in my life that something has occurred and could have been made into a book but when I was selected to be Bryan's partner in Unified bowling at the 2003 Special Olympics Summer World Games in Ireland and we came home with gold medals I knew that it was time. My first book is SPIRIT, COURAGE and RESOLVE ... a Special Olympics Athlete's Road to Gold and it describes my family's experiences with and because of Bryan.
8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have several favorites - Dean Koontz, Stephen King, David Baldacci, James Patterson and Lee Child to name a few.
9. Tell us your latest news.
Well Bryan was the first, and so far, the only Special Olympics athlete to be elected to the city of Chandler Sports Hall of Fame in 2007, we were asked to speak at the 2009 World Down Syndrome Congress in Dublin, Ireland, in 2009, and I have just been nominated for a spot in my high school's Alumni Hall of Fame because of my books.
10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Bryan and I have done dozens of group/school talks the last 6 years and I always end them with this: I have noticed that there are two kinds of people in the world. When someone with a disability is walking (or rolling) down the street there are people who will look the other way or pretend they are on the phone in order to avoid any interaction with them and there are others who will go out of their way to stop and say hi and meet that person. My challenge is quite simply for you to decide which type of person that you want to be!
About the Book
This is a story about a young man with Down syndrome. These are his thoughts and feelings regarding his disability. It is written with help from his dad and much love.
All too often, we shroud ourselves in ignorance, thus preventing us from learning from others whom we consider to be somehow "different." In a book that is both charming and disarming, Bryan Lambke-a young man with Down syndrome-invites us into his world where he lets us know he shares the same dreams and emotions as everyone else.
"I have a disability," says Bryan. "It is not my fault. I just am." Bryan, with the help of his father Tom, helps us all examine what is normal about each of us. The book includes additional information about Down syndrome.
Prices/Formats: $14.99 paperback, $4.95 ebook
Publisher: Five Star Publications
Release Date: January 2006
Buy Links: Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Nook
For another $5, Bryan and Tom will both sign and personalize with the $5 going to RAD (Recreation and Athletics for the Disabled) a non profit group formed by Tom and his wife, Karen, and several other parents to financially assist anyone with an intellectual disability who wants to participate in a Special Olympics Chandler activity. To order, contact Tom at tjel4 [at] aol [dot] com.
About the Authors
Bryan Lambke is the son of Tom and Karen Lambke. An avid sports enthusiast, Bryan was just eight years old when he competed for the first time in the track and field events of the Illinois Special Olympics. Fourteen years later, he stood atop the winner's platform at the 2003 International Special Olympics in Dublin, Ireland.
Now 23 years old, Bryan holds two jobs in the Phoenix, Arizona area (he sorts x-rays for shredding at the Center for Habilitation and works as a meeter/greeter at the Chandler AMF Bowling Center). He dreams of getting a driver's license, living on his own, and being married. He continues to participate in Special Olympics and especially enjoys bowling, swimming, and basketball. Bryan has two special girlfriends, Nicki and Nicole, and likes going out on dates.
Tom Lambke is also the author of Spirit, Courage and Resolve, the story of Bryan's road to becoming an International Special Olympics gold medal winner. He is an instructional assistant in special education at Corona del Sol High School in Chandler, Arizona, and volunteers as a coach and umpire for the Special Olympics.
Tom is the past chair of the Special Olympics Arizona Family Boosters Club, and is also a member of the Advisory Board of Best Buddies, a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Along with his wife Karen, he is the founder and former president of Recreation and Athletics for the Disabled. RAD is a non-profit group in Chandler, AZ that financially assists individuals with disabilities to participate in recreational activities. Tom and Karen's daughter Shauna works with youngsters with special needs at an elementary school and is studying for a degree in nursing.
Link to connect with Bryan and Tom:
About the Giveaway:
Congratulations to our winner!
Lmackesy [at] gmail [dot] com
Leave a comment with your U.S. mailing address and email address to enter to win an autographed paperback copy. Ends 10/14/12.
Tribute Books Blog Tours
Put our promotional experience to work for your book.