Friday, September 12, 2014

Author Interview: Shane Burcaw!

Laughing at My NightmareLaughing at My Nightmare
Shane Burcaw
Hilarious Memoir

With acerbic wit and a hilarious voice, Shane Burcaw describes the challenges he faces as a twenty-one-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy. From awkward handshakes to having a girlfriend and everything in between, Shane handles his situation with humor and a "you-only-live-once" perspective on life. While he does talk about everyday issues that are relatable to teens, he also offers an eye-opening perspective on what it is like to have a life threatening disease.

Where have you seen this before? Maybe Shane's blog, or my review of the book. For those who don't know, Laughing at My Nightmare is a soon-to-be-released memoir of Shane Burcaw, who lives with a disease called SMA. He started a nonprofit organization that promotes laughter as a way to deal with diseases and difficulties. 

Today I have an extra special something for you- a personal interview of Shane! First off, I have to shout him out for agreeing to do this and taking the time to answer my questions. Thanks so much! 

At the end of LAMN (the book) you're on tour. How has that been going? Can you share any funny/interesting stories or conversations you had during that time?

The tour is over. It was an absolutely amazing experience, truly life-changing, but it was also nice to come home to my own bed. So much happened on that trip. It's hard to pick out the best moments. I was invited to be on Katie Couric a few days after the tour, so that was pretty cool. They sent us a car to bring us to NYC and everything, super legit. 

What is your nonprofit doing currently, and what are your plans for its future?

We are currently developing a program called No More Nightmares, which is going to help families affected by muscular dystrophy. I belong to many communities of people affected by muscular dystrophy, and it appalls me how few of them have all the things they need to live comfortable lives. Kids go for years without proper wheelchair adaptations. People are often stuck in their homes because van conversions are just too expensive. Common tasks like using the bathroom or getting into bed are made extremely difficult without the proper equipment. We are setting out to change that. 

What can your readers do to help?

Tell everyone you know about Laughing At My Nightmare! And if you wanna help us financially, grab some of our awesome merchandise on

What (if any) good experiences has SMA prevented you from having, what positive experiences have you had because of it?

I mean there's lots of physical stuff that I wish I could do: skateboard, surf, swim, skydive, crazy stuff like that. But for the most part I'm very content with what I can do. All of this stuff that's happened over the last few years, from the blog to the nonprofit to the book, never would've happened if I wasn't born with SMA.   

What do you see for yourself in the future, on the personal level?

I'm going to get married and have 27 children so I can start my own football team. 

Shane Burcaw
Shane Burcaw grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and recently graduated from Moravian College with an English degree. He is the president of Laughing At My Nightmare, Inc. where he works to teach people that humor and positivity can be used to overcome adversity. He has written a young adult memoir and writes as a freelancer for The Morning Call. He also writes a blog called Laughing At My Nightmare about the humor of living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

In his free time he enjoys running people over in his wheelchair, hanging out with his brother and friends, and traveling. His favorite food is mashed potatoes, and one time when he was a kid he stole thirty popsicles from the school cafeteria because a friend told him it was allowed. The popsicles melted in his book bag, and he was sent to the principal’s office. A life of crime just didn’t suit him.

1 comment:

  1. Oof 27 children! baha good luck with that! This book sounds reaaly good I hadn't heard of it before! Thanks for sharing, Esty! :)


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