Book Review and Q&A by Jason Hoover:
Everybody has obstacles in their lives that we must fight to overcome. As surfers, we tend to face our fears and problems using the valuable lessons and experiences the ocean teaches us. For a large portion of families around the world today, they work diligently to find ways to overcome and manage the effects of Autism on their families.
The definition of Autism is “a developmental disorder of variable severity that is characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior.”
Recently, I received a copy of ESM alumni Cash Lambert’s book “Waves of Healing, ISBN#9780615295558”. I opened the cover to take a quick peak, planning to read it over the weekend, and four hours later I completed the entire book. As a former special education teacher, and the proud uncle of two nephews with Autism, this book struck close to home and I instantly felt as if Cash and I had volunteered at the same events. Cash does a wonderful job of bringing the reader right along with him as he travels from town to town, meeting families who share their obstacles, defeats, wisdom, and victories with him openly. Which is emotionally powerful for both the families, participants, volunteers and spectators.
Readers can quickly pick up on the empathy and compassion of people like Cash who dedicate themselves to helping kids and adults who battle Autism experience the powerful healing attributes of the ocean. A parting thought on this tremendous read by Cash, is that his story reminded this reader that by helping others, we gain just as much of a positive affirmation as the people we are helping. Well Done Cash! Please read below for the bio and ESM Q&A with the author. – Jason Hoover –
What was your biggest challenge with this project?
The biggest challenge was figuring out how to write a book—on my own, fresh out of college at the age of 24. After all, you don’t just wake up one day and put over 50,000 words together. There’s so much truth in the saying that a dream without a plan is just a wish. Before I even started the project, I had to create a plan.
I attended by first Surfers for Autism event in 2010, and for 4 years (while studying journalism at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL), I wrote about the organization and surf therapy for magazines, including Eastern Surf Magazine. Because most magazines articles max out around 1,000 words, I always felt like there was more to the story than just 1,000 words. And there was.
I remember having the thought that someone should write a book about the numerous inspirational stories born from Surfers for Autism and the extraordinary results from taking a child with autism surfing. The next thought in my head was “why don’t you do it, Cash?”
That became a challenge, and after committing to the idea mentally, I set out a strategy: I’d give myself 3 years to write a book about it. The first year would be researching about surfing, autism, and most importantly how to write a book. The second year I would write the book, and the third year I would find a publisher. That’s pretty much how it played out.
From idea to publication how long are we talking?
Because I was working on the book in my free time, and because I relocated from Florida to Oahu’s North Shore during that time, the entire project spanned about 4 years.
What would post publication Cash advise pre publication Cash?
Persevere. As much fun as it was spending time with people I profiled in the book, the project was grueling on every level. But I went into the process knowing that. I knew it was going to be hard. I knew it was going to challenge me intellectually. And I knew I was going to make sacrifices to work on it—including saying no to surfing pristine Florida conditions some days.
But I also knew that if I persevered—if I kept hammering away at the process—the book would eventually come to fruition. And it did.
The families in the book also helped me persevere, whether they knew it or not. Here’s how: just as Waves of Healing details, in the darkest of nights, when these parents were facing an autism diagnosis, stressing about the enormous costs associated with autism therapies or struggling with their child’s behavioral challenges, they simply took one breath after the other and one step after the other in one direction: forward. They persevered and they continue to persevere. That inspired me while writing the book, and it still inspires me today.
Any new projects?
Besides working full time as an Editor and promoting Waves of Healing on the side, I’m currently working on two book projects—one non fiction, the other fiction. If I’m not grinding away on those projects, you can find me making up for the surf sessions I missed out on to while writing Waves of Healing.
Cash Lambert is a former Editor for Hawaii’s Freesurf Magazine. He currently lives on Oahu’s North Shore. His articles have been featured in ESPN Outdoors, Surfing Magazine, Eastern Surf Magazine, the Outdoor Channel, Surfline, Stab Magazine, Autism Parenting Magazine, The Atlantic Current, Flux and more. While pursuing his undergraduate degree at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Cash was awarded with the Bodie McDowell Scholarship from the Outdoor Writers Association of America for his editorial work. A graduate from PBA’s School of Communication and Media, he majored in Journalism. He served as a volunteer and surf instructor with Surfers for Autism for four years.
Published by Hatherleigh Press in partnership with Penguin Random House buy Waves Of Healing here https://www.amazon.com/Waves-Healing-Surfing-Changes-Children/dp/1578267943/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546016904&sr=8-1&keywords=cash+lambert