Q&A: Tom Brew

Books+are+available+at+The+Cat%E2%80%99s+Tale+Bookstore+on+US+Route+30+and+Miles+Books+in+downtown+Highland.+It+is+also+available+on+Amazon%3A+http%3A%2F%2Famzn.to%2FZO1LUG+

Books are available at The Cat’s Tale Bookstore on US Route 30 and Miles Books in downtown Highland. It is also available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/ZO1LUG

Jimmy Lafakis

Thomas Brew (‘76) talks about his new book, The Ties That Bind.

Q: What made you want to write this novel?

A: “The gist of the story is really about a gambling addiction, and how far you would go to help a friend when they are in trouble. It’s a real Northwest Indiana book. Anyone who grew up here will be able to relate to a lot of things going on in the story. As a newspaper reporter for years and years, I always wrote the real news. But in the back of my mind, I always wanted to write a novel.”

Q: Talk about the success of your last book, A Season Inside.

A: “It was never meant to be a book. I wrote [Lake Central basketball] articles live. The more I thought about it, I thought, ‘I can make a scrapbook myself.’ I did all of it myself, and it was a success. I enjoyed doing it. I didn’t make any money off of it, but that was never the point. I made a donation to Dollars for Scholars here at [Lake Central].”

Q: What made you want to be a writer?

A: “I was lucky enough that when I was in the third grade, eight years old at St. Mike’s, I was [exposed to] the Chicago Tribune. I knew that when I was eight years old that this was what I wanted to do. I had every opportunity to do exactly what I wanted to do. I graduated in the class of 1976, so it’s been a long time.”

Q: What have you learned along the way?

A: “I have learned over three decades that this business has changed. Being a journalist now means being able to do everything — to not only write and edit stories for the newspaper, but to provide copy to our website and videos and photo galleries too. People will always want to read good stuff. That has not changed. How you deliver the story has changed, but the premise of telling good stories will always remain the same.”

Q: Why do you have a passion for basketball?

A: “I’m an Indiana kid. When I was at Lake Central in 1976, I was the student manager on a team that all of my best friends played on. They were undefeated, and they were Lake Central’s first great team. The fieldhouse had extra bleachers in it every single night. Thousands of people standing behind ropes – it was nuts. I’ve been to a bunch of Final Fours and covered a lot of regular-season games. Basketball, at every level, is still my favorite sport. I love the five-on-five intricacy of basketball and the drama that plays out over the course of every season.”

Q: Why do you want to give back to Lake Central?

A: “I’m proud to be an LC Indian. I always have been. I’m in the Hall of Fame here. The 1976 team was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1996. A lot of people I went to school with are still people that I am great friends with. Great teachers, administrators and coaches are here. It was great to reconnect with Lake Central. It’s great to know that I have Lake Central roots now. I took Zachary Gentz (‘12) to dinner in Bloomington. Those are my guys. Even though I graduated here 38 years ago, I have a new group of Lake Central family now.”

Books are available at The Cat’s Tale Bookstore on US Route 30 and Miles Books in downtown Highland. It is also available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/ZO1LUG