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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 02/2017
  • 978-1-48359-209-1
  • 266 pages
  • $14.99
Ebook Details
  • 02/2017
  • 978-1-48359-210-7 B06WVF3XHB
  • 266 pages
  • $3.99
Look at the Sun
Don Carswell, author

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

"Look at the Sun" may well be the world’s first coming-of-middle-age novel. It is a subtle, yet insightful, examination of the boundaries of free thought. On the surface it chronicles the hero’s contemporaneous parallel journeys- his poignant passage through a difficult chapter of life and his breathtaking trek through Central America, a dreamy but dangerous world of beauty and color. On a deeper level it is a thought-provoking exploration of what it truly means to think for oneself, if, in fact, that is ever really possible.

"Look at the Sun" pursues its probing inquiry through the introspective journey of Doug Roth, a middle-class family man and frustrated IT Director. Profoundly bored and peering across the yawning chasm of a recalcitrant midlife crisis, Doug suddenly concludes that the best way to overcome his growing depression is to undertake a bumpy bus trip alone, along the scoliotic spine of Central America. A chance encounter with an erstwhile hippie and ‘closet intellectual’ leads him down a sinuous road of friendship, betrayal and paranoia and finally to the precipice of his mortality.

In spite of the weighty subject matter, "Look at the Sun" endeavors to maintain an upbeat, positive spin. Though the story is fictional, many of the events in "Look at the Sun" are based on the real experiences of the author during his many years of travel around the world.

News
03/15/2017
Adventurous Author Tackles Midlife Crisis

NEW YORK, March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Don Carswell has hiked the Himalayas, been caught up in a Honduran coup, walked across England, canoed in the Amazon and pitched his tent everywhere from Iceland to Tierra del Fuego. But his greatest challenge may have been one that we all face: tackling the midlife crisis.

"You do all the usual things: get an education, get a job, get married, have kids… and somewhere around age forty you realize that you've checked all the boxes and you're standing there looking at the second half of life without a map," explains Carswell. "The only advice you get is to save for retirement. If you're not careful, you end up sitting in front of a television as your life slips away."

That's where Carswell's novel, Look at the Sun might help. "Look at the Sun may well be the world's first coming-of-middle-age novel," says Carswell. Look at the Sun follows the journey of Doug Roth, a middle-class family man and frustrated IT Director. Profoundly bored and facing a monstrous midlife crisis, Doug concludes that the best solution is to undertake a bumpy bus trip alone, along the twisted spine of Central America. A chance encounter with an old hippie leads him down a road of friendship, betrayal and paranoia and finally to the precipice of his mortality.

"Doug is a typical American living a typical life. At some point, he starts to question his life, as we all do, and wonder whether there might be something missing," says Carswell.

On the surface, Look at the Sun chronicles Doug's parallel journeys— his passage through a difficult chapter of life and his breathtaking trek through Central America, a dreamy but dangerous world of beauty and color. On a deeper level it is a thought-provoking exploration of what it truly means to think for oneself. In spite of the weighty subject matter, Look at the Sun maintains an upbeat, positive spin. 

"Though the story is fictional, many of the events in this book are based on real experiences I had during many years of travel around the world," says Carswell. "My hope is that this book will help some people find themselves, and entertain readers of all ages. What I really want to do is make people think in a way that they never have before."

Look at the Sun can be ordered wherever books are sold.

03/15/2017
Don Carswell Releases "Look at the Sun"

NEW YORK, March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ Don Carswell has hiked the Himalayas, been caught up in a Honduran coup, walked across England, canoed in the Amazon and pitched his tent everywhere from Iceland to Tierra del Fuego. But his greatest challenge may have been one that we all face: tackling the midlife crisis.

"You do all the usual things: get an education, get a job, get married, have kids and somewhere around age forty you realize that you've checked all the boxes and you're standing there looking at the second half of life without a map," explains Carswell. "The only advice you get is to save for retirement. If you're not careful, you end up sitting in front of a television as your life slips away."

That's where Carswell's novel, Look at the Sun might help. "Look at the Sun may well be the world's first coming-of-middle-age novel," says Carswell. Look at the Sun follows the journey of Doug Roth, a middle-class family man and frustrated IT Director. Profoundly bored and facing a monstrous midlife crisis, Doug concludes that the best solution is to undertake a bumpy bus trip alone, along the twisted spine of Central America. A chance encounter with an old hippie leads him down a road of friendship, betrayal and paranoia and finally to the precipice of his mortality.

"Doug is a typical American living a typical life. At some point, he starts to question his life, as we all do, and wonder whether there mightbe something missing," says Carswell.

On the surface, Look at the Sun chronicles Doug's parallel journeys his passage through a difficult chapter of life and his breathtaking trek through Central America, a dreamy but dangerous world of beauty and color. On a deeper level it is a thought-provoking exploration of what it truly means to think for oneself. In spite of the weighty subject matter, Look at the Sun maintains an upbeat, positive spin.

"Though the story is fictional, many of the events in this book are based on real experiences I had during many years of travel around the world," says Carswell. "My hope is that this book will help some people find themselves, and entertain readers of all ages. What I really want to do is make people think in a way that they never have before."

Look at the Sun can be ordered wherever books are sold.

03/12/2017
Don Carswell- Interview on "Author's Alley"

See YouTube video of interview with Don Carswell on "Author's Alley"

03/15/2017
Local Man Pens Debut Novel

SPARTA — Touted as a "coming-of-middle-age journey," Sussex County resident Don Carswell's debut novel "Look at the Sun" follows the story of Doug Roth, described by the author as "an everyman figure." When middle-class IT director and family man Doug finds himself facing down a midlife crisis, he decides to travel alone to Central America, encountering people and places along the way that guide him through a deeply personal and at times philosophical journey.

"All your life you have this roadmap of where to go," said Carswell. "Then you hit age forty, and you're standing there and you've done all those things, and you think, 'Well, now what? There's no map here, there's this barren field of life ahead of me, and nobody's telling me where to go.' It really can be one of the most beautiful and fascinating times of your life, if you do it right."

Although Carswell has written for publications such as The Sparta Independent, The New Jersey Herald, and an Australian magazine called International Traveller, this is his first novel.

He has along been a freelance photographer for the Sparta Independent, the Township Journal and other Straus Newspaper publications.

"I started out not knowing what I was going to write," said Carswell, whose career in international sales has enabled him to travel through a total of 89 countries. "I just wanted to capture the beauty of Central America." 

In fact, he began writing much of the backdrop for the novel during his own extended solo trip to Central America in 2009. Although various life events drew him away from the manuscript over the next eight years, Carswell always returned to Doug's story. A significant portion of the book was taken from his own experiences, but Carswell maintained that Doug is a distinct character with his own set of personal challenges.

"He'd never really been anywhere," said Carswell. "He's following along in this path that he thinks is the path of least resistance in life; he hasn't really taken his breaks and done things for himself."

Carswell himself set out in search of adventure when he was just seventeen years old, taking a backpacking trip across Europe on a "shoestring budget" shortly after his high school graduation.

"My parents were not interested in travel at all," said Carswell. "I felt kind of trapped in the house where I was; I wanted to see what was out there." 

Carswell hopes that "Look at the Sun" will inspire readers to think about their lives in a new way, and especially to consider what it means to truly think for themselves.

"There are a number of messages in this book," said Carswell. "My hope is that people will consider some of these things – 'am I really being myself here, or am I being led along by other people, for good or for bad?'"

He added that ultimately, the book also presents a hopeful message of moving forward and embracing uncertainty. "You can tackle these mid-life issues," he said. "You can reach happiness. You don't want to spend your whole life sitting in that armchair watching it go by on a screen in front of you. You want to get out and live and experience life."

When asked about his own future travel plans, Carswell replied that he prefers his trips to be a little more spur of the moment. 

"For now," he said, "I'm going to see where the book can take me."

"Look at the Sun" is available in both physical and e-book formats, and can be found everywhere books are sold, including online retailers such as Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. There will be a book signing at Sparta Books on Saturday, March 25, from 1:30 to 3 PM.

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 02/2017
  • 978-1-48359-209-1
  • 266 pages
  • $14.99
Ebook Details
  • 02/2017
  • 978-1-48359-210-7 B06WVF3XHB
  • 266 pages
  • $3.99

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