HOUSTON, Texas — Clarke Newlin always thought retirement was about slowing down life’s changes. But after retiring, he discovered that life brings major changes in every phase—including the so-called golden years. Experiencing changes like loss of career, death of a spouse, and watching friends pass away left Newlin somewhat disoriented and demoralized. Now 80, he didn’t expect that some of the biggest challenges during aging weren’t just physical—but also mental and emotional.
Newlin also found that most of his senior peers were also totally surprised by the changes and choices that continued to come their way. When he began sharing his hard-won advice at dinner, they said “Clarke you should write a book about that.” So that’s just what the former accountant with a knack for clear storytelling did. The result was a no-nonsense guide to growing older with life under control—appropriately entitled “Aging with Class.” It’s available for purchase online at www.amazon.com.
“I realized that nearly everyone enters into their later years largely unprepared for the rapid series of major life changes that come their way,” said Newlin, who lives at Parkway Place senior living community in Houston. “I had to learn a lot of things the hard way and realized that many of the younger residents I live with would also be facing these events. Eventually everyone does, and no one should face them unprepared.”
Newlin’s method for achieving literary acclaim was just as novel as his message. He self-published his new book without ever leaving his home at Parkway Place through an innovative online service called CreateSpace.com, which is a subsidiary of Amazon.com. Newlin loaded his manuscript online to the global book dealer. He paid a hefty fee—around $600 in all—but received his first 500 copies of the handsome paperback fully printed, including a beautiful color cover. His book was born!
Each chapter of the 150-page book is highly readable (in large print for aging eyes) and focuses on a particular senior topic, including; “When or What, Is Old?,” “Losing a Spouse to Death,” “The Kids—Changing Roles,” and 19 other chapters. Though a labor of love, it was a labor indeed. A 1954 graduate of Rice University, Newlin set himself a goal of writing a chapter every three days, completing it in about 75 days.
Clearly, the aging author’s intuition about popular demand for answers later in life proved accurate. At $12.99 a copy, Newlin has already recovered his investment and hopes to sell a million copies with only about “995,000 left to go” he says with a smile.
Reaching 80 years of age has convinced Newlin of the truth in that old adage “growing older isn’t for sissies.” But he’s no sissy and this newly-minted author shows no signs of slowing down his literary career. He’s already thinking about a subject of his next book.
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