Local author presents book
NEW ULM — Local author Jeffrey Mathews gave a presentation at the New Ulm library Thursday night on his debut book “Carry Us All.”
His novel “Carry Us All” is the story of a man named Kevin who has lost his family, a wife and daughter, in a tragic accident and is experiencing survivor’s guilt. In an effort to find redemption Kevin takes on the task of restoring an antique carousel for his diseased daughter.
“Its about the things we choose to remember, the things we choose to forget and the things we need to let go,” Mathews said.
The title, “Carry Us All,” is a play on words. In writing the book, Mathews began researching the history of carousels. He learned that a man named C.W. Parker experimented with the manufacturing of carousels by making them smaller and easier to transport. Parker called his new creation the carry-us-all.
The inspiration for the novel came from Mathews’ life. His daughter’s favorite activity was riding the carousel at River Hills Mall.
“I wanted to write about what it is like to be a father,” Mathews said.
From the original idea until the first draft was finished, “Carry Us All” took 20 years to write. Mathews said it took two decades to write because “life got in the way.” In addition, the orignal plan was for a much longer book told in four parts.
Mathews decided to cut the story down to the first part and save the additional material for future novels. He is already editing the second book, finished a third and is working of a fourth book.
Mathews said when finished, the four books can be read in any order.
After his presentation, Library Director Kris Wiley asked if Mathews would consider marketing his novel as a Christian book.
Mathews said it could be marketed as a Christian book, but he did not think about that when he was writing it. After he finished, a friend commented the book featured several Christian themes, and he realized it was true.
“It is about forgiveness, redemption and hope,” he said.
Copies of “Carry Us All” are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and WestBow Press. In addition, copies of the book are available for rent at the library.
Mathews said he is willing to answer any questions from readers by email. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.