New Book Redefines Mid-Life Crisis as "The Thirty Something Snap"

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Author coins the phrase "The Thirty Something Snap" to describe men and women in their thirties who suddenly feel compelled to embark on uncharacteristic activities and adventures.

Men who pay for sex miss out on having a true and meaningful relationship. The women who trade sex for money miss out on the same thing. It's a lose-lose situation.

Those in their thirties often feel tempted to succumb to the thrill of doing something out of character. Men, for example, toy with the idea of transforming their physiques to develop the six pack abs they see advertised on late night infomercials. Another example would be the decision to impulsively purchase an expensive "babe magnet" sports-car. Then there are those whom shock their friends and family by suddenly joining a nudist club or posting photos of themselves visiting a risqué street party, like Fantasy Fest in Florida's Key West, where male and female public nudity is commonplace.

But it's not only the men. Women in their thirties also feel the urge to be a bit daring. There's the cinematic fantasy to travel to Tuscany and accidentally-on-purpose seduce the sexy Italian gardener working outside the window of a rented bungalow. Maybe the mundane existence of a 9 to 5 job explains the daydream of hooking up with a sugar daddy whom will whisk them away to a fabulous mansion in Malibu. Then, of course, there's the more likely scenario of simply indulging in a sexier and more youthful wardrobe.

We used to consider these out-of-character tendencies symptomatic of a mid-life crisis. But, now that we're living longer, the thirties are no longer considered mid-life. Author Alan Helgasson has coined the phrase "The Thirty Something Snap" to describe the tendencies of men and women in their thirties that surrender to the self imposed dare of doing something wild and crazy.

In his novel, "The Thirty Something Snap," Helgasson tells the tale of thirty-nine year old Howard Perkins. The protagonist in this humorous love story blames himself for being alone by acknowledging that his lack of a reasonable income caused his divorce and was directly connected to his obstinate obsession of becoming a rock star, an unfulfilled dream that should have been retired more than a decade earlier and that began when he was a teenager. Perkins finally sees the light after his wife leaves him and, for the first time in his life, he lands a good paying job at a public relations firm in New York City.

Now, with money but no love life, Perkins is being tempted more than ever. His observations of his friends yielding to the "Thirty Something Snap" make him determined to resist those same temptations and to finally attempt to find the elusive secret to his own happiness. But it's not easy.

"Money can't buy love but it can buy sex," Helgasson says. "The problem with that is that everyone loses. Men who pay for sex miss out on having a true and meaningful relationship. The women who trade sex for money miss out on the same thing. It's a lose-lose situation."

Helgasson says he crafted the characters in "The Thirty Something Snap" to represent an authentic cross-section of typical American adults in their thirties. "My characters have faults, they succumb to temptation, and they learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of their friends. They also learn that one person's taboo might be another person's liberation. There is no "one-size-fits-all" in this lifetime and we each have to find the path that is right for us and the right companion to travel with down that path."

"The Thirty Something Snap" begins on Long Island and takes the reader into the offices of The Edelman Public Relations firm in lower Manhattan, onto a photo-shoot to recreate the nude photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono from their "Two Virgins" album cover of 1968, onto the set of NBC's Today Show, over to a rock and rap concert at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, into a nudist camp in New Jersey, a peep show off of Times Square, and finally down to the small town of Ocala, Florida and Walt Disney World's Epcot on New Year's Eve. All in a quest to find true love.

So, while "The Thirty Something Snap" may be purely an entertaining and humorous escape for some readers it may also ring true for others. The reflections of our own lives that are seen in the lives of the characters in "The Thirty Something Snap" will make you laugh, blush, and, most importantly, recognize that we're all in this together and that our friendships and families are more important than we may have realized.

"The Thirty Something Snap" is available as a paperback book as well as an e-book for Kindle (from Amazon), Nook (from Barnes And Noble) and other formats. To read the first few chapters for free go to

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Alan Helgasson
since: 12/2013
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