Disclosure: Information provided and shared with permission. All opinions are my own.
The Gold Medal Award-Winning young adult/teen fiction saga continues with book number three in the StarPassage series. Enjoy suspense, time travel and historical events as The Carsons travel on a new quest in this fun read.
About The Book:
"Teenage Mike longs to help a struggling new patient who may hold dangerous secrets. An evil Tracker has escaped to the present, bringing with him plans to end the world. New and more deadly passages await. Is there a traitor in their midst already? How can they fight what they cannot see? Is it safe to use the relic at all? Or…does the relic have its own secret plan?
Join the growing band of travelers as they resist the powerful Trackers at every turn while trying to solve the relic's riddles and guard against the ever-growing risk of betrayal. It's a wild ride where hope and survival hang by a slender thread, woven by an ancient relic that becomes more mysterious with every page turned."
Q&A with Author Clark Rich Burbidge:
Where did you grow up /live now?
I grew up in Utah and live north of Salt Lake City. I have also lived in Los Angeles and in New England. I have traveled extensively for work and for pleasure.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Easy answer. I wanted to be an Astronaut. Growing up in the 1960’s meant the space program. Therefore I am still stuck half way between Star Trek and Star Wars.
What is your education/career background?
University of Utah BS in Finance, University of Southern California MBA. 25 years as an investment banker/banker and 10 years as a Chief Financial Officer with three different companies.
Do you have kids and/or pets?
My wife and I are a blended family with 10 children. We each brought 5 to the marriage. We have had dogs, birds, and a variety of others. I raised tons of different things as a boy including snakes, mice, fish, turtles, an iguana, dogs and rabbits. I have never been a cat person. My preference is fish. I love fish tanks and the variety of fish, frogs, crabs etc. that can be added. Plus they don’t shed or bark. Whoo…hooo!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or what first inspired you to write?
I have always been a story teller. I made them up as bed-time stories for my kids. The fun was to do it on the fly which made it challenging and fun for all. In 2010 I was between jobs and thought networking 24/7 was burning me out. I had a few stories I wanted to put down on paper and one thing led to another with my first book published in 2011. It is the most fun and hardest job I have ever had.
Where/When do you best like to write?
I get up early and in the quiet hours of the morning I sit in my favorite recliner chair, lean back with my computer on my lap and disappear into different worlds. It is awesome.
Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?
I don’t really make an outline. A brief outline which is departed from regularly is the base. I get an idea and it leads me places. I never know when I round the bend who will be there. It is very exciting. I have found occasionally on passages that I ended up somewhere unexpected and had to stop writing while I did the research. It means that writing is very exciting like I am having the experience with the characters. When I stop I can’t wait to get back and start again. That is how a lot of my readers feel.
When you are struggling to write/have writer’s block, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?
See above, don’t really get it. Once in a while if I’m stuck I go on a long bike ride or swim and it clears my mind and things start to flow again. Also I get thoughts when I am waking or in the middle of the night and I keep note pads around so I can jot them down and remember them later.
What do you think makes a good story?
Strong characters and a meaningful, intriguing story. The roller coaster ride of adventure is always there to keep the pages turning but its about the story and the characters. Do they draw you into the story so you have an experience with them and not just read. That’s the secret.
What inspired your story?
Current topics. I am tired of the pop culture narrative that if you can’t have it exactly how you want it then give up. That’s a stupid narrative. We become great because of the challenged and trials and “Monsters” in our lives. Heroes in literature could not be so without them either. Our trials are what give us the opportunity to be great. They are tools of success, not weapons of destruction. It is what you dwell on that matters. You can choose that. My characters lose physical, emotional or social capabilities often in sudden change. I want my readers to know that they can use even the worst events in their lives as stepping stones to be heroes rather than as excuses to become helpless, hopeless victims.
How does a new story idea come to you?
Is it an event that sparks the plot or a character speaking to you? It is usually a thought that I jot down that comes at an unexpected time. Keep a note pad with you.
Is there a message/theme in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
See above. That you can be something great and your trials are tools to do that. Your future may change in an instant but you still have a future…whatever that is make it the best possible future.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
The inspiration I see in the eyes of those who read them. It is so rewarding to witness the impact in lives. It really is why I love what I do.
What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
Coming up with additional passages that took the story somewhere meaningful. I always knew about where it would end but the road in between makes all the difference. I could not just have gratuitous passages and throw them at people. They had to move the story along and tie together in a logical and compelling way. It had to stay fresh and exciting and introduce new twists. You can’t just rely on the things that work for book one.
On a Friday night, what are you most likely to be doing?
Taking my sweetheart out on a date. Sometimes with one or more of our children or friends but that is our date night and we cherish and protect our time together.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love cycling. I ride between 60 and 110 miles per week. Working in the yard is also enjoyable. But most of all I love participating in life with my wife, our children and our community.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Tolkien, Bobrik, Dickens, Scriptural Writers, Bernard Cornwell, Dan Brown and Clive Cussler.
Have you won any awards or honors (not just for writing)?
A number of educational and business awards and of course many writing awards as can be seen on my Linkedin page. My favorite award hangs above my headboard. It is the worlds greatest dad award from my youngest daughter and it simply says in her vernacular “You da bomb”, Another from another daughter from years ago includes a piece of chocolate and relates all the things she loves about me. I am so glad my kids are easy graders. But these sentiments are better than any awards and much more meaningful.
What person(s) has/have helped you the most in your career?
My father taught me to never give up and be generous. My Mission President who was a pilot in three wars taught me to take pride in what I do and that I could do anything if I was willing to work hard and my Uncle taught me how to enjoy every day of the path along the way. That brings me to my wife who teaches me every day that there is a higher reason and purpose to our lives and that we can and should lift others up along the way and the great secret that serving others is the surest way to personal happiness.
What’s the best writing advice you have ever received?
Take all the advice you can but never give up your own voice in your works.
What was your favorite book as a child?
Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. At least that’s what I remember. I was a bit of an unconscious child.
What is the one book no writer should be without?
The scriptures, I read them daily and they keep me grounded with the right values and perspective.
How do your spouse/significant other/friends/family feel about your writing career?
It is exciting but bounces back and forth between a real career and a hobby depending on the ebb and flow of things.
If your book was turned into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
We are talking about StarPassage now. Hummm…. I will pick a few characters because there are so many. I will also pick living people although some who have passed on would be even better.
Jim Carson – David Boreanaz from the TV show Seal Team
Natalie Carson – Emily Brett Rickards from the Green Arrow
Tim Carson – A younger Chris Pratt or Ryan Reynolds type
Martie Carson – A teenage Sally Field type
Clynt – Harrison Ford minus a few years
Horst – Ewan McGregor
Winford Lincoln Jones – A 20 year old Dwayne Johnson or Denzel Washington