Sunday, August 05, 2012

GIANTS IN THE LAND - Clark Rich Burbridge - One Free Book

Clark Burbidge's path to becoming an award winning author had distant beginnings. He received an MBA degree from the University of Southern California and a BS Degree in finance from the University of Utah. His career spans 31 years in banking, project finance, investment banking and more recently as Chief Financial Officer of three separate companies. He has been actively involved in community and church service, including lay youth and adult ministry, for over 35 years.

It has been his long-term dream to write and publish several works that have been kicking around in his mind for many years. His first book, "Life on the Narrow Path: A Mountain Biker's Guide to Spiritual Growth in Troubled Times" was released nationally in March 2011. His second book "A Piece of Silver" was published in July 2011 and is currently entering its 2nd edition. Clark enjoys life in the foothills of the Rockies with his wife, children and three grandchildren. He looks forward to this next phase of life's wonderful adventures.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I suppose there is much of me in my characters. Thomas, the primary character, has lost his father recently and is struggling to overcome and move on. I write about what my life experiences have helped me understand. I have lost both my parents. I have had giants whom I have come to rely upon disappear suddenly from my life. I have had times where I was forced way outside my comfort zone into a confusing wild world. Thomas has all these experiences.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
So the dictionary describes this as an abrupt twist. Hard to say, haven’t thought about this before. I suppose the most abrupt turn I took would be to pursue writing seriously and to focus on young adult fiction. Here I am, a 30+ plus year veteran of a pretty tough, unforgiving industry (investment banking and corporate finance). It is a world of people who take themselves very seriously and often work with a single minded focus to their detriment. But I am writing about giants and quests and young people facing challenges for which they are unprepared. But I am also writing about rising up and overcoming against all odds, about there always being hope and becoming something more than you otherwise might have been. Perhaps that isn’t so far from my career after all.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I have created stories and music for a long time. I have always enjoyed creative writing so I cannot say when. My first formal effort though was fairly recent. It takes time and focus to write in a quality way and I had little time to do this until I was between jobs during 2010. As I pursued an extensive job search I discovered I also had time to do other things. So I put down on paper some of the stories I had always wanted to record. One thing led to another and ‘Giants’ became a living, breathing part of my life. It has been an incredibly enjoyable and satisfying experience and I am very excited about the early response to ‘Giants’.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy history an archeology as well as scripture and spiritually based books. One of my favorite books is titled ‘Angel in the Whirlwind’ by Benson Bobrick. It is a superb telling of the story of the foundations of our country and the inspired an courageous personalities like Washington, Adams, Franklin and Jefferson who spent their lives in this worthy cause.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
In two ways. First I try not to take things too seriously on this rollercoaster of life. My family is a great support and refuge in that. Serving others never ceases to help me put my own challenges into perspective. Finally, I do a lot of mountain and road bicycling. It keeps me healthy and in reminds of God’s beauty that is always around us.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Often they just come to me. I do make an effort to ensure they are credible in the specific time and setting of the book. ‘Giants’ takes place in an ancient time so using modern names can be distracting. For the giants in the book it didn’t seem right just to use regular names. I thought a lot about how to make them individuals with different personalities, backgrounds, interests and attitudes. The concept of using combination names that described their role came to me one evening and it seems to have worked very well. Readers have commented on the richness their names bring to the story.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Perhaps I could talk about career accomplishments but they pale compared to the really important achievements that happen within one’s own home. I believe this is where the real work of humankind is either done or undone. My wife and I have a blended family of 10 children. Each one has an appreciation for God in their life and is living a healthy and productive life. They all have their various struggles and so no matter their age we are still parents and are always there for them and they know we love and believe in them. They still make their own choices and sometimes they are not the type of choices we would make but they are mostly very wise and good. It is the greatest treasure of my life to have played a small part along with my Heavenly Father in their lives.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Haven’t thought about this one before. If I did I might have a different answer. I suppose I would choose a dolphin or porpoise. I have always loved swimming and really enjoy feeling the water rush past as I reach an efficient speed and technique in the water. Dolphins and porpoises not only are great and extremely hydrodynamic but are intelligent, social and seem to enjoy having fun as well. So if I have to be an animal I might as well be one that knows how to inject a little fun along with the work.

What is your favorite food?
Well my wife’s apricot crock pot chicken is pretty hard to beat. But my secret treat is chocolate covered orange sticks. They have anti-oxidants right?

Sure. That’s why I eat them. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Getting time to write in the quality manner as I would like. I work full time in a demanding job and am able to focus on writing about an hour per day. This keeps it fresh and avoids writer’s block for me but is also somewhat frustrating when I am on a creative roll and need to stop. I keep a pad handy most times though to note new thoughts or characters or scenes and that seems to work well so when I sit down to write I can go through my list instead of staring at the wall.

Tell us about the featured book.
Think of those who have had an enormous impact on your life. These “Giants” may have been parents, siblings, friends, teachers, mentors, coaches or religious leaders. One day they all pass on. How can we carry on? The book tells the tale of a medieval village where real giants work side by side with the townsfolk. The people work hard also but have become more dependent on their giants than they realize. One morning they awake to discover the giants have mysteriously disappeared. The town is in an uproar. They have no idea how to carry on. Only one young man has the courage to venture into the wild world to seek the giants and bring them back. Thomas’ journey is fraught with danger and adventure. He discovers the giant’s great secret and their true purpose. But he also learns more about himself and his own destiny than he ever imagined. The book is full of rich and interesting characters and perilous adventures. It teaches values necessary for all of us in dealing with the passing of the giants who have been so influential in our lives and the sudden change that can come upon us as a result.

Please give us the first page of the book. Prologue: ‘The Way of Things’
The long-expected journey began in the dark of the night. Dozens of shadows moved silently under a full moon. A heavy tap on a resting shoulder, a kick of a booted foot, and they were on the move. Soundlessly, they fell into a long, ragged line stretching north. They knew they would never see their lifelong friends again. It was a solemn march, with each one of the travelers left to his or her own concerns about the difficulties they would leave in their wake.

A lonely figure trailing at the end of the line hesitated and looked back . . . one last time. She cast an immense shadow in the moonlight. A second larger shadow approached. The moon shone brightly on his wavy red hair.

“It is always hardest the first time, but it never becomes easy,” he said.

“Why must we leave?” asked the smaller shadow. “They trusted us. They will never understand.”

Placing a steadying hand on her shoulder, the larger shadow answered, “It is not for us to decide how they will feel. That is part of the purpose here. We have completed our task and, as you know, there are others.”

“Yes, I know it is time, but my heart remains heavy,” the smaller shadow said with a catch in her voice.

The larger shadow turned toward the north. “They will be all right after a time,” he whispered. “They have The One among them. He does not yet understand, of course, for he must travel a long and difficult path to discover himself. That is The Way of Things.”

There was nothing more to say. The two shadows turned their backs on the valley they had served for many lifetimes and disappeared forever over the northern ridge.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Clark, for spending this time with us.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Giants in the Land

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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Anonymous said...

would love to win. angela from ky

Anne Payne said...

It's hard to find good, clean stories for youth, especially boys. I have a son that would really enjoy this book. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

Anne, rural NC

gahome2mom said...

I've never heard of chocolate covered orange sticks. gahome2mom/gmail/com

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Ingrid Stukey said...

112 Thanks for the Interview, Clark your Book sounds so amazing, please enter me in your Giveaway.


I live in S. Illinois

Patricia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patricia said...

My grandkids need to read this book.
Their young cousin passed away and it was really hard on the kids. The youngest kids were give a book that was helpful. I would love to win this book.


Diana Gardner said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks! Portsmouth, VA

LadySaotome said...

What an unusual, great idea for a story!

I'm from the Black Hills of SD!