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November 18, 2021

Q&A with Clark Rich Burbidge, author of StarPassage: Cyber Plague

Clark Burbidge was born and raised in the high mountain valleys of the Rockies. He earned an MBA from the University of Southern California and a BS from the University of Utah. Clark and his wife, Leah, live near Salt Lake City, Utah, where they enjoy their blended family of 10 children and nine grandchildren.

Clark's award-winning works include the StarPassage series, Giants in the Land trilogy, the acclaimed Christmas book A Piece of Silver: A Story of Christ, and a nonfiction work, Living in the Family Blender: 10 Principles of a Successful Blended Family.

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Clark Rick Burbidge

Where did you grow up?
I grew up at the foot of the Rockies in Salt Lake City, Utah. My early life taught a deep reverence and appreciation for the outdoors and regularly afforded opportunities to spend time climbing, hiking, camping and biking in the wilderness

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
I have always been a storyteller. In the financial world, it is critical to be able to succinctly deliver your message in a compelling way. I have always made up stories for my kids. The fun part is always starting with a basic format and filling out the story in real time, as I tell it. I never know where it will go. I was between jobs in 2010 when I decided to try to pull together my first book and see who might be interested. It is an interesting story but has led me to this day.

What inspired your story?
Before StarPassage Book 4, I thought maybe I was done with the StarPassage trilogy, but then a thought came to me after talking to some pathologists. I had done research on the Black Plague for StarPassage Book 3 and found it fascinating that the worst forms of disease always seem to be those that jump from one species to another. Marmots to humans, monkeys to humans, pigs to humans, etc. I think a little differently than many about problems, and so I began asking questions about what could happen if a computer virus could make a jump from computers to humans, who are basically electrical systems, too. The truth is that almost everything a computer virus would do would be immediately fatal to a human. The possibility seemed daunting, especially considering the new trans-human movement.

What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
The COVID-19 Pandemic. The entire world went through a period in 2020 when there was very limited commerce, and it made no sense to try to get publishers with down-sized staffs to focus. Very little was working smoothly, and certainly in-person events were nearly impossible. StarPassage Book 4: Cyber Plague was intended for publication in 2020, but I held off until now, and I think that was a good decision. Little did I know how it would become so close to the news headlines. It is uncanny.

Is there a message/theme in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Each StarPassage book approaches a basic theme from a very different direction. We can feel overwhelmed, hopeless and helpless in the world today. It doesn’t matter if you have seemingly impossible family situations, injuries that changed your life or feel like you are completely out of place. I have never seen monsters and villains in life or in literature as threats to destroy us or the characters. In fact, without such antagonists, it is impossible for the characters or real people to reach deep down inside and find their own greatness, which has always been theirs. In other words, these monsters, villains, circumstances, whether without or within, are not a threat to destroy us but the vehicle which allows us all to become heroes. There are no heroes without villains.

About StarPassage: Cyber Plague

StarPassage Cyber Plague

In Book One, teenagers Tim and Martie are desperate to end their parents' downward spiral. Then an ancient Christmas ornament reveals its secrets, sending the siblings across the centuries on a search for hope. But Tim and Martie aren't the only ones hunting through time. They're being watched by dark figures-Trackers doomed to haunt history. These Trackers believe the teens' ornament is their key to freedom, and they will do whatever it takes to steal it.

In Book Two, Bobby and Mike are struggling after a tragic accident rocked their family. With the help of the Carson family, they go on a dangerous adventure to solve riddles, save lives, escape the stronger, faster Trackers, and experience some of the most dreadful and exciting moments in history.

In Book Three. 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. Our growing band of travelers work together to resist the powerful Trackers at every turn while trying to solve the relic's riddles and guard against the ever-growing risk of betrayal.

Now the Gold Medal winning saga continues with Book Four. Contemporary twin sisters are thrust into a compelling adventure with a mysterious warrior from the past who holds secrets even he does not understand. In the most dangerous adventure yet, our unlikely heroes are thrust into a dangerous and uncertain future where humanity is on the verge of extinction. Pulled from the pages of our modern world, a dangerous cyber plague, societal breakdown, and the relentless Trackers must be overcome to preserve the future. Our inexperienced new travelers must learn quickly to survive while overcoming a series of impossibly complicated and interwoven threats.

Connect with Clark Rich Burbidge

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