In case you miss any anticipated news articles coming out about “Sterling Bridge,” here is the press release information being sent out to all of the Utah media outlets:
Sterling Bridge tackles living among Mormons
SPRINGVILLE, Utah-September 4, 2015—Cedar Fort Publishing is excited to announce the release of a new novel, Sterling Bridge, by a first time author, Chad Robert Parker, this November 10th. The story is based on actual events. It takes on the challenge of interfaith struggles in a community facing many difficulties to unite with each other amidst the strife of the Great Depression. Sterling Bridge is an entertaining retelling touting a universal message, but it is expected to be especially appealing to anyone interested in delving deeper into the history of Utah culture, and how it specifically relates to the greater American culture.
Although historical in nature, set between the years of 1926-1934, and placing it broadly into the category of adult fiction, it follows the fun perspective of a teenage boy trying to negotiate the world, not so dissimilar from the intolerant bullying atmosphere often encountered by today’s youth. The answer then and still today is enduring friendship, going out of your way to befriend others in need. Sterling Harris is a new larger-than-life football coach, thrust into the divided town of Tooele. At the time the community was known as both the Old Town, made up of Mormon Settlers, and the New Town—being on the outskirts—that consisted of a smelting community of foreign mining immigrants, mostly Catholics. The two communities were not getting along, to say the least. They didn’t intermingle. They didn’t agree on much of anything: land, religion, jobs, race, sports, you name it. They were not seeking a change in that arrangement. Along comes Sterling Harris, nicknamed “the bridge builder,” and the makings of a great story had begun.
Don Norton, an emeritus English professor at Brigham Young University, came across the story of Sterling Harris in his family history research. He found that Elder Loren C. Dunn mentions him in a General Conference talk of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sterling Harris is also remembered by an elementary school named after him and some of his accomplishments are enshrined on posters in the Tooele City Library still today. Dennis Packard, a professor of art and film at BYU, was tasked with finding a writer to bring the story back to life. He found a college student in 1999 who was seeking out someone to help him learn how to write a screenplay. There was still much to be done, however, and the story underwent many challenges before it was ready for the printing presses fifteen years later.
The author, Chad Robert Parker, is currently employed as the Cataloging Operations Manager at the Harold B. Lee Library of BYU. He graduated from BYU in 2003, but considers himself an ongoing student of how culture evolves in literature and film. He has a few other books in the works, but Sterling Bridge will be his first published novel. He classifies it as an historical fiction film novel, but he wouldn’t place all of his other works in the same genre. Several years were spent honing his craft and learning the different elements of writing in different formats for history, culture, novels, films, and even marketing (a large part of being an author in the publishing world today). His story of becoming an author is a story in and of itself and he marvels how life’s opportunities came full circle.
Chad brings a varied experience to his writing. Since setting is often the genesis to storytelling it helps that he grew up in six states. He began writing shortly after serving a mission to the Philippines for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1997 to 1999. His family was on a pilgrimage to visit the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York. The scenic route through Canada provided a nice opportunity to daydream and he started typing a story on his laptop. He never expected at that time to seriously pursue publication, and then he never expected it would take until now to refine a novel to the point of being worthy of publication. He simply had a story in his mind that he had never seen anywhere else and he just had to see it through. He’s still working on that novel, but if his determination to finish Sterling Bridge is any indication he will get back to it.
Sterling Bridge is meant to be a fun but deep story (as historical fiction novels go), a quick read (in order to be translatable to film and easy to digest for today’s fast-paced society) but a good study on the art of film novels (for the student in everyone), and relatable to all ages with its telling of a story of people, family, and community (as story is what connects people, by relaying our interactions with one another). Sterling Bridge is not your typical Mormon genre story. It tackles growing pains of the Great Melting Pot witnessed throughout the United States of America. It is as much a story of immigrants to America founding Catholicism in the western territory as it is immigrants to America building up the Mormon faith in a land they called Zion, while learning to respect their neighbors differently than their own religious ways were often treated.
Sterling Bridge is available for pre-order through Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. It will also be available in all major outlets after November 10th. If you are interested in finding out more about the book and upcoming events, go visit ChadRobertParker.com. Chad writes a blog there. He also has an interactive blog at Anecdoting.com, a place where you can read prompts each week to encourage a memory from your past and start sharing your own stories. It encourages the act of regular writing and using interesting goings-on from your own experience. Chad likes the interaction of sharing stories with others and it also encourages him to like blogging more (also an absolute must for today’s author).