Mike Hernandez and the Coleman twins return, but just when the friends think they have the Star of Passage, it’s riddles, and Orion’s Belt figured out, they discover a new relic.
All of Tim and Martie’s rules are tossed aside when Tocho, a member of the Native American Shoshoni tribe which roamed the Rocky Mountains, knocks on Callie and Courtney’s Astoria,Oregon door with the mysterious Star of Hope. The new relic has the shocking ability to transport the teens forward in time, where cartels and gangs are a rising threat and technology has advanced so far that computer viruses affect humans. As Mike, Callie, Courtney, and Tocho struggle to remain free of the virus, they also have to dodge the shadowy Trackers, those wicked souls who are doomed to haunt history and desire the relics to free themselves from their eternal prison.
The teens find themselves racing to save a possible future, but can they change it for the better? Award-winning storytellerClark R. Burbidge’s latest addition to the StarPassage series, StarPassage: Cyber Plague, will inspire you to pave the way fora brighter tomorrow.
Read on for an interview with Clark Burbidge.
Q. What inspired your latest book?
A. 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.
Q. What do you hope readers take away from your book?
A. 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.
Q. What was your greatest challenge in writing StarPassage: Book 4?
A. 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.
Q. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
A. Being a writer can be a very solitary journey. It is a lot of long days and nights sitting by yourself, pondering how to move forward with a character or a story. On the other hand, the publishing and meeting people part of the process is my favorite. I love being out among the people, my fans and future fans. I love hearing how my books have inspired them and changed their lives. This is one reason I participate in the Simple Treasures Boutiques every year. It is so important to stay connected.
Q. Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?
A. I suppose I have one that is not shared by too many others: I do not write from a previously prepared outline. I like to climb into the story with the characters and walk at their side. I may turn a corner and discover a giant facing us. Is he friend or foe? How does he advance the story? Will I need to go back and do some extensive revisions to write the character in? Yes, of course. I do not experience writer’s block because I am having an experience just like I hope my readers have when they climb aboard. The best part of reading is when you discover that you are no longer reading, you are having an experience with the characters. That is my major goal in all my books.
Purchase your copy of StarPassage: Cyber Plague here.
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 ten 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.