Clipper Staff Writer
WOODS CROSS — We all have giants in our lives, individuals we look up to, who may serve as examples or who mentor us.
“At some point, the opportunity to sit at their feet goes away,” as the giant moves or passes away, Woods Cross author Clark Burbidge said. His children’s trilogy, “Giants in the Land,” is meant to help children, ages 7 through 16 overcome devastating events and become more than they otherwise might have been. Book Two, “The Prodigals,” is due out about Nov. 1.
Published by WinePress, a Christian publishing firm, the books are written to appeal to a broad audience, much like C. S. Lewis’ series, “The Chronicles of Narnia,” Burbidge said. They offer values which may appeal to youngsters from a variety of faith backgrounds.
“It’s written for those who have a kernel of belief or a desire to believe that there is a greater resource,” Burbidge said. “If they seek it, they will find it.”
The first book has been compared to the classic Christian allegory, “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” written by John Bunyan in 1678, Burbidge said. It follows the story of a young man who searches for the missing giants and the great secret they possess. In the book, Burbidge believes readers will discover the giant within.
Book two follows three individuals who are hiding from, or sidestepping their destinies, Burbidge said. They find themselves on a path where they encounter a menace to their land and lands everywhere.
“The story is about the triumph of three people who overcome their weaknesses, “ he said.
Burbidge has received feedback on book one that indicates it was purchased for one child, but the book sometimes disappears from that child’s night stand, only to be found on a sibling’s night stand and eventually onto the parents’ night stand, he said.
“In this world of dark heroes, it’s sometimes hard to tell the heroes from the villains,” Burbidge said. “In these books the characters are well developed and have depth. They also have values. They know what is right and wrong.”
The characters don’t have magic wands or super abilities, but are able to solve problems as they come up, he said.
The first book emphasizes faith as the basis for building hope, Burbidge said. The second will emphasize mercy and forgiveness.
An investment banker and financial adviser for 30 years, Burbidge found himself out of a job in 2010. He had been writing stories for his family through the years and with extra time on his hands, he began expanding on them.
“It’s been a joy to go through the process. It’s a constant surprise,” he said.
He has won the International Mom’s Choice Gold Medal for the top Young Adult fiction in its category and was a finalist in the International Reader’s Favorite Awards for Fantasy/Sci Fi. He was also asked to attend the Texas State Book festival hosted by former First Lady Barbara Bush.
He is available to speak to children at schools and faith communities.