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The Crossroads Journal

Local Author Publishes First Novel

By Kimberly Bennett
Anyone who has ever tried to put pen to paper can vouch for the fact that writing a novel is a long, sometimes grueling process. But for those who persevere, it's well worth it. Just ask Chad Parker, whose first book, Sterling Bridge, comes out this year. A book that has been 16 years in the making.
Parker was a sophomore at BYU when he started writing his first story. He had taken it to the English department to see if someone might help him turn it into a screenplay, when he was recommended to a professor in another department, Don Norton. Norton had been researching an ancestor named Sterling Harris. And for two years he'd been searching for someone to tell Sterling's story. When he saw Parker's work, it seemed like the perfect fit. That was back in 1999.
Though Parker was reasonably excited to be asked to write a book, it wasn't an easy process. Because it was a historical account, finding information and reconciling facts from different perspectives proved difficult. He dropped the project for a while, but when he returned to BYU, working at the Harold B. Lee Library, he once again began his research. Such unfettered access to the library resources helped considerably.
"I think some life experience gave me a better idea of maybe what went on," Parker says, talking about the progress he was finally able to make. That progress finally resulted in Sterling Bridge.
Seen through the eyes of a teenager, Sterling Bridge tells the story of 1920's Tooele High School football coach, Sterling Harris. Harris finds himself in a community divided between the old and the new. The descendants of Mormon pioneers on one side of the town, the largely Catholic, International Smelting Community on the other. History and religion kept the two sides apart. But Sterling, an outsider himself, didn't like living in a community so divided.
"He had no tolerance for disrespect of biased words," Parker says, speaking of Sterling. He goes on to say that Sterling had a strong understanding of football and different cultures and he sought to bring the town together. Sterling's determination paid off for Tooele, and it seems to be a lesson Parker has learned himself.
"The one thing that always comes to my mind about writing is perseverance," says Parker. "What you're interested in in life, perseverance. Just don't give up. "
Sterling Bridge will be released on November 10th, and is available for preorder from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
The community news source for Eagle Mountain Utah, Saratoga Springs Utah, Lehi Utah, American Fork Utah, Highland Utah, Alpine Utah, and The Cedar Valley, including Cedar Fort Utah and Fairfield Utah. Copyright 2018 The Crossroads Journal LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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