Former BYU student’s college project becomes published novel

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Judd Parker
Chad Parker, writer of “Sterling Bridge” and a BYU alumni. Parker is currently a Harold B. Lee library employee. (Chad Parker)

BYU student Chad Parker began his novel Sterling Bridge in 2000. What started as a college project prompted by one of his professors is about to become a published novel this November.

Sterling Bridge is a historical fiction novel set in Tooele, Utah, during the Great Depression. It shares the tale of football coach Sterling Harris, who fights for both his team and his town as they face serious obstacles.

Philosophy professor Dennis Packard first shared the idea for this novel with Parker when Parker, a student at the time, came to him expressing a desire to learn how to write screenplays or film novels.

Packard said readers will love Sterling Bridge because it is based on a lot of real, rich history and facts. Parker and Packard said they both hope to see the novel eventually turn into a film.

The historical background for Sterling Bridge came from the family history stories of now-retired BYU English professor Don Norton, who had shared his findings with Packard. Parker said these stories provided the spark and context he needed to create Sterling Bridge.

Parker admitted it was not an easy task to write this historical fiction novel.

“As a college student, I kind of got in over my head,” Parker said.

He graduated from BYU in 2003 and took a break from working on the novel. He decided to revisit the idea and finally completed his work over 10 years later.

Front cover of Sterling Bridge
Front cover of Sterling Bridge. The novel can be pre-ordered at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (Chad Parker)

“Chad writes wonderfully clear visuals allowing the reader to experience the story in full detail. I feel like I’m getting to know the characters in Sterling Bridge just as they are getting to know themselves,” Garrett Batty, director of The Saratov Approach, said. “The thoughtful layering makes for a very compelling read.”

Parker is currently a BYU employee at the Harold B. Lee library. He got married this year and looks forward to the publication of Sterling Bridge.

Parker said he is always writing.

“I don’t write because I love it, although I do love it. I write because I can’t help myself,” Parker said on his website.

Sterling Bridge is currently available for pre-order online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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