Dear Friends and Fans,

I am happy to share with you the publication of my first novel by launching the official “CRICK” blog! I’ll use this space for occasional pictures and observations not only about my novel and the Amish life that inspired it, but also just about my life in general, as a way of creating a kind of “cyber-bond” with you. As part of that bond, please feel free to send me an email about the blog, but especially about the novel. I really would love to hear what you think about it—even the parts you may not have liked! After all, how can I improve as a writer if I don’t know what works and what doesn’t?

I have decided to donate all my proceeds from the sale of Stone in the Crick to Lancaster charities. Yes, that’s right, not just a percentage of my sales but all of them. I gladly do this for several reasons.

First of all, my wife, Reba, was raised Amish-Mennonite. You will see many pictures of the beautiful farm where she grew up in future posts to this blog. Reba’s life inspired much of “Crick,” and several of the characters are based on friends and relatives I have met through my marriage. So I donate my profits to honor Reba.

I also want to honor the Amish heritage she and others have shared with me. The Amish are truly an amazing people. Their love of family, their deep reverence for God, their profound respect for the land and for nature, and their strong sense of community are values and virtues I admire tremendously. I loved writing about them in “Crick” because I have loved learning about them. It is an honor for me to be able to show that love by sharing any income I derive from “Crick” with charities that support the Amish and their way of life.

Here is a picture of a bike race, but it’s not just any ol’ bike race. This is the Lancaster Farmland Trust’s annual fundraiser called “Pedal To Preserve.” What the Trust is preserving is some of the beautiful farmland in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and they are doing a good job of it, too. They have obtained easements on 428 farms that comprise over 26,000 acres. This is a non-competitive bike race where the riders choose to ride 6, 20, or 51 miles through the breath-taking Lancaster countryside. It’s a real family affair, with lots of children riding the 6 mile route. At the finish, everyone enjoys donated food and drink and some of them get an autographed copy of Stone in the Crick!

That’s me at my very first book signing. If I look happy, it’s because I am! I loved writing little messages in the front and I loved handing over all my proceeds to the Trust. It didn’t hurt that it was a beautiful day, lots of sun, no humidity, a perfect day to launch my campaign of donating to Lancaster area charities to preserve the Amish heritage.

Here’s a picture of my very first customer at the Pedal to Preserve event, Mrs. Arlene Hartranft. At her request, I mailed her a copy and I hope she enjoys it as much as I do.

When you buy the book, you’ll know that you, too, are contributing to the preservation of this great people, their unique and simple lifestyle, and the beautiful land on which they live. Thanks! I look forward to continuing to share with you about my life and the life of the Amish I know and to hearing from you about what you think of my first novel, Stone in the Crick.

– Granville Burgess, June 13, 2014

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