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Sugar House resident brings local historical figure to life in new book, ‘Open Fire: J. Golden Kimball Takes on the South’

Thursday, June 21, 2012601 views

A local author is launching his first book at an upcoming signing event, June 20.

Scott M. Hurst, a Sugar House resident and fulltime author, will be meeting with his audience during a book launch at The King’s English Bookshop (1511 South 1500 East). Beginning at 7 p.m., Hurst will sign copies of his book “Open Fire: J. Golden Kimball Takes on the South,” and read a selection from the work of historical fiction.

Hurst said writing the book was a labor of love and a project that inspired him.

“I did it for love, and not any kind of financial gain,” he said.

A freelance filmmaker and screenwriter, Hurst, 39, has lived in Sugar House for almost four years.

Hurst grew up a self-described “army brat,” but has extended family in the Salt Lake Valley and spent his early elementary school years in Salt Lake City.

Hurst said the story of Utah historical figure J. Golden Kimball, an early leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is an important story about local Utah culture.

Hurst began the project as a screenplay, but during his research found that it held enough material and historical interest to translate into a book.

He worked with J. Golden Kimball’s great-grandson, Jim Kimball to learn more and filled in the gaps with fictionalized accounts of events.

“[J. Golden Kimball] has become kind of a folklore character, but he was a real human and man of the people,” Hurst said.

Hurst, a member of the L.D.S. Church, said that the story of J. Golden Kimball will be just as interesting to nonmembers because of the complexity of the man’s character.

He said his favorite quote attributed to Kimball is: “I may not have walked the straight and narrow, but I’ve crossed it as many times as I could.”

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