I can tell my whole life story in five minutes, if I leave out all the bad parts.
- J. Golden Kimball
From the author . . .
Please tell us a little about yourself!
I graduated from BYU and enrolled in the School of Hard Knocks, working as a filmmaker and living a nomadic lifestyle in a many places, but mostly in Utah and California. When I'm not reading or writing I am usually fixing up my house or playing with my band, Eyes Open.
What inspired the writing of this story?
I first encountered J. Golden Kimball through the stories shared by his great grandnephew James Kimball. I felt an immediate kinship with Golden, both in spirit and, confessedly, language, and I knew that his was a story that I wanted to share.
Open Fire is the story of a cowboy who is called as a reluctant missionary to the south. It traces his journey from a rough and tumble ranch hand to the still rough and tumble General Authority he would eventually become. One of the many things that has endeared J. Golden to me was his uncanny sense of humor and lightning fast wit. These things often got him into trouble and they often helped get him out of it as well.
Is there a message you'd like readers to grasp from the book?
Golden is well known for his colorful language. The one thing that I hope the reader takes away from this book is an understanding that there was so much more to him. My favorite J. Golden quote is, "I may not have always walked the straight and narrow but I've crossed it as many times as I could." I think with that he really sums it up for all of us. And there's not one cuss word in it!
What kind of research was involved?
Most of the research for the book was done sharing stories with James Kimball, who was the unofficial historian of the family. I did read and raid every other source that I could find, often getting in trouble in the library for laughing too loudly.
What has been your greatest pleasure in writing this book?
It has been a real pleasure sharing Golden's stories and adventures with everyone. One of the best things about publishing this book is having the opportunity to meet and talk with a lot of different people from all over and swap stories. I've learned a lot in process and am having a great time!
What would the book sound like if it had a soundtrack?
As I was writing I couldn't help but hear a lot bluegrass in my head and the entire O, brother, where art thou? soundtrack.
If you had a chance to rewrite, is there anything about your book you would change?
Oh, boy. Yes. Nothing too major at this point, mostly just a few words or phrases here or there. I'm notorious for fretting over each and every word and constantly going in and reworking and reworking and reworking passages. One thing I love about having the book in print is that I don't have much of a choice now, it's done.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first book in first grade. It was about 4 pages long in really big handwriting about a frog and a peanut butter sandwich. Our teacher showed us how to bind them and I customized the cover with some blue fabric. It felt very official at the time!
Do you have a favorite author? Who and why?
George RR Martin without question. The thing that amazes me the most is the completeness of the world he creates. It still surprises me when I set his books down that I can't hop on a plane and actually just go there and visit with his characters. As a disclaimer for the readers here, Martin's books are definitely rated R, so I don't know if I can recommend them to most of the readers here.
Do you believe in writer's block? Has it ever happened to you?
I don't believe in it at all. There are definitely times when the language flows better than others and sometimes it's sluggish and, frankly, awful. But you just have to sit your butt down and write. Writer's block is just an excuse to go do anything else. The adage that all good writing is rewriting I have found to be absolutely true. So who cares if you have an off day? Sit and write, then fix it in post!
Get your copy!
Enjoy an Excerpt!
My review of the book is coming in November!