What inspired you to write this book?
The murder of these Arkansas emigrants in 1857 stood as the largest killing of Americans by Americans outside of the Civil War until the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. I had never heard of the Mountain Meadows Massacre until I stumbled across it in a random book I had from the library. The more I learned, the more I had to know. Jeremiah’s compelling story popped into my head, and I had to write it down.
What topics in your book or background do you think book clubs would find interesting?
A Mormon Massacre presents a variety of topics for a book club to discuss. A book club might present the question, “When does a religion cross the line from a system of beliefs to a cult of control?” This line is probably thinner and far more vague than most people realize. If a book club chooses this topic, I’d love to be part of the discussion. I’m willing to be part of any discussion, but I would especially love this one.
Tell us about your career outside of writing and how it influences your writing.
By day, I work as a Credit Manager and Financial Manager, which means one of my duties is handling collections in the construction industry. The evil people in A Mormon Massacre are derivatives of people who don’t pay their bills and file bankruptcy. Just kidding; well, only half-waykidding. When a person is a cheat and a liar, it infiltrates very aspect of their life. Dealing with these kinds of people daily can’t help but influence the villains in A Mormon Massacre.
Describe your style of writing
Part of my job as a Credit Manager also involves approving companies for lines of credit. To make this decision, I look for patterns of behavior. Because I study human behavior, my writing focuses on strongly developed characters. Jeremiah, the protagonist of A Mormon Massacre, has a very strong, clear sense of justice that permeates the book. I hope when readers finish this book, they feel like they know Jeremiah very well.
Which authors have inspired you?
I honestly hate this question, because if I say Tom Clancy or Stephen King inspired me, people naturally assume that I write like they do. I don’t write a sentence and ask myself how someone else would have done it. My inspiration really goes back to my freshman composition teacher in high school. She demanded high-quality production, and I can’t thank her enough for that.
By: Joseph Rinaldo