Gold Quill Awards

In 2020, the League of Utah Writers awarded Founding Sheriff the Gold Quill award for best novel published in 2020.

In 2014, the story of the grandson of the founding sheriff won the Gold Quill (see below) .

Publication of Fugitive Sheriff

Sheriff John Simms, father of Sheriff Mark Simms, made his debut in April, 2019. Order the book and read his story with this link.

Publication of Founding Sheriff

Sheriff Luke Simms, father of Sheriff John Simms, has agreed with my publisher, Five Star, to take life and join his son and grandson August 19, 2020. Until then, he wants all the focus to remain on his son, John, the Fugitive Sheriff.

Turning Historical Fact into True Fiction

The League of Utah Writers asked me to make a presentation to their 2019 Spring Conference in Taylorsville, Utah, on “Turning Historical Fact Into Fiction.”

That was a busy week:

  • April 24, Parsons Behle & Latimer conference room (Salt Lake City) on the role of U.S. Attorney William H. Dickson in founding their firm and in my book.
  • April 25, Kaysville Library, on heritage, my high school friends, and President Taylor in 1887. Here is the invitation.

  • April 26, Summit County, Kamas library, with the Silver Peak Writers on heritage, writing, and community. Invitation:

A Park City radio interviewed me before the event. The Park Record also did an interview, reproduced here:

Park City and Summit County News

‘Fugitive Sheriff’ features key scenes in Summit County
Entertainment | April 25, 2019

Scott Iwasaki

Key scenes of Edward Massey’s new book, “Fugitive Sheriff,”
Courtesy of Five Star Publishing

Author Event: Edward Massey
5:30-8 p.m. on Friday, April 26
Summit County Library Kamas Valley Branch, 110 N. Main St.

Edward Massey’s new book, “Fugitive Sheriff,” starts with the death of Summit County Sheriff Simms, who is gunned down on the steps of a jailhouse.

Simm’s son, pins the badge on himself and vows to find his father’s killers. The catch is the younger Simms is a polygamist, and the feds are after him.

Massey, a Massachusetts resident who grew up in Utah, said many of the scenes in the book are based on actual events.

“There was a sheriff who was killed on the jailhouse steps on the day of its dedication, and my great-grandfather was polygamous and was hunted down,” Massey said. “He did refuse to give up his family, to which, I must say, am thankful of that.”

Edward Massey, author of “Fugitive Sheriff” will return to the Beehive State for a series of author events that are centered on “Fugitive Sheriff” this week.

The author will be at the Summit County Library Kamas Valley Branch, 110 N. Main St., from 5:30-8 p.m. on Friday, April 26. The event, which is hosted by the Silver Peak Chapter of the League of Utah Writers, will feature a reading and a presentation of his research and writing process.

Massey will start his Utah appearances with a reading at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Parsons, Behle and Latimer, a law firm in Salt Lake City.

There are two reasons why Massey is doing a reading there, he said.
“I had done some business with them, and totally independent of that, I found that the progenitor of the firm was … an attorney named William H. Dixon,” Massey said. “William Dixon is a character in my novel and plays a very important role.”

On Thursday, Massey will be at the Kaysville Library at 1 p.m.
Massey chose Kaysville because John Taylor, a polygamist and former leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died in Kaysville in 1887.

“Polygamy plays a big part in my book, and (Taylor’s) death was a significant step in the escheatment of Church property in excess of $50,000 to the United States,” Massey said. “Plus, I graduated from Davis High School, which is in Kaysville, and we’re trying to gather as many classmates and friends as we can.”

The day after Massey’s appearance in Kamas, he will be a speaker at the League of Utah Writers spring conference in Taylorsville, where he will speak about turning historic events into historical fiction.
Massey, whose mother is from Summit County, said his research was instrumental in making his book believable.

The major research points involved the polygamous teachings of the early LDS Church.

“I am in no way trying to say polygamy is or isn’t wrong,” he said. “What I am trying to do is take the position that a person’s values are important to the story. And once you commit to a value structure, like I did with the sheriff, I needed to uphold it.”

Edward Massey, author of “Fugitive Sheriff,” lives in Massachusetts and was born in Utah.

The second point that guided Massey’s research involved the history of the Utah Territory and its relationship to the church.

But, Massey said, when he found what he was looking for, he had to write in a way that was interesting to the reader.

“You can wander around all sorts of literature about the pioneer years in Utah, and the reality is most of those writings are hard to read,” he said with a laugh. “So, I had to really try to make the story a gripping and compelling tale that someone would want to read.”

His first draft was rejected by the publisher.

“They sent me a 650-word rejection letter that essentially said the story was unbelievable,” Massey chuckled.

One of the comments in the letter questioned why the U.S. Marshals couldn’t have set up a stakeout at the jail and arrest the sheriff when he came to work.

“The reality of the situation in this little town, historically, was that 90 percent of the population was of the same faith,” Massey explained. “So before the sheriff would even get to the jail, he would have heard from no less than 10 people that the marshals were waiting for him.”

“Fugitive Sheriff” is the second in the Simms Sheriff trilogy.
Massey’s first book, “Every Soul Is Free,” which won the Gold Quill award from League of Utah Writers when it was published in 2014, takes place in 1948. And he is set to publish “Founding Sheriff,” which is a prequel to “Fugitive Sheriff” and “Every Soul Is Free,” in 2020.

“So you have three Sheriffs named Simms from Summit County that run through the story line,” Massey said.

“Fugitive Sheriff” is available at Amazon.

A Kaleidoscope of Passions

Although not another novel, I did produce another Kaleidoscope of Passions this year: Presented at Levinson Auditorium, Yale University, June 1, 2019, you can view and hear eleven of the presentations here.

Quill Awards

In 2014, the League of Utah Writers awarded Every Soul Is Free the Gold Quill award (see below). Tempting the Gods, Sheriff Simms’s father, Sheriff Simms, has entered the 2019 competition. The award will be made at the League of Utah Writers Quill Conference in August, 2019. We’re hoping and we hope you are, too.

Voices of the West

Emil Franzi, the voice of Voices of the West, and winner of the Lariat at the 2014 Western Writers of America convention in Sacramento, interviewed Edward on October 11, 2014 for his show in Tucson, AZ, Emil succumbed to a long battle with cancer and his creation has been taken up by Bunker de France.  Bunker and Edward are working on a schedule for an interview on Fugitive Sheriff.  Stay tuned for date and time.

Providence Art Club
The Nexus of History and Fiction

Said to be the oldest art club in the nation after the Salmagundi Club in New York.  It is a great honor to be asked to discuss the nexus of history and fiction in Every Soul Is Free.  The novel is fiction but it is true in every detail, even when describing events that were created entirely for the purpose of telling a good story.  Providence, R.I., Thursday, October 2, 2014.

Gold Quill Award

At the League of Utah Writers awards dinner, Saturday, September 13, I had prepared myself for a shutout, when:
It is called the Gold Quill award. The League of Utah Writers gave me a gold quill pin and stickers for my books.

“Davis Reads” Program

Edward met on September 12, 2014 with Belinda Kuck, Director of Davis Reads, and Pamela S. Park, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Davis School District, to organize a program of speaking in the high schools of Davis County about life after Davis, literature, and the heritage of growing up in Utah.  Ms. Kuck explained that they are trying both to use the school district to expand reading among all ages in the county and to encourage high school age students to read and write — more!  These programs, naturally, use authors with established reputations to enhance the draw, but they are open to pursuing opportunities to support Davis School District alumni authors and their contribution to literature.  Initially, there is a tentative plan for Edward to judge a short story contest.  Keep watch for developments and schedule.

“Entrepreneur on Fire”

Edward Massey will be interviewed on John Dumas’s Podcast, “Entrepreneur on Fire,” on October 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM.   The interview flow provided asks for:

  • A success quote/mantra that Fire Nation can apply to their journey.
  • The story of failure your journey
  • The story of the “AH-HA” moment and how you turned that light bulb moment into success.
  • The story of your proudest Entrepreneurial moment.
  • What is really exciting in your business right now?
  • Lightning Round:
    1. What was holding you back?
    2. What is the best advice you have ever received?
    3. Share one personal habit that contributes to your success?
    4. What book would you recommend to Fire Nation?
    5. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning,  knew no-one,  had a laptop and $500 dollars.  What would you do?

Spur Awards

Every Soul Is Free is under consideration for the Western Writers of America 2014 Spur Award for Best Contemporary Western Novel.

Reading at Ann D. Call’s home

Ann Call and Susan Stayner invited friends and classmates from Davis High School, Class of 1960, to a reading and discussion and desserts at Ann D. Call’s home.  Several participants shared a pioneer heritage and, even without the posse, and how they lived the story of Every Soul Is Free, on September 12, 2014, in Bountiful, UT.  See Reader’s Guide for the evening’s agenda.

League of Utah Writers

Every Soul Is Free is under consideration for the 2014 Best Published Novel prize for the League of Utah Writers.   A short story, “Cybil,” that involves Sheriff Simms and his daughter is also under consideration for the best unpublished short story of 2014.  The winner will be announced at the 2014 annual conference for LUW to be held at the Davis Conference Center, Layton, Utah, September 12-13, 2014.

Read Between the Wines

Book Club, reading, and discussion, September 9, 2014.
Stamford, CT.   See blog, September 10, 2014

Utah Sheriffs’ Association

Every Soul Is Free is under review for Annual Utah Sheriffs’ Association Conference and for various Sheriffs’ Department and Community Support activities throughout the year. Click here to learn more about Utah Sheriffs’ Association.  Sheriff Simms is caught in conflict between calling and family and his deputies face stress and personal danger — realities that sheriffs and deputies need to shoulder and communities may better understand when explored in fiction.

Western Writers of America Convention

Every Soul Is Free, Sheriff Simms, and Edward Massey made more new friends and renewed old acquaintances at the Western Writers of America convention in Sacramento, June 24-28, 2014.

Book Signing

Yale Bookstore
77 Broadway, New Haven, CT
May 31, 2014
12 Noon to 5 pm

A Kaleidoscope of Passions

It looked like every five years, I produced a book and a reunion. Fortunately the pace has been broken, but there will still be another Kaleidoscope of Passions this year.

Sprague Hall, Yale University
Producer and Emcee
June 1, 2019
1:30 pm to 3:45 pm

Publication Date

May 15, 2014


Sarah Lawrence University
February 27, 2014