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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

One Sunday, as J. Scott Featherstone quietly listened to the music he loves so much, an idea for a story consumed his mind's eye. In his head, he pictured the author of the music hunched over a candle-lit desk, writing with ink-stained hands history's greatest musical tribute to Christ. The idea to write a story of the coming forth of George Frederic Handel's "Messiah" came to Scott much the same way he suspects the music formed in the great conductor's head.

Handel wrote the entire "Messiah" in 24 days, so Scott, wanting to mirror Handel's feat, wrote the first version of the story in a little over a month. The story started out as a movie script, which Scott and his production firm, Lorien Productions, immediately set about trying to film. Scott tells me they were in the process of making casting calls and selecting onsite locations in London when production suddenly ceased due to disagreements over script changes. Yet, Handel's story continued to garnish Scott's thoughts, so in 1997 he started staying up late at night to write the story as a novel.

Scott's book, "Hallelujah," portrays the coming forth of Handel's "Messiah" as a historical fiction novel. Scott chose historical fiction so he could add his own interpretation to the story and still stay true to actual history. In fact, other than a few fictional characters and some changes in the time line, the book remains quite true to real, documented events.

Scott says while writing "Hallelujah" he experienced many related life-trying events that Handel passed through prior to writing the "Messiah." Enduring similar circumstances to Handel helped Scott in capturing the message of hope and redemption Handel and the "Messiah" illuminate.

Handel first performed the "Messiah" at Easter during Lent. Appropriately, Scott first published "Hallelujah" in the spring of 2002. The initial publishing went well and the novel was released again this last Christmas in bookstores all over Utah. Thus far, Scott says reviews of the book have been good, hailing it as a "captivating" novel.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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