Signature Books Hires Acquisitions Editor
Salt Lake City—He will acquire manuscripts from authors, fact-check their research, write a blog, leap tall buildings, and quite possibly influence the future of Mormon studies forever. Needless to say, expectations are high for John Hatch, Signature Books’s newest staff member who will have his hands full hunting for manuscripts and fact-checking authors’ research.
Hatch was born and raised in Salt Lake to parents who were “admittedly much cooler than I was,” he says. “I embraced geekery at an early age,” and he fell in love with history over football, tech over partying, old movies, current events, cutting-edge literature such as Blood Meridian, and films by David Fincher.
“Okay, he’s sort of a walking encyclopedia,” says Tom Kimball, marketing director at Signature Books. “That will be useful here at Signature—the history background, his knowledge of pop culture, and the technology side of his personal interests.”
After Hatch’s LDS mission to upstate New York, his first job was with Deseret Book, where he became the lead supervisor of one of their large stores. He earned a degree in history from the University of Utah and was managing editor of Sunstone magazine. He later supervised a team at the Verizon Wireless tech support department.
In 2006 he annotated a first-person account of a Mormon dignitary, published as Danish Apostle: The Diaries of Anthon H. Lund. Hatch has presented at the annual conference of the Mormon History Association. He was a staff editor for the Journal of Mormon History and blogger for “By Common Consent” in its early days.
Hatch, who is 36 years old, says he “loves to read, write, watch old detective movies, cook dinner for my family, and discuss politics and religion—even in polite company.” He has written four feature-length screenplays and numerous shorts. One script, based in part on research by Signature editor Devery Anderson and having to do with the Emmett Till murder, was a finalist at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and semi-finalist for the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Hatch is hoping to publish his senior thesis tracing Cecil B. DeMille’s involvement in erecting monuments to the Ten Commandments in city parks. He has done research on LDS church president George Albert Smith.
John’s spouse Emily is the owner of Carpe Diem Photography in Salt Lake City. They have two boys, Ethan, 10, and Matthew, 9.