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‘One Day a Year’ novel set to be released tomorrow 

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Jason Lamont Jones is the author of the book “One Day a Year,” which he describes as “Back to the Future meets National Treasure.” He promises an engaging blend of time travel and historical fiction centered around history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The book is set to debut tomorrow.

The story follows Benny Jones, a modern-day teenager who discovers a method to travel back in time but is only able to do it one day a year on July 24, Utah’s Pioneer Day. His adventures lead him to fall in love with Mary Young, Brigham Young’s daughter, but he can only travel back seven times and each time he returns, their bond becomes more unbreakable. With forces conspiring to keep them apart, Benny needs to find a way to stay with Mary or risk losing her forever.

Jones drew the inspiration for the novel through his own experiences and surroundings, which came from his frequent walks around Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Originally writing “One Day a Year” as a screenplay, he received a suggestion to transform it into a book. Being hesitant at first, he embraced the challenge, which ultimately led to the novel’s creation.

“I kept seeing these historic buildings and monuments and became really interested,” he said. “I remember looking over the city and thinking, ‘You know, what would the city look like right after the saints had arrived?’ And that started this idea of, ‘What if I had somebody in the present go back to the past?’ Which kicked off the ideas for the story.”

Balancing historical accuracy with creative storytelling, Jones based several characters on real historical figures, like Brigham Young himself. He also included an ancestor of his own, Benjamin Jones, who traveled west with Brigham Young. The main character, he said, was also heavily inspired by his own son, Benny Jones, who was named after their pioneer ancestor.

“(Writing) Brigham Young was really interesting. We usually think about him as the Church leader, the prophet, and I decided to focus more on Brigham Young as the father, so he’s the father of the girl that this stranger has taken interest in. I kind of show Brigham Young as being a little bit protective of his family and how all that works out.”

Jones is nothing short of excited to see fans’ reactions to his work. He’s been working on the novel for years and finally being able to hold a physical copy of his book was a great milestone for Jones. Despite the long process, Jones says the journey was rewarding. His book is being released tomorrow and if you’d like to purchase your own copy of “One Day a Year,” it is available on his website