Last week I did a review of my favorite new debut novel The Copper Box, so this week I have asked the author Suzanne J. Bratcher to share where she got her inspiration for this story! It was very illuminating to me, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! And she’s even offering a free eBook copy of The Copper Box to one person who leaves a comment and their contact info. We will run this post for one week so I will have my husband draw a number next Friday morning from all the comments, then post the winner. Welcome Suzanne!
About the Book by Suzanne J. Bratcher
If you read the review of The Copper Box Rose posted last Friday, you know the story is set in the real town of Jerome, Arizona. More than just the setting, Jerome is the clay I used to model the characters and the energy that drove the plot. Here’s how it happened.
For almost thirty years I lived in Flagstaff, about fifty miles from Jerome. I first visited the abandoned copper mining town in the late 1970s, just before it began to reinvent itself as an artist community and tourist destination. I love wandering around art galleries, gift shops, and museums, so over the years Jerome became a favorite Saturday excursion. I taught a range of writing courses at Northern Arizona University, but my heart was in the mystery novels I wanted to write someday. When I decided to take that dream seriously, I wanted to start with a personal writing retreat. Jerome seemed the natural place. That summer the manager of the Jerome Grand Hotel gave me a reduced rate on a room Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights. For four consecutive weeks I spent the first few days in Jerome.
“Write what you know” is important advice for writers. I knew Jerome—its history, its people, and its houses, so I had the setting from the very start. The characters came on stage one afternoon when I was walking along an unpaved road. I paused at a spot where a vintage Victorian house sat across from a tumbledown shack. As I stood there, I imagined a twenty-something woman with long curly copper hair and a thirty-something man needing a shave and a haircut. I had my characters. The plot took shape as I wondered about the personal ghosts these two people were in Jerome to lay to rest.
I wrote The Copper Box as a stand alone romantic suspense novel with a strong mystery element. When Kathy Cretsinger (Mantle Rock Publishing) said she wanted to publish the novel, she suggested emphasizing the mystery and considering writing a series. I was surprised, but the more I thought about it, the more the idea appealed to me. Jerome is filled with characters and mysteries. Time is layered there: the past is literally the foundation of the present. I’ve always loved present-day stories with echoes of the past, so to my delight, The Copper Box is now the first of a series. I’m hard at work brainstorming the next three books.
Jerome, Arizona: the largest ghost town in America. Antiques expert Marty Greenlaw comes to Jerome to face the horror that haunts her dreams: Did she kill her little sister twenty-two years ago? Historian Paul Russell is there to face his own horror: Was the car crash that killed his wife his fault? Their lives become intertwined when an old lady dies on a long staircase in a vintage Victorian house. As Marty and Paul search the house for a small copper box Marty believes will unlock her memory, accidents begin to happen. Someone else wants the copper box, someone willing to commit murder to get it. As Marty and Paul face the shadows in the house and in their lives, they must learn to put the past behind them and run the race God is calling them to.
A preacher’s kid, Suzanne Bratcher grew up in churches in four states. A passionate reader, she began writing as a young girl. After graduating from Baylor University, Suzanne became a writing teacher. Over the course of her career, she taught high schoolers, college undergraduates, and public school teachers. Suzanne continued to write: publishing professional articles, two textbooks, short stories, and poetry. The Copper Box, a mystery shot with suspense and sprinkled with romance, is her debut novel. It is available in eBook and paperback at Amazon.com. Visit her webpage at www.suzannebratcher.com. Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorsuzannebratcher. Find her on Amazon at www.amazon.com/author/suzannebratcher5