Thursday, March 12, 2020

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Suzanne Bratcher

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Suzanne Bratcher

Linda:  Welcome thanks for joining me today. As a history lover, I’m intrigued that you write contemporary stories with historic roots. What was your inspiration for your most recent release The Silver Lode?

Suzanne: The story is set in Jerome, Arizona: billion-dollar copper camp. A real town, Jerome sprang up in the Mingus Mountains as a copper mining camp in 1876. By the 1920s it was the fifth largest city in Arizona with a population of 15,000. When Phelps-Dodge closed the last copper mine in 1953, it dwindled until it was a ghost town.

LM: How do you come up with your characters? Are they based on any real people in your life?

Suzanne: My characters come out of the setting I’m working with. In The Silver Lode the three main characters carry over from my first Jerome book, The Copper Box. The characters that create the plot in The Silver Lode are all fictional descendants of people who might have lived in Jerome in the 1940s.

LM: Research is an important part of writing. What sort of research did you do for The Silver Lode?

Jerome, AZ
(photo by Tom Kranz, Pixabay)
Suzanne: I visited Jerome dozens of time over the thirty years I lived in Flagstaff, Arizona. The Jerome State Historic Park drew me in numerous times with its informative exhibits and films. At the Jerome Historical Society I paged through old newspapers and letters. I relied on three books: Herbert V. Young’s The Ghosts of Cleopatra Hill and They Came to Jerome as well as a compilation of essays edited by Aliza Caillou, Experience Jerome and the Verde Valley: Legends and Legacies. Of course, the internet filled in gaps. Visits to mines in Colorado gave me the feel of being down inside a mine.

LM: You’ve written fiction and nonfiction. Do you approach the two genres differently? The same?

Suzanne: When I  write nonfiction, I begin with a problem and research as many solutions as I can unearth. Then I sift through them to identify the most practical ideas. When I write fiction, I begin with a place I love and have visited many times. Then I turn my imagination loose and visualize characters and conflicts that could occur only in that setting. With nonfiction I work from a structured outline. With fiction I sketch a 3-act plot and alternate between freewriting and scene structure.

LM: If money were no object, where is your idea of the ultimate vacation?

Suzanne: I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand. I’d love to find a special town and spend a couple of months really getting to know the people and culture and maybe even invent a story!

LM: Quickies:

Favorite childhood book: Black Beauty
Drink of choice: Coffee, tea, or soft drink: Coffee
Would you rather walk, bicycle, or drive a car: Walk

LM: What is your next project?

Jerome, AZ
(photo Kate McGahan, Pixabay)
Suzanne: I’m working on the third book in the Jerome mysteries: The Gold Doubloons. A contemporary story following the same main characters, the roots of the plot are in the historical fact that Coronado came through the Verde Valley on his search for the Seven Cities of Gold and a local legend that the Spaniards left behind a cache of gold coins hidden on Cleopatra Hill.

LM: Where can folks find you on the web?

Got to my website at Sign up there for my quarterly newsletter Storyteller and my blog Suzanne’s Scribbles. Find me on Facebook at Follow me on Amazon at

About The Silver Lode: 
Beneath the ghost town that clings to Cleopatra Hill, a maze of abandoned mine tunnels conceals a vein of silver ore mixed with pure gold. Seventy years ago the discovery of that silver lode caused a murder? Are more coming?

Historian Paul Russell is about to lose his job and the woman he loves, so he doesn't have time to search for the legendary silver lode. But when a student drops a seventy-year-old cold case on his desk, a murder connected to the silver lode, the mystery offers Paul the perfect opportunity to work with Marty Greenlaw and win her back.

As Paul and Marty search for the silver lode, suspicious deaths begin to happen. When Paul's son disappears, the stakes become personal. Will Paul and Marty solve the mystery of the silver lode in time to rescue Scott? Will they survive to grow into a future different from what any of them dreamed?


  1. Every time I speak to a group about Jerome, at least one person has been there. I’m wondering if any of your readers have visited Jerome?

  2. I visited Jerome several years ago during our trip to Arizona. It is a fascinating place! Thanks for visitig my blog.