Patti's Porch

THE STORY BEHIND KOKOPELLI’S SONG by Suzanne J Bratcher
Saturday, September 26, 2020 by Patti Shene

FEATURED BOOK:  Kokopelli’s Song

AUTHOR:  Suzanne J Bratcher

PUBLISHER:  Scrivenings Press

GENRE:  Clean Fantasy

SERIES OR STAND ALONE:  Stand Alone

TARGET AGE:  teen-adult

 

 

 

IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME AUTHOR SUZANNE BRATCHER TO PATTI’S PORCH. SUZANNE SHARES HOW A BOOK TITLE IDEA AND A TRIP TO A NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK LED TO THE CREATION OF A NOVEL.

 

 

 

SUZANNE IS OFFERING A GIVEAWAY! SIMPLY LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO ENTER THE DRAWING FOR A SIGNED PRINT COPY OF KOKOPELLI’S SONG.

 

 

 

THE STORY BEHIND KOKOPELLI’S SONG

 

 

 

by

 

 

 

Suzanne Bratcher

 

 

 

Stories begin in all sorts of ways. A vivid character badgers her writer into discovering plot. A nagging conflict forces the writer to search for characters. Even a setting can grab hold, refusing to let go until the writer tells the stories that haunt that place. The most difficult stories to write begin with a title, leaving the author to uncover plot, characters, and even setting. Kokopelli’s Song started that way.

 

 

 

Kokopelli, a flute player that appears on carved on rock faces from South America all the way to the pueblo ruins of Utah and Arizona, is a popular icon throughout the Southwest. He appears in flashing neon, on letterhead, on T-shirts, and in scholarly works. As familiar a figure as he is, no one knows what song he plays on his red cedar flute.

 

 

 

One afternoon the title Kokopelli’s Song popped into my head. It remained just a title for a couple of years—until the first time I visited Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico. As I hiked through the ruins left by an advanced civilization that flourished between the 900 and 1150 AD centuries, I could hardly take in what I was seeing. I had visited the pyramids in Mexico and read about Machu Picchu in Peru, but I had no idea anything like these massive ruins existed in the United States.

 

 

 

I bought a book, which led me to more books. I learned that instead of being a residential center like Mesa Verde, Chaco was a ceremonial center. People came from all over the Four Corners region (New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado) for ceremonies at different times of the year. The archaeological record showed that the ceremonies stopped abruptly. But, unlike most ancestral Puebloan (sometimes called “Anasazi”) centers, Chaco was not simply abandoned. Instead, the keepers dismantled the kivas (ceremonial rooms) with the same care used to build them, deliberately burning each kiva after it was dismantled. Archeologists knew burning was a purification ritual, but they didn’t know the cause of the desecration.

 

 

 

The more I read, the more intrigued I became. I returned to Chaco. On my second visit, I joined a ranger talk and learned about macaw feathers, seashells, and copper bells found in the kivas that proved trade between Chaco, South America, and even the west coast of North America. I hiked more of the ruins and saw a petroglyph that accurately tracked the complicated cycle of the moon, a path not discovered by any other civilization until the advent of computers.

 

 

 

The third time I visited Chaco, I camped under the stars. Early the next morning I heard the haunting strains of a Native American flute. I followed Kokopelli’s song, but I couldn’t find the flute player. As I left Chaco Canyon that day, a plot began taking shape in my imagination, a hero’s journey to keep ancient cosmic forces of evil from re-entering our world.

 

 

 

I found the journey on an antique rug in a home behind a trading post on the Hopi Reservation. The swastika, woven into the rug long before Hitler ever commandeered the ancient symbol for his evil empire, represented the legendary journey of the pueblo people to each of the four cardinal directions.

 

 

 

In my story West was Old Oraibi, a pueblo founded about the same time Chaco was closed. South was El Morro National Monument, the site of another prehistoric pueblo. East was Cochiti, a contemporary pueblo near Santa Fe, New Mexico. North was Chimney Rock National Monument, the ruin of a lunar observatory from the time of Chaco. Chaco Canyon was the Center. Since I had already visited Old Oraibi and Cochiti Pueblo, I made a trip to see El Morro and Chimney Rock.

 

 

 

Now my story needed compelling characters. As the plot and setting developed, I had Kokopelli, Chacoan witches trying to re-enter our world, and four shamans (one from each direction) determined to keep them out. I found the heroes in a Hopi legend about twins, a boy and girl, who were given special powers to survive a difficult journey. The twins in my story had one foot in each world. Separated because of their mother’s death when they were five, Amy grew up in Virginia; her brother Mahu (another Hopi word for Kokopelli) grew up on the Hopi reservation. It all began when Amy and Mahu were about to turn eighteen—on the day the thousand-year-old Tokpela Moon would open a door for the witches into our time.

 

 

 

Watch the trailer

 

 

 

Book Blurb for Kokopelli’s Song

When seventeen-year-old Amy Adams finds her father’s family and a lost twin brother on the Hopi reservation in Arizona, she stumbles into a struggle between shamans and witches that spans a thousand years. After Mahu is attacked and a Conquistador’s journal stolen, Amy and her new friend Diego set out on a dangerous quest to find and perform the ceremony that can stop ancient evil from entering our world.

But Amy and Diego are not alone as they race against time measured by a waxing moon. Kokopelli’s song, the haunting notes of a red cedar flute, guides them along the migration route sacred to pueblo peoples: West to Old Oraibi, South to El Morro, East to Cochiti Pueblo, North to Chimney Rock, and finally to the Center—and the final confrontation—in Chaco Canyon.

Amazon Buy Link

 

Note: Kokopelli’s Song will be FREE on Amazon TUESDAY (9/29). One day only!

 

 

DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE PLACED IN THE DRAWING TO WIN A SIGNED PRINT COPY OF KOKOPELLI’S SONG BETWEEN NOW AND TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6TH AT MIDNIGHT MDT.

 

BY LEAVING A COMMENT, YOU GRANT PERMISSION FOR YOUR EMAIL TO BE REVEALED TO THE AUTHOR IF YOU ARE THE WINNER TO FACILITATE RECEIPT OF YOUR BOOK.

 

 

 

Professor Emeritus, Northern Arizona University, Suzanne J. Bratcher lives in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains of central Arkansas with her two rescue cats, Scamp and Mini Pearl. A passionate reader since her first encounter with Dick and Jane, she delights in spinning adventures set in the majestic, mysterious Southwest. She is the author of The Copper Box, The Silver Lode, and Kokopelli’s Song. When she’s not writing, she reads, quilts, and watches the many birds that come to her feeders. Visit Suzanne online:

webpage https://suzannebratcher.com.

Facebook https://facebook.com/authorsuzannebratcher

Instagram https://instagram.com/suzanne.bratcher.5/

 

 

 

SUBSCRIBE TO PATTI’S BLOGS HERE

 


Comments

Darlene Owen From NY At 10/5/2020 11:43:28 AM

Your book sounds like a great one to read.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Darlene. Thank you for coming by and letting us know you were here.

Sandie Fischer From Colorado Springs At 10/5/2020 11:00:28 AM

Your trailer had me hooked. Sounds like the kind of hero's journey I enjoy. As a retired middle school teacher, I still love a compelling young adult novel. I've been following you since realizing The Copper Box was set in Jerome, known to our family as "that quirky little town on the hillside."

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Sandie. Thank you for stopping by and contributing to the conversation.

Kathleen Garley From Louisiana At 10/5/2020 10:05:29 AM

What a lovely and intriguing story. I would love to win your book. My great granddaughter and I were studying about the Anasazi Indians last week.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Kathleen. Thank you for visiting and sharing with us.

Debra Guyette From FL At 10/5/2020 9:28:02 AM

Thanks for the chance. I love the sounds of this book. You cannot go wrong with Kokopelli

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Debra. Thank you for stopping by and letting us know you were here.

Mary Stalnaker From VA At 10/5/2020 6:32:10 AM

It sounds like a great book. My great uncle lived in AZ and we went to some of the ruins around there. How great that you were able to do so much research and visit in that place. Good luck with your book.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Mary. Thank you for stopping by and joining in the discussion.

Carol Allen From Lima, Ohio At 10/5/2020 2:00:31 AM

I have always been fascinated by the ancient cultures & Indian cultures! It is incredible that there sights are in the USA! I would love to visit those sights mentioned the book one day!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Carol. Thank you for stopping by and joining in the conversation.

Carol Allen From Lima,Ohio At 10/5/2020 1:45:39 AM

The book sounds intriguing, but I don't usually read books with witches in them.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Carol, thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

Jackie Stieghorst From Texas At 10/4/2020 10:12:36 PM

What a fascinating story and I envy you the time that you were able to spend there. I have only been able to spend a day at Chichen Itza but could feel the residual energy and importance of that site.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Jackie. Thank you for stopping by and contributing to the discussion.

Victoria Barbour From Denton, MD At 10/4/2020 8:59:56 PM

I know two teen girls who would love to read this!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Victoria. Thank you for stopping by and joining in the conversation.

Connie Porter Saunde From KY At 10/4/2020 8:28:14 PM

This certainly sounds intriguing! Thanks for sharing.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Connie. Thank you for stopping by and letting us know you were here.

Kassy Paris From Texas At 10/4/2020 8:03:37 PM

I love the area you are writing about in Kokopeli's Song. In my imagination, I could hear the ghosts of the past when I visited 4 Corners.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Kassy. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your experience with us.

Erika Melrose From ID At 10/4/2020 7:07:15 PM

Patti, I enjoy your blogs too. They always give me the urge to read the author's books that I wouldn't always know about without the blog.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Thank you, Erika! Those words of encouragement mean more than you know. Thank you for stopping by.

Tracy Wirick From Delaware At 10/4/2020 6:47:46 PM

I love reading books that take me to other places and regions of the country. I’ve never been to the Pueblo ruins or any region of that part of the country but I’ve always been fascinated with the Indian culture. Would love to read a review, thank you so much!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Tracy. Thank you for stopping by and joining the discussion.

Erika Melrose From ID At 10/4/2020 6:24:39 PM

I absolutely love this book. I find your journey fascinating. I lived in the southwest for 20 years and my husband and I visited Mesa Verde and Chimney Rock. We saw canyon De Chelly as well. Your story in this book is right up my alley of extreme interest. I always found Kokopelli interesting.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Erika. So glad you stopped by to share with us!

Crystal From PA At 10/4/2020 6:24:16 PM

OH this book sounds Amazing & intriguing. This book sounds like an adventure I'd like to go on with the author and characters. Ever since finding this book I've wanted to read & review it. Would love to read and review print format of this book and your other books. I look forward to learning more.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Crystal. Thank you so much for stopping by and joining the conversation. I have not read this one yet, but based on Suzanne's other books, I'm sure this one will be amazing.

Julie Grace From Lebanon, Mo At 10/4/2020 6:10:30 PM

The background you used for your book sounds fascinating. I have always been interested in Native American legends. I haven't read the book but appreciate the opportunity to win an autographed copy. Have a blessed day.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Julie. Thank you so much for stopping by and joining in the discussion.

Lisa Stillman From MS At 10/4/2020 5:57:31 PM

We've visited Mesa Verde, but we've not made a trip to the ones that you mention. I enjoyed the more detailed explanation of your book. It is now one that I'd love to read.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Lisa. Sadly, I have lived in Colorado for four decades and have never been to Mesa Verde. Sounds like this trip needs a place on my bucket list!

Brenda Dickson From Overland Park, KS At 10/4/2020 5:56:34 PM

I love the history of Kokopelli and am looking forward to reading the book. I love your post and learned so much. Thank you so much.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Brenda. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

Alicia Haney From Texas At 10/4/2020 5:45:42 PM

Wow, Thank you so much for sharing about the Kokopelli, I had heard about it , but I had no idea the instrument it was holding was a flute, (my husband plays the flute and our son also played the flute when he was in HS) Thank you for sharing about the Kokopelli. Your book sounds like a Great read

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Alicia. Thank you so much for coming by and joining in the discussion. Thanks for sharing with us about your family and the flute.

Regina Merrick From Marion, KY At 10/4/2020 5:38:53 PM

Suzanne, I love this. One of my “bucket list” items is to visit the Pueblo ruins. I’ve never even been to that part of the country, but it’s always fascinated with the very early civilizations. I’m so looking forward to reading this book.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Regina. Thank you so much for stopping by and adding to the conversation. I hope you get your wish to visit this part of the country soon!

Cyn Taylor From TN At 10/4/2020 5:33:18 PM

Hi Suzanne. I haven't finished my Kindle version of the book yet but would love to have an autographed copy. Life seems to be very busy and is intruding on my reading time. Please enter me in the drawing. Cyn

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Cyn! Thank you so much for stopping by. You are definitely entered in the drawing. I certainly understand about the intrusion on reading time.

Martha Lawson From MS At 10/4/2020 5:12:09 PM

Wow! This sounds like a fascinating book. I'd love to be entered to win and read this one. Thanks so much.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Martha. Thank you so much for stopping by and contributing to the conversation.

Bruce Freier From IL At 10/4/2020 5:08:08 PM

Amazing story

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Bruce. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

Suzanne Bratcher From AR At 9/29/2020 3:58:42 PM

Hi Diana, It was fascinating to write! If you know the Southwest, the story will give you a new look at the history of the region before Columbus and the Spanish explorers. If you've never been there, Amy and Diego take you to some of my favorite sites. Thanks for commenting!

Diana Hardt From California At 9/27/2020 9:15:00 AM

It sounds like a very interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Diana. Thank you for stopping by and letting us know you were here.

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WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
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WELCOME AUTHOR CAROLE BROWN
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welcome author Cheri Swalwell
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Shared Experience
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I'll Be Happy When...
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WELCOME AUTHOR TINA PINSON
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Vulnerability to Fear
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Vanquishing the Christmas Blues by Linda Rondeau
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Christmas Rayne by Joi Copeland
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The Christmas Stalking by Lillian Duncan
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News From Nashville & Beyond
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Welcome Home!
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GPCWC in Restospect
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Vacation in the Adirondacks of New York
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