How Silver Line Came to Be


Silver Line is a tale by truest definition. It’s a simple story, an easy read that rolls along, combining folklore and a contemporary plot to connect modern day Boston with an 1860s mining town in Colorado.

That’s a stretch, you say? Not so much when you have the benefit of bending time.

Inspiration for the historical theme came many years ago, when traveling cross-country. In that trek, we discovered tangible evidence of the past — items discarded in forgotten towns, on well-worn trails, in trash heaps. The dry desert heat preserved much of it, and I use that premise to start the story.

[The photo here shows two separate finds – an old oil can and what appears to be a plaque from a Victorian photo album. In that Silver Line is set, in part, against the political climate of the Civil War and the gilded ambiance of the Victorian Age, these two items seem to be a fitting illustration.]

In our journeys, we also stumbled upon the legend of Silverheels that has rattled around my brain ever since. Silverheels was a beautiful dance hall girl who cared for the sick during an epidemic – but surely there’s more to that story. Silver Line does not attempt to retell the legend but uses it as a springboard for likely characters and timely adventures.

Somewhere in the process, I toyed with the expression, “Hindsight is a wonderful thing.” I also thought, “Foresight is as well.” And then I asked myself: “What if we could combine the two?”

How wild it would be if my young characters could benefit from the wisdom of the past and use it to shape their future. Sure, they could learn from grandparents and teachers, but what if they could learn from themselves? What if they could witness their former, older selves from the perspective of naïve voyeurs? That would surely complicate and heat up an innocent relationship.

This is what happens to Sarah Sutherland’s son, Jared, as he heads off to college, and to Alexa, the young woman who befriends him. Together, they not only experience the rigors of the western frontier but come face-to-face with a modern mystery:  the unsolved Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum heist of 1990, whose artwork has never been found. Jared, an aspiring journalist, is bent on finding it.

How could I possibly interweave the two? Wait and see.

I must admit, I did have fun finding links, lines, and coincidences… (some even surprised me!). I dared to connect dots and make assumptions. And like any character with extrasensory ability, I tried to see things that others don’t. I also drew on personal experiences — remembering the feel of wide-open spaces in the Rockies and the awe of strolling through dark museum rooms in the presence of Old Masters. Hopefully, you’ll experience and enjoy these vivid impressions through my words.

For those of you who ‘fell in love’ with Sarah in Tory Roof, fear not. She’s still here – just in the background. The timeline is 7 years later, and Jared is 18.

Ideal for the young-and-in-love (New Adult) … and for those who remember what it was like.