“Debbie” Brockett loves western Colorado history, which is why she
writes about it. Having lived off and on in Colorado for thirty-five years, she
can’t go anywhere in the state without wondering about its stories. Her
expertise (and favorite place on earth) is the Western Slope city of Grand
When she first moved there in 1981, the oil shale boom was in full throttle. Within a year, Exxon left and the region emptied out. Learning about the area’s history helped Debbie endure the painful change. As she studied, she was intrigued by long-unsolved murders associated with Grand Junction and wondered if they could be solved with today’s technology.
her three sons had grown, she began her series of “mystoricals” with
Stained Glass Rose, based on the 1937 murder of Jeanette Morris, who
appeared to have been murdered twice in one night. Through research and
interviews, she was able to rewrite history with a different ending to
Jeanette’s tragic story. Stained Glass Rose won a 2003 EVVY Award and
was recently written into a play by Two Chairs Theater playwright Joe Wilcox.
Her next mystorical was Our Darling, which is set in 1924 and is based on a mummified baby found by three brothers in a cave overlooking the Gunnison River in the 1970s. Her research found the parents and told the likely story of how Our Darling became entombed in the cave. It was nominated for the prestigious Mountains and Plains Book Award.
history book, George Crawford’s Attic: Dusting Off Grand Junction,
Colorado’s Past, won a 2009 EVVY Award for History. This fun compilation
of little-known stories and facts commemorates Grand Junction’s 125th
highlights some of the area’s more bizarre and sometimes funny crimes across
the Western Slope.
Besides a writer, Debbie was a longtime columnist for Grand Valley Magazine as their "History Sleuth." GVM is an award-winning regional four-color magazine.
Debbie also teaches on writing and speaks at writer's conferences. Those interested, contact her via email.