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Winning Short Story: A Christmas Miracle in Butzbach by D K Christi

Novel Writing Festival

Performed by actor Hugh Ritchie

Get to know the writer:

What is your short story about?

Against impossible odds during the Viet Nam era, young love between an American college girl and her Navy fiance triumphs on a snowy, moonlit Christmas Eve in the courtyard of an ancient church in Butzbach, Germany

What genres would you say this short story is in?

non-fiction

How would you describe this story in two words?

A miracle

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Dances With Wolves

How long have you been working on this story?

Since it occurred in the late 60s

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Wuthering Heights

What motivated you to write this story?

The unforgettable emotional moment that remained with me for a lifetime. The couple married, have three sons and two grandchildren. It is the ultimate miracle with a continued happy ending.

If…

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D. K. Christi’s Our Thoughts are Prayers

D. K. Christi as guest speaker at Unity of Bonita Springs August 2016

http://www.unitybonita.com/our-thoughts-are-prayers-2016-07-10

 

 

 

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August 5, 2016 · 7:30 pm

D. K. Christi interview August 2016

D. K. Christi Interview

Write 2 Be Magazine

ghost orchid cover final

Ghost Orchid

Author Interview with D.K. Christi

D. K. Christi is a traveler and adventurer who chronicles her experiences in short stories in seven anthologies. Ghost Orchid, a mystery of love, lies and redemption wrapped around a mystical ghost orchid was released in 2009 to rave reviews by NPR and MBR and re-released in 2015 with a few surprises that lead to Bamboo Ring, released in 2014 as the second stand alone novel in the Bamboo Ring series. See http://www.dkchristi.com for more information.

1. When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?

As a lonely and introverted child, I was an avid reader. I dreamed that one day I would see my name on books. When college professors insisted I needed to publish my writing, I continued to dream of writing fiction while my career took me to technical writing and editing to earn a reliable income. Words are my paint and the page my canvass. I can paint the world I see or the one I imagine and share those images with other people. When I first saw the ghost orchid that inspired the novel by the same name, I returned to my office and immediately wrote my impressions – then every time I read my words I felt the power of that exquisite flower again as if I was standing in its aura. Other novels I have written borrow from my many international experiences and I’m able to live them again through my characters and give my readers the same chance to know other cultures and feel the joy of travel.

2. Can you tell us a little about your books and where our readers can find out more about them and you? What projects are you currently working on?

Amazon.com editors said it better than me, “Themes of friendship surviving tragedy, love conquering adversity and the triumph of the human spirit over the hardships of life serve to uplift and inspire…through her stories perhaps discover something about yourself.” Ghost Orchid is a mysterious tale of the power of belief, even it its in the magic or nature all around us and a beautiful, exotic flower in particular. The inspired story answers the question: Is love eternal? for a cast of characters that include photographers, a model and families that find their secrets unravel in a search for meaningful roots.

Currently, I have been spending a lot of time as a newspaper journalist for Spotlight News Magazines, three issues and several online ezines while plugging away on Caribbean Odyssey, a novel of beauty, wonder, love and terror aboard the family’s 70 foot yacht. It is the second novel in the Bamboo Rings trilogy that consists of already published Bamboo Ring and Ghost Orchid. I am also working on a Civil War romance based on my own relative’s escape route during the Civil War for which he was named a hero. I’ve often thought I would love to ride a train and write about the people sharing the ride for their own keepsakes – or similarly on a cruise ship.

3.) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?

Ghost Orchid is a unique and unusual plot that is timeless in its themes, including love, lies and redemption. It’s my favorite; however, Bamboo Ring takes readers on a global adventure in the yuppie world of the 70’s not to be missed. As a write, I need also to include the variety of topics in the Spotlight where I also write a dog column and reflect so much love and companionship that people share with their beloved dogs. Since most of earlier career

was grant writing, I have developed a pretty easy going attitude toward rejection. I do find that it’s distressing when the right connections don’t happen to take a book to the pinnacle that it deserves.

4. Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?

I write with a passion when compelled, with little sleep and obsessed. Otherwise, I schedule blocks of time in the morning or afternoon to devote to writing. I begin with a story and build it out from there. I outline it before it’s finished just to be sure all the parts fit together logically.

My first published novel, Arirang, took a lifetime to write, ten years to finish and two years to edit for a manuscript to publish. I had written snippets for that novel in every form beginning with yellow pads and manual typewriters and finished on the most sophisticated of computer technology. It was a labor of love that I cherish as well as the friends who helped edit the novel and critique its progress along the way. Ghost Orchid took two years to write and bring to publication readiness. Bamboo Ring took six years to bring to publication.

5. Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?

I will finish the two novels in progress and be on the book conference tour, keynoting and sharing a writer’s life and my recent novels, Caribbean Odyssey and Escape to Love (Civil War romance).

6. Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?

There is never a point in life when it is too late for an aspiring writer to be successful. Today, with self-publishing, it is easier than ever to bring a book to an audience. The trick is creating that audience and getting the novel up front and center with celebrity and connections to sell it widespread.A late start allows for the energy of wisdom and maybe the adrenaline of time passing. I encourage painting with words at any age just as painting with a brush knows no limits.

7. What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? What’s the first book you read that made you know that you could do this for a career? What book are you currently reading?

Grace Livingston Hill wrote a series of romance novels for Christian teen girls and I read the whole series, dreaming that this poor little girl would be swept away by her wealthy prince charming into a world of excitement and travel.

Currently, I am reading The Four Agreements by Dom Luis to remind myself that self-improvement is part of the writing game, in life as well as on the page.When I read Bridges of Madison County and saw what it became through a movie, I knew I could write a compelling novel with more substance.

8. So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Do you ever just sit down and curl up with your own book?

I love to sit down and read Ghost Orchid. It’s as though it was written by someone else who takes me into the Everglades and gives me a wonderful experience with nature, the exotic ghost orchid, and the lives of the characters who are changed forever by its magic that is spiritual or paranormal or just imagined, depending on the reader’s point of view. For me, it is a spiritual experience and remains so every time I visit the Everglades. I also enjoy reading my short stories because many are close to my own experiences, written for a special short story program at Amazon.com that is no longer there. They are unique vignettes with a twist.

9. What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing? Are you more of an e-book person or a traditional book person?

Everything in life is changing. I just wish there were enough hours in the day to catch up. Good things come from change; but sometimes there is chaos before it all sifts through.

I prefer holding a book; however, when I was receiving iron infusions, I was glad to read novels on my smart phone and continue to appreciate that convenience. I also appreciate the ability to find great reads at affordable prices and the classics as ebooks for everyone at mostly zero cost on ebook.

10.)I feel like so many of us writers, us artists in general, are made to conform to other people’s idea of what we should be. I think we creative types should be unafraid to be whoever it is that we feel we have the right to be. So what is your write 2 be? What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity?

I find that I am often expected to have a “real job” and when I turn down an invitation because I have writing scheduled it’s hard for some friends to understand. For many, writing is seen as a hobby, a diversion, not even an art. It’s something to do while waiting for a real job.

On the other hand writers are expected to be hot sellers and well-known for their works to be appreciated. Mass market appeal requires conforming to popular genre expectations that many of today’s writers follow to gain income. I still write what I know and feel and fall into the literary fiction collection where themes and beautiful prose are still as critical as a quick plot and a happy ending.

I write 2 be free – free to express my thoughts, my visions, my imagination in the many ways afforded by the use of words. I write. If it doesn’t fit a genre or today’s popular mass market format, it may be just right for its niche.

My authenticity is found through characters that are not exaggerated but could be neighbors, lovers, friends and family. They are real personalities with composite lives who think and talk and feel like people one meets. Readers love them and hate them, even telling me to rewrite them so they make better decisions. I still use descriptive prose and thoughts that have been eliminated to “get to the plot” or “get to the sex” or “get to the mystery” in today’s writing. I write because I love the color of language in its many forms and wish to preserve that love as long as I can in between texting and twittering.

Check out D.K. Christi’s books on Amazon.com
DK Christi_Ghost Orchid coverDK Christi_Bamboo Rings cover

About these ads

 

Jimmetta Carpenter is the Editor and Creator of the Free Fall Literary E-Zine and the Spoken Like A Queen E-Zine. She has dedicated herself to the power of the words and given into her passion for writing and has been writing poetry officially since the age of ten. She has a book of poetry titled “The Art of Love” published through lulu.com under the pen name Gemini. She is currently finishing up with her first novel and already working on her second. In 1998 she had her poem “Rest In Peace” published in an anthology put out by the International Library of Poetry and in the Spring of 2007 will have another poem titled “Through The Eyes of an Angel” published in another anthology also put out by the International Library of Poetry. She was also awarded the Editor’s Choice Award for that poem as well. She is looking forward to having a very long and rewarding career in writing and hopes that through living out her dreams she can inspire someone else out there to realize theirs. Her advice to other up and coming authors is to NEVER stop believing N your dreams and don’t ever be afraid to dream big. Jimmetta can be contacted by sending her an e-mail at freefall_lbp@yahoo.com or jcladyluv@yahoo.com.

This entry was posted on August 2, 2016 by jcladyluv in Author Interviews and tagged Author Interview, Bamboo Ring, D.K. Christi, Ghost Orchid, Write 2 Be Magazine.
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Ghost Orchid with Vinspire Publishing celebrated by ghost orchid blooms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – GHOST ORCHID BLOOMS PAST ITS SEASON

Ghost Orchid

Ghost Orchid by D. K. Christi

Five blooms beyond their summer season on the “super ghost” at Blair Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary celebrate the release of celebrated and local author D. K. Christi’s Ghost Orchid  October 31 by Vinspire Publishing. Book touring begins in Western Michigan November 19, 21, 24 and 27 with a return to southwest Florida in December.

A recent interview on L.A. Talk Radio with Jim Christina concluded that Ghost Orchid is “a great read” and told about the mystery and magic of this illusive orchid that changes lives, especially those of the characters in D. K. Christi’s Ghost Orchid novel inspired by the 2007 “Super Ghost” blooming in Corkscrew Swamp that continues to bloom today.
According to Jim Christina, “Thursday, Russ and I interviewed author D.K. Christi. Her book, ‘Ghost Orchid’ is being reissued October 31st and she was eager to talk about it. Not knowing anything about orchids, Russ and I were astounded at her knowledge of the Ghost Orchid, it’s mysticism, history and beliefs. In all a fun conversation and extremely informative. Incidentally, ‘Ghost Orchid’ is a great read!’
Copies available at Blair Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary benefit the sanctuary.  They are also found in southwest Florida at Pat’s Hallmark in Sunshine Ace Plaza in Bonita Springs and at the Visitors Center on 9th Street downtown Naples.  Check out the Barnes and Nobles in Naples, Florida and Muskegon and Grandville, Michigan for copies of Ghost Orchid and D. K. Christi’s prequel, Bamboo Ring, also at libraries.

D. K. Christi is available for presentations, “Sex, Myth and Magic – The Ghost Orchid,” an informative botanical and legends approach to understanding this mystical and magical flower that captivates so many because it is rare, endangered, and exquisitely beautiful. Her web site provides more info at http://www.dkchristi.com

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Naples Press Club features D. K. Christi by Jean Amodea

Faces of the NPC: Meet D.K. Christi

D.K. Christi

D.K. Christi has a colorful background that has no doubt contributed to her storehouse of experiences, today expressed through her craft as an author and journalist.

A native of Michigan, while her travels have allowed her to spend time in many states, she is most influenced by time spent in California, as well as in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.

During five years in Seoul, South Korea, as the editor for all international financial reports published in English at a Big 10 CPA firm, she became fluent in the language.

And while doing volunteer work as a school teacher in Georgetown, Exuma, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, she lived solo on her 67-foot yacht.

“It was a truly memorable and wonderful experience and a vignette from three years of blue water, live-aboard sailing in the Caribbean,” she mused.

After owning a rental property, in Bonita Springs and returning to refurbish it, Christi “found a position at International College, stayed temporarily for the Gulf, the weather and the comfort of home,” where she continues to reside – and write.

Naples Press Club: How long have you been writing and in what areas?

D.K. Christi: Writing in my teen years, I wrote news releases and ads as an announcer on WKBZ, planning a career in radio broadcasting and television news. Instead, I worked in public relations for a major airline manufacturing company and wrote press releases, toured the media and anyone else, and wrote the in-house communications. I wrote curriculum materials implemented by state departments of education in several states. I also designed and implemented electronic data collection systems and wrote the technical manuals and provided the training.  I wrote graduate curriculum in vocational education for the University of South Florida. As a grant writer and state and regional board director for workforce initiatives, I brought millions to public, private and state programs and provided promotional packages and media support. I contributed articles to technical journals and professional organization magazines. I delivered keynote addresses and workshop training at national and state conferences for education and private businesses as a strategic planner and trainer and spokesperson for diversity, writing training materials and presentation media packages. In the last 10 years, I started fiction writing as a counter to the years of technical and factual reporting.

NPC: What have been your most notable accomplishments?

D.K.C.: My greatest accomplishment used writing and presentation to advocate for people who needed extra support to reach economic self-sufficiency. In 1985, I was a founding board member for the Community Foundation of Collier County. Later, I brought together academic leaders in five counties that have continued to meet for the benefit of area students, K-university. My novel “Ghost Orchid” was praised by National Public Radio reviews for its advocacy for the preservation of natural habitat through a fictional story appealing to a new audience beyond the traditional environmentalists. My career income was totally derived from competitive contract proposals, and at one time, personnel in the State of Florida Department of Education said my grant applications received the highest scores of any submitted. I also taught grant-writing at national conferences.

NPC: What have you published?

D.K.C.: My most recent novel, “Bamboo Ring,” was released Dec. 11, 2014, and is a prequel to the popular “Ghost Orchid,” inspired by the “super ghost” orchid of Corkscrew Sanctuary. I also have short stories published in seven anthologies.

NPC: What are you involved with now?

D.K.C.: As a freelance writer, I write articles for online e-zines and print magazines. I average 14 articles per month and write the “Our Best Friends” dog column with southwest Florida’s “Spotlight” magazines. I am writing a third novel in the Bamboo Rings series, “Caribbean Odyssey” and a Civil War novel. I present talks about ghost orchids at organization meetings and am available as a strategic planner and workshop trainer. I was recently one of six presenters at the inaugural Authors and Books Fest at South Regional Library, Collier County.

NPC: Who is your favorite fiction and non-fiction author and book title?

D.K.C.: “The Little Prince,” by Antoine de St. Exupery, fiction and “The Four Agreements,” by Dom Luis, non-fiction.

NPC: What advice do you have for newbies to the field of writing?

D.K.C. Write something every day. Competition is stiff and “starving artists” are many. Find a muse, a critique partner and an editor that are painfully honest. Plan ahead for the arduous task of promotion. Continue to learn your craft and expand your creative horizons. Network from the beginning, not after publication. Most of all, enjoy the journey.

Contact D.K. Christi, M.Ed., at dkchristi.com and dkchristi.webs.com.

J.C. Amodea is a Naples Press Club member responsible for compiling Faces of the NPC. If you are interested in being profiled or know someone who should be featured, contact Jean at JeanAmodea@gmail.com.

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Bamboo Ring – a novel by D. K. Christi – release date December 11, 2014

Bamboo Rings promo abc Watch for Bamboo Ring, release date December 11, 2014.  This is the back story to the best-selling Ghost Orchid yet it stands alone in its own rich tapestry of international travel to exotic, foreign locations.  Romance threads through the countries that jump from today’s headlines – Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Egypt and more.  PREORDER2014 is good for a 10% discount before release at http://www.blackrosewriting.com . Order in time for holiday gifts.

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Fall Weather

I’m excited that I will be driving through Georgia for their autumn.  Florida has changes in the weather and the foliage that are wonderful, but nothing compared to the northern climates.  I miss that.  I miss the crackling leaves underfoot.  I get an eyes closed version walking on the path at Barefoot Beach where the sea grapes change color, drop to the path and crackle.

I appreciate these cool nights and mornings.  I walk early at the beach and enjoy the frolicking dolphins, the gopher turtles peeking out of their holes, the raccoons hurrying along and the squirrels playing in the trees.  Exquisite butterflies and busy bees are all around with the periwinkles in lavender and white in bloom.  The wild coffee has bright red berries to celebrate the coming holidays.

Yes, I am fortunate to live so near the Gulf in weather without snow and ice.  Here, I have great opportunities to freelance my writing to Spotlight, AXS and Examiner while sending off the final manuscript of my newest novel, Bamboo Rings, to the publisher today!  Perhaps that’s the euphoria I feel.  The release date is December 11.

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