Title: Bambo Ring
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Synopsis: Korea, Iraq, Iran, Egypt – they jump from today’s headlines and from the pages of Bamboo Ring, a novel of high stakes adventure and romance set in the 70’s and weaving through exotic foreign locations.
The unfolding scandal between a young ex-patriot wife and a charming military officer capture the heart. The terror of surviving life-threatening adventures and the agony and ecstasy of passionate love provide an emotional roller coaster with a surprise at every turn of the page.
Explore the elite ex-patriot community of Europe and Asia, U.S. military bases at the end of Vietnam and international experiences that enrich and confuse the lives of young professionals outside the comforts of the U.S., connected to each other by U. S. citizenship, an intimate club of their own that spans the continents.
A prequel to the well-received Ghost Orchid, Bamboo Ring is the back story, complete and satisfying in its own rich tapestry. Meet Melani and Jack and discover the back story that sets the stage for the best-selling novel, Ghost Orchid.
Author: D.K. Christi
CH: Welcome D.K. Christi. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your writing world and publishing journey with my audience.
CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.
DKC: Bamboo Ring is a tale of love and obsession set in exotic, foreign locations that excite the senses with page-turning adventures.
CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?
DKC: Usually a true incident fascinates me and leads to the development of a story that creates the world in which the incident occurs. My life has been rich with travel, work, family, and friends of infinite variety from which to glean characteristics to create new characters who live in the pages of the stories.
I write in the real world, with people who may step from the pages and emotions the readers may share. Amazon.com said that my readers “may discover something” about themselves when they read my stories.
CH: Your cover is bright and cheerful. Who designed the cover?
DKC: I do love the cover, designed by Dave King at Black Rose Writing. The bamboo’s strength is a key element of Bamboo Ring and the walk into the unknown. Have you ever heard bamboo sing? It makes its own haunting percussion sound in the slightest wind that grows in intensity.
CH: Where are you from? Does your background have any influence on this book?
DKC: Born in the U.S. Midwest, I left in my teens and spent the rest of my life moving on the average of every 1 ½ to 3 years across the nation and the world. However, when Melani needed to return to some secure place, I sent her to the Midwest.
I think a moralistic viewpoint from my early protestant roots influences the deeper story in Bamboo Ring, the story of a life unraveling because of choices that rattle the ‘perfect’ life of a young wife and mother and shine a moral spotlight on Melani. She ‘sold her soul.’
CH: Did the readers of Ghost Orchid, want to know the backstory? Why did you decide to write this book?
DKC: In Ghost Orchid, Neev searched for her roots, hoping for a love story to validate her birth, to explain her feelings of abandonment and the false hope of a fantasy father who did not exist. Their story, the story of her parents, remained to be told in full. Bamboo Ring tells half of that story and is a complete novel in itself.
CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?
DKC: Researching the countries to which Melani traveled was challenging. I wanted to give readers the excitement of foreign travel, the fears in dangerous countries and the awesome variety in the world. It was a big order. I wanted them to feel as though the journey was theirs.
Just as researching was challenging, so were the final edits to a complex work.
CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book?
DKC: I did.
CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life?
DKC: Writers create from what they have stored in the recesses of their memories or from what they learn new. They don’t create something from nothing. Thus, a childhood friend’s claustrophobia becomes a characteristic of one of the adults in the story. A remembered college professor becomes an officer in the military.
Emotions are transferred from the writer to characters. In my work as in the work of most authors who will admit it, one finds a bit of the author spread throughout from people to places, values and things. Even complete vignettes are transferred with new bits that change the story, but still start with the incident.
Real life is more difficult to believe than fiction. Real life often imitates fiction. In Ghost Orchid, I wrote of a tragic accident inspired by a dangerous curve I knew. A year after the novel was published, that same curve was re-marked with a left turn lane and bright silver guard rails.
CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters?
DKC: I was a new bride in the seventies. I lived the upwardly mobile life surrounded by friends on the same express. We worked hard, played hard, followed our spouses with their career transfers, raised families and were influenced by changing values and the role of women. We were affected by Vietnam and the realization that life was uncertain. We had romantic hopes and desires fulfilled and unfulfilled. All these factors figured in for the development of the main characters, Melani and Jack and all those whose lives swirled around them. Love in all its manifestations is what makes life worthwhile. My muse keeps my heart full and my pen in motion.
CH: When you wrote the first book in the series, did you realize it would be a series then?
DKC: I realized at the end of Ghost Orchid that the story went deeper. My characters were real to me by then, and I knew that Neev’s son would pursue more information about his grandparents, if Neev ever released his grandfather’s ghost orchid photograph to him. Before I could help him with his quest, I needed to write Melani’s story. Readers needed to understand why Neev’s quest and Melani’s redemption mattered.
CH: Are you a self-published author? Can you tell us about your publishing journey?
DKC: Actually, Ghost Orchid was published by L & L Dreamspell, a wonderful publisher that closed its doors upon the untimely death of a critical, creative partner. They helped their authors gain new publishers, but the contract offered to me required re-writing the sensual content of Ghost Orchid to a sexual heat level that was not my writing style. In the meantime, I published with Kindle. I now have a contract with Vinspire to publish Ghost Orchid in print and more in the spring. I prefer a small press to self-publishing. I want my novels vetted to know they are marketable and worthy of publishing—beyond my opinion.
CH: Was your second book harder to write than the first?
DKC: Writing is easy for me. The words and stories flow. The difficult part is reducing the back stories and limiting the content to just what the readers want to know. Edits are my challenge. The time needed for marketing and promotion takes me away from writing. It’s the time thing—I am also a journalist for a local in print and online news magazine and several online ezines. Time is the issue. If I could just write it and leave it, I would be in fantasyland. Professional publications require work when the creative writing is done. That is only the first step.
CH: Last but not least, why do you write, and what do you want readers to take from your novels?
DKC: I think Amazon.com said it best, “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 new about yourself.”
I write because I must. I experience and I write. Words are my paint and paper is my canvas. I have no choice. The word is my friend and my companion, my therapist and my obsession. I want readers to enjoy the escape into the pages of other lives that take them from their own and give them new thoughts or even new perspectives in this complex world in which we write our stories for real with all their agony and ecstasy.
In Ghost Orchid, I wanted them to know the magnificence of one flower and the serenity of the Everglades, while identifying with the heart yearning for roots. In Bamboo Ring, I want them to experience other cultures, their challenges and their beauty while trying to understand an obsession that unravels a perfect life and forgive the flaws that lead to dire circumstances.
In both, I give the readers imperfect people to take into their hearts and minds for a few pages—perhaps lingering a bit after the book’s cover is closed.
CH: Do you have a website?
DKC: My main web site is www.dkchristi.com but my prior site is also packed with info, www.dkchristi.webs.com
CH: Where is your book sold?
DKC: Soon Amazon.com, BN.com and all online booksellers and some brick and mortar stores. Currently, www.blackrosewriting.com Send me an email at dkchristi at yahoo dot com and make arrangement to receive a signed copy through Paypal.
CH: Any closing remarks?
DKC: I spent much of my earlier career as an entertaining and informative platform presenter at national conferences and workshops. I love talking to audiences and interacting with them. I am mobile and available for writing workshops, conferences and panels.
I thoroughly enjoy your site and thank you for including me and my new release, Bamboo Ring. As a special thank you to your readers, I will provide a signed copy of Bamboo Ring to a person randomly selected by you from those leaving comments.
CH: Thank you D. K. Christi, it has been a real pleasure talking with you. We look forward to following your career.
Note: Photos are compliments of D. K. Christi and the Internet.
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