KRISTIE CLARK is a pediatrician with the heart of a writer. She always knew that she wanted to write and began writing poetry in middle school. Her mother read to her at night, instilling a love of books. As a child, C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series impacted her greatly, and as a teenager, she began reading science fiction for fun, enjoying books by Arthur C. Clarke.
As a toddler in 1977, her parents took her to see her first movie: Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Her mother likes to tell the story about the movie’s bar scene, where Kristie said: “Look, mommy, zoo!” Notably, her father was a Trekkie, but he did not teach her Klingon. While in college in 1993, she watched the movie Jurassic Park which undoubtedly imbedded itself in her psyche and led to her first novel exploring the impacts of genetic engineering.
Although her parents are originally from Appalachia, Kristie was born in Texas. She grew up moving often as her father served in the U.S. Navy, and her mother worked in multiple jobs from civil service, school systems, healthcare to a radio station as a DJ. Kristie’s favorite place she lived growing up was in Puerto Rico where she learned Spanish and snorkeled in the Caribbean reef frequently.
After graduating from high school in Virginia Beach Virginia, Kristie attended Pepperdine University in Malibu California where she graduated magna cum laude, earning a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in philosophy. Her undergraduate research included differentiating subspecies of tide pool fish using PCR (a cutting edge technique at the time) as well as studying the impact of pollution run-off on anemone symbiosis—not with clown fish as popularized in Finding Nemo—but with dinoflagellates which give the anemones their color. Her undergraduate Philosophy thesis concerned Plato’s use of story to communicate truth. For fun during college, she read works by Joseph Campbell and studied George Lucas’s application of the hero’s journey to Star Wars. More recently, as evidenced by Dr. Eva Paz and her team, she is a student of the heroine's journey.
A member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Kristie obtained her medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta Georgia, then completed her internship and residency in Pediatrics through UT Southwestern at Children’s Medical Center Dallas in Texas. After working in the Emergency Department at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth Texas, Kristie pursued a career in frontier rural medicine with her husband, also a physician, working first in west Texas then in west Kansas. Her passion is educating other healthcare providers and instilling a motivation in them to work in underserved areas.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kristie served as her county’s Health Officer and collaborated with Kansas dentists to 3D print over 25,000 nasopharyngeal swabs when there was an extreme shortage of testing supplies.
At the intersection of the pandemic and serious health issues, Kristie persevered to publish Killing Dragons, her first science fiction thriller which took ten years to complete. She first got the idea for the novel on a trip to Roatan; while at the Parrot Tree Marina, she saw a riverboat converted to a live aboard dive boat named the Aggressor. As the pandemic and her health issues persisted, she wrote Dragon Gold and Dragon Clan, books two and three in the Order of the Dolphin Series.
In addition to being an Advanced Open Water certified SCUBA diver with SSI, she holds certifications in Nitrox, Buoyancy, Night & Limited Visibility, Fish Identification, Stress & Rescue, and Waves, Tides & Currents as well as a Roatan Marine Park Lionfish Spear Hunting certification. When her Italian dive master instructor shot her a disparaging look when she asked about getting Mermaid certified (an actual real thing--the cert not the mermaids!), she immediately oulined Dragon Song, which will also be in the Order of the Dolphin Universe. She is a certified Yoga Instructor and practices daily. And by the way, when asked what she'd do if she ever sees a Tylosaurus or a mo‘o dragon in the water, she said: "NAMASTEing around there!"
Author Photo by Jennifer Shiew