When I first read Curt H. von Dornheim’s work, I found two of my favorite things combined in one author. He’s a gay author who writes both fiction and non-fiction, and the non-fiction is focused on more spiritual topics that resonate with people who are LGBT and might be searching for something more than they can find in the mainstream.
I can’t find an author bio on Amazon, but I do know he’s a retired minister and once worked as a professional organist in some of the most prominent places in both the US and Europe. He also lived in Key West, where he had his own spiritual center and worked with people who had AIDS during the 1990’s. I’m not sure about his exact age, but he’s from an older generation of gay men who have more than their share to say, but haven’t been allowed to say it thanks to more than a few gatekeepers.
I’ve read several of his non-fiction books on the topic of “Creative Consciousness,” and loved them. I discovered Curt during an emotional time in my life about six years ago and his books helped get me through it all. He’s also a psychic spiritualist who keeps all his gifts very silent (he never charges a dime or exploits them). I met him and he did a reading for me I’ll never forget, so this isn’t hearsay. I guess if I had to compare it to anything…which is hard to do…he’s kind of like the Norman Vincent Peale of the gay community with traces of Slyvia Browne and John Edwards.
He doesn’t do social media and you won’t find him yanking your chain, so to speak, on facebook about his latest activities. That’s because when he’s not writing he’s usually helping someone else in need. He’s actually one of the most non-Internet authors I’ve ever met and he writes all his manuscripts out in long hand.
I’ve also read his fiction and loved it just as much. The stories aren’t sexy, but there’s always a message with a deeper meaning. My favorite books are “The Little Baron’s Christmas Angel,” and “The Wings of Fate.” If you like LGBT books with literary quality that don’t sensationalize on overdone topics with over-the-top book dramatic book covers, these are for you.
Here’s a blurb for “Wings of Fate,” and you can find the rest of his books here on Amazon. He’s an indie author and has been since the 1980’s, so I don’t know if he’s distributed anywhere else.
This short story of ~13,000 words conveys an honest, terrific love story. This story is based on a true life experience of a forbidden love between two men during war time Germany. It is a love story that will fill you with emotions and prove love is greater than an evil like war and bigotry.
About two years ago I had the exceedingly wonderful privilege to meet Hanna Taube one Saturday afternoon as I was antique hunting in her extraordinary shop of fine lamps and imported antiques in Lambertville, NJ. She immediately caught my attention; a scent of 4711 perfume faintly surrounded her, an air of refreshment. She stood roughly 5’ 6”— and elegant, with an impressive style of fashion and a simple coiffure of slim, gold and silver threads perfectly held by a single pin in a chignon. There was a twinkle in her soft blue eyes that suggested genuine friendliness and knowledge. As she greeted me and bid me welcome I noticed a slight Germanic accent in her British form of English.
We chatted briefly and I made it my business to revisit her shop again, a few weeks later. This time we spoke in German and I was utterly charmed by this dignified lady. Well, in short, we became friends and I looked forward to my Saturday visits to her shop. It gave me not only the rare opportunity to speak German for a half hour, but also to slowly build a highly prized friendship with a lady my age who understood people. She took people at the value of their lives. Rich, poor, young, old, gay or straight played no role with her. Often we would have delightful laughs at life in general. Eventually we dropped the “Sie” and began to use the “du” form of German. This meant we were personal friends, like sister and brother.
She read some of the metaphysical books I had written and it seemed to bring us closer together. Then one unfortunate day she became hospitalized to have surgery performed on her neck, to help alleviate a numbing sensation in her right arm. I visited her in clerics at the hospital and we prayed together. And again visited at her home, also in Bucks County, PA. She mended quickly and I invited her to my Christmas Eve organ recital. It was then when she presented me with a gift, simply wrapped in a plastic bag. I immediately told her that I didn’t want to begin exchanging Christmas presents, but she interrupted my refusal by telling me it was not a Christmas present, but rather a wooden, hand carved plate that she had treasured for almost fifty years. AND, that if I didn’t choose to accept it she would understand. I unceremoniously accepted it from her and was quite impressed with the artistic measure of the wood carving.
Now, I’m not the sort of guy who has any religious wall hangings in my home, and there looking me sadly in the face was an eleven inch oak carving with the head of the crucified Christ. She told the story of who carved it, where it was carved, when it was carved and why it was carved. She also said that the more she got to know me, the more I reminded her of Rudy Hoffen.
This is a terrific love story; however, the names have all been changed to protect the guilty! Guilty? Shouldn’t it be the innocent? NO! Since I don’t want any damn law suits I’ve changed the identity of the ignorant, fearful, weak and guilty!
The Amazon page to which I’m linking contains the self-published work of a writer I know personally, Curt von Dornheim. I used to edit for him when I was still taking on clients on a selected basis. We became good friends after that and his work has been very inspirational for me, both in private and professionally as a writer.
I’m linking because I know his work…both fiction and non-fiction…and I always enjoyed editing it. The non-fiction is sort of spiritual new age without getting too deep or too complicated in technical jargon. It’s more feel good reading about self-esteem than it is fact based on research. He’s more than qualified to do this. He’s a retired minister and he ran a “Creative Consciousness” workshop in Key West for many years. I met him when he moved back up north and settled in New Hope because he wanted to be closer to doctors in Philadelphia and New York.
His fiction is m/m with a POV from an older gay man. It’s not erotic and it’s more focused on the love and emotion than the sex. “The Wings of Fate” is my favorite, which you can find on Amazon, I think, as a free download if you belong to that Amazon Kindle club thing. But all of his indie e-books are priced very fairly and I know the content is good because I’ve read them all.
He’s also very well read, in both non-fiction and fiction. I saw someone on a social network the other night make a blank statement that you don’t have to be a good reader to be a good writer. I disagree completely. If you don’t read good fiction you’re not going to know how to write good fiction. I’m not talking about content and subjective subject matter now. I’m talking about the techniques of crafting fiction and the more physical aspects. To say you don’t need to be a good reader to write good fiction is like trying to open up a high end retail store without ever having been inside Gucci. It just won’t work, and only time and experience teaches people things like this…the things that can’t be learned in a classroom.
The only thing I can’t promise with Curt’s books is the quality. And that’s because I didn’t do the copy editing nor did I help him get the books out on Amazon. He started doing this about a year after I told him I just didn’t have time anymore for freelance clients. So in this respect, with regard to quality and editing, I can’t make any promises. I haven’t read the self-published e-books up on Amazon. I’ve only read the raw manuscripts. And I know from my own experience with Amazon Kindle publishing sometimes words and “things” get mixed up during the conversion. But I do look at it this way: in Curt’s case, even if there are a few mistakes in editing they aren’t going to be huge, and the content is well worth the effort. You’re going to take away a lot more than if you read a bad book without any mistakes.
I know it might appear peculiar to see a book like THE LITTLE BARON’S CHRISTMAS ANGEL above a post promoting a book about foot fetish, but this is a good example of how I like to switch gears without warning.
The author of this book was an editorial client of mine, and I’ve read and edited this story many times, as well as many of his other books. He’s not a client of mine anymore, though. When he wanted to get into Amazon publishing I told him I didn’t know enough about it to do him justice and he found someone who did. So I don’t know how the book has been changed since I last edited it. But I do know this author worked for years on this one and I have no problem recommending it anyone. It’s a great read, for kids and adults. And the price is certainly very good, at least compared to what’s going on with the big six. Besides, up until recently you wouldn’t have had a chance to read a story like this because it would have been considered too short to publish by literary agents and all large publishers. In the digital age of publishing, it works very well.
You can check it out here, and download it to your e-reading device. And, for those who still don’t have e-reading devices, you can download it to your computers and read it right on your PC. You don’t need an e-reader to read e-books. All you need is a computer.
The Little Baron sat silently in the seat of the large leaded, glass window and peered out upon the grounds of the old manor house. He watched the snowflakes gently blanket white the garden below including the tall distant evergreens. This was his most favorite room in the house, it was the library. Although in the evenings it was often occupied by his grandfather the Baron, in the afternoons it was his own private land of enchantment. There were books with pictures of faraway places and stories of adventure, which almost seemed impossible to really exist. It was the day before Christmas and the air was filled not only with great aromas coming from the kitchen and pantry, but also with the anticipation which comes only at this time of year.
The manor had been totally decorated earlier in the day by the loyal household staff. This had been an occasion which the late Baroness always enjoyed, unfortunately the Little Baron never knew his grandmother because she had passed on a few months before he was born. Garlands gracefully hung from the railings of the balcony above and poinsettias were placed upon around table in the entrance hall to act as festive, silent greeters. A tall Christmas tree had been chosen from the Baron’s forest with utmost precision, for it was the focal point in the drawing room since it was to stand guard over the gifts later that evening.
Someone commented on a blog post I read yesterday about how it might help to let young LGBTQ people in crisis know there are good books out there that might help them. And I think it’s a good idea for young people who are in crisis about their identities, too. In the LGBTQ world there’s a lot of frustration during the teen and early twenty years and there’s never an easy answer.
But there are people who have been writing about their own experiences, and some have been writing good books with the intention of helping people who are in crisis. And I don’t believe everyone is cut out to call helplines or seek help out in an aggressive way. Some people are more introspective and they prefer to seek help in quiet ways.
I have one editorial client left. His name is Curt von Dornheim and he’s written many non-fiction books that I think can be very helpful to people who are either going through a crisis or coming out of one. Although his books aren’t strictly LGBTQ, he is very familiar with the LGBTQ community and he’s worked with everything from AIDS patients to school children. I know his books are good because I edited them. I had nothing to do with the e-book releases because I know nothing about that. I’m not promoting his books because I’m receiving any compensation.
I’m doing it because I think it might help. And I would recommend his books highly to anyone who is in doubt or is questioning something in their life. They aren’t religious books; they aren’t exactly self-help. They aren’t too spiritual and they aren’t too complicated. But they do make you feel really good. And that’s the best way I can explain it.
He’s like Norman Vincent Peale for today’s way of thinking…without the religious overtones. Every page has something positive. I like his books so much I even left a review for one on amazon, and that’s not something I do often.
Here’s a list of his e-books that have just been released:
Don’t Take Your Treasures With You
Crystallizing Creative Consciousness
I’m posting about it because a friend and client, Curt von Dornheim, just released this book as a .99 Kindle e-book and I’m helping him spread the word. It’s a spritual/self-help type of book, written without a lot of metaphysical jargon.
Curt has been one of my editorial clients for the past nine years. Right now, he’s my only editorial client and the only reason I keep him is because I love the way he writes and I love his work.
But I had nothing to do with this e-book. When he approached me about doing this I told him I’d help him promote, but that I knew nothing about self-publishing and I didn’t have the time to learn right now. So he found a friend who would help him, and the book was just released yesterday.
I’ve personally read the book from cover to cover, from its inception in long hand on lined paper to the printed manuscript, and I don’t have a problem recommending it.
I did notice a mistake in the title on Amazon, which leads me to wonder about whether or not there are any other mistakes. But I hope for Curt’s sake there aren’t any. If I’d been helping him you can be damn sure the title mistake wouldn’t have happened. But there’s only so many ways a person can divide their time. And this has been a busy summer and it’s not getting any slower.
Here’s the link to Amazon. I don’t know if they are giving out any samples or not. I’m not fond of Amazon’s product descriptions at all. But I do think this is a worth while book to read…even if there are a few mistakes…for pleasure. It covers a few interesting topics and Curt is one of those authors who draws people into the book.