Cape Coral resident David Christopher is a talented award-winning teacher, author and father. As a history teacher at Ida Baker High School, he presents American History in a unique storytelling manner in an effort to make the subject interesting. “For too many people, history is a boring subject with all the facts and figures. I personalize it by describing people in detail and cultures of the different time periods.”
David moved to Cape Coral in 1975 from Leesburg, Florida when he was only seven. He really got the rare opportunity to see the city of Cape Coral grow as fast as it did. David got his degree from the University of South Florida in 1989. After beginning college as a journalism major, he found the study of history more to his liking. It was then that he began his career in education and became a Certified Teacher of American History. We had a light moment discussing the challenges of teaching teenagers in the classroom.
David mentioned that he wrote a number of children’s stories before he decided to write a novel. Doing so required him to dedicate time to write, which was difficult with a house full of kids and a working wife.
David is an author, and has three books published: No Presumption of Innocence, Circumstantial Evidence, and his most current The Accidental American. These are all available on Amazon.com. His first two novels are mystery thrillers, while his latest book is historical fiction with a touch of romance. He told me that his storytelling techniques, honed for years in the classroom, carry through into his writing. David smiled and admitted that he also likes to mix the traits and personalities of people he knows into developing his fictitious characters. “I had to do a lot of research online to get certain historical period details right. Also, I had to be very careful about using the correct police terminology in writing my first two mystery books.”
“I suppose I was influenced the most in my first two novels by Bob Morris, who has written a series of Caribbean mystery thrillers. I also met the award-winning author Jeff Shaara, author of Gods and Generals and many other books, who steered me toward writing historical fiction. Local author Lisa Black is also a great mystery writer.”
“My latest book, The Accidental American, was really exciting to write.” David said “I wanted to get away from murder mysteries and try something new. I developed a young Irish lad named Colby Callahan in the 1700’s who was sold off by his indebted family to become an indentured servant to a sadistic captain in the British Navy.” David went on to describe the plot of his story to me and how he developed and described the life of his protagonist in that colonial American time period. “I tried to describe The Revolutionary War battle scenes as if my reader was actually there.” Readers can go online and read a few pages of David’s extraordinary writing style.
Husband and Father
As a husband and father of a very active family, he is always on the move, not only with work but with all the kids’ activities. “I have very little quiet time to write,” he said, “but I manage to find a moment every now and then. Summer break is when I get the most time to relax and be creative.”
I asked his wife, Dana, what she thought of his novels. “I’ve read them all and like some more than others, and I think he is a great writer.” She said David sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night to jot down a thought about something he is working on. Dana works as a testing coordinator for Ida Baker High School, and her career there keeps her as busy as David.
Between them, David and Dana are raising four children, Colby, Owen, Marleigh and Karli. I could tell both David and Dana are very proud of their children.
“If the kids aren’t going to soccer practice or gymnastics, it is music lessons or something else,” David comments in the way a father describes raising children. “We also love to socialize on the weekends with all our friends and neighbors around the pool.”
David is devoted to his family in this very busy household where everybody seems to be going in different directions. As a family, they like to crowd into the kitchen to help cook and have fun. They also like to plan their summer vacations to travel to different places. A few years ago, they visited Philadelphia and before that it was New York City. The most inspiring side trip, as an historian, was their visit to the Valley Forge National Historical Park, just outside of Philadelphia. He said that he enjoyed the Revolutionary War site and explaining in detail its dramatic, historical significance to his family. “When you were there, you could almost feel George Washington and his nearly frozen troops around you.”
Most of the year when they are home here in Cape Coral, the Christopher family finds time to bicycle together. “There are wonderful paths and streets to ride in our Sandoval development,” David commented. He said that soon the boys will head off to college, which is sad. He then added, “Once they do, maybe I will get my own room in which to write.”
David is a man with an inquiring mind and, in part, that is why he is an outstanding award-winning educator. David has won the Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Award, along with the Lighthouse Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is also a frequent finalist for the Golden Apple Awards.
David said a number of times during the interview that there must be other Cape Coral residents more interesting than him. Despite his modesty, I could tell that he is a devoted teacher, husband and father. We are proud to have him in our community.