I was born in London but my childhood was spent on the other side of the world, in Fiji, a fairly significant contradiction that still runs right through my life today. An easy to see consequence is that I`m one of those people who has never been completely from here, or definitely from over there. A professional outsider, you might say. Today I live near Malton in North Yorkshire, really the most wonderful place, but my heart remains stretched like a rubber band all the way to the other side of the world.
I can`t quite put a finger on the story-telling thing. Depending on whom I`m talking to, there`ll be this answer or that suggestion, always designed to elicit maximum sympathy (which is, after all, one of the functions of telling stories in the first place). I do remember by about the third year of travelling back and forth from Fiji to school in the UK (aged about 10), I was heartily sick of the whole Unaccompanied Minor thing. Chrissakes, my little brain would say, you`ve done this trip a hundred times. So I would break from the other UM kids and go and become somebody else for the length of the flight – a junior Walter Mitty. I was helped by the fact I was six foot by the age of 12, so I was a crop-dusting pilot, a stock-broker, a game-fishing crewman, a meteorologist with a fixation about hurricanes … pretty weird, now that I write all of this down. But it was always about the stories. If I could think it up, then somehow I knew I could pull it off.
You might think that I am dressing this up as Telling Of Stories in order to give credence, respectability even, to what it really is, straight forward Fibbing. You could well be right. Whatever this is, it never seems to have quite left me, even when I was labouring away as a `grown up`. So I became a radio disc jockey (FM96 in Fiji and Red Dragon FM in Wales), a sports anchor (ATV and Star Sports in Hong Kong), a stringer on the front line of a civil war (UPI), even a horse-racing presenter (for the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club). Even my later seriously grown-up work - selling multi-million dollar television contracts for the likes of FIFA and UEFA - had a significant element of fiction about them. If you don`t believe me - ask any of the broadcasters I dealt with.
And so, after a lifetime of preparation, here we are with me for the first time telling my stories properly and for a living. Writing them up as a book.
It`s both reassuring, because it`s what I always seem to have been doing, but also sobering and, in truth, a little unnerving. I can`t buy you a beer or crack a joke to get you in the mood. This is it, my story as I write it and you read it. Nothing else exists between you and me. Hopefully you will enjoy.
About Charlie
Name: Charlie Charters
Debut Novel: BOLT ACTION
Favourite quote: Never take moderation to excess
Significant dates
UK and Commonwealth launch
September 2010
International launch
July 2010
Signed with Hodder
July 2006
Useful links