Working with local authorities, National charities, schools, community groups and independent fostering agencies around the UK Charles has helped many parents, carers, teachers and social workers to “bridge the gap” between what they know about the Internet and related technologies, and what the children in their care know.
Charles’ latest titles, Lucy’s Web and Steve’s Web – Operation: Stay Safe Online are his first forays into the world of stories for children and aim to present important online safety messages to younger readers in an age-appropriate, non-threatening way.
Charles has twice been shortlisted for the prestigious Nominet Internet Award for “Making the Internet Safer” alongside such organisations as the BBC, E-Crime Wales, BeatBullying and The Vodafone Parents Guide.
What inspires you to write?
I work with loads of children in schools and with their parents and foster carers, to help them and the people who care for them to know more about staying safe online. Lucy and Steve, the main characters in my children's books, came to life when I started hearing real-life stories about the issues children face when using the Internet
Tell us about your writing process.
Each of my stories starts with a brief outline which looks like the story mountain you probably used for creative writing at school. It starts with a character and setting, presents a problem, finds a solution and brings the story to a close.
Once I have the outline, I just sit down and write! Then I use my test readers (my 2 girls and my lovely wife Christine) to make sure that the dialogue is relevant and contemporary and that the story flows as I would want it to.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Until I started writing fiction I didn't believe writers who said that they interacted with their characters, but Lucy and Steve have become 'real' people in my head. Each has very different personalities, mannerisms and quirks and I have to get into character each time I start a new story to make sure there's no crossover.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favourite books of all time are the Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, but I'm currently working through Lee Child's Jack Reacher books and the third part of Stephen King's Bill Hodges trilogy, End of Watch.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Lucy and Steve demanded to be heard! My family and friends were incredibly positive about the stories, and the ten year old daughter of a friend who read my drafts told me that I HAD to publish them!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that self-publishing has a huge part to play in the future of book publishing, however I think it's important that if authors are to be taken seriously alongside those who are traditionally published they have to look at the quality of formatting, editing and cover art to ensure it competes.
What genres do you write?
Children's Fiction, Non Fiction
What formats are your books in?
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All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.