The author of 6 published novels (the 6th appearing October 1, 2014), one non-fiction book, short stories and many blog essays, Charles grew up in the Chicago area. He went to Jan Amos Komensky School in Berwyn, IL, a school from which he draws the family name for his private-investigator protagonist Charlie Komensky. He graduated from J. Sterling Morton East High School in Cicero, IL, a town then noted for blue-collar work and the headquarters location of notorious Chicago gangsters. He received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Illinois Chicago, and an M.S. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. After that, he worked as an insurance professional in Illinois and New Mexico for over 40 years. He has recently retired to pursue writing full time, and currently lives in Albuquerque with his wife Rose.