The author of published novels, non-fiction, short stories and many blog essays, Charles grew up in the Chicago area in the suburb of Berwyn. He went to Jan Amos Komensky elementary school, a school from which he draws the family name for his PI protagonist Charlie Komensky. He graduated from J. Sterling Morton East High School in Cicero, IL, at the time noted for blue-collar workers and the former headquarters location 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. He was an insurance professional in Illinois and New Mexico for over 40 years, and now pursues writing full time. He currently lives in Albuquerque, NM, with his wife Rose.