Charles brings thirty years of experience as a writer and an editor to his work on book manuscripts. Having written seven books of his own, in both the U.S. and the U.K. (Tyndale House, Word Books, Thomas Nelson, SPCK, and others), has enabled him to understand manuscript preparation from the perspectives and needs of authors and publishers. A versatile nonfiction editor, he has worked as a freelance copy editor, substantive editor, special projects editor, author coach, or proofreader for Thomas Nelson, Harvest House, InterVarsity Press, Howard Books, Crossway Books, Baylor University Press, Eerdmans, and Chosen Books.
One of the books he worked on, Morning and Evening (a modern-language version of the popular Charles Spurgeon devotional), won a First Place Gold Medallion Award, and another, The Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (John Ankerberg and John Weldon), was a runner-up. Charles was also the lead freelance editor who worked alongside Thomas Nelson’s specials projects’ editor Mark Roberts to create “the most comprehensive Illustrated Bible Commentary for the general reader.” A massive special project, this became the verse-by-verse, 1800-page Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary.
Early on, Charles was fortunate to have had Virginia Muir, the distinguished managing editor at Tyndale House, take him under her wing, coaching him as a young writer and teaching him manuscript preparation and editing skills. Later, when he lived in the U.K., he became conversant with British English and has worked on British manuscripts for American publishers.
Charles founded a Detroit-area writers group, which ran monthly events for many years to help both up-and-coming and established writers. He now jokes that it was during this period when he coined the line “writing is rewriting” to answer a common assumption among young writers that their first drafts were good enough to get published. “I still use that line today,” he says.
Charles is well read in theology, philosophy, worldview, international relations, and foreign policy. He is a also specialist in the wisdom tradition and its literature. An ordained minister, he occasionally conducts seminars and workshops and accepts teaching and guest-preaching assignments. He and his wife, Linda, an award-winning first grade teacher, live in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.