Charles Bowen is a native to Augusta, Ga whose family roots here date to the mid-1800s. He attended Richmond Academy and gained the rank of lieutenant going on to attend what was then Augusta College (now Augusta University and the University of Georgia. Here, he studied economics and majored in business with a minor in journalism.
As a student columnist with the college’s magazine, he covered many stories including one of The United Nations for a special issue. His interest in journalism was driven by his love for storytelling. Something that he discovered at a young age when he scribed short stories on hist grandmother’s sturdy old Underwood Master Typewriter.
“If you ask, when did I become a writer and why? My answer is likely at birth. I don’t recall a time when it was not on my mind, and taking advantage of every writing opportunity that came along…”
“I particularly like developing a story and its characters around actual events and people, historical or otherwise. I enjoy the research; I like telling a story but often get too tied up in it, personally.” -Charles Bowen
As a young man, his career began in business management, finance and real estate, but his need to write was ever present. Part of telling a good story based in reality is doing the research, reading about history. His long-time fascination with the Civil War, WWII and the history of his hometown can be seen as inspiration for many of his stories.
A southerner at heart, he enjoys recreational fishing, hunting and of course golf. At the range, he is known as “bullet.” He also had some interest in the film industry. “Show business” as he calls it. Charles feels fortunate to have grown up in the era of big motion pictures and Vaudeville.
Charles loved the big screen. He rarely missed the few Vaudevilles still working the 1940s circuit. He studied the actors in their roles, mimicking their performances. He developed a standup routine which he used regularly in college and while emceeing events. For several years, he performed with The Augusta Players. Charles remembers one of his favorite, more humorous roles in Life With Father where he played the middle teenaged son in a family of red heads. Which was something he himself did not possess before the role but returned home with soon after accepting to play it. His classmates, Bowen says, got a kick out of it.
Growing up in Augusta, his family tradition of Community service did not pass over Charles. His work on numerous service
organizations equaled a strong sense of hometown and national pride that often placed him in local and state political campaigns and issues involving three Augusta mayors, three Georgia governors and two South Carolina governors. As a child growing up in the WWII era, he observed Augusta’s significant contributions to the war effort. Something that he would carry with him into his writing for his novels Paladin and Thorns in the Garden City.
Out now, Charles has two current novels, Paladin (released June 10, 2022) and Thorns In The Garden City (released June 6, 2023). Paladin, a historical romance novel, is an exciting story which deals with actual people and events in 1944-45 during WWII in England. It is an unexpected romance in the midst of war. Some Augusta individuals are even among the characters. Paladin was featured in The Frankfurt International Book Fair in Germany of October 2022, and in the 8th Air Force Historical Society’s national magazine in the September 2022 edition.
Thorns In The Garden City is a sequel to the historical romance story begun in Paladin. The subject deals with Augusta, Georgia’s 1945-59 post war years when returning veterans take on the city’s politics, law enforcement and economic corruption. A kind of rebirth of the city to the thriving, beautiful city we see today.
Charles is currently working on another novel which is nearing completion. He writes in his home, surrounded by woods and overlooking a pond. His children and grandchildren are near enough to visit and he is an active member of his church, where his community work continues to inspire his literary work.
You can find him in the Authors Club of Augusta tent at Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival this year!