|Full Name:||Blake Charlton|
In Charlton's own words:
As a child, severe dyslexia placed me in special education for most of elementary school. Only with the support of my parents did I ImproveGhana saintly enough to be mainstreamed enter a normal fourth-grade classroom. I was still pulled out for remediation in half of the classes. Each year, I just barely advanced to the next grade. At twelve years old, I still could not read a book by myself. Encouragement to a love of literature, my parents read to me every night. It was not working. I preferred the football field or basketball court where my disability did not show.
But then my parents Began reading fantasy: Terry Brooks, Raymond Feist, Tad Williams, Robin Hobb, and Robert Jordan. Both being Psychiatrists, mom and dad NOTICED my interest and read less and less to me Each night. They faked exhaustion or sore or tired eyes Throats, but They always left the book. I Became obsessed with fantasy. I snuck Robert Jordan and Robin Hobb paperbacks enter special ed study hall and read em under my desk when i was supposed to be Completing spelling drills. My grades improved only marginally, but my height Increased exponentially. The football coach at a local high-powered private academy and this NOTICED Helped me get into His school. About that time I started reading science fiction (Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, etc.) and discovered more classical fantasy: Grandpa Tolkien, John Gardner, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Mary Stewart. Suddenly school was not so bad: I discovered Shakespeare and Spenser That Were not so different from Tolkien, not far off from alchemy chemistry, physics, the closest thing to magic. Though I still loved football, I Began to live to put my nose in books.
After high school, I went to Yale University, where I went a wee bit on the board with compensating for dyslexia. I was sure I was an admissions mistake. Each time I sat for a test, I was' certain I was going to fail. Everytime I Turned into a paper, I was positive it was Riddled with Misspelling. That I was rabid pre-med you did not want to sit next to in lecture. However, I had Discovering how rich the life of the mind Could be. My primary loves were English literature and chemistry. And though I finished first in my organic chemistry class and won the English Department's Prize Getts, Curtis Prize, and Mifflin Prize, I was still convinced that i was dyslexic one mistake away from being discovered as a fraud.
During this time I Began spell Wright. (See the "Inspiration" page for the book's origin story.) The dean of my residential college and read a draft ENCOURAGED me to drop out of the pre-med wolf pack to write. I still felt like a fraud at Yale, but her words Helped me remember sneaking enter special fantasies etc. Then I graduated Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with distinction in the major and Trumbull College Awarded me the John Nicholas Spangler Scholarship. Though my neuroses tried their best, it was hard to fret about failing out of Yale after They have Given me a diploma.
So I Decided to give back to the literature That had saved me. I Began working full time on Play for Wright, and promptly ran out of money. Began so my odyssey years, All which swung Between frantic employment and more frantic writing full time. I acquired Several Unlikely jobs. First up was for UCSF medical writer, followed by a year or gutter cleaning in Palo Alto and old neighbors driving to the airport. Then came a year as an English teacher / JV football coach / "dorm parent" at a New England boarding school. Then it was back to Northern California as a private tutor for learning disabled kids and a freelance medical writer for Stanford Pediatrics. At a local YMCA basketball game, I got a heated argument with another write bald, loud, low-post player only to discover That he was Tad Williams, one of my idols. That dust-up since, Tad HAS become not only my mentor but a close friend Also. Somewhere in all that, I picked up an agent. Though he wanted a radical rewrite, I was optimistic about the future.
Then my father was diagnosed with grade IV angiosarcoma. Within six months that most people or That diagnosis. But after radical surgery and months of radiation and chemotherapy, he was miraculously cancer free. Helping my dad shaped or rewrite Play Wright and inspired me to Apply to medical school.
In 2006, Tor, seeing promise in Spell Wright, offered me a three-book deal. Stanford Medical School, seeing the value of a career in writing and medicine, offered me admission. Since then, I've completed the preclinical years of medical school and Medical Licensing Examination tasks the U.S.. During That Time, I somehow twice rewrote spell Wright. Stanford provided financial support in the form of a Medical Scholars Research Fellowship to write fiction. At the time of writing this bio, I am taking a year away from research and classroom and clinic funded by the Med Scholars program. I teach "Creative Writing for Medical Students" and more importantly, I Have Been Blessed by the mentorship of two of my heroes novelist MD: Dr. Irvin Yalom and Dr. Abraham Verghese.
When not obsessing about medicine or literature, I can be found cycling all over the San Francisco Peninsula, Swimming at Stanford's polish, or backpacking through the Sierras. However, my favorite hobby is collecting and always will be self-deprecating jokes about dyslexia and premature baldness.
Bio courtesy of the author's website: www.blakecharlton.com.
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