Charlie Butler is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the West of England, Bristol, where he specializes in Renaissance and children’s literature. He is the author of Four British Fantasists (Scarecrow/ChLA, 2006), which won the 2009 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Myth and Fantasy Studies, and of numerous articles and chapters on modern children’s writers including Alan Garner, Diana Wynne Jones, Susan Cooper, Penelope Lively, Gillian Cross, Catherine Storr, Ursula Le Guin, Anne Fine, Louis Sachar, J. K. Rowling and Philip Pullman. His academic work focuses on fantasy and on the representation of gender and has appeared, amongst other places, in the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly and Children’s Literature in Education. Charlie has edited a book on Teaching Children’s Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), and is about to lead a two-year, EU-funded study of the learning and teaching of children’s literature in Europe. He also reviews children’s books regularly for Armadillo magazine, and was a member of the panel convened to select the current Children’s Laureate, Anthony Browne.
As a writer of fiction, Charlie has so far produced six novels for children and teenagers, the first of which was The Darkling in 1997. Most of his books fall into the category of dark fantasy, with possession (of various kinds) being a recurrent theme. His publishers have included Orion, HarperCollins and Usborne, and more recently he has produced two short books for Barrington Stoke, the specialists for reluctant readers. The latest of these, Hand of Blood, was published in July 2009.