Charis Cotter grew up beside a cemetery and has been living with ghosts ever since. She studied English in university and went to drama school in London, England. Now she lives at the end of a road by the ocean in Newfoundland, where the landscape and a plentiful supply of ghosts inspire her work. Her first book, Toronto Between the Wars: Life in the City 1919–1939, won the 2005 Toronto Heritage Award. Since then, Charis has written books about kings, queens, child prodigies, famous authors and ghosts. Her spooky, suspenseful novels—The Swallow: A Ghost Story, The Painting and The Ghost Road—have won awards and enthusiastic reviews.
Charis has worked in schools and libraries across Canada, using drama and storytelling to bring her books to life. She has worked with Newfoundland students to collect traditional ghost stories from their communities and published two books of these tales, written and illustrated by the students. Newfoundland ghost stories continue to inspire her own work and in 2020 she published Screech! Ghost Stories from Old Newfoundland and Footsteps in Bay de Verde: A Mysterious Tale. Her fourth novel, The Dollhouse: A Ghost Story, was released in August 2021 by Tundra Books. Her books have been translated into Korean, German and Russian.
An editor with twenty-five years’ experience helping writers bring their books to life, Charis works as a writing coach for writers of fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and young adult fiction. She is also a proficient editor who can take a manuscript from first draft to print-ready proofs, or do any stage in between.
She is available for school and library visits with readings from her books, a Newfoundland ghost story presentation, and writing workshops.