Born in London and raised in Fiji, Charlie Charters spent his working life based in Hong Kong and now lives near Malton, North Yorkshire, which rightly considers itself the horse-racing capital of the known world. One of his first memories is of traveling with his mother, an award-winning filmmaker, as she tried to piece together the rackety strands of Somerset Maugham's life-changing travels through the Pacific. This was eye-opening stuff for a seven-year-old: spying, brothels, homosexuality, suicide, casual affairs, and that was just the Good Guys. Those trips, and being caned on his 13th birthday by a headmaster whose own father it turned out had similarly thrashed the schoolboy Roald Dahl somehow gave him an early desire to become a writer. However he did very little about this until turning forty, by which time he had worked, variously, as a racing tipster, war reporter, radio DJ, award-winning TV producer and presenter. He was the youngest ever senior vice president of the legendary sports marketing company ISL, whose collapse in 2001 was the second biggest corporate failure in Switzerland's history and nearly bankrupted FIFA. Clearly, that couldn't have been his fault. In 2004, he helped launch the British Lions-styled Pacific Islanders rugby team, featuring the best players from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. He is married with four children and a Labrador that likes to watch the news.