When Charlotte Morganti began writing in high school, she never knew it would lead to being published in national mystery magazines and anthologies, or winning honors for her work. The former corporate finance and mining lawyer, who also holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, now combines her well-honed analytical skills with an entertaining imagination, writing everything from gritty P.I. stories to “…humorous capers and wacky cozies”.
“I grew up with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, and then graduated to PD James, et al,” Charlotte said. “In high school, during a creative writing class, I wrote a short story about a burglar who, instead of robbing a little girl’s piggy bank, had a change of heart and stuck a dollar bill into the bank. My instructor said, ‘Good writing but you have a misguided belief in the goodness of all people’. I interpreted that to mean ‘stop being so soppy’. That tendency, to hope for redemption or a change of heart, still seeps into my writing now and then. But at least now I can recognize when I’m being soppy and edit it out.”
Her formative experiences also included journalism. “I wrote for my high school newspaper. (While attending the) university, I was on the staff of the newspaper and wrote articles and humorous pieces. I can’t put a finger on when I started wanting to be an author. It was more a wish than a goal because school—and then the need to earn a living—had to come first. Once my professional life (in the legal profession) was coming to a close, it became easier to find the time to take writing classes and attend conferences.”
Her efforts paid off. Charlotte’s short stories have appeared in BLACK CAT WEEKLY MAGAZINE and multiple anthologies, including CRIME WAVE, DIE LAUGHING, SOWEST: LOVE KILLS and BLOOD IS THICKER. She has also been a finalist for the Crime Writers of Canada award for Best Crime Short Story. Her short fiction is popular with publishers and readers alike. “Two of my short stories are scheduled for publication later this year: ‘Lazy Days Parade Takes a Tragic Turn’ will be published in late summer in BLACK CAT MYSTERY MAGAZINE and ‘Done and Dusted’ will appear in CRIME WAVE: WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AGE in the late fall.”
Two of Charlotte’s unpublished novels have already earned acclaim. THE END GAME was shortlisted for the Crime Writers of Canada’s Award of Excellence for Unpublished Manuscripts, as was her stand-alone novel, CONCRETE BECOMES HER. THE END GAME also received recognition from the Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, garnering a nomination for the Freddie Award for Writing Excellence.
A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime (national) and the Sisters in Crime Grand Canyon Writers chapter, along with two others, Charlotte is the immediate past president of Sisters in Crime – Canada West (her home chapter). She currently coordinates their chapter events.
“For the most part, I write fiction—mysteries, both dark and light. Occasionally I write a personal essay or review,” she said. “I’m currently editing THE END GAME, which is the first in the D.S. “Gabe” Gabrieli mystery series and I hope to see it published this fall. (The book introduces) part-time investigator, Gabrieli. He travels to the small mountain town of Cheakamus, B.C., which is the last place he wants to spend any time at all. But a promise is a promise. He figures the trip will be a cameo—check in, attend a christening, check out. Two days max. What could go wrong in two days? Then the cops finger Gabe’s kid brother as their prime suspect in a series of deadly explosions near Cheakamus. Add in deceptive locals, unfriendly cops, and a cunning killer who will stop at nothing to execute his end game,” she said.
“The majority of my novels and short stories are set in small towns. No doubt my focus on small-town settings stems from the fact I grew up in a small town and, after living in cities for most of my adult life, now live a wonderfully relaxed life in Gibsons, a small coastal town of about 5,000 people in British Columbia. It’s situated on the Sunshine Coast, a peninsula that runs along the west side of Howe Sound—which separates our peninsula from the rest of British Columbia’s mainland. The only way to access the Coast is by small plane, boat or ferry.”
“There’s often a quirkiness to small towns and their residents that is hard to resist when it comes to fiction,” she said. “I was born and raised in Alberta and miss its wide blue skies terribly. If I had my way, I’d reshape geography and move the Alberta foothills and cattle country closer to my home.”
“When I’m not writing—which is often because I tend to procrastinate and freeze in fear of the blank page—I wage a losing battle against weeds and try to coax our Honeycrisp apple tree to produce more than one sample.” She also spends time swimming and tries to “…kayak in a straight line.” She relegated skiing to “…the never again category of recreation, after an unfortunate episode where I found myself face down on the slope, skies tangled, and listening to my husband cajoling, ‘just point them downhill’.”
They also share other interests. “My husband, John, is a geologist. When you write a novel about a murder at mining exploration sites, it’s good to live with a geologist!” The two split their time between the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta.
Charlotte’s zeal for life is evident. “I’m fascinated by the many absurdities of life, addicted to chocolate and caramel, crime fiction and mysteries, sunshine, white sand, weathered barns, foothills ranches, and crisp fall air.”
Contact Charlotte via social media or on her website.