Charles Utley was born in 1952. His Portland Court books owe not a little to a delightfully eccentric prep school he attended from the age of 10 to 13. It was called Purton Stoke, though it is, sadly, no longer. He claims that the eccentricities of the staff at the fictional Portland Court Preparatory School for Boys are nothing compared with those at Purton Stoke, but reality, he thought, would be too incredible for the average reader.
After Purton Stoke he went to Abingdon School. He left early because of a burning ambition to become a famous actor. After three years of playing small parts on the stage and in television he grasped that his ambition was not going to be realised. He gave up the stage and became a political agent in Essex. That career lasted for a further three years before he returned to London to work in the House of Commons and read for the Bar in his spare time.
He was called to the Bar in 1979 and has, since then, practised mostly in medical negligence law in London.
Despite coming from a family of writers, going back several generations, he didn't have a go himself until the Daily Telegraph web site started a short story competition. He submitted an entry. It was rejected as being too long. He submitted another entry. That, too, was too long. It then occurred to him that he could use the two stories as the basis of a novel. Those stories, with several later changes, became chapters one and three of Taylor Takes Charge.
Much to his amazement, he eventually found that he had written a whole novel. He doubted whether anything would come of it until, even more amazingly (as he says), Night Publishing agreed to publish it. He is now finishing the second novel in what he hopes will be a long series.
He is married with three children all of whom, he is certain, are far more talented than he could ever be.