Charles Ray began writing fiction in his early teens, when he won a national Sunday school magazine short story competition, but, having been taught to read by his mother when he was four, and having read every gook in his school library by the time he reached fifth grade, he’s been making up stories much longer. Painfully shy until mid-way through his freshman year in high school, writing was his primary form of communication—when he chose to communicate, preferring the company of books to people.
He joined the army in 1962, right out of high school, and during the next twenty years, along with soldiering, he moonlighted as a newspaper or magazine journalist, artist, and photographer in the U.S., and abroad. In the 1970s, he was the editorial cartoonist for the Spring Lake (NC) News, a small weekly, and did cartoons and art for a number of publications, including Ebony, Essence, Eagle and Swan and Buffalo (a now-defunct magazine that was dedicated to showcasing the contributions of African-Americans to American military history.
He retired from the army in 1982 and joined the U.S. Foreign Service, serving until he retired in 2012 as a diplomat in posts in Asia and Africa.
He’s worked and traveled through the world (Antarctica is the only continent he’s never visited), and now, as a full-time bohemian (a catch word for someone who engages in creative pursuits of all kinds), he continues to roam the globe looking for subjects to write about, photograph, or paint.
A native of East Texas, he now calls suburban Montgomery County, Maryland home.


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While chasing outlaws in Indian Territory, Bass, while trying to extract a jammed cartridge from his rifle, accidentally shoots and kills his posse cook, William Leach. Though he’s cleared by Marshal Fagan of any wrongdoing, a year later, a new US Attorney in Fort Smith decides to charge him with malicious murder and has him thrown in jail. After more than a decade of enforcing the law, Bass now finds himself in the same situation as many of the fugitives he has arrested, with Judge Isaac Parker sitting in judgment, and his fate—and life—hangs in the balance.

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