Charlie Stella was born Carmelo Stella on June 1, 1956 in Manhattan, New York. He was raised in Brooklyn most of his life and attended public and catholic schools there until he graduated from Canarsie High School. Charlie attended Minot State College in North Dakota on a football scholarship where he established some of the most important relationships in his life. Charlie’s focus turned to writing during his sophomore year at Minot. The man he attributes most of his writing successes to, Dave Gresham, was one of many teachers in his life that Charlie credits with “changing his life.”
“In college, I started reading seriously because of Dave Gresham. He exposed me to authors who wrote about characters I was familiar with. When Dave read the first chapter of George V. Higgins’, THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, to our class, I was hooked as a wannabe reader and writer of modern crime fiction. I knew people who spoke like Higgins’ characters. I knew some of that world because my father was a knockaround guy himself. I started to think I might be able to do this stuff someday. I started to read (the way I was supposed to) because of Dave Gresham and haven’t stopped reading since.”
After he left North Dakota, Charlie attended Hofstra University, where he won the Eugene Schneider Memorial Annual Short Story Award. Charlie put off college after his first year at Hofstra and worked as a union window cleaner high atop some New York City skyscrapers. After staring a family a few years later, he decided to finish his degree and attended Brooklyn College. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science in 1982 and won the Abraham Kraditor Memorial Award for Political Science.
After he graduated from Brooklyn College, Charlie taught himself how to type and worked as a word processor. A few years later, Charlie became enamored with the New York “street life” and the characters of that world. “I try and write about the real world of small time operators trying to make it day-to-day. Most street guys aren’t so unlike the rest of us. They have big dreams and not enough luck to see them come true.”
Charlie’s other interests include drumming, opera and powerlifting. Above everything else, he treasures the time he spends with his wife.