Charlotte Hughes was raised in the South, the oldest and only daughter of three children. Her love of reading began in second grade when she read “Charlotte’s Web,” and she went on to become a devoted Nancy Drew fan. In college, she majored in communications and quickly found her voice in works by Southern authors like Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, and Katherine Anne Porter. Her favorite book, which she claims to have read several times, is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.
Charlotte was introduced to romance by Kathleen Woodiwiss and early Danielle Steel books. She was in her late twenties, and a new mother, when she began writing seriously, trying her hand at short stories and, finally, category romances. Although she collected numerous rejections on her first book, her second book, Too Many Husbands, was snatched up by Bantam Books and published as a Loveswept in 1987. The book quickly hit the #1 spot on Waldenbooks. Charlotte went on to write almost 30 books for the line before it closed. Since that time, she has written romantic comedy, a “soft” horror anthology, and romantic suspense. After co-authoring the very popular Full House series with Janet Evanovich, Charlotte decided to start her own series about a female clinical psychologist and her crazy family, friends, and patients. The first book, What Looks Like Crazy was followed by Nutcase and High Anxiety. Lately she has been releasing some independently published romances, and is writing a series based in the Lowcountry.
With about 50 books under her belt, Charlotte is best known for her “gut-busting” comedy. Although she has won a number of awards, her biggest thrill is hearing from readers who claimed her books helped them get through a very difficult time in their lives. “I’ve received letters from cancer patients and those who have lost loved ones who told me they were able to laugh through their darkest moments because of my books. Those letters mean more to me than awards and bestseller lists.” Her comedy, she claims extends into her personal life. She trained her nieces and nephews at an early age to call her Beautiful Aunt Charlotte.
Charlotte first fell in love with historic Beaufort, SC, while vacationing on one of the Sea Islands when her two sons were less than three years old. Finally, in 1992, the family relocated to the area, and Charlotte has been living in the lowcountry ever since. The coastal town, having escaped the destruction of the Civil War, boasts more than 100 antebellum homes and churches, and is a tourist hot-spot and home to author Pat Conroy. “I find being surrounded by water, salt marshes, and enormous moss-draped live oaks calming,” Charlotte says. “I can’t imagine living any place else.” She admits to being a homebody who keeps a low profile. Only a couple of her neighbors know she’s a bestselling author.
With her sons grown, Charlotte shares her lowcountry home with two Dachshunds whom she lovingly refers to as Lil Boy and Lil Bit who rule the roost. “It’s like having two toddlers in the house,” she says, “but where else do you get that kind of unconditional love?”