Interview with Nowick Gray, Author of Charlie Utopia

09 Nov 2022

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Charlie Utopia?

The end of a fourteen-year relationship in my own life shocked me into taking a deeper look at my own issues. Had I sacrificed love to chase utopian visions of success? After separation, I was confused by four conflicting possibilities: take time to heal and grow; explore total freedom; revive an old flame; or be open to a new relationship close at hand.

The fictional character Charlie Utopia gave me the distance to have perspective on this dilemma, and to try to convey the more universal emotional experience and lessons to be learned.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Charlie Utopia, what would they be?

Charlie: “Keep on Walkin (Don’t Look Back)” – Peter Tosh with Mick Jagger. Sharon: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Bridget: “My Way.” Charlotte: “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte.”

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

Satire. Yes, though I favor the more subtle uses of irony.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

David Graeber, The Dawn of Everything. Douglas Coupland, Binge. David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous. Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See. Stephen King, The Outsider. Brian Brett, Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life. Douglas Glover, Elle. John d’Agata, The Lost Origins of the Essay. Margaret Laurence, Dance on the Earth.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

The February outing to the river ice in the subzero cold seemed the perfect prelude to reveal a relationship about to fail. The physical scene painted the emotional state of Charlie and Sharon—its mood prescient with inevitability. The stage is set for one life to end, and another to begin.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Believing each book will be a bestseller 🙂

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“Everything is happening in perfect time.”

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

That love is always possible; we just have to be open to it.


Nowick Gray is the author of the new book Charlie Utopia

Connect with Nowick Gray

Author Site



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