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Charis Cotter Profile Pic Web Resolution.jpeg

Even at one and a half, there was nothing I liked quite so much as a cemetery.

charis in graveyard baby.jpeg

I grew up beside a cemetery and have been living with ghosts ever since. I studied English in university and went to drama school in London, England. Now I live at the end of a road by the ocean in Newfoundland, where the landscape and a plentiful supply of ghosts inspire my work.


My first book, Toronto Between the Wars: Life in the City 1919–1939, won the 2005 Toronto Heritage Award. Since then, I have written books about kings, queens, child prodigies, famous authors and ghosts. My spooky, suspenseful novels—The Swallow: A Ghost Story, The Painting and The Ghost Road—have won awards and enthusiastic reviews. My picture book, The Ferryland Visitor: A mysterious tale, is based on a true ghost story experienced by Newfoundland artist Gerry Squires and his family when they lived at an abandoned lighthouse in the 1970s.


My third novel, The Ghost Road, won the Bruneau Family Children’s/YA Literature Award in 2020 (Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards).


I have worked in schools and libraries across Canada, using drama and storytelling to bring my books to life. I have taken my performances of Newfoundland ghost stories from Pouch Cove to Bonavista, and from Florida to Vancouver Island. Over the years, I have been encouraging Newfoundland children to collect traditional ghost stories from their communities. I have published two books of these ghost stories, written and illustrated by the students. Readers started calling me "Canada's Queen of Ghost Stories."  


In 2020 I had two new book released: Screech! Ghost Stories from Old Newfoundland, with art by Genevieve Simms, and Footsteps in Bay de Verde: A Mysterious Tale, illustrated by Jenny Dwyer. My fourth novel, The Dollhouse: A Ghost Story, was released in August 2021 by Tundra Books (Penguin Random House).

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