Short Story:

Maypole Madness
A tortured child from a middle American town exacts revenge on the world that has ignored him for so long.



For Rayleigh Stern life has become intolerable. Devastated by the loss of his wife Rachel to cancer, he is alienated and at the end of his rope until he meets a most unexpected gift from out of his dark past.

Published Works

Welcome to Charles Souby, Author

A View From the Borderline

In A View from the Borderline: A Collection of Stories, acclaimed author Charles Souby affirms his “powerful, empathetic study of place and character” (Kirkus Reviews), gift for dark humor, and insight into troubled and twisted human minds. Set in Hollywood, Chicago, and nameless Midwestern small towns between the 1970s and the present, the 20 stories introduce an eclectic cast of characters who range from quirky to deranged.

Misguided, wild, lost, and warped to varying degrees, the “borderline” men and women include:

  • Davenport, a recently retired investment advisor, who hatches a plot to poison the reputation of his widely beloved apartment neighbor Mrs. Goldberg, a recently retired librarian devoted to feeding pigeons, using bread and Alka Seltzer (spoiler: it plops) in “The Gurgling Coup.”
  • Leonard, a plodding AAA clerk off on a psych leave and a regular at the local racetrack bar, whose knack for picking winning horses tragically collides with his weakness for boozy redheads in “Silver Slum Dog.”
  • Mrs. Rosewood, whose audacious plan to expose her dry cleaner as a thief—with the help of a nimble accomplice, her little daughter, and lighter fluid—gets the attention of a hostage negotiator in “The Plaid Golf Pants.”
  • Stephen, a remedial student at a second-rate prep school, who, in the summer of 1973, becomes infatuated with a sweet but troubled waif—a 16-year-old runaway from her father’s threat to have her institutionalized for her “disorder,” characterized by smoking pot and having sex, in “Christa’s Case.”

Charles Souby draws his fictional characters and situations from a wide range of personal experiences. He can discuss:

His definition of a “borderline” person—and when being defiant and reckless is really a cause for concern.

 His insights into coping with and breaking free of addiction—whether to gambling, sex, narcotics, technology, or thrills.

His views on treating anxiety and depression with prescription drugs or with medical marijuana.
His views on the federal legalization of recreational weed and the mounting movement to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms and other psychotropic drugs.
Writing as a form of therapy—and his own sources of creative inspiration.

At turns hilarious, touching, and chilling, A View from the Borderline brings eccentric, damaged, and unhinged characters brilliantly to life. I look forward to discussing feature and interview possibilities.


Latest Projects:

Charles Souby


A Shot of Malaria

The gritty and sometimes comical story of a strung-out street musician who aspires to be the Jimi Hendrix of the 5-String Banjo and find a girlfriend for the Christmas Holidays.

Short Story:

The Durschlag Twins

When little suburban terrors cause a near-accident, a frustrated neighbor learns the best way to deal with ill-behaved children isn’t what he expected. 

A Long Time Gone

What happens to an Ivy League grad who’s slated to go to work for his father as a Washington mining lobbyist, only to find his life’s values chipped away by an unrequited love and a growing fascination with spirituality and the environment? Before returning home to greet his father on his deathbed, Jeffrey Woodward hopes to face gnawing fears and figure out what matters in his life by traveling to the Yukon Territory of 1982 with only a backpack, guitar and his thumb. What he discovers on his journey will turn his life upside down and cause him to desperately seek new possibilities in the world.

A Long Time Gone is funny, sweet and often tense as Jeffrey’s journey to the Klondike leads him to a First Nation reservation, a gold mine and a succession of wonderful and scary characters who escort him into an alien world. The novel is fully relevant today, addressing everything from racism and the continuing deep divide on environmental issues to the ageless push and pull between parents’ wishes for their children and adult children’s need to find their own path.

Charles Souby is an author based in Kapaa, Hawaii. He has published two novels, WINIFRED and A SHOT OF MALARIA and has had short stories published in The Saturday Evening Post Online, Story Teller Magazine, and Opening Line. His poetry can be found in 5 Poetry Magazine, Bohemian Magazine and the California Quarterly Review.

He has just completed a third novel, A LONG TIME GONE and is editing two collections of short stories, A VIEW FROM THE BORDERLINE and ARCHIPELAGOS.

While his stories are fictional, they draw from a wide spectrum of personal experience from Chicago to San Francisco to the Alaska/Canadian border.

Keep checking in with this site for information on readings, publications and interviews.