Social work professional Chuck Bright hadn’t planned on a writing career centered on death and the afterlife, but death turned out to be his wake-up call. Following the loss of several family members, friends, and coworkers, as well as two client suicides, between 2000 and 2001, Bright’s social work career suddenly seemed meaningless. His greatest desire was to write.
He therefore pursued his doctoral studies in social work with a plan in mind: if he had not written anything substantial by the time he received his PhD, he would return to social work full-time. But the cosmos had other plans in mind. Two and a half years into his doctoral studies, with not a word set to paper, Bright sat down one evening at the lake house he shared with his husband Andre, and, quite unexpectedly, words began to flow. An angry, impatient character named Goshena presented herself to him as ruler of a vast, turbulent space where life ends and death begins. By the time he finished his doctoral studies in 2007, Bright had completed not only his doctoral dissertation but nine of the ten books he would write in the twelve-volume Goshena series. He subsequently converted book 1, Goshena: Queen of the Big In-Betweena, into a graphic novel and adapted it into a three-act play. Chuck often jokes that he wrote Goshena while getting his PhD “on the side”.
By the start of 2015, Bright had created a second series, called Dr. Chucky, an irreverent jab at psychotherapy in which a social worker named Dr. Chucky provides counseling to the dead. Another book, called Little Dorcas: The Executioner’s Daughter, also adapted into a three-act play, soon followed. Bright has also written two additional plays: It’s My Party and I’ll Fly if I Want To and Trill-O-Gee!
Chuck Bright holds a BA in Sociology from Purdue University; an MSW from Loyola University, Chicago’s School of Social Work; and a PhD in Social Work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He has also taught courses in social work and psychology at various universities in Chicago and northwest Indiana. Bright currently resides in Flossmoor, Illinois, a suburb of south Chicago, with his husband, Andre Latia. Goshena: Queen of the Big In-Betweena is his first graphic novel.