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Catching up with Charlotte: First-time author releases new book at age 94

Posted December 16, 2021 in Articles

Author: Lindsay Buckingham, Meg Hambach

We've been following Charlotte Burgin's story for more than a year now.

We have all heard the saying "it's never too late to follow your dreams." And 94-year-old Charlotte Burgin is living proof of that.

Charlotte lives at Wiggins Place Assisted Living, and we have been following her story for more than a year as she worked to make her aspirations of becoming an author come true.

Charlotte spent 25 years of her life working with kids who had learning differences. At the time we met her a year ago, she had just joined our Pen Pal program and shared with us that she wanted to publish a book.

"I have written a children's book," she told us back then. "I enjoy homophones, words that sound the same but have different meanings."

Back in February of 2021, we caught up with her once again, surprising her with virtually meeting her pen pal Jami.

Charlotte loves words -- and people. She has 14 pen pals across the U.S., and has gotten more than 250 letters.

Throughout it all, we never forgot about her ambitions of becoming an author. So in May, we reached out to let her know that Gatekeeper Press saw her story and offered to publish her book for free.

Gatekeeper Press President Rob Price hit the ground running with Charlotte seven months ago, pairing her up with Author Manager Trisha Bohanon.

"Well, the process we did with Charlotte is, is the same process we do with all of our, our authors and all of our authors with of children's books," Price told us.

"Working with Charlotte was an honor, she's an author who knows what she wants and in some ways that's easier than trying to throw a arrow in the dark," Bohanon said.

Charlotte did know exactly what she wanted.

"I wanted a book within a book," she said. "I wanted a dictionary that was like a dictionary and no pictures, a dictionary, but I also wanted pictures for children. So the pictures are there, but they're also homophones to show the fun of English."

A book that makes learning fun?! Parents, where has Charlotte been all our lives?!

"For so many children, it's a chore. And so I wanted to show the fun side of language," she said.

In Charlotte's quest to make a book for kids, she's become an inspiration as a first-time published author at 94 years old. Never give up on your dreams.

"If it gives somebody else an idea that they're willing to follow through on that's great," she told us.

Every great story deserves a great ending, especially Charlotte's.

"After the last letter I did this," Charlotte said, reading from her book. "'Z means sleepy time. The story is through all that has left is to say, I love you.'"

Charlotte, it sounds like we should all take a page from your book.

You can purchase Charlotte's book HERE.

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