writer nostalgic about Utica
Originally published in 2000
By Mary-Frances Manno
After writing short
stories for more than 50 years, former
Utica resident Charles Fritch found a
way to weave his hometown roots into his
Not only did Fritch mention Utica in an
upcoming novel, but he proudly displayed
a Utica T-shirt at a recent book signing
of California Sorcery a collection
of short stories which features, Different,
a story he wrote about a guy who lives
in an alternate universe.
Its a nostalgia thing,
Fritch who now lives in Southern
California said about his East
Coast heritage. Im very nostalgic
about the old hometown. I like to come
back and look for artifacts, buy them,
wear them, etc.
A 1950 graduate of Utica College, with
a bachelor of arts degree in English,
Fritch decided to move to California to
pursue a career in writing.
There wasnt much opportunity
for what I wanted to do with writing,
reading and publishing in the area,
Over the years, Fritch has remained true
to his word.
In 1979, he was named editor of Mike Shayne
Mystery Magazine, which ran for eight
years. In addition, he has been featured
in a number of publications.
I have done mostly short stories,
Im good at it. They always sell,
Even though Fritch is well-established
in the industry, it was a long haul getting
there, one that started at age 10.
I had a little notebook and I was
writing and writing and writing and showing
people who would listen, he said.
Drawn to the world of science fiction,
a majority of Fritchs work reflected
I was reading it all the time and
liked it, so it was only natural that
I would start writing it, he said.
His unique style is what drew readers
from the get-go.
The thing I was doing was different,
really weird types of characters and backgrounds
different from the typical space stuff,
One of his short stories, Misfortune
Cookie, had the opportunity to cross
over to another dimension.
It first was picked up for an anthology
book and after CBS saw it, they bought
the story and it was made into a Twilight
It was wonderful seeing my name
on screen, he said.
Fritch firmly believes people are born
Writing is built-in, somehow. You
are either going to be a writer or youre
not, you just have to do it. It is strange,
Even though writing is hard work, it has
been very rewarding.
I enjoy doing it. Manipulating words
fascinates me, he said.
Fritch currently is working for the State
of California, but makes a point to get
back to Utica annually.
I love that area. Its marvelous.
If I ever retire, I will probably move
back, Fritch said.
Until then, he is busy working and writing.
It is a good feeling knowing something
I did will last beyond me.
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