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Charles W. McDonald Jr. was born in Oklahoma City, raised in Norman, Oklahoma, and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a BBA in Management Information Systems and a Minor in Economics. He also has a background in Aerospace Engineering and High Availability Systems Engineering. Honorably discharged from the United States Air Force Reserves, he also has a background in the armed forces. He lives with his wife, Brandy L. McDonald, in Roanoke, TX.
In the summer of 1995, Charles read every available book on the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan in a couple of weeks, and later that same July awoke in the middle of the night from an incredibly immersive dream. Charles began writing, by hand, everything he could remember from that dream which became the outline for the story of A Throne of Souls. Very shortly afterwards, Charles wrote Robert Jordan directly, looking for advice and inspiration for his own work, and Robert Jordan personally responded in a three-page letter, encouraging Charles to tell his story in his way, in his voice, and in his time. The completion of A Throne of Souls is a deeply personal mission for Charles to thank the spirit of Robert Jordan.