‘The Adventures of Charlie Bubbles’ hits the bookshelves
By Jim Clark
Somerville born and raised actor Paul Carafotes is no stranger to the creative process. His highly successful career in film and television has led him down many paths in the entertainment industry. His latest endeavor, however, breaks new ground for him as he offers up a children’s book, The Adventures of Charlie Bubbles.
“It’s a very sweet story about a boy who can blow bubbles that transport him into and out of trouble,” Carafotes explains. “It has to do with friendship and what friendship means. It asks ‘what’s the cost, what’s the price of friendship?’ That’s really what it’s all about.”
“The boy goes on a magical bubble ride,” says the author. “He goes out into the world and meets different animals and a wonderful character by the name of Paulie Pumpkin, who is actually a squirrel. He also meets an old discarded teddy bear and together they help Charlie find his way home.”
Carafotes is enthusiastic about this, his first publishing endeavor. “I’ve done a lot of different things in my career.”
The Somerville native broke into professional acting in 1980 with a critically acclaimed performance in the 20th Century Fox film Headin’ for Broadway, and has worked steadily in the industry ever since. Other notable roles include Vinnie Salvucci in All the Right Moves, alongside Tom Cruise. His leading role in 1981’s Choices paired him with then newcomer Demi Moore.
Carafotes has appeared in many classic television programs throughout the ensuing years, including Diff’rent Strokes, The Greatest American Hero, Trapper John, M.D., Murder, She Wrote, St. Elsewhere, Knight Rider, Hotel, NYPD Blue, Fantasy Island, The District, Without a Trace, CSI, ER, and many others. The role of Harold Dyer on Knots Landing was particularly well regarded by fans and critics, while more recently he appeared regularly in the popular series Damages.
Additionally, Carafotes has appeared in the theatrical features The Clan of the Cave Bear, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Italian Movie, Fight Club, and Scriptfellas. The short film Club Soda, written and directed by Carafotes, which starred James Gandolfini, Lou Gossset, Joe Mantegna, was the winner of several awards. His performing credits also include many appearances on stage and in TV commercials.
Although currently residing in Southern California, Carafotes’ Somerville roots and connections remain strong. “I grew up in Somerville. My mom still lives there, and was a music teacher at the high school. Two of my sisters teach in the Somerville school system.” He makes frequent trips back home and stays in close touch with his old hometown.
His current passion is promoting The Adventures of Charlie Bubbles and making sure that kids and their parents get a chance to check out his latest labor of love.
The inspiration for the book came from real life about five years ago. Carafotes says, “When my son was a baby the first things he reacted to were bubbles. His eyes would light up and he’d grab at the bubbles.” This motivated Carafotes to develop the story and his imagination took over from there.
The book was very recently released – just a couple of weeks ago – and praise for it has been high. Father and award winning actor James Gandolfini has said, “Charlie Bubbles is soon to be a classic. I’ve read it several times and keep re-reading it. That’s a sign that something is good and will last.” Another fellow actor, Joe Mantegna, says, “Like all beloved children’s books, Charlie Bubbles teaches an important lesson in a way a child will understand, and it is beautifully illustrated to boot.”
Carafotes’ collaborator, Graphic Designer and Illustrator Jeff Vernon, provides the stunning visuals for the book. “We met in Hollywood 30 years ago,” said the author. “We lived next door to each other. He has done several books. We’ve been friends for a long time. He’s a very talented man and great guy. He makes me laugh. When I first thought of writing this book, he was the guy to do the pictures.”
The actor turned author has high hopes that the book will catch on. Meanwhile, he continues his Hollywood career while keeping his interests and activities diversified. He hosts a radio show, Carafotes 12 Celebrity Interview, which can be heard online at WNTN.com as well as live on the radio at WNTN 1550 on the AM dial.
Copies of The Adventures of Charlie Bubbles can be ordered via Amazon.com or through the book’s website, http://www.charliebubblesbook.com. A promotional video is available for viewing at http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=DE&v=8LK2Ffp5JDo.