Fantasy Author Charles Moffat
About the Author
Book Catalogue
Upcoming Books

Frequently Asked Questions: Charles Moffat

The questions and answers below are based upon past author interviews that Charles Moffat has answered.

How do you deal with writer's block?

I have never experienced writer's block. I don't know what it feels like to have that. I have so many ideas, too many ideas, that I cannot write them all down. My biggest problem is finding time to write. Whenever I get to a point where I am unsure what to do, I go to my notes - where I write down every idea I think is good - and look at what options I could do. Some of my ideas become fables, some become short stories, and the rare few get joined with other ideas to become novels. So when you have as many ideas as I do you don't really get writer's block. You are too busy writing or doing other things in your life.

How do you get inspired to write?

I get inspired daily to write and have no shortage of ideas. I write the good ideas down and then they are later distilled, mixed together with other ideas and eventually churned into ice cream. Sorry, I mean stories. It is finding time to write and edit that are the bigger problems for me.

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

1. Write daily as much as possible. When writing a novel I typically aim to write at least 4000 words per "writing day". On a really productive day I might hit 8000 or more. The good thing about this is that for me this amounts to writing roughly 1 or 2 chapters per day, which gives me a sense of accomplishment when I finish a chapter (or sometimes two chapters) in a single day. That feeling of accomplishment is actually really addictive, and if a particular writer is not feeling that each time you finish a chapter, I do worry whether you are cut out to be a writer because that sense of accomplishment is a huge high and the addictive quality of it is a major driver for many professional writers as it helps to motivate them to write often and write lots.

2. Learn to spell and use proper grammar. Really helps with the editing process later on and is fundamentally important to the craft of writing. A writer not knowing how to spell would be like an archer not knowing how to shoot.

3. Study the craft of good storytelling. Reading books, watching well-written films is effectively research. You should be studying the craft daily. I aim to read at least 1 chapter per day from authors I respect.

4. Keep learning new things. New languages, new cultures, watch nature documentaries, tourism shows, etc. I spend an hour every day learning new things. eg. I have formally studied 11 languages so far, to the extent that I can read/write/speak in 10 of them. I have a To Do List of languages I have yet to study.

5. Write down every "good idea" on a memo pad and keep it for later. If it is still good months later, then it is an idea worth exploring. Some ideas you might even combine together to create a more complex multifaceted story. Delete or stroke out the ideas that are unworthy. If you have as many good ideas as I do then you will never get writer's block. I don't even know what that feels like because I get lots of new ideas daily.

6. Surround yourself with constant new sources of inspiration, new information and new ideas. This is one of the reasons why I read and study new things every day. It isn't just a matter of further educating myself, the act of furthering my education fuels my constant flow of new ideas.

7. Travel to new places you have never been to. Tourism videos/books help, but travel and seeing places, meeting the people, learning the culture is best. In fantasy we are often writing about imaginary cultures, people, food and more - but actually going to places that can inspire you is so much better than just reading about it or watching tourism videos.

8. Actively learn about the things you are writing about. If you know you have horses in your novel, take horse riding lessons. Archery? Take archery lessons. Swordplay? Study fencing, kendo, medieval swordfighting, watch Shadiversity on YouTube, etc. If your book is set in France during WW2 you should be studying WW2 history and French and German languages/culture.

What mystery in your own life could be a plot for a book?

When I was 12 years old myself, my best friend and my sister were walking across a farmer's field that belonged to my friend's relative. An unknown person driver a blue car with brown doors drove into the lane way and parked near the barn. The owner of the car was not my friend's relative. It was someone else we didn't recognize. He pulled a rifle out of his car and started shooting at us. We ran for the treeline between the two properties and hopped the fence, reaching the corn field beyond. I was standing almost shoulder to shoulder with my friend and a shot went right between us. We then hid in the corn and got down on our bellies until the man drove away. We never found out WHO he was. He wasn't the owner of the property. He was just some random person who was driving by, saw three kids in a field, and decided to try and murder us.

If that mystery could be solved I would love to have that man charged with three counts of attempted murder.

To turn that into a book... I would have to pretend that someone managed to find the man who was shooting at us. Possibly using old photos of cars from 1991. I would recognize the car if I saw it. But that car was probably sold for scrap decades ago.

Where is the easiest place to buy your books?

Either a bookstore using the ISBN number or you can order online via

You can look up the ISBN number on Amazon fairly easily.

If you could travel to any fictional book world, where would you go and what would you do there?

I would travel to my own world, Aoerth, to the forest of the Minotaur Seer, and vaguely predict the future in a manner consistent of any good seer. There I would live indefinitely, knowing that the forest is magically protected by unicorns, centaurs and faeries, and the divine grave of the gods and the Eldar Noramir. I would set up my own private archery range in the forest and accept archery students.

Where are you based?

Toronto, Canada, although I was raised on a farm and I only recently realized that the concept of "a barbarian in a city" was basically symbolic of me being a farm boy in the big city. Funny how personal things like that sneak into your writing without you realizing it.

When and why did you get into writing fantasy?

The 1980s. What a fun time to grow up. He-Man, She-Ra, Hercules, Astroboy, Mighty Mouse, Superman. If it was a strong character who was a goodie-two-shoes then I was into it. I started writing stories when I was about 9 years old and by the age of 12 I was already publishing them in a local weekly newspaper. Some of my earliest works were pirate stories, historical fiction and science fiction, but over time I gravitated towards fantasy because of my love of archery and swordplay.

Who are your favourite fantasy authors?

If you had asked me 20 years ago I would have said George R. R. Martin. If you had asked me 10 years ago I would have said Robert E. Howard. Today? I am tempted to say Mervyn Peake, the author of Gormenghast. My favourites are ever changing.

Who are some of your all-time favourite fantasy characters?

That's easy. Steerpike from Gormenghast. My favourite villain. He's so devious and cruel, and yet because you see his origin story you get to feel like he is the main character of the story. I also love Severus Snape from Harry Potter, but in his case you don't learn his true motivations until the final book. (On a side note: RIP Alan Rickman. I loved him in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Die Hard, and the Harry Potter series.) Snape is a fantastic anti-hero.

I also like Conan the Barbarian, Imaro (from the Charles Saunders series), Tyrion from ASOIAF, Fflewddurr Fflam from the Chronicles of Prydain, and unfortunately I could just keep going. Too many enjoyable characters.

Last Updated: February 1st 2023.

Nerdovore Blog
Email Author

Website Design by