Our interview today is with
multi-published historical mystery author, Charles Mossop.
Charles Mossop, now retired from a forty-two year career as a post-secondary educator, administrator and private consultant in international development, lives on Vancouver Island on Canada’s west coast. Legally blind since the age of nineteen, he enjoys hobbies of gardening and playing classical guitar when he is not writing. A long-time lover of mystery and adventure stories, Charles has become a professional writer and using his background as a social scientist and historian has published a number of short stories as well as numerous articles on historical fiction. His first novel, Jade Hunter, appeared in 2007, and his second The Devil At My Heels, in 2010.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Wilbur Smith, John Updike, Patrick O’Brian, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Frederick Forsyth
What motivated you to become a writer and at what age?
My parents read to me from a very early age, and instilled in me a love of language and stories. I handwrote a twenty-page novel about a talking frog when I was eight, but serious writing began in my early forties. Having no publishing success, however, I took up writing again when I retired and at that time found success with both novels and short stories
What 3 words describe you as a person?
optimistic, curious, thoughtful
What 3 words describe you as a writer?
Imaginative, colorful, organized
When not writing, how do you spend your time? Hobbies?
Gardening, reading, playing piano and guitar, volunteering for national and international blindness organizations, public speaking
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember my parents reading me “The Wind in the Willows”. And I was fascinated by it. I can’t recall the first story I read myself, but it was probably one of the “Just So Stories” or “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling.
Describe your desk.
My desk is U-shaped and holds my PC and monitor, with a printer and phone on the left wing with an electronic magnifier and laptop on the right wing.
Who is the main character?
Dr. Gillian (Jill) Howard
What is her story?
She is a China historian who becomes involved in tracking down ancient artifacts believed to be lost.
Where/when does the story take place?
In both the past and the present. Ranging from fifteenth century India, to Thailand and China in the eighteenth century. The artifact search is set entirely in the present.
How did the story come to you?
The story was inspired by a certain historical artifact I have seen many times in Thailand.
What makes your book different from other similar ones?
It is more broad-ranging in both time and locations.
What do your fans mean to you?
I doubt I have any “fans”, but my aim is to entertain my readers, to transport them back into past times, and perhaps tell them a few things they might not have known before.
Where do you get the inspirations for your book(s)?
Usually from seeing or hearing about historical artifacts or events, but not always. Sometimes the storyline comes first, and I then work it into an historical context.
Any advice for new writers just beginning this trek down the wonderful world of publishing?
The most commonly heard advice is also the best advice: “Write what you know.” Also, I’d suggest getting involved with writers groups, online ones or anything, and see if you can get your work read by successful writers so you can learn from what they tell you. Try to develop your own style; copying others is a bad mistake, because you won’t sound as good as they do because you’re not them. It’ very simple. Find your own voice and write from the heart. Constant practice is essential!
Thank you, Charles, for your time.
The Golden Phoenix is Mr. Mossop's latest release.
Amid a dangerous web of deception and greed, a priceless artifact made centuries ago in India is finally hunted down.
For a complete listing of all his books, please visit