Tom E. Moffatt



Where were you born? Where do you live now?

I was born in Paddington in central London, England. But as I grew up, my parents moved further and further out of town. I guess I just kept going, since I now live in Rotorua, New Zealand, which is about as far away as I can get without going on a space rocket.


Where did you go to school? Did you have a nickname?

I went to a school in Uxbridge, West London, where nicknames were like underpants. Everyone went through quite a few of them. Some of mine were:

More Fat (Duh ... it’s Moffatt!)

More Fart (Yeah, good one)

More Feet (No more than you)

Come Offitt (That’s my favourite!)

Jam Maggot (Acquired due to my terrible handwriting)

Furry Moff (Fair enough)

Little Miss Moffatt (No – that’s my sister)

The Moffin Man (Do you know?)

Mighty Moff (Okay, so I came up with that one, but it didn’t stick!)


What were you like in school? What was the most outrageous thing you did there?

‘Studious and well-behaved’ were words that appeared on other people’s school reports. Not mine. Once in a maths lesson I balanced an eraser on my ruler on the edge of my desk. When the teacher wasn’t looking I thumped the other end of the ruler, sending my rubber catapulting across the room. It landed in the fish tank, killing two tadpoles.



What was your favourite book growing up?

Fungus the Bogeyman, by Raymond Briggs.


Who is your favourite children’s author?

Just one? That’s impossible! Here’s one for each finger: Eric Carle, Julia Donaldson, Lynley Dodd, Dr Seuss, Roald Dahl, Dav Pilkey, Andy Griffiths, Louis Sachar, Markus Zusak and Patrick Ness.


What is your favourite food/colour/movie?

Frozen green curry.


Who inspired you to write?

My imaginary friend, Trevor, who showed me at a young age that anything is possible.


How did you get started? How old were you?

I spent most of my time in school mucking around. When I became a teacher in my late twenties I realised that I wasn’t being a very good role model. So I started mucking around with a notebook and pen instead.


Why did you want to be a writer?

Ideas for stories and books have been rattling around my head for years, and writing them down seems to be the only way to get rid of them.


How do you think up ideas?

Book ideas are like seeds. You can find them in many different places. Sometimes they are so small that they are hard to see at first. But if you nourish them with lots of ‘what if’s and ‘how would’s, before you know it, they’ve grown into something wonderful.


Do you have a special place where you write?

At the opposite end of the house to where my kids are playing.


What is the best thing about being an author?

It’s a bizarre form of socialising, almost like spending time with your friends. Except when you’re writing you get to create the people you hang out with and they do anything you ask them to.


Have you had a funny or embarrassing moment as an author?

My website contains a few rude noises. Once I was checking on it in a busy office and it let out an enormous fart. Everyone thought it was me, and I couldn’t exactly blame my website since I was supposed to be working.


What do you do when you are not writing?

I sleep.


What would you have chosen to be if you were not an author?

A stay-at-home dad.


Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?

Trevor, again ... my imaginary friend. But he’s too busy driving fast cars and jet-setting around the world to bother with me these days.


Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?

I can burp REALLY loudly. On demand. Seriously. It’s like I’ve got superpowers.


Website -

Twitter -