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Andrew Gladman Interview

Andy Gladman

Tell us a little about yourself and your work.

My mind thrives on storytelling. It has done my whole life. Tales of superheroes and adventurers and ridiculous, impossible things have been shaping the weirdly wonderful workings of my imagination since I first set foot on this funny little world. The endless allure of the human imagination has led me to where I am now, scribbling down stories and scripts in whatever spare time I get in between scribbling down other stories and scripts for my degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Superheroes and the idea of comic book writing first seized my imagination and now, with my first work finally let loose upon an unsuspecting public, I have returned to this early love, using prose to dive deeper into the world and soul of the superhero than we have ever been.

You’ve got 20 words to sell your work. Tempt us.

What it means to be superhuman will be redefined as you enter the brutal, unforgiving world of humanity’s newest superheroes.

Where do you like to write?

Beside a cup of tea, away from noise, inside my own head.

Is there anything you must have in order to write?

A busy mind, a constant nagging sensation that I should be making words appear, more ideas and voices than I can keep up with, and a firm stance on the Oxford comma.

What books have influenced you most, both as a person and as an author?

Heart of Darkness by Conrad is definitely a favourite. Nothing else I’ve read has offered such an incredible journey into human morality, delivered with such eloquence and literary genius.
Anything by Edgar Allen Poe also tends to go down well. His creation of rhythm, his ability to conjure up a mood or tone or world through words and his gift for sending a shiver down the spine with a single sentence make him an incredible writer.

What is the one thing that has helped you develop most as an author?

My English teacher once looked at a personal statement I wrote and told me it was terrible because it didn’t feel like me. Realising my writing has to be something that could only ever come from me and not worrying about following anybody else’s rules or preconceptions is possibly the most important realisation I have ever had as an author.

What do you want to achieve most from your writing?

I want people to read it, then stop and think for a bit. Then read something else!

Is there something specific you do to improve your writing?

Think it’s fine. Leave it. Read it. Hate it. Edit it. Repeat.

What is the ideal relationship between editor and author?

I’m not a big fan of editors. Every sentence, every word choice, every little detail in the writing should be a deliberate choice by the writer to produce exactly the effect they want. A good editor should be one who simply points out genuine mistakes.

If you had a direct line to someone who loves your writing, what would you say?

“Really? You loved that? Well, that’s nothing compared to what’s coming next.”

If you had a direct line to someone who hates your writing, what would you say?

“Tell me what’s wrong with it and, more importantly, tell me what convinced you to buy it.”

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Write stuff. Sit down, hit keys, don’t worry about structure or anything you’ve heard about writing, just write exactly what it is you want to write.

What does your writing future hold for you?

More sitting at a computer, hitting the keys, hoping I get them in the right order. I’m hoping to move out of self-publishing and into traditional print publishing and hoping to keep reimagining the world of superheroes for a little while before I try out another genre or two.

How have you set about the task of creating enticing cover art?

I’ve only had one book out so far and so I’ve only had to worry about this once. Luckily for me, as well as being a budding writer, I’ve made a bit of a hobby of Photoshop, so I created my own cover from scratch. I’ve got no idea what I’ll do next time around.

How often do you read? What genre?

Constantly. I am always reading something, whether it’s comic books or something I’m reading for my studies or something I’ve picked up in a bookshop. I’m quite a fan of older novels and there are a lot of classic titles I want to read (I’m currently getting through The Thirty-Nine Steps and have my sights set on Nineteen Eighty-Four) but I also love going into bookshops and picking up newer books I’ve never even heard of, based purely on a good blurb, to take a plunge into a story with no preconceptions or any prior knowledge of the plot, the characters, or the world I am about to enter.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Best of luck in the future.

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