Meet Winning Author Andrew Goodman-Tiberius Found

  • Where did the inspiration to write ‘Tiberius Found’ come from and what do we have to look forward to later in th e series?


    The original germ of the idea came from a short story competition that had a genetics theme. I wondered what it would be like for a boy – Daniel Henstock – who discovered that he’d been genetically engineered from birth and the scientists responsible wanted him back to finish what they’d started.


    The genetics programme is named The Emperor Initiative, with each stage being allocated an Emperor’s name. Daniel was the third stage in the programme and assigned the codename Tiberius.


    Once that short story had been written I found I wanted to know what happened to Daniel next, and so the rest of the story came into being. It was always intended to be a stand-alone novel but as I came towards the end I realised that, if I was going to answer all of the questions, then it would be rushed and hurried. It needed another book, but as I blocked out that one – Tiberius Bound – I knew a third book was needed: Tiberius Crowned.


    Each book falls neatly into stages of Daniel’s journey of trying to escape the attention of The Emperor Initiative hierarchy, and to build a safe life for himself. And he doesn’t have it easy!


    Tiberius Found and Tiberius Bound are both available in print and ebook formats, with Tiberius Crowned due for release autumn (Fall) 2014. I’m not saying that there won’t be any more Tiberius stories but right now it’ll only be a three-part series.


    Is this your first book?  What other types of writing have you done?


    Tiberius Found is my first self-published novel but was the third book I’d written. Like any ‘art’ the early work that we think is brilliant is just a learning curve and, in retrospect, pretty poor.


    I’ve written many short stories and screenplay scripts – in 20012 I was commissioned to write a 90-minute feature for SeeView Pictures but it’s yet to be produced, and I’ve been a previous semi-finalist in the British Short Screenplay Competition.


    How did you get started writing?


    I’ve been writing in some format since I can remember but only seriously for the last six years. Since then I’ve written short- and feature-length screenplays, short stories and novels, and tested the waters of comic scripting.


    Do you have a specific method for your writing?


    Many years ago I just started writing with the barest of ideas, and quickly found myself getting tied up in literary knots. The result was that I got frustrated and the writing suffered. Countless aborted stories later I realised that I could actually plan out the stages of a story to make it easier. D’uh!


    I look at the blocking-out stage as creating stepping-stones to help guide me through the story arc. Some people say it’s restrictive and kills any artistic flair but I disagree: it’s simply points on the map to help get me from A-Z and if I find I want to take a detour during the writing stage then I can. Nothing is set in stone.


    The amount of blocking, the level of detail, I put into a book depends on the complexity of the story.


    I keep detailed records of character, events and any other important factors as I found, through trial-and-error, it speeded up the process if I wanted to check an element or character detail later on in the story.


    Do you set aside time each day or write when inspired?


    If I only wrote when inspired then I’d write very little. Although I’m not making a living out of writing (yet) I treat it very much like a job and when I’m in the writing phase write at every free moment. I write before work, at lunch and pretty much every evening. Once the first draft is written I usually put it aside for a period – one week, a month, whatever – before going back to it for editing. During that ‘down time’ I normally start working on, or planning, my next project. This means I rarely have a ny time when I’m not either writing or planning.


    Are you working on anything new at the moment?


    The last in The Emperor Initiative series – Tiberius Crowned – is due for imminent first-stage editing, and I’ll be starting that late June.


    I’m also in the final editing stage of another Young Adult story called “Oliver Drummond and the Four Horsemen.” It’s a supernatural adventure, set in 1926, and follows schoolboy Oliver ‘Bulldog’ Drummond as he becomes involved in the investigation of a government scientist, who died from spontaneous combustion.


    He quickly d iscovers that things are far from ‘normal’ and that two rival groups are seeking to bring together the horseshoes from The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Oliver has his own demons to battle and has to risk everything to prevent the horseshoes from falling into the wrong hands.


    This is the first in a planned series of Oliver Drummond adventures and seeds are sown in this book that will have an impact in later stories.


    Do you think you’ll stay in this genre or does the idea of writing other types of stories appeal to you?


    I like to try different things and after Tiberius Crowned has been finished I’ve planned out an adult thriller set in 1917 that centres on a German plot to halt British cordite production and so win the War early.


    With the centenary of the First World War there have been numerous news articles over here in the UK and one of them got me thinking of a ‘what if ...?’ situation. It’ll be a challenge but at the moment I’m really looking forward getting stuck into it.


    What outlets are you trying to help grow your audience?


    Social media is a huge player but a difficult nut to crack. The rise of the self-published author means that it’s incredibly difficult to get ‘heard’ above the thousands of other authors all trying to convince people read their work.


    I’ve tried focused paid advertising, review requests and a host of other avenues and could easily find that the promotion aspect of writing take over. I try to balance the promotion side of the business with the actual writing.


    Do you have any advice for people thinking about writing their first book?


    Write, read, repeat. Simply that. A lot of people I’ve spoken with seem to think that because they can write, then they can write. They can’t. Just as I’m not able to paint a masterpiece simply because I can hold a brush.


    Writing is a skill that has to be learned, a talent that needs to be honed. Combining writing and reading allows a person to grow and improve their skill. Study the art and learn how successful writers structure their work, how they create character and form a story. Learn sentence structure, increase your vocabulary, and be willing to admit you need to improve.


    Knowing who your market is, is also an important factor. I’ve read a lot of work from new writers where it’s clear they don’t know who their reader is. What I mean by this is that the subject matter, story length, vocabulary or theme is not suitable for their intended market. Read work in the area you want to write for – see how the professionals do it and figure out what you need to do.


    What would you say was the hardest part when it comes to being an author and promoting your work?


    The will to carry on. Rejection is part-and-parcel of this business and it’s easy to roll over and give up at the first hint of rejection. It’s a hard thing to acknowledge that your work just isn’t good enough but if you take that on the chin and figure out where you can improve then do just that.


    JK didn’t knock out the first Harry Potter story over night and she improved her writing over time to be able to get to the standard she is now, and with the Robert Gilbraith books she’s proven that she’s no one-trick pony.


    However, writing is just one aspect and many self-published authors say that the promotion side of it is harder than getting the words down. I use the analogy of being in a dinghy in the Pacific waving a red flag. Who is going to notice? The worst thing a writer can do is think that they can sit back once the book is written, and assume the sales and adoration will follow. It’s a hard job and we all need to continue banging the drum.



    Please let us know a little bit more about yourself in a short bio?


    I think I’ve covered most of the things above. I currently work in the Adult learni ng environment and live in the UK with my Welsh Terrier, Ceiwyn.


    You can follow me on twitter @agwriting, and my website is

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