My Writing Process | Guest Post by 'TRACER' author Rob Boffard

12:30 AM


by Rob Boffard

Published: July 16th 2015
Publisher: Orbit
Page count: 432


Imagine The Bourne Identity meets Gravity and you'll get TRACER, the most exciting action thriller set in space you'll ever read. 

Sarah Lotz, author of The Three calls it "fast, exhilarating and unforgettable".

A huge space station orbits the Earth, holding the last of humanity. It's broken, rusted, falling apart. We've wrecked our planet, and now we have to live with the consequences: a new home that's dirty, overcrowded and inescapable.

What's more, there's a madman hiding on the station. He's about to unleash chaos. And when he does, there'll be nowhere left to run.

In space, every second counts. Who said nobody could hear you scream?

'A stunning debut that never lets up, from the nerve-jangling beginning to the explosive end' James Douglas, author of The Doomsday Machine

'TRACER sets a new standard for all-action SF' Ken MacLeod

Buy the book

Amazon | Amazon IN

My writing process

Guest Post

by Rob Boffard

I need a few of things to be able to write. Actually, I can write just about anywhere, but I need these things to be able to write really well.

The first is a little app on my phone called 7 Minutes. I am an absolutely terrible morning person, and my desire to write in the mornings is sometimes hamstrung by my inability to speak English. I could write in the afternoons, of course, but by then my mind is a tangle of nerves. This little app tells me to jump up and down and run on the spot in thirty-second intervals for seven minutes, which wakes me up. At the very least, it ensures I’m not going to get to my desk and just thwang my head onto the keyboard.

The second is really loud, really aggressive rap music. I can’t do this workout in silence. I have to have something with a lot of energy pumping out the speakers. This is a problem for my neighbours, but it works really well for me. Think Slaughterhouse, Rick Ross, Trick Daddy, A$AP Rocky. 

The third is a smoothie. I have tried to discipline myself into eating breakfast, but if I put any solid food into my stomach before midday, it rebels by shaking back and forth until I stop. A smoothie - banana, berries, apple, juice, oats, since you ask -  is a wonderful if somewhat pretentious way to kill the hunger pangs. And coffee. I need lots of really good coffee, strong enough to eat holes in the kitchen counter.

Then I sit down and write. Usually, I have an idea of what’s going to happen and in what order, but occasionally the pieces just refuse to line up in my mind, and that’s when I need the fourth thing: a good pair of walking shoes. I have these black and gold DC skate shoes, which look really cool and protect my feet while I’m stomping around the neighbourhood, using the motion to get my brain working.

The fifth is a notebook. I prefer Moleskines because, again, slightly pretentious, but I really can’t live without them. I am absolutely terrible at remembering good ideas, and if I don’t write them down within about three seconds of having them, they are gone forever. They come at the weirdest times; I was in the movie theatre the other day watching Mad Max, and I had three good ideas one after the other. I couldn’t write them down, so I had to concentrate really hard to remember them, which probably explains why the last part of the movie didn’t make much sense.

The sixth is a paintball gun, which I keep loaded and ready for any critic who walks into my crosshairs. Just kidding. I would never take aim at critics. I shoot from the hip, just like Clint would…

About the author

Rob Boffard is a South African author who splits his time between London, Vancouver and Johannesburg. 

He has worked as a journalist for over a decade, and has written articles for publications in more than a dozen countries, including the Guardian and Wired in the UK. 

Tracer is his first novel.

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