Hello, hello, my favorite nocturnal readers!
The heat wave has been getting the best of me for days now! If you don't hear from me, it's likely that my head overheated and exploded all over the place. And now that I've put that amazing picture into your heads, I can safely introduce my guest today.
According to both Orbit Books and yours truly, Tracer is the most exciting thriller set in space you'll ever read, and it's only Rob Boffard's debut novel. He set the bar sky high with this one, my friends! I was so excited about this chat with Rob that it took me a week to come up with somewhat coherrent questions. I wanted to know everything there is to know about him and his amazing novel.
So without further ado:
I've seen your debut novel, Tracer, described as The Bourne Identity meets Gravity. Those types of descriptions are often misleading. Would you say that this one is correct? And how would you describe your book?
Book publicity? Misleading? Never! In all seriousness, that description is pretty solid. One of the things I consistently hear about my writing and about the book in particular is that they have a very cinematic feel to them; like a big-screen action movie packaged as a novel. So Bourne Identity and Gravity are actually pretty apt comparisons. I’d say it’s spot on, although I’d add a other few movies into the mix: Premium Rush, Elysium, Interstellar…
I've been a beta reader plenty of times in the past and I've witnessed firsthand how people's writing processes differ. Was Tracer a difficult book to write? Did you plan, plot and rewrite a lot? Or did it just burst out of you in a blaze of inspiration?
Writing Tracer was the best fun. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, zero expectations, and a million things I wanted to try. I did a very rough outline, but ended up deviating from it quite a bit. Of course, first drafts are never good enough, so there was a lot of rewriting involved. In a slightly masochistic way, I enjoyed that too, because I could really see the book starting to take shape as something that could potentially be enjoyed by others.
You are an author, an award-winning freelance journalist, a hip hop artist and a whole lot of other awesome things. What comes first? Do they all define you or is one more important than the others?
The thing that defines me, I feel, is my Olympic-level figure skating ability. Also, my multiple Michelin stars. If I’m honest, though, the consistent thread through everything I do is storytelling. I absolutely love telling stories, and working out how to tell really good ones is the most important thing to me.
You wrote on your website that you frame all the hate mail you receive. Do you really get hate mail because of your articles? And how do you usually react?
Not for a little while! Writing fiction means locking yourself away for long periods, and people tend to forget about you. Either that, or I’m losing my touch. But I do occasionally get some slightly loony e-mails from people who disagree with something I’ve written. I used to get a lot more when I wrote a weekly column for a newspaper in London. Most of it just makes me laugh, and it’s a good indicator that people are paying attention.
Aside from Tracer and your work as a journalist, you write short fiction. Is any of it available online? Where could my readers get a taste of your work?
I don’t write too much short fiction, as novels are the main focus, but I’ve had five short stories published, and they’re all available online. You can get an ebook collection of them for free at www.robboffard.com.
What’s next for you, and more importantly (readers and their priorities, you know), what’s next for Riley Hale and Outer Earth?
Books 2 and 3 are inbound shortly! In Book 2, Riley is trying to make a life for herself as the newest member of Outer Earth’s police corps. But neither she nor her friends are ready when a deadly virus sweeps across the station, and I’m not promising they’ll all make it out alive. As for Book 3…not ready to say too much just yet. It’ll put Riley in the toughest situation she’s faced yet, and it closes the circle on her story.
Thank you so much for agreeing to answer to my many questions, Rob!
Released: July 16th 2015
Length: 432 pages
Buy: The Book Depository
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?
About Rob:Rob. Thirty. Author. Journalist. Sound Engineer. Snowboarder. Hip-hop artist. Tall. Basketball-player-length arms. Lots of tattoos. Glasses. Bad hair. Proud South African. Born in Johannesburg. Splits time between London and Vancouver. Digs New York. Doesn’t dig Vegas. Loves New Orleans. Not a helicopter pilot.
Debut novel. Tracer. On Orbit Books. Out July 2015 (UK). Out sometime 2016 (US). Space stations. Parkour. Explosions. Good times. Two sequels. Huzzah!
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