Sophie Cameron Out of the Blue Q&A

Today on MKB we've got Sophie Cameron, author of Out of the Blue, talking about her book and writing process!

Out of the Blue is a wonderful book about family, love and grief and we can't wait for you all to read it! Plus, check out this cover - *hearteyes*

Take it away, Sophie!


What can you tell the readers of MKB about Out of the Blue?

Out of the Blue is about a 16-year-old girl, Jaya, with a lot on her plate: her mother has recently died, her ex-girlfriend has disappeared, and her dad has dragged her and her little sister to Edinburgh thinking he can catch one of the angels that have been falling from the sky for the past eight months. The idea came from a terrible Lynx Deodorant advert, but it was largely inspired by David Almond’s Skellig, one of my favourite books when I was younger, and The Leftovers. It also features a cult, a West Highland Terrier and lots of biscuits.


What was your favourite scene to write?

It was probably the hardest to write, but I loved working on the scene where Jaya and Teacake (the angel or ‘Being’ that Jaya finds) meet for the first time. Any scene with Teacake was really fun to write, actually – she’s so different from other characters I’ve written, and it was fun working out how she’d interact with our world and how she could communicate with Jaya and her friends.


What’s your must-have writing snack?

I actually hardly ever snack when I’m writing, and when I do it’s something dull like carrot sticks. Very boring!


Where did you write Out of the Blue?

All around Edinburgh, really. I was living in a tiny, very noisy flat on the Royal Mile just like the one Jaya’s dad rents in the book, so most of it was written there. I did a lot in cafés, including one called Spoon which used to be the Nicholson Café, one of the places JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter, and some parts in the places mentioned in the book: I went to Arthur’s Seat to write the part that takes place there, and I drafted one chapter while sitting in St Giles’ Cathedral. I also wrote quite a lot at work, though don’t tell my former employers that!


Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what?

I do, and it varies depending on what I’m writing. When I was writing Out of the Blue, I listened to a lot of Joe Hisashi, a Japanese composer who’s written lots of soundtracks for Studio Ghibli. For my second book it was mostly Halsey, Years & Years and Great Good Fine Ok, and for my current WIP it’s Coeur de Pirate, Stars and a bit of Céline Dion. I like to take one song that encapsulates the vibe I’m trying to create in the book and listen to it over and over... it drives my wife mad.


If you could give readers one piece of writing advice, what would it be?

It’s an obvious one, but finish your draft! Even if it’s full of gaps and plotholes and characters who change names or disappear halfway through, even if you’re sure the story isn’t working and you never want to look at it again, it’ll teach you about pacing and perseverance. If not you, could end up with a decade’s worth of half-finished novels, like me! Just finishing is still the hardest part for me – a new, shiny idea always pops up around the 30,000 word mark and drags my attention away – so I’m trying to get into a habit of finishing before I move onto new projects.   


Get in touch with your Out of the Blue thoughts @mykindabook!