ACHUKA Book of the Day 12 May 2023
Sophie Cameron is a Scottish middle grade and young adult author based in Spain.
Gala and her dad, Jordi, have just moved from home in Cataluna to a town in Scotland, to live with Jordi’s boyfriend Ryan. Gala doesn’t speak much English, and feels lost, lonely and unable to be her usual funny self. Until she befriends Natalie, a girl with selective mutism. The two girls find their own ways to communicate, which includes collecting other people’s discarded words. They use the words to write anonymous supportive poems for their classmates, but then someone begins leaving nasty messages using the same method – and the girls are blamed. Gala has finally started adapting to her new life in Scotland and is determined to find the culprit. Can she and Natalie show the school who they really are?
The following is extracted from an interview with the author on the publishers website.
Read the full interview…
What was the inspiration behind Away With Words?
I really love learning languages – I think I’ve studied around 15 over the years, though unfortunately I’ve forgotten most of them too! I often find producing different sounds really difficult, though, so the idea of speech having a physical dimension came from feeling like words were literally stuck in my mouth and unable to come out. I was also inspired by children’s books that use language in interesting ways, such as Sophie Someone by Hayley Long and Crongton Knights by Alex Wheatle.
How has Scotland and Spain influenced your writing?
Settings are really important for me, which is why all four of my published books so far take place in Scotland – it’s the place I know best, and being able to visualise the locations and include small, real-life details brings the story to life for me. Away With Words is set in Fortrose on the Black Isle, where I grew up, so it was really nice to be able to include some of my favourite places and weave them into Gala’s story. I’m finding that Spanish elements are cropping up in my writing more and more, though, and I have a few ideas for stories set here too.
Where and when do you do your best writing, and what are you working on at the moment?
I work best in cafes, preferably in the morning. Something about the noise and movement around me gives me a better focus on what I’m working on, and I’m far less likely to get distracted if I’m out of the house. Right now I’m hopping between a few projects: a contemporary MG novel, a YA fantasy, and what will hopefully be my first book for adults.
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