We love a good book. We love a good book from a debut author. Debut author Sophie Cameron’s book, Out of the Blue gives us a little bit of everything – angels, metallic, gender-neutral Beings — are inexplicably falling from the sky. Count us in.
The official synopsis had us even more intrigued –
When otherworldly beings start falling from the sky, it seems like the end of days are near―but for one girl, it’s just the beginning of an adventure that will change her life.
Jaya’s life has completely fallen apart. Her mother is dead, her dad is on an obsessive wild goose chase, and mysterious winged beings are falling from the sky. For the past nine months, none of the them have survived the plummet to Earth, but when a female being lands near Jaya―and is still alive―she doesn’t call the authorities. She hides the being and tries to nurse her back to health.
Set against the backdrop of a society trying to come to grips with the possibility of a world beyond, Out of the Blue is the story of how one unexpected turn of events can put you on a path toward healing.
Sophie Cameron’s debut novel is absolutely beautiful (review to come closer to publishing date) and unique. We sat down and spoke with her about her book and writing. Read the interview below and be sure to pick up Out of the Blue, May 15th!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a YA author from the Highlands of Scotland, but I now live in Spain. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was around six and – after a ton of failed attempts – wrote my first novel Out of the Blue a few years ago. (I still can’t really believe it’s actually a real book!) Apart from reading and writing, I love learning foreign languages and watching way too much TV.
Why write YA? Was there a particular thing about the genre that interested you the most?
I think my main reason for writing YA is because I didn’t see many LGBTQ+ characters in books when I was younger, and so I’d like to provide a small piece of that for young readers now. I feel lucky to be writing at a time when that’s possible. I’ve also been inspired by lots of the current YA writers who are creating amazing work – Patrick Ness, Angie Thomas, Adam Silvera, Jason Reynolds, and many more.
Tell us a little about Out of The Blue. Why should readers pick up the book over other books?
Fallen angels have been covered in lots of books, and lots of them are brilliant, but I think Out of the Blue is a little different – the feel of the story is more contemporary than fantasy, and the focus is more on how their presense affects the main characters rather than on the angels (or ‘Beings’, as they’re called in the book) themselves.
You have lived in a lot of different countries – what has been your biggest lesson from being exposed to so many cultures?
I think being exposed to different languages has made me appreciate that people all view the world through different lenses – even the words we use shape our viewpoint to some degree – and that what seems true or obvious for me may not be so to someone else. It’s defintely helped me see things from other people’s perspectives, or at least be conscious that I should always try to do so.
What inspired Out of the Blue?
I initially got the idea from a Lynx Deodorant commercial, which shows angels crash-landing to earth in a small Italian town. It’s a pretty ridiculous advert, but the images were quite striking and got me wondering how people would really react if something like that were to happen. I initially wrote it as a short story, then came back to it a few years later and expanded it into a YA novel, weaving in some of the themes that interest me most.
What is the most important thing you hope that people take from Out of the Blue?
Maybe the importance of communication – there are lots of situations in the book that could be resolved if only the characters had communicated better and been honest with each other. I also wanted to show that it’s okay not to have the answers or to be unsure about things. Jaya doesn’t know what she believes about the afterlife or where the Beings are coming from, for example, and she doesn’t come to a conclusion.
Your book doesn’t fall to the typical tropes. How hard was it to reinvent them?
To be honest, I didn’t think about it much! I just wrote the story as it came to me and as I wanted to write it; I was very familiar with YA as I’d read lots of it over the past few years, but I didn’t worry about tropes or what had already been published. I think it helped that I didn’t think about what genre the book was or where it would fit in the market – Out of the Blue straddles contemporary and fantasy, so it’s not always easy to categorise. But at that stage I didn’t think about getting it published at all, I just wanted to finish it!
What do you fangirl over?
Lots of writers, naturally – I’m a huge fan of Patrick Ness, Phillip Pullman and Ruth Ozeki, amongst many others. Also Céline Dion and lots of RuPaul’s Drag Race queens.