Hello everybody! Today, I’m very excited to be sharing my mini interview with Sophie Cameron with you. Her new book Our Sister, Again is fantastic, so I was genuinely thrilled to have this opportunity. Onto the post!
Hi Sophie, thank you so much for being here today! 1. To start us off, can you please describe OUR SISTER, AGAIN in 5 words?
Family-focused, sad, hopeful, thought-provoking, Scottish
2. Since the book focuses on Artificial Intelligence, I was wondering if you drew inspiration from any real life sources? And if not, where did the idea initially come from?
One thing I did look up was a chat bot called Mitsaku, which I think I heard about on a podcast, which is just like an AI chat bot which you can go on and talk to. It was really interesting to see how it can respond to certain questions very convincingly and then other questions, it just gets completely thrown by.
So that kind of informed some of the speech issues that Flora has later in the book; I was thinking about the kind of strange things that the chat bot says occasionally. It was quite fun to go and talk to it and see what it has to say!
3. As I’ve themed almost all of the quickfire round around Scotland, I thought I’d ask why you chose to set the book there? And do you think Isla’s story would be any different if it wasn’t located there?
I’m sure it would to some degree, just because it’s a fictional island but it’s based on the Outer Hebrides, mostly inspired by Harris which is very, very beautiful and quiet, although a lot bigger than the island in the book! So I think in that sense the background of the story would be quite different; the island is almost like a character, in my view of it anyway, it has it’s own vibe.
As for why I set it in Scotland, so far I’ve set all of my stories there, it’s just because it’s what I know best really. I like to set things places I know so I can draw inspiration from real places and go into detail. I find imagining an invented place quite difficult so I like to think back to places I know when I’m writing. I’d also love to set some stories in Spain, where I’ve been living for around 6 years now.
Best thing about being from Scotland?
Free university fees!
Favourite Scottish food?
Favourite song by a Scottish artist?
Far Side of the World- Tide Lines
Top 3 books of 2022 so far?
I really loved Graci Kim’s the Last Falling Star, which is a middle grade about Korean witches in LA.
If You Still Recognise Me by Cynthia So, which is one that my editor Mattie edited, but I’m not just saying it was amazing because of that!
I’ve just finished How Far We Go in the Dark which was really brilliant as well.
3 books that aren’t out yet that you’re looking forward to?
Babel by R.F Kuang, Nina LaCour’s new book which is out at the end of this month I think, and A Million to One by Adiba Jaigirdar
Thank you so much for reading! Are you planning to read Our Sister, Again? Which books with Scottish settings do you love? And what do you think of Sophie’s answers? I’d love to have a wee chat in the comments!!