In search of inspiration, Caroline Deacon invites established writers and illustrators to tell us about their creative space. This month she talks to Sophie Cameron.


Sophie Cameron

Sophie is a middle grade and young adult author from the Highlands of Scotland, now based in Spain. She writes contemporary stories with a large pinch of fantasy or sci-fi, and has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal. Her next book Our Sister, Again was published in May by Little Tiger Press.


Our Sister Again by Sophie Cameron

Tell us about your creative space.

I used to love writing in cafes and I always found that I was much more productive there than at home, but right now I unfortunately don’t have any decent ones nearby. I have a nice little writing space at home, though, and I also like going to my local library to write when I have time. It definitely helps my motivation to be surrounded by books!

Sophie's creative space at home

Your creative tools - what are they and why ?

I mostly just use Microsoft Word, but if I’m doing structural edits or have a plot point to untangle I sometimes like to write them out and move them around on post-its. It’s a good procrastination technique, if nothing else.


Do you have a routine?

I have two toddlers, so right now I just fit writing in whenever I can. I usually manage to get an hour or so done while they’re napping and another hour or so at night if I’m not too tired, but it changes all the time. I used to love getting up early to write though, so I’m hoping to get back to that eventually. Maybe when they’re teenagers!


Do you need particular prompts or rituals to get started?

I have no rituals at all but for certain projects I find that a good playlist can set the tone I’m going for and help me to get into the zone.


What is the best creative advice you’ve been given?

Before being published, I went to a workshop led by Juno Dawson where she advised us to think of ourselves as authors – not “aspiring” authors, but authors. It really changed the way I viewed my writing. I started taking it (and myself) more seriously, and that helped me to focus and make sure I put aside time to write.


What advice would you like to give to writers/illustrators who are trying to get established?

I’d say the same, to take your writing seriously and to try to weave it into your routine if you haven’t already done so. For novelists, I’d also encourage them to finish their drafts as much as possible – it took me years to finally finish a manuscript because I kept abandoning projects for shiny new ideas, and I’d probably still be stuck in that loop if I hadn’t had to finish my first novel when I was shortlisted for a competition.

What was your favourite book as a child?

I had so many, but Skellig by David Almond and Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials were particularly influential for me.


Does walking or exercise help the creative process?

When I’m stuck on edits or a plot point it definitely helps to take a walk and think things through. Just getting away from my desk and the computer screen and having a change of scenery can really help clear your mind and see problems from new angles.


Planner or pantser?

I’m very much a planner, but I do tend to go off-piste quite a lot. Usually I have a pretty good idea of how a book begins and how it ends, but getting from A to B is where it gets tricky.


And why children?

I think I write for children mostly because I loved reading so much as a child. It opened my world up in so many ways, and I hope my stories can bring some young readers the excitement and escapism that my favourite authors gave me. I also think that if I’d seen more queer characters in fiction as a young person, it would have had a really positive effect on my life in many ways, so it’s important to me to be part of the current (still limited, but quickly growing) wave of LGBTQ+  writing for young readers.

Sophie is now based in Spain

*Header Image: Jon Shelley


Caroline Deacon lives in Edinburgh and is the author of several childcare books. She now writes MG and YA and is agented by Lindsay Fraser of Fraser Ross Associates, Edinburgh. Find her on Twitter and at

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