How, What, Where and When? with Sophie Cameron, on 'Last Bus to Everland'!

I am thrilled to welcome the lovely author queen Sophie Cameron back to the blog, this time for the new series How, What, Where and When

Sophie’s debut novel ‘Out of the Blue’ captured my heart, and now her second has been released, ‘Last Bus to Everland’ and, folks… it’s pretty epic. 

Hi, Sophie! Thank you so much for being part of this series.

Hi Grace! Thanks for asking me!

Let’s kick off the Qs with a little What, as in, what inspired this wonderful and unique story? 

The idea first came from a Scottish folktale named The Fairy Boy of Leith, which is supposedly based on a letter written in 1649. It’s about a captain who meets a boy who claims to be able to drum for the fairies in a secret world hidden behind Calton Hill in Edinburgh every Thursday night, which is only accessible to those with the ‘fairy gift’. It’s also inspired, as the title suggests, by Peter Pan and by portal fantasies such as The Chronicles of Narnia.

And how did you plot it? Did you make decisions about characters and their journeys early on, or did it all just happen bit by bit? 

I knew I wanted the magical dimension to be a Neverland-type getaway for Brody, and so Nico became a sort of contemporary Peter Pan-type character – fun, flamboyant and reluctant to grow up. I thought about what sort of character would need the escape that Everland offers, what sort of person would be tempted to choose that over the real world, and from there it was quite easy to flesh out Brody’s background and his journey. Everland itself was really tricky to write, though; it changed a lot in edits, and so many of the secondary characters are completely different from how they began.

Where is a big thing in this book; the story is set in Edinburgh (and of course, Everland). Was it important to you that it took place in that particular city? 

Because it’s based on a folk tale from Edinburgh, I didn't really consider setting it anywhere else. I really like reading (and writing) stories that are set in very realistic locations and that make reference to real landmarks and buildings, and so while I don’t live in Edinburgh any more it still feels natural for me to set my stories there – I was there for around 11 years, and it’s still the place I know best.

When did this idea become a whole story?

I’m not totally sure! For me at least, stories are really about their characters, so I think in general an idea becomes a complete story when you really know who the main characters are and what the story means to them. The first draft of ‘Last Bus to Everland’ is hugely different to the published version, but I think it became a whole story when I really know who Brody was and why he had to go on this journey.


Sophie, thank you so much for being a part of this series, and answering my questions so beautifully!

You can order this brilliant new book from A Great Read, the Book Depository, or Big Green Bookshop!


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