Even on a hot summer night, there can be chills around a campfire. For Ollie Carothers and his fellow campers, the goal was simple – have the best time ever.
In the glow of the fire, stories are told, one camper to another. But are they just stories? What snapped the branch? Is that just a shadow? What lurks under the surface of the swimming hole?
Could it really be … Monsters?
Monsters Around the Campfire is collection of five short stories all brought together by a group of kids at summer camp. The book features 13 illustrations by the author.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Stories of ghosts and monsters were always one of my favorite things about camping. In Monsters Around the Campfire, I wanted to do more than provide just some fun scares to make you jump. I wanted to create a handful of different worlds where you could let your imagination run wild, never knowing what lurks around the corner.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Ollie Carothers and the rest of the kids at summer camp all share little bits of myself and friends growing up. We used to spend every chance we got to be outside in the nearby woods or down by the pond. We’d make up weird games or nonsense contests, do things our parents probably thought would have left us in a hospital, and just squeeze as much fun as we could out of the day. We were pretty good at being kids.
“Get it!” Ollie yelled.
Everyone ran into the trees. The three who had fallen were the last to join the raid. As soon as the threesome reached the edge of the forest, the boy leading them ran head first into a branch, knocking him to the ground. The branch caught on the first boy’s jacket, snapped free, and sprang into the second boy, knocking him into the girl and sending both of them back to the ground.
A quiet, menacing giggle echoed off the trees closest to the rest of the group led by Ollie.
“What do you think you’re doing?” a voice asked. “Chasing monsters?”
Ollie froze, seeing the little girl in the dark-red hood. Wendy stopped next to him as she too caught a glimpse of who they were chasing.
“You,” Ollie said, surprised to see her but also disappointed that, once again, there was no monster. “We’re trying to hunt monsters! What are you doing here?”
Donovan Scherer is an author and illustrator working to bring life to worlds of adventure and madness through art and story. His work includes the Fear & Sunshine series, ZomBeans, Monsters Around the Campfire, and loads of random artsy things.
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