The horror genre has been scaring readers for more than a century. Sometimes a book cover alone is spooky enough to send chills down your spine.
Campfire has one of those covers. And the story seems pretty scary too. It’s about what happens when those scary stories you tell around a campfire come true. Here’s the official synopsis:
Maddie Davenport thought the day she saw her mother die in a fiery explosion was the worst day of her life. She was wrong.
While camping in a remote location, Maddie and her extended family gather around the campfire to tell scary stories. Caleb, their handsome young guide, tells the local legend of the ferocious Mountain Men. A wink at Maddie assures her the terrifying stories of men carving antlers into campers’ foreheads aren’t true… or are they?
Then details from the stories start coming to life. At first, Maddie assumes they’re just pranks by her cousins. But as the “pranks” get more gruesome and more deadly, Maddie realizes there is a murderer in their midst. The question: who is it?
Sound like it’s for you? I spoke to author Shawn Sarles to learn more about his upcoming book (in stores July 2018). See what he had to say below.
What can you tell us about your upcoming book Campfire?
Well, I can tell you that it’s full of suspense and some truly chilling campfire stories. Maddie Davenport is sixteen and a little afraid of life. Which isn’t surprising given that she witnessed her mother die in a terrible accident.
That’s six years behind her, though. Now she’s on a camping trip with her brother, father and some of their extended family. They’re up in the mountains in the middle of nowhere with a handsome young guide leading the way. One night they decide to sit around the campfire and tell scary stories.
It’s all in good fun – until details from the stories start to come true. Maddie assumes that someone is playing a prank on them, but as the “pranks” turn gruesome – and then deadly – she realizes there’s a murderer in their midst. And it’s either the guide she’s been crushing on, or a member of her own family…
How did you get in the spooky mindset to write this spooky tale?
For this book, I drew inspiration from some of the scary shows and movies I loved when I was younger. So to get in the proper “horror” mindset, I watched old episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark? and re-watched some of my favorite scary movies. I loved how these shows and movies were able to mix terror with fun, and I wanted that to come through in my story as well.
What are some of your favorite scary stories for young readers?
Goosebumps is always the perfect place to start when it comes to scary stories. I also really enjoyed Robert Imfeld’s A Guide to the Other Side. It’s got a fun spookiness to it that’s great for younger readers.
You were a Scout, right? How has Scouting helped you in your writing career?
Being a Scout taught me a lot of important life lessons that have helped me in my career. It taught me how to lead, but also how to collaborate with others. It taught me the value of hard work, of not trying to take the easy way out. And for this book in particular – set on a camping trip in the woods – it definitely helped that I had some true-life outdoor experiences to draw upon when writing.