Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Campfire Nightmare by Jeffrey Stagg Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway

A Campfire Nightmare
Nightmare Series
Book One
Jeffrey Stagg

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Stagg Literature, LLC

Date of Publication:  March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1517744441

Number of pages: 344
Word Count: 117,824

Book Description:

IN AGES PAST, the Flathead Native Americans fought a war against a monstrous force that stalks the woods surrounding Flathead Lake. So says William Rox, legendary musician and director of the prestigious Colman’s Amateur Music Program, known as CAMP.

Jimmy Downs is thrilled to be attending CAMP—or he would be, if he weren’t being bullied by campers who seem to think wealth can buy talent. Jimmy doesn’t have money, but he can drum like no one else. As for the bullies, at least his best friend, Michael Munday, is with him. The two have had each other’s backs all of their lives.

But bullies are about to become the least of Jimmy’s worries. Dark, hulking figures begin surrounding the woods around camp…figures that bear more than a passing resemblance to Rox’s campfire stories.

Jimmy and Michael are about to become players in a very old war—assuming they survive.

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The black-cloaked figure knelt by the lake, examining the muddy soil. A great northern storm had rolled through hours ago, but the air was still frigid. Waves crashed against the stony shore, waterdrops splashing up against his waterproof black covering.
His fingers traced along the print clearly pressed into the mud. It was a large paw print, something like the shape of a wolf’s but the size of a bear’s. He examined the mark on the ground and then moved to where he should have found the creature’s front paws, but not surprisingly, he instead found what appeared to be humanlike handprints, with long, triangular fingernails jutting out from the tip of each finger. The cloaked man placed his own right hand within the print, knowing that the muddy outline was easily twice the size of his own pale hand.
His left hand tightened around the shaft of his bow as he stood up.
Even though it was nearing one in the morning, his eyes clearly made out the many prints that had been made throughout this particular clearing.
He had warned the other guardian that something was going on.
“Why so many?” the man asked aloud as he pulled down the hood of his cloak. “There shouldn’t be this many here anymore.”
“What’s that?” a British man’s voice called from the darkness.
A flashlight’s beam bobbed through the trees, weaving back and forth until it fell upon the pale man’s form. The man lifted one of his hands to block his sensitive eyes from the somewhat dim beam. He indicated the soil in front of him that marked the passing of their quarries.

About the Author:

Jeffrey was born in Ogden, Utah in 1989.

Born to a podiatrist from Utah and a rancher's daughter from Montana. Stagg was able travel throughout his childhood finding solace and inspiration in the wild.
His interest in nature has made Stagg realize that the melding of natural world with magic was where he could excel. To keep ideas alive, Stagg is an avid nature photographer, imagining book scenes wherever he travels.

While attending Weber State University, Stagg was able to work as an artisan cheese maker for the award winning Beehive Cheese Co. in Ogden, Utah. It was there that the details of A Campfire Nightmare came together. During the 5 years he was employed at Beehive, Stagg has created story lines for many series he is in the process of writing.

Now, Stagg works as an educator and works with students in reading and writing. Encouraging those around him to spend more time in books.

My name is Jeffrey Stagg, and I’m the author of A Campfire Nightmare. I’d like to thank Deal Sharing Aunt for conducting this interview. This has been a fun time answering all these questions.
Where are you from?
          I am from Ogden, Utah. Born and raised here, my parents took my brothers and I on many trips. My mother is from Montana, so that’s why Montana is central in A Campfire Nightmare, especially Flathead Lake.
Tell us your latest news?
          Some of my latest news it that I am currently working on two more novels, including the sequel to Nightmare. I’m hoping to have both out before the end of the year. Also, I am working on several opportunities to do book signings in Utah and anywhere else that would be interested in me visiting.
When and why did you begin writing?
          I started writing more than six years ago. Before publishing, Nightmare took me more than five years to actually complete due to going to school and working. I never thought I would actually publish anything, but, after completing Nightmare, I decided to have friends and family read it. With their encouragement, I decided to do it and take the risk of publishing it. I don’t regret it one bit, I love being an author, the feedback has been astounding and I enjoy discussing my books with readers.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
          I didn’t consider myself a writer until about two weeks after my book was published. Every time someone called me a “writer” or an “author”, I would just laugh and say, “Sure, I wrote it, but I’m not a professional.” After some readers and friends became angry with my denying being a writer, I found it better to just admit to myself that I was a real writer.
What inspired you to write your first book?
          Growing up, my family would visit Flathead Lake several times a summer. My grandmother would always warn us kids to be careful in the water because there was the “Flathead Monster”. You know, the same monster that seems to reside in every lake in the country! Well, even after her passing, I would always think about the monster, but, about 6 or 7 years ago, I considered, what if the monster wasn’t actually in the water? What if it lived in the woods?
          For those who don’t know, Flathead is surrounded by beautiful pine woods that stretch up to the heavens. A perfect place for a summer camp. A summer camp with monsters trying to get the kids! Honestly, that’s how my mind came up with the first initial ideas of Nightmare.
          I would work on my book for years while I spent thousands of hours employed at Beehive Cheese Co. I would work and dream about being at Flathead Lake, my camp and my book series. As an artisan cheese maker, I dreamt up nearly the entire Nightmare series.
Do you have a specific writing style?
          I don’t think I have a real specific style. I write so readers can understand and they can enjoy. I consider myself an intelligent person, but I really get tired of ten or more overlapping storylines. The authors who can do that, I cheer for, because that’s hard! I prefer to focus my light on only a few characters.
It may become a little more complex later on, but, right now, I want my readers to easily immerse themselves in my work. A Campfire Nightmare is written in 3rd person, but, one novel I am writing on now is in 1st person. Don’t worry, it’s not the second Nightmare book, I’m not going to change styles between books.
How did you come up with the title?
          The book takes place at a summer camp and what’s everyone’s favorite thing while camping? The campfire! Whenever my friends and I sit around a campfire, we tell stories and laugh, but we also tell scary stories. We change happy, dreamy stories for horror, nightmarish stories. It becomes A Campfire Nightmare trying to sleep after those stories.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
          There are several messages in my story I’d like readers to understand. First, and foremost, don’t bully. In my book, there is a bully named Peter and I hate Peter. I have yet to have a reader tell me they like Peter. We all have met a “Peter” in our lives and we can’t stand them. Bullies are awful people who trample the hopes and dreams of people around them just to make themselves happy. We need to have more people like William Rox and less like Peter.
          Second message, money doesn’t make you better than anyone else. Growing up, my parents made it clear that money doesn’t define a person, it’s their character and personality that makes a difference. I have friends who are incredibly well off while some others are struggling financially. Money doesn’t make one friend better than the other, it’s time together, hospitality and genuine interest in friendship that defines a person. As the old saying goes, “Money can’t buy happiness”.
          There are other messages in my book, but I want the readers to discover them for themselves. I can’t just keep giving away all my secrets.
How much of the book is realistic?
          Quite a bit of it is realistic. The lake is real, the camp is possible, attitudes of campers are realistic, the Flathead Native Americans are real, and there are storms like I write about. The only things that aren’t realistic are my monsters and my guardians.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
          The location is based on my experiences up at Flathead Lake. The bullying is based on first hand experiences I have been told about from people who have been bullied. Growing up, I wasn’t bullied since I was a big kid. I probably was teased about my weight, but never to my face. So, I didn’t care, but I some of my friends were bullied and I wanted to address that bullying doesn’t get you anywhere in life.
What books have most influenced your life most?
          Magician by Raymond E. Feist has to be my favorite fantasy novel. The Drizzt series by R.A. Salvatore introduced me to the world of fantasy and got my imagination going. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files and Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International helped me really enter Urban Fantasy while Fablehaven by Brandon Mull has helped me realize that I want to aim for teenager and up readers.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
          Mentor wise, I don’t know who I’d pick. I think any author I’ve read had an impact in my life. If I could only select one, I would probably choose Jim Butcher. He had written both fantasy and urban fantasy, 1st person and 3rd person and he uses incredible humor while writing. I’m trying to do something along the same lines, but with my ideas.
What book are you reading now?
          I am reading the biography of Walt Disney. I know, kind of odd, but I have an incredible interest in Disney, his company and what it does in the world. Talk about starting a legacy that will go on forever!
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
          The Winner Twins are amazing authors and kind ladies who have given me advise. Their Sci-fi novels are really interesting, and that’s coming from a guy who doesn’t read much science fiction.
What are your current projects?
          Well, I am working on the sequel to A Campfire Nightmare, a thrilling super hero science fiction novel about my own, non-conventional superhero and a side series that works with the Nightmare series.
What would you like my readers to know?

          What I’d like my readers to know is: you’ll be surprise at what I can do. I have so many ideas and I am writing as fast as I can. My books are almost for everyone and I appreciate every single one of you for your support. Without you, my “Nightmare” wouldn’t be a reality. I hope, as word gets out about me and my books, we’ll be able to follow Jimmy, Michael, Kylee, and all of my characters through a world we never knew could exist.

Tour giveaway

5 - $10 Amazon gift certificates


  1. Thanks for informing me about this book.

    1. Hey Sara!
      I hope you found this as fun and I had writing it. I'd like to hear what you think of my book.
      Thanks for the comment!

      Jeffrey Stagg

  2. I cannot wait to read the sequel to A Campfire Nightmare!

    1. Hello Natalie,
      I enjoyed your comment! When did you read it and how long did it take you?

      Hope all is well!
      Jeffrey Stagg

  3. Replies
    1. Hello Rita!
      Thanks for showing interest. IF you have any questions about it, I'll be around all week, just write a comment and I'll get back to you!

      Take care

      Jeffrey Stagg

  4. I love creepy stories like this--looking forward to reading this one :)

    -Amber Terry-

    1. Hey Amber!
      There are some fun creep factors. I especially think Chapter 5 has some good stuff.

      Let me know what you think! If you have any questions, feel free to comment here, I'll be around all week.

      Jeffrey Stagg

  5. I love scary and creepy reads but i always have to read them with music in the background cant be too quiet lolol

  6. Haha well, when I wrote my creepy parts, they were in the middle of the night, no lights on and either no music or some sort of low creepy music going.
    It's weird when you have to "set the mood" just to write.

    Well, I hope you enjoy it! If yu have any questions, I'll be around to answer anything you've got!

    Take care

  7. This book sounds great and I would love to rea it. ty

    1. Hey Bridgett,
      I'm glad you think it sounds interesting. If you have any questions, just comment and I'll be happy to share.
      Take care

      Jeffrey Stagg

  8. Oh this sounds so scary...I love these kinds of books! Love sitting up and reading into the wee hours of the morning! Cannot wait to read it!

    1. Hello LauraJJ,

      When I wrote my book, I thought of a few places as just creepy, but I am getting some feedback that people are loving reading it at night and it freaks them out a little bit! Which only makes me laugh even harder.
      If you read my book at night, you'll have to let me know if it scares you!

      Take Care,
      Jeffrey Stagg