If you grew up in the 90s you probably have fond memories of the monthly kid’s book series. Whether you were an avid fan of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, The Babysitter’s Club, Hank the Cowdog, or any version of the Choose Your Own Adventure stories, you were aware of these regularly released short novels, and you probably waited patiently for the next installment each month. If you’ve been paying attention, or if you have nieces or nephews, you might be aware that these types of books are quickly becoming endangered. Well, Chris Lewis Carter is hoping to fight back with his brand new series called Camp Myth, chronicling the adventures of a Fae named Felix, and his friends, as they try to earn merit badges at a summer camp for mythical creatures.
“I love the idea of fresh monthly content to read and enjoy. Something I can have the satisfaction of completing, instead of just feeling completely overwhelmed by some 2,000 page monster of a novel,” says Carter. “I’ve brought that philosophy to my own writing as well, which is why I want to bring back the concept of a monthly book series in a fresh new way.” That fresh new way has a lot to do with why his Kickstarter campaign has become so popular. According to Carter, he’s seen a positive response to many aspects of his project, including the setting of his novel, the mythology, and especially, the superb artwork . “Anne Ballaran and Jay Camay have both done an incredible job, and I’m thrilled to be working with such talented artists,” Carter commented.
That enthusiasm has resulted in pledges, bring the Kickstarter campaign up over 70% with a little more than two weeks to go. But, as anyone who’s ever launched a campaign could tell you, an interesting creative project is only part of what makes you successful in the crowd funding world. The other part is perks, and Carter has several which not only allow to you take home a copy of his book, or an official Camp Myth t-shirt, but actually allow you to affect what happens in the book itself. “Some rewards allow you to create your own character that will be included in the book,” he explains. “And there’s even a chance to have yourself, or a loved one, appear on the cover of Camp Myth #2 as a mythic creature. How cool would it be to see yourself as a Cyclops?!” If that doesn’t strike your fancy, though I don’t know who would pass up the opportunity to be drawn as some type of mythic creature (but I’d go for something pretty, like a fairy … or a nymph), Carter has also included what he calls “stretch goals” as incentive for over funding the campaign. Should that happen, at each goal level ($5,000, $7,500, and $10,000) he will essentially upgrade the perks to include things like physical merit badges, hardcover copies of the book, and eBook versions of the second volume.
When speaking about the inspiration for his series, Carter credits both a desire to fill a void left by other kid’s fantasy, and personal experience. “I’ve always been bothered by the fact that every story involving fantasy creatures has to have some ‘special’ humans who just so happen to be the only people in the world who can save the day … That’s why I wanted to create a world where humanity was on the back-burner for a change,” he says, adding, “As for the camp itself, I used to be a Cub Scout, and any former (or current) Cub Scout will tell you that the absolute coolest part about the whole thing is earning a merit badge for a job well done. So I got to thinking, ‘why not combine both ideas?'”
Carter says he hopes the series will be at least 12 volumes in length, so readers can look forward to a whole year of adventures at Camp Myth, but it may not stop there. “I already have the majority of the first book completed, as well as rough drafts for the next four, and outlines for half a dozen more … but I literally have a list of nearly fifty merit badges that I’ve created, so the series could potentially go on for much longer!”
For more information about Camp Myth or to pre-order your own copy, head over to the Kickstarter page.
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