Author Interview: Dave Jeffery's The Camp Creeper & Other Stories - Book 36 in the Short Sharp Shocks! series
Dave Jeffery is already part of the Demain family with his recent novella release A Quiet Apocalypse. Book 36 in the Short Sharp Shocks! series is his The Camp Creeper & Other Stories which is currently available for pre-sales and is published on the 31st October.
DEMAIN PUBLISHING: Hi again Dave, hope you’re well. Congrats by the way on all the plaudits you’ve been receiving for A Quiet Apocalypse – truly deserved. So let’s now turn our attention to your Short Sharp Shocks! – can you tell tell us something about it please?
DAVE JEFFERY: Hi! My contribution to this great series is three stories, The Camp Creeper, Cross Your Heart and Guess what we’re Having for Supper? As stories their setting and tone are quite different, but they have, at heart, a theme of loss and the regrets of making wrong choices, and how those choices can affect the main character or those around them.
DP: Yes, there is definitely a running theme through the stories – did you have to do much research before writing them?
DJ: The Camp Creeper and Guess what we’re Having for Supper? required some investigation into the nuances of the scout movement, just background details on how each troop worked and the associated hierarchy. Nothing too deep, it was more about the characters breaking those traditions than the finer nuances of how such things worked in practice. Cross Your Heart was research free; I merely went with a distinctive, rueful tone. This is a brooding piece and possibly my favourite of the three. Not that one should have favourites, of course!
DP: Indeed. We love them all but for different reasons (and no that’s not us sitting on the fence ha ha ha). Did you find any of the stories difficult to write?
DJ: Cross Your Heart was difficult in that the primary focus is the death of a child. As any parent will attest, this is the greatest and most profound fear.
DP: What books are you reading at the moment?
DJ: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. She is a storyteller of quality.
DP: Yes, she is, I need to check this out asap. Still talking about reading, is there a book you’ve started but never finished?
DJ: I won’t name any book, but there have been plenty I have partially read as a reviewer that I simply could not finish. This will either be down to poor, uninventive writing or a story that is well written but fails to capture me as a reader. Purists would perhaps suggest that a mediocre tale can be enhanced or made fresh by beautiful prose. I’m not a subscriber to this view.
DP: I’m with you on that one. There’s been a couple I’ve started that promised so much but after a couple of chapters I’ve just thrown them back on the pile...shame...of all the books in the world, is there one you wish you had written?
DJ: Anything by Steinbeck but perhaps Of Mice and Men. So much craft in such a small volume, the affect and influence of that book is astounding.
DP: Ha, I’m more a Grapes Of Wrath kinda guy! I loved Steinbeck and need to read more. Is there a particular book that has changed your life?
DJ: In horror terms, it was James Herbert’s The Fog. In my view, not enough is said about how James Herbert changed the way we look at horror fiction. Its easy to discount him as ‘old-school’ but The Fog is as relevant today at it was in 1975. The barbarity of man is, sadly, timeless. I’ll be working on an essay about The Fog for Kendall Reviews ready for publication in 2020.
DP: Really – that’s pretty damn cool. Will check that out when it’s published. I love Herbert too. Wish we had a few more quality films adapted from his work though. I do remember The Fog book when I was at school...certain scenes still bring water to my eyes ha ha! So, you’ve written quite a few novels (and short stories) in your career and in several genres (and age groups!) – which one would you like to be remembered for?
DJ: I guess I’m no different to any other writer in that I’d just like a piece of my work to have affected someone enough for them to either re-read it, tell other people about it, or maybe remember it from time to time. I have readers who say that Finding Jericho is a book that has changed their lives. In this, all I can say is I’ve achieved a great thing and that is enough for me.
DP: Great book and I totally understand when readers say that. Well done. Last one this time around Dave. If you weren’t a writer, how would you express yourself creatively?
DJ: I have dabbled in music and song writing, but I’m just not that good at it. The same can be said for my illustration work. If push came to shove, I’d probably be a cartoonist as this was an aspect of illustration I really enjoyed when I was younger, and I was good enough to be invited up to look around DC Thompson with the invite to resubmit my portfolio with a few guided pieces. I never did though, something about imposter syndrome at an early age! I have an A-Z of Horror manuscript in my loft that is supported by many cartoons. Who knows, maybe I need to dust that off one day!
DP: Wow – we’d love to see that!
Thanks as always Dave for your time.
If you’d like to connect with Dave direct:
Website Address: DAVE JEFFERY
Twitter Address: @davebjeffery
Any other social media links: Facebook Author Page