Monday, December 7, 2015

Realm Explorers Part LXXVI: Visit Camp Hollyhook with Cameron Glenn

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name: Cameron Glenn

Title of book and/or series:  Delano in Hollyhook

Brief summary of the story:  Delano Farnsworth is one of the few ‘lucky unfortunates’ chosen to receive an invitation to the magical Camp Hollyhook. After he arrives, however, he quickly discovers that not is all as it seems. With his new camp friends the ‘quirky’ Jackie, the ‘dour’ Lenore and the ‘lonely’ Wheeze, Delano seeks to uncover the sinister true purpose of the camp, as well as learn about his missing parents who abandoned him when he was three, his kidnapped uncle as well as his own self and destiny.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:  Camp Hollyhook is a magical summer camp within the larger fantasy kingdom of Hollybrook.  Within the camp are playing fields, Gold Lake, Butterfly Island, Fire Island, Friendship Pier, Creepy Castle, Monster Mountain, Counselor Castle, the main stage, The Bubble Cave, and a cafeteria and cabins. 

If we were to visit Camp Hollyhook as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?  So much!  First, you’d have to get a special invitation in order to go.  The head camp mother, Madam Siren, has a soft spot for misfits, the misunderstood and outcasts and wishes to reward them with fun.  There are camp games on the playing fields, swimming with friendly lake serpents in Gold Lake, riding the roller coaster and other amusement rides on fire island, participating in the scavenger hunt, riding the Ferris Wheel on Friendship Pier, checking out the ghost band in Creepy Castle, eating the delicious and addictive candy bark from the candy bark trees, the dance party in The Bubble Cave and really, whatever you want!  The only limit is your imagination.  You might like it so much you’ll never want to leave!  In fact, you can choose to stay forever if you wish. 

What dangers should we avoid in Camp Hollyhook?  It is forbidden to go to Butterfly Island and Monster Mountain.  Butterfly Island, where the Butterfly Children live, is guarded by unfriendly sea serpents who will kill you if you get too close to them.  And Monster Mountain probably has monsters on it.  Also, be wary of the ‘Angries’ group.  They can be pretty mean sometimes.  Fortunately the camp security led by the Bat Demon are around to protect the campers. 

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Camp Hollyhook?  Yes!  I already mentioned the candy bark.  Delicious!  The camp also has its own cook who will make you whatever you want.  Want chocolate ice-cream for breakfast?  You can have it!  And you won’t even get sick from it.  That’s a camp promise.  The air in the camp doesn’t allow for any sicknesses. 

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Camp Hollyhook?  Wands that shoot paint are provided during the popular capture the flag contests.  Each camp group have their own fighting styles.  The Angries like to pound, the Dours don’t really put up much of a fight, The Quirks zip around pretending to be bees, and so on. 

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Camp Hollyhook?  A magical zeppelin piloted by a robot chauffer will escort you to the Camp.  That’s the only way to get there. 

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Camp Hollyhook that we don’t see on Earth? There are friendly monkeys in the trees who hand out the candy bark when you first enter through the gates.  There’s Bim-Bot the robot who is a guide and who runs the Share Shack, where you can get anything you want.  The Counselor to the Quirks is a Mermaid and the Counselor to the Lonelies is a goat man.  Butterfly Children fly overhead and playfully interact with you.  Sea serpents act as speed boats pulling you behind them as you water-ski in Gold Lake.  There’s so much more to discover.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Camp Hollyhook?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.  There’s a lot of whimsy but magic is more muted and not so obvious at the camp.  The head mechanic makes wonderful inventions and robots.  No camper is a witch or wizard or anything; just normal kids. 

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Camp Hollyhook?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.  There is!  The Mechanic can make wonderful robots that want nothing more than to please the campers.  He has a hobby of making special robot birds, his favorite one named Max, but he rarely gives these out to campers.  There has to be a good reason for him to. 

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Camp Hollyhook.  The Play Fields has whatever you want on them.  Just press a button and a basketball court will appear.  During the capture the flag contest the whole field becomes like a giant trampoline, which is so fun!  There’s a popular scavenger hunt contest campers can participate in.  There’s a talent show.  The Counselors job is to make sure the campers are active and never bored. 

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Camp Hollyhook as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?  Time is strange there.  It’s hard to decipher.  Also, memories of events from earth are weakened while in Camp Hollyhook.  The more time spent there, the harder it is to remember the events which happened on earth. 

Is there a particular religion practiced in Camp Hollyhook?  Please describe what it involves.  Campers are free to continue believing whatever they wish to believe. 

What is the political or government structure in Camp Hollyhook?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?  Madam Siren runs the camp.  She is beautiful and seems like a nice lady.  She has three daughters with beautiful voices. 

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Camp Hollyhook?  Through the opening welcoming ceremony you will be placed where you are most comfortable, with other people like yourself, whether you’re a Dour, a Quirk, an Angry, an Orphan, a Lonely, or a Sick. 

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?  My nieces, ages nine and twelve, helped me to brainstorm up some ideas. 

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?  It’s an all ages above eight or so appropriate book, so nothing too controversial, although there are some complex ideas and messages about fantasy, escape, destiny and sacrifice, if a reader chooses to seek them. 

Author Autobiography: 
Cameron Glenn grew up the third of seven children in Oregon. As a child he dedicated hours to the pursuits of basketball and cartooning, as well as waking up way too early for his paper route in order to earn money to buy toys, candy and comic books. He also loved to read and write, which he continues to do voraciously. He currently lives in Salt Lake City after having earned a BA in literature from Boise State.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book?  
 Where can readers connect with you online?  My email is

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Camp Hollyhook.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the sci-fi world of Lushaka, in Realm Explorers Part LXXVII!
-Annie Douglass Lima

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