Campfire Stories ~ An interview with authors Dave & Ilyssa Kyu

Campfire Stories ~ An interview with authors Dave & Ilyssa Kyu

In 2016 the National Park Service celebrated its 100th anniversary. Throughout the year millions of people from around the world traveled across the United States to visit our historic parks and monuments. I know I personally made stops at Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. It was during this centennial summer that I had the chance to meet two truly amazing people. Dave and Ilyssa Kyu are graphic artists based in Philadelphia. Through the magic of social media I connected with them in a series of Facebook posts and a remarkable project they had funded through Kickstarter. As they were traveling home after a long journey they just happen to make a stop near my home in Madison, Wisconsin. There we met for breakfast at an outdoor café to hear about more about their recent travels.

“We are just wrapping up a three and half-month trip across the U.S. travel to six national parks,” Ilyssa said. ” We went to Acadia, Smokey Mountains, Rocky Mountains, Zion, to Yosemite and to Yellowstone. We went to each of these national parks to interview all different types of people to help us with the research for our book Campfire Stories.

Anytime you mix the national parks with storytelling you’re definitely going to pique my interest. Dave and Ilyssa’s project sparked a wonderful discussion on the importance identity and a sense of place in the continuing efforts to protect and preserve our public lands for future generations.
“We only started going outdoors as adults,” Dave said. “And we where always curious to learn more about these outdoor places where we were starting to spend so much of our vacation time in. We were looking around for a book of campfire stories from these national parks and didn’t find it so we thought, why don’t we make it!”

Inspired by camping excursions near their home in Philadelphia these two artists ventured out to find others in their tribe of enthusiasts to share their tales of the wild. From the rocky beaches of Acadia National Park in Maine to the granite cliffs of Yosemite Valley in California they drove thousands of miles in search of stories that profoundly express our collective passion for the majestic beauty of the world outdoors. In the tradition of sharing tales of adventure  around a roaring fire while camped out under the stars or huddled under blankets in a rustic lodge Dave and Ilyssa have gathered together a series of exciting narratives in a new book they call Campfire Stories.

The new book Campfire Stories will be out soon. Dave and Ilyssa are taking a bit of break from writing as they embark on another great adventure. They recently welcomed the arrival of a baby daughter named Lula June. You can learn more about their project and even pre-order a copy online at