Interview with Aileen O’Shannon from Hell Holes: What Lurks Below
Where are you from?
I was born a little over 1,700 years ago during the reign of Constantine the Great in a tiny village that no longer exists in what is now the county of Ballinasloe, Ireland. I lived with my mother and father, who was the blacksmith and the strongest man in the whole village. When I was 12, my parents were killed by a hellhound. I was rescued and sent to Rome where I was initiated into the Tutores Contra Infernum, an ancient secret order that protects humanity from demonic incursions.
What is your main purpose in life?
As a Curatrix Maxima, I am a senior member of the military arm of my Order. My purpose is to protect our world by killing every demon that comes to Earth from Hell, the demon homeworld.
Who is your greatest enemy and why?
While all manner of demons are my enemies, I have a special hatred for hellhounds like those that killed my parents, and for devils, the high demons that rule Hell and are intent on enslaving humanity.
Do you think you can ever reconcile with this enemy?
Never. Demons view people as nothing more than food and a source of entertainment when tortured. How can you possibly reconcile with creatures like that?
Do you have a love interest?
Not for a great many years. I was married once, but my husband would not join the Order and took my children from me. As mundanes, they were ineligible to receive the longevity potion. After watching them grow old and die, I gave up on love. Now, I am truly ancient, my body long past such youthful urges.
What is your weapon of choice?
My wand is my weapon, although I will use whatever is handy if I have too. However, while I may look like I am only in my early twenties, that is only my glamour spell. Our longevity potion loses its potency the longer it is used, and eventually we all must age and die. My body is like that of a mundane woman in her eighties, and I am afraid that my days of wielding anything heavier than a handgun are long past.
What do you think is your enemy’s greatest strength?
I used to think it was only their demonic magical that heals all but the worst of their wounds in seconds. Now that Armageddon has begun, I know it is really the countless number of their multitudes. They pour out of their hell holes like an unending flood of army ants, making it impossible to kill them fast enough.
What do you think is your enemy’s greatest weakness?
Their arrogant fearlessness that makes them underestimate the combined power of our technologies and magic. With small UAVs to spread our magically-enhanced plague virus and with our nuclear bombs to destroy their portals, we will make them curse the day they invaded.
A computer geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He is also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat worrying whether the term “distinguished” makes him sound more like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still more red than gray.
By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and birds.
Author website: http://donaldfiresmith.com
It’s August in Alaska, and geology professor Jack Oswald prepares for the new school year. But when hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, Jack receives an unexpected phone call. An oil company exec hires Jack to investigate, and he picks his climatologist wife and two of their graduate students as his team. Uncharacteristically, Jack also lets Aileen O’Shannon, a bewitchingly beautiful young photojournalist, talk him into coming along as their photographer. When they arrive in the remote oil town of Deadhorse, the exec and a biologist to protect them from wild animals join the team. Their task: to assess the risk of more holes opening under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the wells and pipelines that feed it. But they discover a far worse danger lurks below. When it emerges, it threatens to shatter Jack’s unshakable faith in science. And destroy us all…
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/embed/amXuTAlKoX0
“I enjoyed my time in Firesmith’s world. I did not want to leave. I really got a kick out of it, and would happily come back for more. Recommended.”
MJ Kobernus, author of The Guardian: Blood in the Sand
“This book rocks.”
Barton Paul Levenson, author of Dark Gods of Alter Telluria
“a quick, enjoyable read. Full of action and fraught with danger”
Dave Robertson, author of Strange Hunting, Strange Hunting II, and The Brave and The Dead
“The book is an easy and quick read and an action-filled one that you’ll imagine as a TV series or a movie with no difficulty.”
Olga Núñez Miret, author of Escaping Psychiatry