The Author


Donald FiresmithDonald Firesmith is a multi-award-winning author of speculative fiction, including science fiction, fantasy, paranormal horror, and modern urban paranormal novels and collections of short stories. Because of his strong background in software/system engineering and science, his science fiction is well-researched, and he relies on numerous science, technology, and military technical advisors to ensure that the non-speculative aspects of his stories are realistic and believable.

Prior to retiring to become a full-time novelist and short story author, Donald Firesmith earned an international reputation as an authority on system and software engineering, authoring engineering books and nearly 300 technical articles and conference papers based on his 40+ years spent developing large, complex software-intensive systems. In 2015, the Association for Computing Machinery named Donald Firesmith an ACM Distinguished Member.

Donald Firesmith is also a maker of fine, on-of-a-kind, traditional, hand-crafted magic wands of mystical woods and gemstones. He even wrote the book on the subject, Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore.

He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his wife Becky, and varying numbers of dogs and cats.


  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Mathematics and German from Linfield College, McMinnville, Oregon (1971-1975)
  • Math and German at Ludwig Maximilian University (via Wayne State University) in Munich, Germany (1973-1974)
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Mathematics from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (1975-1977)
  • One post masters year in Mathematics from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (1977-1978)
  • Evening classes (e.g., human genetics and paleontology) at Portland State University (1978-1980).


  • Reading. What author doesn’t like to read? Firesmith especially loves to read science fiction, fantasy, popular science (e.g., physics, biology, paleontology, climate crisis, and consciousness), and technology (e.g., space travel and AI) books. He gets a lot of his science fiction ideas reading popular science magazines, including Scientific American, Discovery, and New Scientist.
  • Magic Wands. Firesmith make one-of-a-kind, traditional magic wands from wood and gemstones.
  • Hiking. Firesmith loves hiking, although he has far less opportunity now that all hischildren have moved out of state.

Fun Facts

The following are a few fun facts about Donald Firesmith:

  1. As a student member of the American Nuclear Society, Donald Firesmith operated a Triga Mark III pool reactor, and once stood INSIDE a nuclear reactor core, specifically the core of the Zero Power Plutonium Reactor (ZPPR).
  2. He stood at the snow line of Mount St. Helens three days before it erupted.
  3. During the summer of 1973, he spent 90 days on a bicycle riding 5,000 kilometers across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
  4. He is a world traveler, having visited 32 countries and lived overseas for several years, twice in Germany twice and once in Switzerland.
  5. In 1974 during the Cold War, he traveled to the Soviet Union, where he visited Moscow and Leningrad. On the way, he stopped by at West Berlin and went through the Berlin Wall at Checkpoint Charlie.
  6. In India, he once had a dancing blindfolded man with a sword slice a watermelon in two on his naked stomach.

Social Media

Author Website
Author page on Amazon Author page on Blogger Author page on Bookbub Author page on Booklife Author page on Facebook Author page on Goodreads Author page on Google+ Author page on Instagram Author page on Scribd Author page on Smashwords Author page on Twitter Author page on Wattpad


Current Projects

  1. More Future Dreams and Nightmares, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press
  2. Another Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press
  3. Hell Holes: Insurrection, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press
  4. Secrets 2: The Secrets of Sanctuary Cove, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press
  5. Free and Low-Cost Marketing for Indie Authors, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press

Fiction Books

  1. Hell Holes: The Complete Trilogy, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press, 1 August 2024, 645 pages, ISBN-13: TBD
  2. Jimmy and the Halloween Candy Monster, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press, 7 October 2023, 48 pages, ISBN-13: 979-8861802444
  3. Future Dreams and Nightmares, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press, 1 May 2023, 250 pages, ISBN-13: 979-8390605646
  4. Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press, 1 August 2021, 470 pages, ISBN-13: 979-8527374209
  5. A Cauldron of Uncanny Dreams, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press, 30 October 2020, 91 pages, ISBN-13: 979-8694609104
  6. Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press, 30 October 2020, 382 pages, ISBN-13: 979-8694609104
  7. Secrets 1: The Secrets of Hawthorne House, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press, 1 October 2018, 413 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1726283151
  8. Hell Hole: The Official Screenplay, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press, 11 April 2018, 172 pages, ASIN: B07C5DVKCP
  9. Hell Holes 2: Demons on the Dalton, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press, 1 June 2016, 202 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1523241767
  10. Hell Holes 1: What Lurks Below, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press, 31 July 2015, 160 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1515068075
  11. Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore, Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press, 1 April 2014, 476 pages, ASIN: B07ZLNFJ39

Non-Fiction Books

  1. The Simulation Theory of Consciousness (or Your Autonomous Car is Sentient), Donald G. Firesmith, Magical Wand Press, 27 October 2019, 90 pages, ISBN: 978-0463669518, ASIN: B07ZLNFJ39
  2. Common Testing Pitfalls and Ways to Prevent and Mitigate Them: Descriptions, Symptoms, Consequences, Causes, and Recommendations (SEI Series in Software Engineering), Donald G. Firesmith, Addison Wesley, 29 December 2013, 256 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0133748550
  3. The Method Framework for Engineering System Architectures (MFESA), Donald G. Firesmith with Peter Capell, Dietrich Falkenthal, Charles B. Hammons, DeWitt Latimer, and Tom Merendino, Auerbach, 20 November 2008, 512 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1420085754
  4. The OPEN Process Framework, Donald G. Firesmith and Brian Henderson-Sellers, Addison-Wesley Professional, 21 December 2001, 272 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0201675108
  5. OPEN Modeling Language (OML) Reference Manual, Donald G. Firesmith, Brian Henderson-Sellers, and Ian Graham, Cambridge University Books, New York, New York, 1 June 1998, 288 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1884842757
  6. Documenting a Complete Java Application using OPEN, Donald G. Firesmith, Scott Krutsch, Marshall Stowe, and Greg Hendley, Addison-Wesley Longman, Boston, Massachusetts, May 1998, 432 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0201342772
  7. Wisdom of the Gurus: A Vision For Object Technology, Charles F. Bowman ed., Donald G. Firesmith (author of 2 chapters), SIGS Reference Library, Cambridge University Press, New York, New York, 13 March 1998, 468 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0134998497
  8. Dictionary of Object Technology: the Definitive Desk Reference, Donald G. Firesmith and Ed Eykholt, SIGS Books, New York, New York, 13 January 1998, pp. 636, ISBN-13: 978-0133738872
  9. Object-Oriented Requirements Analysis and Logical Design: A Software Engineering Approach, Donald G. Firesmith, Wiley Professional Computing, 20 January 1993, 592 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0471578062

Book and Short Story Awards

Donald Firesmith’s books and short stories have won the following awards:
2020 International Book Awards WinnerJanuary 2024 BooksShelf Short Story WinnerPinnacle Book Award, Winter 20202023 Royal Dragonfly Book Award in Science Fiction/Fantasy Category (Honorable Mention)2020 and 2022 Purple Dragonfly Book Award in Science Fiction/Fantasy Category (Honorable Mention)2019 Readers’ Favorite Book Award Silver Medal2020 Author Shout Reader Ready Top Pick Award2022 Author Shout Reader Ready Award Recommended Read2021 Author Shout Reader Ready Award Recommended Read2020 Author Shout Reader Ready Award Recommended Read2022 Author Shout Reader Ready Award Honorable MentionAmerican Book Fest 2020 Best Book Award - Finalist in FantasyIndependent Author Network 2020 Book of the Year - Finalist in Paranormal/Supernatural Fiction2021 Author Elite Awards - Top 10 Finalist in Science Fiction and FantasyCygnus Book Awards - Semifinalist's Top 25 Indie Books of 2023  - 16th's Top 50 Indie Books of's Top 50 Indie Books of 2019 - Third PlaceWishing Shelf Book Awards - Finalist, 20212023 Kindle Book Award - Semifinalist - Science Fiction CategoryKindle Book Awards - Semifinalist, 2021The Chrysalis Project - Seal of Excellence, 20232021 Top Shelf Magazine Book Awards - Runner-up - Fiction/Fantasy Subcategory2020 Top Shelf Magazine's Book Contest2020 Top Shelf Magazine's Book Contest2024 Indies United Small Bites Contest - 2nd Place

Popular Quotes

  • Hell Holes: What Lurks Below
    • “I nearly said something, but then thought better of it. It doesn’t pay to publicly point out the failings of the person providing your paycheck.”
    • “Woe to any climate denier who called climate change a hoax when she was nearby.”
    • “We spent a few hours struggling to come up with better explanations, but each suggestion was shot down almost as soon as it was made. The suggestions became wilder, eventually to the point of silliness.”
    • “Well, Dr. Oswald, where does that leave us?” O’Shannon asked. “Surely, you do not think that little green men came down and stole the dirt to fuel their spacecraft.” I almost started to laugh at her tabloid suggestion, when I saw from Kowalski’s expression that he was seriously considering it.”
    • “Nothing prepared me for the unbelievably loud sound made by firing the shotgun inside that confined space. My ears were ringing, and my face was splattered by black blood and bits of things I shuddered to consider. I cried out in pain as the thick black ichor dripped into my eyes, where it burned like acid.”
    • “Low demons, like hellhounds and gargoyles, are merely the mindless beasts of Hell. Far deadlier are the high demons, such as imps, fiends, and devils. High demons are humanoids, thinking beings with the ability to use dark magic.”
  • Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton
    • “He leaned towards me, and I did what any reasonable person would do when facing imminent death by being eaten alive. I screamed.”
    • “As long as we’re comparing analogies,” Jack added, “how about this one? A person being chased by a bear doesn’t have to be able to run faster than the bear. He only has to be faster than his slowest companion. Driver picks. I’m going to catch up with the convoy, find a way to pass several of the cars, and not be last in line.”
    • “They prefer their meals alive and terrified, for fear is their favorite sauce.”
    • “Nothing seems to tempt fate more than mentioning the possibility of something bad happening.”
  • Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge
    • “One only truly fails to succeed if one fails to try. Anything more, no matter how small it might seem, is a partial success.”
  • Software and System Engineering:
    • “Software bugs are like cockroaches; there are probably dozens hiding in difficult to reach places for every one you find and fix.”


Reviewers of my books have compared my writing to that of the following famous authors. If you like their books, you might also like mine:

Famous Author Reviews
Dan Brown (Thriller) 1
Edgar Rice Burroughs (Fantasy, Science Fiction) 1
Michael Crichton (Science Fiction, Thriller) 3
Clive Cussler (Thriller) 1
Rider Haggard (Adventure) 1
Frank Herbert (Science Fiction) 1
Stephen King (Horror) 2
Dean R. Koontz (Suspense, Thriller) 2
Mathew Reilly (Action, Thriller) 1
James Rollins (Action, Mystery, Thriller) 1
J.K. Rowling (Fantasy) 4
R. L. Stein (Children’s Ghost Stories) 1
J. R. R. Tolkien (Fantasy) 1

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