Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge – Background

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This book begins twenty-three years before Hell Holes 1: What Lurks Below and ends six years after Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back. It is, therefore, a significant departure from the first three books, which at most chronicle a few days during the start of the Armageddon War between Earth and the invading demonic army. Paul Chapman and his tahku friend, Ť-loo-shss, were rescued near the end of the third book in the Hell Holes series. While writing that book, I decided it would be interesting to give Paul a backstory of how he came to be on Hell in the company of Lord Commander Åṣh Ķåh-ṭõķ when the humans staged their counterattack. The rather dark book you’re reading is the result.

I quite literally put Paul through Hell over the 23 years he spent there, from the time demons captured him to the time he was rescued. To create the hellish conditions of Hell, I based parts of this book on terrible conditions from actual periods of Earth’s history:

  • World War II NAZI genocide:
    • Initial public disrobing, standard uniform, confiscation of personal belongings, and ID tattoos were influenced by similar practices upon arrival at the concentration, forced labor, and death camps.
    • Initial classification of human captives as slaves or food was strongly influenced by the sorting of Jews and Gypsies to the gas chamber or barracks.
    • Transportation of human slaves to Farm 36 was influenced by the transportation of Jews in railroad cars to the death camps.
    • The barracks at Farm 36 were influenced by the barracks at the NAZI concentration, forced labor, and death camps.
  • Slavery in the Antebellum South:
    • Picking crops including cotton
      Note: Another source was the stories my mother told of picking cotton as the child of a poor tenant farmer.
    • Floggings of slaves
  • Roman Gladiatorial Combat:
    • Coliseum size and architecture
    • Combat against wild animals
    • Combat against other gladiators
      Note: I also included some personal experience from when I fought in medieval armor with sword and shield as a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).

Besides being much darker than the previous three Hell Holes novels, this book also deals with much stronger emotions, and I presented my poor protagonist with much more difficult and less clear-cut ethical choices. By portraying years rather than days, this book also required considerably more growth and change in Paul’s character.

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