Infernally Yours (Author Interview and Review)

Infernally Yours looks like a great historical fiction book.  Any plans to make it into a series? Oh, absolutely. Infernally Yours’ protagonist (Phage Rustcut) is a demon and demons are immortal, so he’s not going anywhere. The next book is set in Paris, with the French Revolution in full swing. It’s one of the bloodiest moments in Western history, so naturally, Rustcut & Co. will be in the thick of it.

What do you think makes a great historical fiction book? For me, there has to be a fresh take on the dusty old stories, you know? George Washington is already a fascinating figure, right? But the tale of a demon sent to kill George Washington is even more interesting. It casts an even wider net. It exposes people to the real adventures and misadventures of a real American hero, but in a way that’s scary and funny at the same time. But best of all, it’s based on real history. Good historical fiction gives readers actual, footnoted facts, so they’ll know what’s real and what’s fantasy. A near-mythical character like George Washington accomplished such unbelievable feats and defied certain death so many times that it sounds made up. As the author, I’ve got to prove that these things happened. And I do.

What inspired you when writing Infernally YoursThe Screwtape Letters was an obvious inspiration. C.S. Lewis did the heavy lifting of inventing the original “devil by letters” storytelling device. But with Screwtape, the demons’ target was a nobody, just an average guy. And it’s a monologue, really. You only hear the words of Screwtape as he advises his protégé. I used to be an actor, long ago, and I also ran a film company for ten years. So, while Lewis wrote Screwtape Letters as a diabolical Dear Abby of sorts, I wrote this book as if I were watching the drama play out on a stage or in a film. With Infernally Yours, the devils’ target isn’t just some rando; he’s one of the most important figures in human history. That’s a huge difference. And instead of only one demonic voice, Infernally Yours shows letters from many different devils as they interact with our main character, Rustcut. Between the fascinating and largely unknown exploits of Washington and the hilarious, dastardly schemes of Team Rustcut, I like to think that you get a richer, technicolor experience. I like the way a friend of mine described it when he said that Lewis opened the door to a haunted mansion, but Infernally Yours gives you the guided tour.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?  Full time?  Part time?
Part-time, for now. I already run a successful combat training center in NC. But I definitely plan to continue telling stories about Rustcut the Rotten. We still have a lot to learn from his exploits and misadventures.

When did you decide to become a writer? I wouldn’t say that I decided to become a writer. I felt like I had a story to tell, so I wrote it down. Years ago, I started writing freelance articles for RECOIL and OFFGRID Magazines, as well as the book Safeguard, because self-defense and survival techniques were what I saw every day as a combat instructor. So, I wrote about those things. But when it comes to fiction, well that’s different. I’ve personally experienced enough tragedy and triumph in my 39 years, that I’ve started to grasp a deeper understanding of life and the purpose of Time, in particular. I’ve died and come back twice, and in both instances, it was a life-changing, supernatural experience. Where I used to see chaos, I now see the greater, heroic arc in everything, an Invisible Hand guiding it all. Both good and evil are all playing parts that contribute to the happiest of endings, even if you don’t understand or believe it. And Infernally Yours was informed by that sacred knowledge, that in the end, good will prevail. As far as subjects or actors, George Washington was the most obvious first choice. He’s one of the greatest humans of all time, dedicated to truth and freedom, while Rustcut is one of the most cunning and deceitful demons the world has ever known. They’re perfect, natural adversaries.

When writing Infernally Yours did anything stand out as particularly challenging? At times, it was difficult trying to express the demons’ evil without losing the humor. I mean, they’re not just funny guys in red pajamas. They also created slavery, racism, sexual assault, the Holocaust. But the book is a comedy, so I couldn’t let the tone get too morose. That’s not to say that there aren’t dark, spooky moments in there. There are. But they’re carefully balanced with laugh-out-loud moments. Otherwise, it becomes a dusty old lecture, and the world already has plenty of those.

How did you come up with the story in Infernally YoursFrom ancient literature until the mid-1900’s, demons were always portrayed as actively complicating the affairs of mortals. Even in cinema, horror movies were originally Christian in nature. A terrible creature would prey on the weak until a priest or holy water or a cross was used to vanquish them. Then, as writers rejected Christianity but wanted to retain its moralist fruits (probably for their own kids), they invented moralist, stalker horror. In those films, teenagers who drank, did drugs or had premarital sex would die awful deaths. Only the pure, virginal characters would survive. But now, we’ve reached a point in our culture where even morals are anathema. In today’s horror films, good behavior won’t save you and vampires laugh when priests hold up crosses. And we’ve seen the same thing with books. Today, the classic, biblical depiction of demons and angels has fallen out of favor with most authors. Postmodern, pseudointellectual Hemingway-wannabes would rather limit the universe to what they can see and explain, preferring beings that coddle their fragile amoral worldview. Aliens are fine, but demons? Absolutely not, I’m triggered! Powerful, masculine angels are a no-no, but gentle women with harps or fat little babies on clouds? Love it! So, trigger alert: Infernally Yours fully embraces the same theological worldview of C.S. Lewis and revels in it for 175 pages. Demons and angels battle it out with each other. Devils possess people and use them to harm their neighbors. Wars and even marriages are arranged by invisible miscreants to subvert the cause of freedom. It’s neo-classic, supernatural intrigue, all the way.

What do you like to do when not writing? I teach Krav Maga (Israeli military hand-to-hand combat) full-time, which is my greatest passion. My school, Triangle Krav Maga, has become fairly successful, so that keeps me pretty busy. I’ve also been fortunate enough to train groups in Cuba, Egypt, Moldova, all over the U.S. I also love standup paddle boarding. I do that with my daughter, Ivy. Let’s see…I play video games with my awesome wife, Greer. Oh! And we all work out together. Often!

How can readers discover more about you and your work? Just go to to buy this awesome book. You won’t regret it. It’s available on Kindle or as a paperback!



Infernally Yours; Reminiscent of C.S. Lewis?

Although skeptical at first, I picked up a copy of this book after a friend told me that it was comparable to that of the late, great, C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters”. Immediately intrigued, I wondered at how a modern author might play with the Screwtape style and make it relevant in a more contemporary society. I was delighted to find myself not to be disappointed by the efforts of this young author.

Infernally Yours: The Concept

It is the concept of Molotov's work that brings the initial spark of interest. While Lewis dabbled in the thoughts shared by a demonic force and his protégé, Molotov instead dives in feet first and swathes the reader in intricate tales of humorous (and devilish) intent. The humor contained within the pages is almost accidental – not forced upon the reader or pushed to the extreme. Instead, we are greeted with a series of memoranda, which demons might send as communiques, alluding to some interesting and not entirely wholesome content.

Molotov manages to capture the hilarity that might be found from an otherwise dark and impassable subject. But the author doesn't just stop at the already unique concept of trailing these demonic communications – he goes even farther by applying this tangled web of scheming and hilarious plotting to the famed former American President George Washington.

Already referred to as “The Screwtape's worthy successor”, Infernally Yours focuses on intermingling the fantastical events taking place in the demonic world with real life actual historical events which took place during the lifetime of a heroic main character. In fact, while reading this book, one might easily learn just as much about the Founding Father as one finds humor in the pages. Molotov manages to pull together a revolution, a General of the highest rank and the world of demons, and the combination makes for one delectably delightful bundle.

Historical Fiction with a Twist

As much as this book pays tribute to the magnificence of C. S. Lewis, it also captures black humor in a world of historical fiction. While learning about such embellishments as Malicious Minutes, the terrifying Progress Commission and the underworld politics of devils, we also have the opportunity to increase our real world knowledge of one of the greatest men who ever lived. By incorporating little known facts about Washington, Molotov manages to bring the man's very character to life – and all through a refreshing, interesting medium that resonates of an old world class.

Is Molotov the Next C. S. Lewis?

C.S. Lewis was a world renowned writer who parted ways with this world in 1963. As an author, he did prolific work with magical, dark and slightly off-kilter stories. His most famous book series was “The Chronicles of Narnia”, which also dealt with Christian concepts. Lewis was a devout Christian himself, an influence that can be seen throughout most of his work. This is perhaps one way that Infernally Yours differs; Mitchell seems less inclined to explore theology, focusing more on pace and humor. Of course, demons are a predominantly Christian belief, so one could call the subject matter inherently “evil” – but one can barely imagine C. S. Lewis (or Molotov) sitting down to write about demonic forces in a way that might inspire devilish repercussions.

Lewis did write a number of theological papers that are still used in Christian circles to this day. While Molotov manages to imitate the style and refreshing telling points of Lewis's famous works, it is unclear whether this author has any particularly outstanding religious beliefs, based upon the story. However, times have changed rather a lot in the last fifty years and doctrinal exposition is not nearly as common for freelance writers as it perhaps once was.

Infernally yours is the 21st century's heir apparent to The Screwtape Letters.

Infernally Yours is the first in a series, following the cursed career of the demon Phage Rustcut, as he twists and turns through world historical events. In the proposed continuation of the series, Rustcut is rumored to be headed for the French Revolution, probably seeking to project his mischievous, demonic problems on other important historical figures. We can surmise that the series will continue to pursue demonic activity throughout some of the more interesting aspects of history and I look forward to finding out where (and when) it will end up.

A note on Artwork

Very few freelance authors nowadays make the effort to collaborate with artists when, in fact, that is precisely why graphic artists exist. Indeed, C. S. Lewis himself was well-known for the fantastical artworks between his pages. Credit for the tremendous artwork found in Infernally Yours goes to artist Doan Trang, whose work is so visually striking that it transports the reader to the scorching heart of Hell itself...only for them to laugh their way through the written content and remember this book with fondness.

Infernally Yours: A Series to Watch Out For

Both Infernally Yours and author Molotov Mitchell – an award-winning combat instructor and family man – are two up and coming titles in the freelance world to be followed carefully. With such a unique and awe-inspiring take on the traditional historical story telling format, it will be thoroughly interesting to find out what he dreams up next. Mitchell is a lifelong student of the life and works of George Washington, so we await the next installment with interest to see if he successfully captures the character traits of his next chosen protagonist.

In the meantime, I would thoroughly recommend Infernally Yours for some semi-light reading. The humor takes away from what ought to be frightful content, so don't worry – this is the perfect book for bedtime, morning or afternoon, or on the bus... Try it for yourself and see if you can spot the parallels between Molotov and the great author C. S. Lewis himself.

Adam Walker,
Indie Review