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It Will Astonish Readers

Fish Phillips
Fish Phillips Author Interview

Hidden Demon follows a US Counter Assault Agent who is sent on a mission to hunt a monstrosity born from indigenous legends but discovers something much more dangerous. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

This started as a screenplay inspired by climate change and the impact it has on relationships between species, but within the context of an action thriller. I can’t say too much here without giving away major plot points, but the accuracy of the setup was important and researched thoroughly across military, science, psychological, medical, and telecommunications domains. I think it will astonish readers at how real this near future science fiction thriller feels. One reader already said it is “real enough to scare a person.”

Dee is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

When I first started, I didn’t have Dee’s character profile completely fleshed out. I knew her relationship with her dad was a problem and that she hated baseball and hunting. I thought she might be from Georgia, since that’s where I live right now, but I decided on Louisiana with an ancestry through the Caribbean. As characters speak throughout the writing journey, authors should learn from them. I let them author their own story. I know that sounds odd, but my conversations with her, and all the characters, feed what ends up on the page. She has miles of experience as former military SpecOps and knowledge through her college education. She’s a vegetarian who drinks heavily and is already considering a career change in her mid-30’s. This speaks to the dissatisfaction with her current life, which she oddly can’t admit. Her reactions to Ko, her partner on the mission, and discomfort with small towns led me to ask questions. What influenced her to be this way? Why did she leave? Even though the story takes place twenty years from now, in the world I’ve created, the perspectives in small town America have changed little.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Numerous themes exist in the novel, such as nuclear energy, equality, and coping with anger and grief. Some of these are intentional distractions, but educate the reader, nonetheless. The story is mostly about how we fight to maintain the status quo, even when it is bad for us and the world. The characters here are diverse, but each is fighting against change because it is painful. Eventually, they must acknowledge structural changes in the story world and shift along with it or risk perishing.

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

The next book is book two in the series. We haven’t revealed the name yet, but with the cliffhanger ending of Hidden Demon, I want to get it out before the Summer of 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Every politician has a plan until the demon comes.

When a Secret Service operation in 2044 Tokyo goes wrong, a United States Counter Assault Agent finds her career in jeopardy. To get her life back, she partners with a fellow operative and scapegoat from Japan for a covert Presidential mission.

Soon after, strange attacks on politicians compel them down a twisted trail to the Shenandoah Forest as they hunt a monstrosity born from indigenous legends. Nicknamed ‘The Demon’ by locals, they must discern fairytale from foe before another assault.

Global threats brewing in the Virginia mountains may alter warfare forever unless they outlive their search and what they discover.

Hidden Demon

Hidden Demon by Fish Phillips is a fast-paced crime thriller following Dee Johnson, a US Secret Service Agent who is shot in the line of duty, while trying to save the president of the United States. While healing from the wound, Dee learns she’s fired. The account of Dee going from government agent to civilian life becomes more complicated when she learns a comrade and superior sabotaged her career, and then cold-heartedly fired her. Now Dee needs to restructure her life for the civilian world and heal not only from a gunshot wound but from the betrayal of a trusted friend. 

Author Fish Phillips cleverly hides the demon among friends. He creates a military bond of secret service agents who trust each other explicitly. The action is gritty and hard-hitting, and the reader never suspects a mole among the group of trusted comrades because the characters all feel authentic. 

This is a detailed and fast moving political thriller woven with realistic action and dialogue. The novel begins in Japan, 2044, as an unsuccessful Secret Service mission is underway, where many soldiers die, and Dee is wrongly held accountable. Dee returns to Washington DC where she accepts another mission, but this time it’s a covert op. This request comes from a phone call straight from the President. I loved the setup to the missions and deep political intrigue embedded in the story because I always felt the importance of their missions, which ensures readers are completely invested in the characters and the storyline.

The narrative is concise and consistently moving forward. This is quite a lean novel, with a solid understanding of the path its forging for readers. However, though the novel is packed with exciting scenes, it took me a few chapters to get a grasp on what was going on because of the fast pace, but I’m sure other readers will enjoy how quickly things move.

Hidden Demon has readers questioning everything in this exciting action-adventure novel. Fans of complex but well conceived plots that come together in entertaining ways will have plenty to enjoy in this slick thriller.

Pages: 346 | ISBN: 9781733865630

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