Interview with novelist Anthony Caplan

Author Anthony Caplan joins me today and we’re chatting about his new thriller romance, The Truth Now.

A former journalist who has lived and worked on three continents, Anthony Caplan lives in Henniker, New Hampshire. He is a graduate of Yale University and has worked at various times as a taxi driver, shrimp fisherman, telephone salesman, and high school Spanish teacher, among other occupations. Currently, he is a state representative in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, serving his first term.

He is also the best-selling author of Savior, a dystopian thriller, The Victor’s Heritage, finalist for the 2015 Drunken Druid Literary Prize, and Yet Today: A Novel, the story of a unique American family.

Welcome, Anthony. Please tell us about your current release.
The Truth Now is the adventure tale of a man who discovers a reason and a purpose at the heart of his troubled past. Released from the correctional facility after 19 years, Sid Green searches the street and the voices in his head for an answer to the questions that pursue him like a jail warden of the soul. Did he do it? Did he kill Meg, the love of his life, the perfect girl, his high school lover and partner in crime? Who is Sid Green, really? To find out, Sid follows the clues to where the faces of the people he loves match the stories he hears from the wind.

With this story of Sid Green and his unlikely salvation in the year after his release from jail, I tried to show how suffering and compassion are links in the chain that connects all life. The thread of the story moves back and forth in time, winding like a river in Sid’s dreams and memories as he pursues freedom and escapes justice in the Merrimack River Valley and northern New England.

What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to write about people who live near the edge of breaking economically and every other way, like many people in New Hampshire and around the country are existing.


Excerpt from The Truth Now:
As a football player at Ferncroft Regional High School, Sid had been capable of impressive feats, such was the strength of his massive thighs and upper body, not any spring in his naturally archless and large feet, splayed to the side always as he walked. He was out on State Street, free for the first time in 19 years. The sun was shining, casting the world in the anonymous, metallic color of cars. They flowed in both directions, as the wind blew in low black clouds from the northwest, the direction of the correctional facility and the mouth of Sid’s past. Sid walked south, shuffling in the prison issue, black pleather boots a couple of sizes too big. His feet throbbed with a dull pain. He had flat feet; the ROTC program had turned him down for it the spring before his freshman year at the University of New Hampshire. Wearing the prison issued boots that denied him access to the rec yard, Sid had consistently gained weight and lost count of the days, of the hours, and of friends and family. It had all flowed unconditionally, a numbed-out, accumulating rush, until he’d dreamed of his release as a void. He’d long ago forgotten exactly what he’d done. In fact he claimed not to ever have had any recollection. His innocence was like the boots, ungainly, impractical, synthetic, and had never come off in all the seasons of the years, despite the stares of the parole board like maddened owls.


What exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently in the process of gathering notes and insights and doing research to find the characters and settings for my next story.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I worked as a journalist right out of college, so I guess that is when I first got the notion to write stories, but I didn’t consider myself a writer of fiction until my first published novel, Birdman, which took me roughly five years to finish. It still is very much an apprentice’s work, although I’m fond of it for launching my career, as peripatetic as it has been..

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I write in spurts between my job teaching and my job as a State Representative in the New Hampshire State House.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I type two with fingers, like a chicken pecking, hunting down the right words.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a marine biologist and live on Calypso, Jacques Cousteau’s ocean exploring boat.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
If you like stories, support storytellers by buying their work and writing reviews on the online platforms that we all use as public spaces. Now is a good time for independent artists to find an audience, with many people looking for fresh voices and independent insights into the forces that seem to affect our lives.

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Thanks for being here today, Anthony!

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