1. Tell me about SAVIOR and where you got the inspiration for it.
Savior is about a father and son, their relationship during a rough passage in both their lives, the death of the woman they shared - the boy's mother and the man's wife. They travel to Guatemala to reconnect because it was her favorite vacation spot. She loved all things Mayan. But a death cult called the Santos Muertos is taking over the country and plans to eradicate Western civilization if they can get their hands on a code embedded in a Mayan tablet the son has found. The father gets kidnapped by the Santos Muertos and the son figures out that he is the only person who can save him.
My inspiration came from a trip I took with my wife and three children to Costa Rica a couple of summers ago. I wanted to use Guatemala because I had traveled there once while working as a journalist and just loved it. And I've always been interested in the relationship of fathers and sons in my writing, so this thriller was a way to take it in a new direction.
2. Do you enjoy giving interviews?
Yes, I do. I love writing stories, but I’ve found I also love talking about my writing and the ideas that go into it. It's the only way to get readers interested in your work, because there are so many new books and so many good writers. You could say it's self-promotion, but I like demystifying my process and fleshing out the background to my books.
3. While you were writing, did you ever feel like you were one of the characters?
All the time. Maybe this is a big no-no, but I don't see how I couldn't. I make an effort to distance myself from characters that are obviously autobiographical or semi-autobiographical, but I have written memoir, or more accurately, fictionalized memoir. (See my book LATITUDES - A Story of Coming Home). But with SAVIOR, I wanted to put myself in the shoes of the main characters, the father and also his son, because I wanted to write about their reactions to the events in the story from a knowing vantage point.
4. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Does it really make it go faster?
Absolutely. It makes me feel better anyway, if nobody is looking, that I am still capable of totally irrational, childish behavior.
5. What was your last dream about?
I was driving a car and suddenly was facing down a long, brick-paved driveway with ruined buildings on either side. It was incredibly steep, very narrow, and I knew I had been there before and there was no place to turn around to drive back out at the bottom. And yet I inched ahead and began to head down it. That's when I woke up. I hope it was not a warning about beginning my next book, but it probably was.
6. If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?
What's at the bottom of the driveway in my dream?
7. Is there a message in your novels you want readers to grasp?
Yes. I'd like my books to awaken a sense of possibility and reaffirm some people that their choices are valid. Other than that, it's basically a message of solidarity with life and good people struggling to come alive and overcome their challenges, which in the case of my latest book are some pretty hairy ones like the eminent cataclysmic take down of the rule of law.
8. If you could try out any job for a day, what would it be?
I'd like to be God for a day, just to know what it feels like to have your existence either doubted or critiqued by billions of your dearest creations every day. It either sucks or it's immensely entertaining. I really want to know which it is.
9. What question would you most like someone to ask you and what would be your answer?
Are you working on something new? And my answer is yes, It's a sequel to Savior. It takes place in 2045 and concerns the son's daughter and her coming of age split between two countries, Democravia and the Republican Homeland, or Repho. I love it so far.
10. Sunrises or sunsets?
Sunsets. Sunrises are incredible, but a sunset symbolizes the end of the day and a job well done. I like being rewarded for my efforts. Nothing like a sunset.
Al and Ricky, father and son, plan a surfing getaway in Guatemala, the perfect place to bond and reconnect after the death of Mary, the woman who held their lives together. But the Santos Muertos are taking over Guatemala, and when the gang discovers that Ricky has the Chocomal, the Mayan tablet which carries the secret code they need to take over the world with their fearsome Resonator, all hell breaks loose. An unwilling hero, all-American teenager Ricky must find and rescue his father and in the process save us all from utter destruction. Will he learn how to be a real man along the way?
You can read an extract here
Anthony Caplan is an independent writer, teacher and homesteader in northern New England. He has worked at various times as a shrimp fisherman, environmental activist, journalist, taxi-driver, builder, window-washer, and telemarketer. Currently, Caplan is working on restoring a 150 year old farmstead where he and his family tend sheep and chickens, grow most of their own vegetables, and have started a small apple orchard from scratch.