January 28, 2016 03:16
Today, I’d like to welcome Anthony Caplan, author of “The Victor’s Heritage” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
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. Four three years he lived in a cabin in West Cork without electricity or running water. 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 a small apple orchard.
OK – HERE WE GO !!
1. Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
Yes, I would, assuming the person I was intending to save was innocent. I can’t think of a law that I would obey in that case. But of course life does not work in neat binary categories of innocence or guilt. It’s those grey areas that get us in trouble. In general, my first instinct is to see the law as just a social utility to keep order. It is useful, but love is a much higher law.
2. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
The difference is a matter of consciousness. An amoeba is alive, but is not, we believe, capable of knowledge of a higher order. Being alive is being conscious of our relationship to others and our mortality and not freezing in fear at the suffering that is also a part of life. To truly live is to be unafraid. Of course, we could be wrong about the amoeba.
3.What motivates you to write?
The mystery is that it keeps me truly living in some strange way although it also cuts me off from much of daily life. Also it probably functions much like any addiction in that I have come to depend on it for pleasure.
4. Why do humans want children?
It’s hard-wired. The pleasure we get in the company of our own children is unmatched by any other. The chance to do better than our parents is also a huge motivation. Then when we inevitably fail at raising the perfect offspring, we can spoil our grandchildren and claim any of their successes as our own.
5. What was the biggest challenge in creating your book “The Victor’s Heritage” ?
The biggest practical challenge for me is always finding the time to write. On this book I also had to spend time before writing, researching and reading specifically on aspects of artificial intelligence, AI, biometrics and other technologies that I wanted to use in my story. Now of course the biggest challenge is getting the word out and finding readers.
6. What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
The most important skill we often fail to teach intentionally is adaptability and resilience. Underneath that, of course, is the faith that we are part of a much larger order of things.
7. How did you come up with the title “The Victor’s Heritage” ?
The Victor’s Heritage refers to the biblical promise that there is intention and design in the universe. That there’s a purpose behind all the seeming chaos and evil in the world. It refers to an idea that people who struggle for something greater than themselves do find some reward. Altruism, self-sacrifice and other human strengths come out of this concept. It seems like an intuition shared by all humans at all times.
8. How do you handle personal criticism?
Very hard. Not very reflective or sane at all. But I’m getting better. Obviously you can’t act on your worst impulses. It depends on the context, but my first thought is always to find the flaw in the other person’s argument and counter-attack. What I’m learning is that doesn’t work and sometimes the best approach is to take a step back and think before responding.
9. Why should people read your book?
First of all it’s well-written. It’s inspirational and entertaining. And it’s a dystopian novel reflecting some of our current concerns with technology and our decaying civilization. But mostly it’s a rousing story about a young woman who discovers her innate heroism.
10. Why is there something rather than nothing?
That is a question at the very forefront of theoretical physics. Beyond my own remit as a writer? Maybe not. My own feeling is that it is a question unanswerable by science at the present time and so we turn to the artists and visionaries. Something to do with love is the short answer.
Thank you Anthony 🙂
For taking the time to answer my questions
& the best of luck with your new book!
Check out “The Victor’s Heritage” on