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Published on Wednesday, October 16, 2013

An Interview With

Vincent Capone


Vincent Capone is the author of the new Western release Calliope and he recently granted an interview to The Western Online.

The Western Online: Can you describe your story for our readers?

Vincent Capone: Calliope is the story of U.S. deputy marshal Joe Calliope who is sent by the U.S. government to capture 24-year-old outlaw Billy McKaller for robbing a federal mail train in 1886. Calliope tracks McKaller to Cochise County, Arizona. In the famed town of Tombstone, he joins forces with veteran sheriff Wyatt Lareson and his fiery young deputy, Dewnan Kender.

Together, the three men form a posse to capture or kill McKaller and his growing band of desperate outlaws. As the locals begin to take sides on either side of the coming fight, Lareson and Kender begin to unearth some of the secrets of Calliope's past, a past tied much closer to McKaller than any of them realize.

TWO: How is your story one that would interest the readers of The Western Online?

Vincent: Calliope is a western in the vein of classic westerns of the past, but unlike its predecessors, Calliope is the story of one lawman who cannot survive with a "lone ranger" mentality. The ghosts of his past, and eventually the ghosts of Lareson, Kender, and even McKaller's pasts, will require the lawmen to lean on one another and form a partnership that will be their only chance against the dangerous McKaller and his deadly gang.

A life or death game of cat-and-mouse will lead to the death of the three lawmen and the destruction of numerous small towns in Arizona struggling to survive or the just punishment of McKaller and his band.

TWO: What motivates the protagonist in your story? What is he trying to prove?

Vincent: Joe Calliope follows the orders of his employer, the federal government of the United States as he tracks McKaller to Arizona. Once there, however, McKaller unearths memories for Calliope that he has suppressed for more than six years. Calliope is torn between his duty and the desire to escape the torment of his past.

TWO: How would you define the term "Western" and what does it mean to you?

Vincent: A western is a story that takes place in the western United States in the Great Plains and beyond, usually in the years from the 1860s to the turn of the 20th century, but occasionally before and after.

Beyond the technicalities of definition, what I feel has endeared the Western genre to millions is a setting not just of deserts, mountains, prairies, cattle trails, and boom towns, but a stage for good versus evil; the testing of human endurance, not only physical, but mental and emotional; and the opportunity for one man or a handful of men to control their fate and future and the fate and future of those around them.


TWO: What draws you to writing Westerns?

Vincent: Calliope was the brainchild of my eight-year-old imagination. It started out as the cowboy story that most little boys imagine in their youth. Over time, Calliope developed and blossomed until it took on the vitality and maturity of a full novel. The struggle that Joe Calliope faced was one that I could not bring myself to ignore. Billy McKaller is a worthy adversary, and theirs was a conflict that I couldn't imagine failing to resolve.

TWO: What writers have influenced you the most?

Vincent: C.S. Lewis, N.D. Wilson, Brock Thoene, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Richard Paul Evans.

TWO: What is your favorite Western, either novel or movie? Why?

Vincent: Favorite western is True Grit, as retold by Joel and Ethan Coen in 2010. The simple nature of the story -- a headstrong girl seeking to avenge her father's murder with the help of a surly and hardened marshal and a bombastic Texas Ranger -- showed me that westerns can be successful on more than a foundation of the stoic lone gunman and the stereotypical outlaw.

TWO: If you could go back in time and meet one famous person in the Old West, who would it be and why?

Vincent: Billy the Kid, because he was part of the inspiration for Billy McKaller and because much of his life remains a mystery to a world that is fascinated by his story.

TWO: What are you plans for the future? Are you working on a sequel?

Vincent: Calliope is the first book of a trilogy. I am halfway through the second book and have some material assembled for the finale. I am also writing a Young Adult series that I would like to begin publishing in the next year.

TWO:Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Vincent: Feel free to follow me on Facebook.



Vincent Capone is a writer, teacher, and tutor with a love for good stories, good characters, and good humor. He teaches math and logic at Greystone Academy in Newtown, PA and tutors math for high school students. He writes baseball stories for a township blog and coaches high school baseball in the springtime.

He lives in New Jersey where he looks for adventure under every stone and around every corner.

In addition to Calliope, Vincent has also begun work on a young adult fiction series.

Follow Vincent on Facebook.


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