More About the Author
When I was a child, my mother and her sisters often spoke fondly of their Uncle Cap. One Easter, when they were children, he gave my aunts baby ducks and my mother a baby rabbit, by far the nicer gift in her estimation. Mother told me Cap was "your Granddaddy's friend." Since Granddaddy was a reserved, well spoken man, a West Virginia mayor, state senator, and judge of the circuit court at one time or another, I pictured my mother's uncle as a man with similar traits and disposition. Cap died six years before I was born, denying me any opportunity to now him personally.
Years later, as an adult, I learned that "Uncle Cap" was Cap Hatfield, notorious killer and right hand man to his father Devil Anse Hatfield, during the infamous Hatfield and McCoy feuds. It seemed impossible that Uncle Cap and Cap the killer could be one and the same. "The Devi's Son" is the result of my efforts, long after my mother's and aunts' deaths, to discover how Cap made the great transition he seemed to have mad and, concomitantly, how the Hatfield and McCoy feud ended.
After reading histories, memoirs, two master's degree theses, and numerous old newspaper articles, I began to put a story together, a story that was never totally clear because information was sparse about many of Cap's adventures, sources conflicted concerning names of sparring parties and dates of events, and very little was written about motives and interpersonal relationships. In fact, some tales and films portrayed the Hatfields and McCoys as cartoonish, irrational figures. To put together a coherent story, I had to re-create motives and conversations and provide scenes of life inside the Hatfield family. When data were sparse or conflicting, I chose words and actions that fit the flow of lives and the changes in them. that is, I have written a novel, not a history. The characters, events, and settings in southern West Virginia and northern Kentucky in the 1880s are actual, but conversations and details of some events are fictional.
I have traced the flow of Cap's life as though mapping the course of a river I have never seen and never can see. There are good, detailed maps of some portions of the river and stretches where no information at all is available or where sources conflict Because a river is prevented from excursions that defy physical laws, such as gravity, one can draw a reasonable likeness of its course between known points. I had mapped some of Cap's life in just such a way, making informed guesses about its flow between known events.
I grew up in Parkersburg, West Virginia. I graduated with a degree in physics from Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, then went on to spend thirty-five years as an engineer and manager in the aerospace industry in Los Angeles.
I have now added a writing career to my engineering experience. I am married, live in Los Angels, and have two grown daughters and two baby grandsons.