Earlier this week author Robert Siqveland spoke with us about his motivation to write his first novel, The Immaculate Erection. Don't let the title fool you... this is a nostalgic trip back to a time when "...guys fought with their fists, and hand-shakes were sacred...A time of innocence, rides and family breakfasts after Mass on Quinquegesima Sunday" a time when everyone in the neighborhood knew everyone else. A time when the mysteries of the church held families together with fear, shame, and often guilt.
Where did this story idea come from?
Growing up Catholic, Siqveland came up with the idea for this story line long ago. After a career in finance, he had long been soul searching. First guitar, then art, where he was even a able to sell a few of his paintings, but he says:
"writing took me to a higher plane....the Church crisis was merely the catalyst.
I knew I had to write this story."
The extent of this moral crime has left a bitter taste for author Siqveland, who questions early church reaction to pedophile priests, equating them with serpents hiding within the cloaks of the church. Although this novel is centered within a Catholic community, the community and family bonds that were so close during Siqveland's youth some 50 years ago, have come undone through the misrepresentation, lies and a general aura of deceit within the church. Siqveland says it has taken some time to put his relationship with the church into perspective, a process which some of his characters may never be able to.
Like many other early readers I was totally absorbed by this book, finding it tough to set down. Siqveland deftly peels away the layers of time to expose characters and events, interwoven relationships between friends, families, parents, and the Church. He has done this so well that I was unable to define when the whole thing became mine. The friends could be any one of our friends, the neighbors are our neighbors, and the rise and fall of life within the pages could very well be our own.
I asked how it felt to have written such a unique and well written story, and this is what he had to say,
"I think I have, for some time, wanted to write a story about growing up and coming of age in the innocence of the 50’s and 60’s, through memorable characters like Holden Caulfield and Garp. The child in all of us discovering the mysteries of life, the formation of relationships with the genders, peers, parents, friends parents, coaches, teachers, and the Church. The influences that gave us the victories and defeats, fears, shame and guilt, as well as strength and self-concept are the environment that forms personality and priority. We all went through it, and we all knew characters like those in my book. So when I began to receive affirmations on the story, I was most pleased with those that said: “ I formed a real relationship with your characters, felt their pains and celebrated their joys. I wanted more. I miss them, and they truly affected me.”
To say Bob found the writing experience a rewarding one is not quite accurate. With no knowledge of word processing, computers or typing, he set out to learn. Within nine months from the first keystroke, his manuscript was finally done and, after sending several copies to friends, positive feedback began pouring in. He expected some stroking, but was stunned at how moving these early critics felt his story was. They all described finding parallels to their own lives and felt emotionally connected with the characters and events in the story.
Look for another literary work currently in the making from Robert Siqveland andShawondasse Press.
Read a Sample Chapter: Click Here