Anvil Soul: What inspired you to write this novel?

 

Anvil Soul was born over a number of years. I lived in Temora (a small rural town) for eight years and in summer I would swim in the local pool morning and night. I would arrive for a swim at 5.30 in the morning, then go to work and then return at about 7 pm for another swim. From where I walked to the local pool I would walk past the local churches and the local presbytery. I remember looking at the buildings and occasionally see the priests moving about. I grew up a Catholic, and it is deeply touching and moving to be involved with the Church. There is something that remains in everyone brought up in the Catholic faith, something more powerful than just a belief. There are fears, hopes and a history of rich storytelling.

On these walks, I remembered a story I was told about my Great Grandfather. When he died in Temora, the priest who was to lead the funeral mass had not arrived. My Grandfather rushed across to the presbytery next door and found the old priest drunk and asleep inside. It started me thinking about faith and the importance of ethics and trust in religion. I investigated the reports in the media of sexual assault in the Catholic Church, and I wondered what one man might do if he was a priest and confronted with people of such evil. So, from these beginning and hours of thought while swimming, during that summer in Temora, Anvil Soul was born.   

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