A Bayonne artist has expanded his creative horizons, writing a novel about life and a man’s bid for second chances; it’s been a cathartic experience.
Rocco Scibetta, 57, is usually painting in acrylic and oil.
He has exhibited at shows at the Bayonne Community Museum and Boho Yoga Studios in Bayonne. He has also taught art classes and sold many of his works.
Scibetta was born in Jersey City and moved to Bayonne when he was 10. He graduated from Bayonne High School. He moved to the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge Township in Middlesex County in 1991 and lived there until returning to Bayonne in January.
But Scibetta found that visual art didn’t provide a broad enough canvas to communicate his ideas about people and their foibles.
So he branched out, writing a handful of screenplays, hoping that one of them would be adapted for a television pilot or small film. But the world of TV and movies is not an easy one to crack.
“It’s very difficult to move screenplays,” he said. “Companies don’t take unsolicited materials. They’re afraid of getting sued. Unless you’re in the business, it’s really hard.”
Thus was born “Apples from the Garden of Eden,” a satirical novel about Felix X. Cole, a doctor of psychiatry, seeking to find his way through life after a failed marriage and hoping to get a second shot at that sometimes elusive thing called love.
“It’s a modern romance novel about an anti-social madman who is able to gather mass support for an idea that would be deemed incredible or revolutionary in any other time or era, except for the one he is currently in,” Scibetta said.
You’ll have to read the book to discover what that idea is.
Scibetta says that the book examines traditions, love, and the unexpected consequences of free will.
“The question that arises is could a second chance at love, life, and happiness be necessary to secure sanity in a fragile society that never seems to get it right the first time?” Scibetta said. “And why is it so hard to get a second chance?”
“Look at Adam and Eve. He bit the apple once, and we’re still paying for it thousands of years later.” – Rocco Scibetta
Words and pictures
Writing gave him more flexibility than the visual arts.
“Basically I just started writing,” he said. “I saw some situations in life that I wanted to explain and I really couldn’t do it any other way than writing. I created characters to kind of just do what I wanted to do, or say what I wanted to say, without getting into any trouble.”
The idea that the United States is “a throwaway culture saturated with adolescent wisdom” is central to Scibetta’s story.
“Look at Adam and Eve. He bit the apple once, and we’re still paying for it thousands of years later,” Scibetta said. “You only have 75 years in this life. Why not be able to turn around and start over?”
Scibetta published his book earlier this year; Readers on Amazon.com have posed reviews from good to great.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but this book totally hooks you in,” said one reviewer. “Scibetta’s talent lies in creating interesting characters. Even the minor characters draw you in and make you want to read more.”
“Excellent first novel,” said another. “The story made me laugh out loud numerous times. It reminded me very much of Vonnegut.”
“This is a book that you will not be able to put down,” said a third. “I was hooked from the very beginning. With every turn of a page, the plot thickens. The character development is clear and concise, and many will be able to connect immediately. I highly suggest this book to anyone looking for a quick, yet amazing read.”
“Apples from the Garden of Eden” was published by Page Publishing of New York. Besides Amazon.com, Scibetta’s novel can be purchased online through the Barnes & Noble, Kindle, Apple iTunes store, Google Play, and Nook sites.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at email@example.com.