Friday, February 14, 2014

Featured Author Interview: Robbie Cheuvront

Robbie Cheuvront is the author of The Guardian and Worship Pastor of North Point Church in Corona, California, and was previously at The Journey Church in Lebanon, Tennessee. He is married and has two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. 

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Before going into ministry full time, Robbie was a professional musician on the road for about 10 years, where he played bass guitar and sang in the band Lonestar. He traveled the world and experienced many different cultures.

Robbie has always been an avid reader, and after being a professional song writer for several years, decided to try his hand at a novel. Robbie and his co-author and partner in ministry, Pastor Erik Reed, came up with the idea for their first novel, The Guardian, a few years ago. Their publisher, Barbour Books, released their next book in September 2012, Fall, the first in The 13 series, with the conclusion, Stand, published in November 2013.


The following is a February 2014 interview with Robbie.

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
AT THE END OF THE INTERVIEW


Be in to win a set of
The 13: Fall and The 13:Stand
by Robbie Cheuvront & Erik Reed 

(with Shawn Allen)

2 paperback sets to be won
Contest open to entrants with USA addresses only.
Contest runs from 7-21 February NZDT


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Tell us a little about yourself. 

I was born and raised just outside of Pittsburgh, PA. I moved to Nashville at the age of 17 to pursue a music career, where eventually I ended up becoming the bass player and high harmony singer for BNA recording artists Lonestar. I toured all over the world for about ten years with them. 

During that time, my wife and I left our current church to go plant a church with about forty others. That was the thing that changed my life. As the church began to grow, I felt more and more that God was calling me to a life of ministry. I left the road and became a full time worship pastor for the church. 

After about eight years there, my wife, Tiffany, and I discerned a call to come to Southern California where I currently serve as the Worship Pastor for Northpoint EV Free Church in Corona, Ca., where we live with our two children, Cason and Hadyn.


How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write? 

I’ve always been a songwriter. The thing that used to frustrate me was having to tell a story in four minutes. And I’ve always been a huge reader. Being on the road, I read a lot. Not much to do on a tour bus for eight to twelve hours at a time! 

One day, before leaving for a two-week trip, I was in the book store, trying to find something good to read. My wife hates being in book stores with me. She equates it to me being in a clothing store with her: BORING! After an hour, she finally got tired of standing around and said, “Why don’t you just write a book!” That immediately got the wheels turning inside my head, and I thought, why not! 

That night, as the tour bus pulled out of the bus yard, I opened my computer and began to write THE GUARDIAN. It was a slow process and took over two years to write, and led to my partnership with Erik and Shawn. Through a ton of ridiculous and God-led circumstances, we got the book published. Now here we are three books later, and I’m doing this interview with you!


What do you think is significant about Christian fiction? 

Perhaps the most significant thing about Christian fiction is that it allows me, the writer, the opportunity to tell fun, entertaining stories with Kingdom principles. It is an opportunity to share the Gospel and it opens doors that might not otherwise be opened. Jesus, Himself, instituted this kind of teaching. We see this all throughout the Gospels, as Jesus used parables (fictitious stories) to tell about the Kingdom of God. 

C.S. Lewis mastered this technique and wrote some of the most entertaining, Gospel-centered stories ever penned. Many people will never pick up a non-fiction book, which coincidentally is where the majority of Christian literature is written. However, those same people will read fiction. Giving them a story that they can get lost in, all the while sharing the Gospel with them, in my opinion is an opportunity that a Pastor/Writer like me cannot afford to pass up!

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How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write? 

Well, first of all, I hope they are entertained. That’s the point of reading a good story, right? If they’re not entertained, they’re probably not going to read anything else you write. But more importantly, we hope that in some way our readers are drawn closer to God through the reading of the story. 

We actually had a reader email us and tell us that she had given THE GUARDIAN to a friend of hers, who wasn’t a believer. After her friend read the book, she began to ask a ton of questions about who this Jesus was and why she should follow Him. Eventually, the reader told us she was able to, for the first time in their relationship, have the opportunity to have Gospel conversations with her friend. Only a few weeks later, the woman professed her faith in Christ and was baptized. 

Now, we’re certainly not suggesting, nor would we ever suggest, that our books are magical in any way. God saves sinners, period! But to know that God used what we did to open a door so that His church might grow even by one person… well, we say that if nothing else ever happens from the writing of any of our books ever again, it was worth every second of writing!


What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why? 

Well I think the answer to question four probably would fit here, as well. So I’ll say that was probably the most significant thing we’ve heard. But we still get tons of people writing us asking questions about how we came up with the stories, our characters, and the biggest, When is the movie coming out?! When we hear responses like that, it serves to affirm in us that we are definitely called to write. It’s what fuels us to reach further and deeper into the world of twisted storylines and enigmatic characters. I’m sure we’ll talk about it further down, but we have some great ideas for our next few stories.


How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ? 

Wow! One wouldn’t necessarily think that writing fiction would deepen your relationship with Christ. However, think about this: the Bible says that (concerning Jesus) all things were made through Him and for Him. And nothing that was made, was made apart from His divine interaction (paraphrasing, of course – John 1:3) This means that Jesus Christ is the author of all creation. And because God is sovereign, He has ordained that there be creative things in this world. This reflects one of God’s greatest attributes, His creativity. We see from the very beginning of scripture that God is a creative God. God inspires creativity and, I believe, loves it when His children create in a manner that tries to reflect His glory and exalt the name of His Son. 

Because of that, my relationship with Christ has seen significant growth over the period of my writings. It has caused me to be more a lover of His word. It has caused me to delve deeper into scripture, seeking to have a better understanding of what God has said to us, so that when we write, hopefully, we can help someone else see and understand.

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Other than writing great novels, what other goals do you have for your life? 

Well, though I love being a writer, my first and primary responsibility is as a husband and a father. Secondly, it’s to be the pastor that God has called me to be, having a deep love for His church. Because of that, my goals in life tend to be focused on those two topics. 

I want to see my children grow up to be so in love with Jesus Christ that their every decision is based on what He would have them do. I would love to see my children more concerned with the fact that people who have never put their faith in Christ will spend an eternity apart from God, rather than their own comfort or safety. 

I would love to see my church continue to be a refuge for those who are hurting and broken, and continue to fund missions around the world to see the Gospel preached to the nations. Because of that, I’m currently learning to speak Spanish fluently. I’ve always wanted to speak a foreign language, and between Spanish and English, you can communicate with more than two thirds of the world. And because of those goals, I am fueled to keep writing, in an effort to help spread the Gospel message to the ends of the earth.


What do you like to do in your spare time? 

What spare time? Haha! Just kidding. I love to golf and fish. If I’m not spending time with my family, and I’m not at work, or writing, you’ll find me on the links or on a boat!


What can you tell us about your latest novels? 

Well, the newest release: THE 13: Stand is the second installment of a two-part story. The first installment, THE 13: Fall, was listed as one of the Library Journal’s top five Christian Fiction books of 2012. So we’re excited to present this second book, the conclusion of the story. 

The story is about America, in the not-too-distant future. America has lost her way and God sends a modern-day prophet to the president who demands that the president call the nation to repentance, or God will give our nation over into the hands of another nation. What ensues is a heart pounding political thriller that leads our characters all across the country, to Europe and the Middle East, trying to get to the bottom of the Prophet’s mysterious message. 

I won’t give any spoilers here, in case your readers here haven’t had the opportunity to read them yet. But I will say: Our readers have told us the first chapter of the first installment left them breathless and feeling like the entire world was ripped out from underneath them. Consequently, most people tell us that they finished the book in less than three days! And then… we got some friendly emails from people who basically said, “Are you kidding me?! How are we supposed to wait eight months to find out how this ends?!” Fortunately for the readers of this interview… you don’t have to wait! THE 13: Stand is out and available for your enjoyment!

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What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead? 

We have several different things on the table. We’ve been talking recently about how teenage fiction is the fastest growing market in the literary world, if it isn’t already. Books like the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games, and Twilight have swept the world by storm. And they’re not just for kids. The kid inside every adult loves these stories, too. 

Unfortunately, our kids don’t have much in the way of Gospel centered stories that are that intense and enjoyable for them to read. Because of that, we’ve been working on a story about a teenage girl who finds out she’s a descendant of King David and is part of a secret world of people who are descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel, who have put their faith in Christ, and who have been given the gift of being able to identify demons in our world. Their job: to hunt them down and kill them. Again, I won’t spoil anything and tell you why. But just know… you don’t want to miss out on this tale!  There are some other stories we are working on, as well. And to be honest, we’re not sure exactly which one is going to come first. Maybe we can do a follow up and let you know!


What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?

Often times authors write stories that are so geographically specific, they’re not as fun for people from other countries to read. Not so with our books. Our books, though they tend to be based in the United States, are about the characters and their journeys. Not to mention, they tend to end up all over the world, as they chase down whatever it is they’re after. So, though you might not be intimately familiar with where they are, it doesn’t matter. The books are about people, not places. So hopefully, everyone around the world will enjoy them. 

Secondly, we aspire to be authors that share the Gospel and Gospel centered ideas. For that reason, we would love our books to be read worldwide. Please, please, pick them up, read them, and then tell someone about them. 

Lastly, I’ve spent the majority of my life travelling. I can’t tell you how incredible it is to experience so many different cultures and people groups. I love the beauty of God’s creation and seeing the different parts of the world. Having readers in different countries helps me to connect back to many of the places I’ve visited, and gives me the desire to visit many more. Just putting this out there: if you’re in a country, other than the United States, and you ever have a book fair and want to showcase any of our novels… I’m totally fine with coming to your country to visit! :0)


Do you have any parting words?

Thank you for giving us the time to tell you a little bit about our novels. We love getting to do what we do. Being husbands, fathers, pastors and writers gives us the most awesome lives anyone could ever imagine. You, our readers, make this possible for us to continue to do the things we love. God bless you and may the peace of Christ dwell richly in you.


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The 13: Fall

Chaos is at America’s doorstep. . . .

When former black ops specialist turned CIA operative Jonathan Keene is summoned to the White House, he’s not sure what to expect. And neither is FBI agent Megan Taylor. Together, they learn they’ll be working with former military chaplain Boz Hamilton to track down a man claiming to bear a message from God about the imminent downfall of the United States. But Keene isn’t buying the hype surrounding the so-called Prophet and would prefer to track down the terrorist alone.

As the three of them traverse the country and the globe in search of the Prophet, they’re led deeper down a path of deception and dead ends. Then news of the sudden disappearance of law enforcement officers along the US–Mexico border surfaces and casts a disturbing light on recent events. Suddenly they’re called to join a battle against an enemy no one saw coming.

As the US is pushed into a situation it hasn’t seen since its inception, a conflict awaits that will test the foundations of the country. . .and force Keene to face a past and faith he’d rather leave buried.


Purchase The 13: Fall: 
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | The Book Depository]




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The 13: Stand

America’s Future Lies in Her Past

The battle for America continues. . .but this time it’s from within.

Having given up his soul’s fight against God and surrendered his life to Him, CIA operative Jon Keene soon finds out that the work of the Prophet is not yet done. While the Chinese are satisfied, for now, with the latest border arrangements, a new plot is brewing inside the already weakened US, one that could cripple the vulnerable nation and bring the US to the brink of a second civil war.

Keene and his team are once again set against the clock, as they race to discover who and what this new threat is.

And on the eve of America’s most pivotal moment, the entire world watches as an epic showdown of biblical proportions on the floor of the House of Representatives will once and for all decide the fate of. . .

The 13

Purchase The 13: Stand: 
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | The Book Depository]



Buy Robbie's Books at The Book Depository

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Be in to win a set of
The 13: Fall and The 13:Stand

by Robbie Cheuvront & Erik Reed 

(with Shawn Allen)

2 paperback sets to be won
Contest open to entrants
with USA addresses only.
Contest runs from 7-21 February NZDT


Please comment about the interview, or leave a message for Robbie Cheuvront when making a blog post comment. Simply commenting about entering the draw or wanting to win the books does not qualify for valid entry into the draw. 

All entries must be made using the Rafflecopter contest to be eligible for drawing. Winning entries drawn will have their entry options validated before being accepted - if incomplete another entry will be drawn.


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