Friday, March 10, 2006

Can Fiction Spark a Revivial?

An Interview with

JACK CAVANAUGH


Approximately six months before his death, Dr. Bright teamed up with best-selling author Jack Cavanaugh to write a series of books to create a hunger for revival in America. Knowing it was unlikely that Dr. Bright would live to see the publication of the project, the authors spent intensive sessions forming the novels, after which Dr. Bright signed off and allowed Mr. Cavanaugh to write them.


This month marks the release of Bill Bright and Jack Cavanaugh's Storm.

Tell us about the conception of The Great Awakenings series.

This series was born out of a shared desire for revival in our country. When Dr. Bright and I learned that we were both praying for revival, it seemed only natural that we would team up to write this series about the historic revivals in America.

There are so many unexpected twists in Storm, were those plots twists made during the planning sessions with Dr. Bright, or were they inspired as you wrote?

The creation of a novel has many stages. Before he passed away, Dr. Bright and I met and prayed and sketched out the broad strokes for not only Storm, but three other stories as well. We knew that unless God intervened in a miraculous way, Dr. Bright would not be alive to see the release of any of the books. My task has been to bring our stories to life.

As you researched the revivals that once swept our country, what most affected you?

Two things: First, that God so often chooses common, ordinary people to be the spark for the extraordinary outpouring of His Spirit. Second, the unexpected nature of revival. Not only the timing of revival, which is wholly in God's hands, but the unimaginable wonder of it all. The historical events that occurred are far more fantastic and wondrous than anything we could have imagined.

Do you consider Storm a character or plot driven novel?

Storm is a character driven novel. But don't mistake that for lack of action. Character driven simply means that readers keep reading because they want to find out what happens next to the characters. Storm is a personal duel between two men. Imagine if you were given the task of leading your greatest rival to the Lord. The one person you can't stand. The person who annoys and torments you endlessly. Then imagine you learned that God had chosen him, a non-Christian, and not you, to start a national revival. That's exactly what happens in Storm.

What do you hope your readers will take with them from this series?
That's easy. When we began this project, Dr. Bright and I got on our knees and prayed that after reading these novels Christians would turn their hearts to God and cry out, "Lord, do it again."

4 comments:

Michele said...

It took me a bit to figure out what "revival" meant. Brings to mind Neil Diamond's song "Brother Loves Traveling Salvation Show" or some such.

Interesting interview.

"Storm" rememinds me of the anecdote:
Of two teenaged girls, one had a major crush on a boy in school. Back in those days, inter-religious dating was "not done".
She was Catholic, he was "other".
Since she prayed every night, she added one for his conversion with the hope that she could date him. Oh, did she want to date him!
Alas, nothing happened.
As time went on, she continued to pray, he had become so much a part of her litany, she'd forgotten what or why he was even included.
At their 10 High School reunion, her and her friend ran into him.
After the pleasantries, she asked him,
"So, what field did you decide on working in?"
His reply,
"Oh,I'm a Catholic priest."

LOL! The power of prayer, eh?

Shesawriter said...

Robin,

Fantastic interview. God knows revival needs to come with what the world is facing at this late hour.

Again, great interview! :-) Thanks for posting this.

Tanya

Kelly Parra said...

Great interview, Robin! Thanks for sharing with us!

Anonymous said...

Jack Cavanaugh says....

I hope all of you enjoy reading Storm.

It's the third installment in the Great Awakening Series, following Proof and Fire. I’m currently writing the final installment, Fury. Each of these stories has a common theme – the unexpected and amazing outpouring of God’s Spirit in America, whether it’s in New York City, colonial New England, Yale College, or upstate New York.

Robin, thank you for posting this interview. May God bless you, your writing, and your precious family.

Michele, had to laugh at your reference to Neil Diamond, who happens to be my wife’s favorite singer. Love the song “Brother Love’s Travelin’ Salvation Show” even though it suggests there’s a little hucksterism going on. Also enjoyed your anecdote. Ah…the power of prayer. Thanks for sharing it.

Tanya, you’re right on target regarding the need for revival. It’s a renewal from within that heals hearts, breaks down barriers, and unites families. Here’s praying that God’s Spirit will grace us with it in a big way.

Kelly, thank you for taking time to post a comment. God’s blessings on you.