Monday, April 21, 2008


Xavier Knight is the pseudonym of C. Kelly Robinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio and graduate of Howard University and Washington University in St. Louis, Robinson is a marketing communications manager by day and has a long record of volunteer experience across organizations including United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Mentor St. Louis, and Student Venture Ministries. Author of five previous novels including the best-selling No More Mr. Nice Guy and the critically acclaimed Between Brothers (Random House) he lives outside Dayton with his wife and daughter. He is hard at work on his next novel and a nonfiction project.

The Things We Do For Love

Jesse Law, a lead singer of the fast-rising gospel supergroup Men with a Message, is caught between two sets of secrets – his own, and that of his best friend and co-lead singer, Coleman Hill. Jesse, a former secular star who left a life of debauchery behind to accept Christ and build a family with his minister wife, Dionne, is hiding a devastating secret concerning the identity of the child he and Dionne are about to adopt. Meanwhile, Coleman’s marriage to Dionne’s close friend Suzette falters when he is outed for a homosexual past. This story of two Christian marriages rocked by scandal is about the limits of love when placed in a spiritual context.

What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

I hope that readers will be inspired by seeing two couples who are fighting for their marriages against all odds, in the types of situations where the average friend would lean over to these wives and say, "Girl, you should walk out the door . . ." Bottom line, every marriage faces its share of perils but when you come to it with a spiritual component you have an edge at surviving the valleys, though plenty of Christians have messed up this venerable institution!

Why did you decide to write Christian Fiction?

It was a natural move for me as I got further into my thirties and the market began to change. As a Christian I had always included elements of spirituality in my books, I just had to toe a line because I was classified as "secular". It has been freeing to write openly about people who are Christians and are approaching their conflicts with scripture, prayer and fellowship in mind. Not to say they are perfect “reading one page will show you that" but they are trying to address their human shortcomings with a spiritual component.

What did you learn while writing this book?

Probably learning how to smoothly integrate scriptural passages, and characters' thoughts on them, was a big challenge. This also helped me challenge myself to be more mindful of truly applying scripture in my own life.

What is the hardest part about the writing business?

From the time you complete your manuscript, it just gets harder. My perspective on the industry is far more cynical than it was when I first broke in, but I still view it as privilege to write for pay, because I would do it for free.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

That if you invite an author to come speak to your book club or in your city, they most likely need you to foot the costs. People too often are under the mis-impression that we authors are banking! With a few exceptions, not true!

What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?

Very interesting question. I will say it like this, if my daughter comes to me eventually and says she wants to follow in my footsteps, I will counsel her to first get a degree in journalism. That seems to be the best way to write full-time and earn a reasonable living. From there I would suggest that she work on her novel or other book project in her spare time, but stay at it and maybe save up additional money if she needs to take time off at some point to finish it off. Finally, I would say that that she should treat book royalty income as investment income, not money to live off of because it can be here today, gone tomorrow.

This month our theme is Men In Fiction. Can you give us five male authors you read?

Sure. If we're speaking of contemporary writers, some of my favorites are Walter Mosley, Scott Turow, Chris Chambers, Eric Dickey and E. Lynn Harris.

Any advice for the aspiring writer?

Just get regular writing time in, at least 2-3 days per week, if you're serious about getting that book done. Stay at it and keep elevating your craft, doors will open for those with the right mix of talent and hard work.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website) or

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