An Interview with Frank Chase Jr.: Author of Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway?

Frank Chase Jr.Frank Chase Jr. is a native of Baltimore Maryland. As a graduate of Washington State University, he earned a BA degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology. He served in the United States Army and is now a minister at Emmanuel Church International in Decatur, Alabama. As a lay minister, Frank has served as a teacher, counselor, mentor and leader in various men’s ministries. He has authored and published numerous religious and relationship articles for newspapers, online magazines and print media, and has appeared as a reoccurring guest on many television and radio programs.

Tell us something about your book. The basics: what’s it about?

Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway is about a  centuries old biblical practice called tithing. The book dives into how this simple practice has been manipulated into financial monstrosity that is out of control. The basic premise of the book deals with whether the Bible actually teaches that Christians are commanded to pay a tithe of the income to a church. And it also seeks to define the true orthodox tithe as described in the Bible and not by the description of the traditions of men.

What drove you to write this particular book?

Well, that’s a long story. When I first got into the church, tithing was the first thing I was taught to do as a Christian.  At first, I just followed the practice but as the years went on it became more and more difficult to keep up with handing over ten percent of my income to the church when I really could not afford it. When I got married and began having children, tithing became more of  struggle knowing that I had to feed my family and pay the bills. Then I started to question the practice in my heart but still tried to pay my ten percent to the church. Well, thirty years past and then a major event took place in my life. I began to research the Bible more deeply about tithing after graduating from theology school. Prior to discovering the true biblical tithe, I was paying ten percent of my gross pay to the church. And behind the scenes my finances were heading into bankruptcy.

One day I began to research tithing and ran into an article written by a rabbi that explained the tithe. I wept through the entire article because for the first time in my life I found out that tithing was not money.  Elated about the news, I shared the information with my pastor. Needless to say, my new was met with disappointment. He did not agree with the theology that tithing is not a requirement.  Well, from that point on, I was removed from church leadership and eventually had to leave my church. In a way, I was indirectly dis-fellowshipped. Wanting to know the real truth about tithing is what drove me to write the book so that I could share my findings with believers to help them know the truth.  So I researched the subject for three years and compiled a 117-page power point study on tithing. Once that project was complete, I decided to turn all that information into a full-fledged theology research book on tithing. That’s pretty much how the book became a reality. It all started over a disagreement on scriptural interpretation about tithing.

Kleptomaniac: Who's Really Robbing God Anyway?What’s your writing regimen? Where do you do your writing?

Most of my writing is done at home. I’m a writer for my regular job so I follow the same pattern as I do at work. Most writers follow an outline to write their books I write without an outline. I guess that the more difficult way to write. Outlines are probably good but I seem to think they are restrictive.  I don’t have a special writing place. I wrote my newest book at my home computer.

Who are your greatest writing influences?

My greatest writing influences are Pastor T.D Jake and Gordon Dalbey.

Is the book in any one particular genre? Is it a genre that’s familiar to you?

My book best fits in the genre of theology. It could also be placed in religion since most religions practice some form of tithing. I would say I’m very familiar with the genre of my book, I’ve spent years studying the subject and the Bible in general.

How did you come to self-publish? Did you try to get published traditionally? 

I tried the traditional publishing route for my first book, False Roads To Manhood: What Woman Need to Know, What Men Need to Understand. After I got many rejection letters, I knew that self-publishing was the route I would go if I wrote more books.

What self-publishing service did you use? Happy with the service?

Now that’s a sore subject with me. My first printing was a disaster, because the person who I had working on the book was not what she claimed to be. In fact, the internal layout of the book was incorrect, the ISBN number for the book I could never verify. Needless to says, I found out later that person was not reputable. I was not happy with this mom and pop outfit. Once I realized that it was a mistake, I republished the book with a differ cover and title and went with another person out of New York.  I was satisfied even though it was another mom and pop outfit.

Would you self-publish again?

I believe in self-publishing but there are drawbacks to not having a traditional publisher and one of the obvious ones is that traditional publishers have the distribution and marketing.

Any words of advice for those looking to self-publish? Any big missteps/successes?

The best advice I can give about self-publishing is that you must do your homework when investigating what people claim they they can do on the internet. Everyone who hangs out a business shingle in the internet saying they are the best, you might want to check them out thoroughly. Investigate everybody with a fine tooth comb. One of my big missteps is editing. They are good editors and there are bad editors and I can say I paid a lot of money for bad editors. And to be frankly honest, I have not found a good editor yet. In self publishing, you can save a lot of money if you’re willing to do everything yourself but that will take away from your writing career. So pick your battles carefully in the self-publishing world.

What’s next on the horizon for you as an author?

Well, right now I’m spending a lot of time working on getting my new book exposed. I plan on writing a new book the delves into questioning modern beliefs about the Bible and race.

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