Tell us a little about your upcoming book, "Dear Worshiper: The Core of Praise and Worship.” What inspired you to write this book?
"Dear Worshiper" was birthed out of my frustration that even if I was doing an okay job as a Worship Leader, I couldn't settle for the fact that I knew I was doing a pretty lousy job as a True Worshiper. I got to a point where I didn't want to just worship because it was my job to do so anymore. It was my desire to re-learn how I could be able to say, "I entered into the presence of God and received something tangible from being in His presence."
What “message” do you hope your readers will receive from your book?
After reading "Dear Worshiper", I hope readers are inspired to throw the generic concept of "religion" out of the window. I know Kirk Franklin received a lot of backlash some years ago when he came out with an album called "Losing My Religion" but, truthfully speaking, if you have nothing to show for your "religion", then it honestly serves no purpose to you.
God Himself is too GREAT for anyone to truthfully be able to say they entered into His house (church) or entered into His presence (through worship or prayer) and left the same way they entered. That is not the type of God we read about in the Bible. As Believers we should not settle for lives full of fear, anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc. when the answers and cures to all of those things and more are supposed to be found by those who have a true relationship with the living God.
What research did you do to write the book and what did you learn in the process?
I didn't begin "researching" on this journey with the expectation that I was going to turn my research into a book. This was a personal experience for me. I mainly compared my own relationship with God and my own life with the lives of certain men and women in the Bible. If I noticed they were doing something different from me and getting better results than I was getting, I changed my own conduct to get a more desirable result. The main thing I learned in the process is that God wants us to draw near to Him with sincerity so that He can dwell with us and pour out His love and blessings in abundance in our lives.
How did you know you were called by God to be a Christian writer, and do you have any suggestions on how aspiring authors can know whether God has called them to write?
Well the short and practical answer is probably that if you find yourself thinking that posting everything you want to say on social media would kind of be like people are reading a book, then you probably should actually be writing a book instead. I always say that when I meet my Maker, if He asks me what I did with the talents, gifts, inspirations and ideas He gave me, I want to be able to say "I used up everything! I shared everything with Your people. I have nothing left!" Everyone should be living by that same principle. When you have something inside of you, you basically just know it's there. Do yourself a favor and let it out!
Why do you think interest in Christian literature has grown so much over the last few years?
I just think from the beginning of time mankind has been trying to figure out the extent of Who God is and how He has created the things He has created and how He does the extraordinary things that He does. In Ephesians 3:19 Paul says the love of Christ surpasses knowledge. That means that as long as there is a desire for knowledge, there will also always be a desire to learn more about God. That will never end because mankind will never be able to figure out all of the specifics of how God is actually God!
On a more personal note: Tell us a little about your “real” (Non-writing) life — family, job, church life.
Well, I'm the daughter of an amazing mother, a sister to two slightly annoying, but really awesome siblings. In my opinion, I have one of the smallest, but greatest circle of friends on the planet. I work full-time at my church (working in music/media) and I basically just love outlets that grant me the privilege to express myself creatively. I love art and artistry and the "science" of self-expression.
Does your personal life give you inspiration for your writing?
Oh definitely. My personal life inspires and influences everything I do. One of the things I always say to people is "I can only give you what I have and I can only tell you what I know." That is to say that life and experiences bring you to a place where you are able to share with others the things you have learned (most of the times) the hard way!
Is there anything I haven’t asked you about your upcoming book that you would like our readers to know?
I think because I'm a Worship Leader, people may be inclined to think that my new book "Dear Worshiper" is only geared towards Worship Leaders, which couldn't be further from the truth. "Dear Worshiper" is for anyone who wants to deepen the roots of the personal One-on-one relationship they have with their God.
How can readers stay connected with you for updates about your upcoming book release?
I recently relaunched my blog, rockydania.blogspot.com - Everything related to the release of "Dear Worshiper" will be posted on the blog from now until the book's release date in January. I'm excited to be able to keep everybody updated on what's happening with "Dear Worshiper." So everyone can feel free to visit my blog for daily updates about the book's release!
About the book:
Dear Worshiper: The Core of Praise and Worship” is a book for those who desire to worship God in spirit and in truth. This book is designed to inspire worshipers to look past tradition and delve into the significance of true worship. Praise is more than something we give to God in churches. Worship is more than a song. “Dear Worshiper” uses various topics to teach readers that intimate time spent in the presence of God is the true source of peace, fulfillment, wisdom, and joy needed for life’s journey.
“Dear Worshiper: The Core of Praise and Worship” will be released in January of 2018. For information and updates, visit www.rockydania.blogspot.com