I met one of my childhood favorite authors...

It's Harry Potter that shapes most kids' childhoods.  For me...it was Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.

On Saturday, I had the privilege of meeting Ridley Pearson at a book signing for the release of his new book, The Return.

My dad made me drive (during which I actually cried and almost hyperventilated with anxiety), but once I got there, it was totally worth the experience.  My sister and I speed walked all the way to the other side of Disney Springs (which used to be Downtown Disney, a much more fitting name).  While we waited in line, we talked with the people around us and a cast member rattled off Kingdom Keepers trivia questions.  I was surprised that I actually didn't have to wait too long.

And then we were almost there...




Mr. Pearson signed our books and we took a picture...and then an employee pointed out my writer shirt.  He gave me writing advice and asked me about my work.  It was such a neat experience.  Nothing can compare to talking with other writers.

My dad, sister, and I stayed a couple of days at Disney.  We just got back home today, which is why I didn't post until later.  This morning, at Animal Kingdom, I wore my writer shirt again (mostly because the Disney trip was spontaneous and I didn't plan ahead).  Savannah and I were in line for Dinosaur.  A cast member asked me how many were in my party and I said two.  Then she stopped and looked at my shirt.  Her face suddenly lit up and I thought she was going to hug me.  Then she said, "I need to frame that shirt in my room to explain to my mom why I have papers all over my room."  I kept grinning as I got on the ride.  So my tip of the day is to always wear some sort of writing/fandom shirt when you go to a theme park because you might meet someone like you!


Trends In Book Covers and why we should pay attention to them

I made a video about cover design!  Let's explore some book covers and see how we can apply these when we design covers, either for real or for fun.

(As a side note, I'm super awkward in this video so...yeah...sorry...)

Indie e-Con

I also have another video up on Kendra's blog about how to use less stock photography.

Am I horribly awkward in these videos?  What are some of your favorite book cover trends?  What are some of your favorite book covers?  I would love to hear your thoughts!


This Week's Blog Post will be on Wednesday

Im participating in Indie e-Con, so this week's post will go up on Wednesday.  Hint: it's a video!


Promise's Prayer BLOG PARTY | Interview with Author Erika Mathews + Giveaway

Kaelan is restless for adventure and relentless in his efforts to bring the land of Taerna back to the blessings of Adon Olam and the prosperity of the days of his ancestors. Fueled by a solemn promise and his mother’s secret, he finds himself in the forefront of a desperate scheme that is crucial to Taerna’s future. Can he keep his promise? Can he save the people of Taerna from the corruption and rampant lawlessness that threaten them with extinction?
Shy and quiet Carita knows she possesses what Taerna’s people so desperately need. But how can she help them when her own soul is simultaneously tormented by witnessing unmet needs and handicapped by her own paralyzing fears?

When Kaelan and Carita come face to face with the true nature of Adon Olam’s call, will they each choose to embrace Adon Olam’s plan for Taerna—and for their own lives?

Alea: Hi Erika!  Thank you for joining me today!

Erika: Hi Alea! Thank you for having me - I'm happy to be here and so excited to be releasing Promise's Prayer!

Alea: How did your writing journey begin?

Erika: My writing journey began the day I learned to read at age 4. Much of my childhood was spent with books. So when my parents gave me three thick spiral notebooks at age 5, the next several years were spent filling the various sections with every kind of writing - Bible studies, nature studies, short stories, poems, drawings, drafts of ideas, scripture I was memorizing, made-up recipes, a violin lesson diary, sermon notes (and sermons I made up), and lists of all types. When I was 10, Jessica Greyson and I had the idea of each writing a book with the same last name for the main character, and over the next four years I wrote the first draft of my children's book Happy Days With the Lanes (which I'm currently rewriting for publication). At age 13, God called me to write books that honor and glorify Him, and through high school essays and writing courses, I discovered how much I enjoyed writing and grammar. At this point I shifted my focus towards devotional writings and poetry, though I began several fiction works as well (most of them unfinished). In 2014, I finally had a free November in which to participate in National Novel Writing Month, and Promise's Prayer was written.

**Click on photos to enlarge**

Alea: Why did you decide to write Christian books?

Erika: Life on earth is short and if our purpose is confined to this earth, everything our lives stand for will quickly pass away. My desire is to invest my life in something that will have eternal impact. As a Christian, Christ is my life - for me to live is Christ. Everything is all about Him - His desire is that He be known intimately. He's given me a passion for communicating His truth through writing and speaking. My hope and prayer is that God's kingdom on this earth will be advanced through my books and that those who read will be encouraged, challenged, or inspired to a deeper knowing of Him.

Regarding this book specifically, Promise's Prayer is Book One in my series Truth From Taerna.
Each book focuses on an aspect of spiritual truth that today's church often downplays. My desire was to demonstrate how the real, powerful, lifechanging truths of God's kingdom (the spiritual realm hidden from our physical senses) could play out in a fictional setting. My goal is that God will use this series to reveal His kingdom to my readers. My reason for writing Christian fiction can be summed up in C.S. Lewis' words: "By knowing Me here for a little, you may know Me better there."

Alea: How long does it typically take you to write a book's first draft?

Erika: Typically for a full-length novel, I write as much as I can of the first draft in 30 days and then finish/rewrite/edit/polish in several weeks at some point after that. Because Promise's Prayer benefited from detailed outlining beforehand, I was able to complete the first draft in a month. Victory's Voice (Truth From Taerna Book 2) was only about half-written in this time and Surrender's Strength (Book 3) was about 75% complete in a month - though both books will end up being significantly longer than Promise's Prayer. My non-fiction book took about three months after a year of research, study, and meditation.

Alea: Which character in Promise's Prayer gave you the hardest time?

Erika: Kaelan gave me the hardest time. He wasn't too good at coming up with ways to fulfill his promise, and he wasn't the greatest about letting me know the details of his plans ahead of time. Sometimes I managed to put him into a situation I had no idea how he would get out of. He kept insisting on figuring things out on his own. Also, I haven't been able to find a character inspiration picture that looks like him. Still, he was a fun character to write.

Alea: Thank you again for joining me today!


First place will receive a paperback copy and second place will receive an ebook copy.

Blog Party Stops

Ellrick Character Spotlight at Reality Reflected
Carita Character Spotlight at God's Peculiar Treasure Rae
Author Interview at Seek Him First
Kaelan Character Interview and Spotlight at Random Reflections

Release Party Central at Resting Life

Erika Mathews is an author and editor who lives in the farm country of Minnesota with her husband and daughter. She’s a homeschool graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communications, a Master’s in Biblical Ministries, and a passion for sharing Jesus Christ and His truth. When she’s not working with books, she enjoys reading, outdoor activities, piano and violin, organizing, and using the Oxford comma. You can connect with Erika at restinglife.com, on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.


Camp NaNoWriMo April, 2017 | A Hamlet retelling set in space. (How is it almost April?)

Sorry I took a short, unannounced hiatus.  Suddenly it was Monday and I had no post ideas.  And now, apparently, we're almost 4 months into 2017.  *screams*  What is eating this year?  I must kill it and then burn its corpse.

BUT, the 4th month also means Camp NaNoWriMo (a.k.a. insanity and lots of fun).  So...here's all about my April novel.
i attempted to hand letter the title after
watching a youtube video about it.

What is this story about, you ask?

~A Hamlet retelling set in space.~

This story was born in English class while my teacher was reading Hamlet aloud to us.  I fell in love with the story from the moment I began reading it.  And so long story short, I'm writing a retelling of it.  The blog has gone through some changes.  Originally, it was going to be about a spaceship where everyone is a ghost but the dead King Hamlet figure, but that idea got trashed.  We're just going to ignore the fact that I did terrible on the Hamlet short response test.

~What No One Remembers is the backstory of 2 of the characters.~

And still, no one is going to read it...

So here's the "official" description of The Space Beyond Sanity.  (Warning: I'm the worst at descriptions.)

The crew of the SS Elias has problems. They nearly died, their captain abandoned them, and now there's a ghost haunting the ship and a possible murder.

I'm also in a lovely cabin with Savannah, Micaiah, and Bellethiel.

Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo?  What is your April WIP?  I would love to hear about them!



*shrieks* It's release day for The Princess and I!  In honor of this occasion, I am hosting an interview with author Rebekah Eddy.

Megan is content with her life, despite her parents' death and her brother Malcolm's job that keeps him busy at the King's castle. But when she is offered the position as Princess Christine's lady-in-waiting, Megan is glad of the change in scenery and accepts it with the hope that she can spend more time with her brother. The promise from Malcolm of lessons in swordsmanship only adds to her enthusiasm.

However, helping keep an eye on the emotional and excitable young lady proves to be much harder than becoming her friend. As rumors of war circulate the castle, Megan strives to encourage her new friend even as she tries to settle the doubts and fears in her own heart when her responsibility in protecting the Princess is put to the test. Follow the unwanted adventure which serves to teach her that loyal friendship, true love, and God's amazing grace will always triumph over revenge, greed, and hate.

Alea:  Describe the moment you knew you wanted to be an author.

Rebekah: I wasn't serious about writing when I first started. I think at the beginning it was more like "writing books is cool" then "I want to be an author". It wasn't until I was twelve or thirteen when I thought that my love of writing might actually turn into something. When I self published the first edition of "The Silver Flower" and it came in the mail, I was able to hold it my hands and say "This is my book!" I think THAT was the moment I decided to really get serious about writing and become a true author. I started ordering books from the library on writing and editing, paying more attention to other writer's blogs, and joined the awesome community on here where I could connect with other Christian teens who had the same goal as me: to use our gift of writing to encourage and bless others while bringing glory to God.

Alea: What an awesome story!  Why did you choose to be an independently published author?

Rebekah: Well, it's a WHOLE lot less expensive and less time consuming then finding a publisher. :) Also, it's a bit more relaxing when you're the one deciding when you want to publish your book and then publishing it. And, as I mentioned before, I first self-published when I was twelve...so I wasn't ready to bring my story to a serious publisher yet. Maybe someday I will...but for now, I'm happy with this system. Lulu has been amazing, and I highly recommend their website if you are a writer looking for an easy (and fairly cheap) way to get your story looking professional. ;)

Alea: I've used Lulu to print my book, but never to publish.  Thanks for sharing!  Favorite writing snack?

Rebekah: I...don't usually eat while writing. Sometimes, I bring a snack over to where I'm writing and think I'm going to eat it. But then I always forget it's there. XD If I do feel peckish during a writing splurge I might try to convince a sibling to bring me something like apple slices or crackers and cheese.
I do drink a variety of hot beverages while writing though. Tea, coffee, apple cider, and hot chocolate to name a few. Do those count as a snack?

Alea: Those absolutely count.  Coffee and tea are my writing fuel.  Now I have a very evil question for you.  Who are your top 3 favorite authors?

Rebekah: Ooooohhh, you're treading dangerous ground here, Alea...but since you were kind enough to create such a fabulous cover for me...I'll let you get away with it this once. ;)
Out of ALL my favorite authors out there, it was hard to bring it down to three. I narrowed down the list to the authors that were most influential to my own writing and finally down to three ABSOLUTE favorites from them. Here they are in no particular order:
C. S. Lewis
J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Austen
There you are. The secret is out.

Alea: Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, Rebekah!  I am stoked that your book is now released to the world!  To all of you readers out there, I encourage you to pick up your copy of The Princess and I and check out the other blog tour stops.

Rebekah grew up surrounded by family members who appreciated and read good literature. First, she fell in love with the stories her parents read aloud to her from the Bible and books like The Chronicles of Narnia, Great Expectations, The Hobbit, and Anne of Green Gables. After learning to read on her own, she discovered other fantastic books which helped to build her ever-growing imagination.

She completed her first written work at the tender age of eight and now uses it to humble herself whenever the need arises. The story did serve to show her that God had given her a desire to write, however, and from that moment on Rebekah has never looked back or regretted picking up her pencil and becoming an author.

This eighteen-year-old homeschool graduate lives in rainy Western Washington and is currently working on receiving her BA in English in order to further her passion for creating worlds on paper.