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?
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.