As part of the 2018 Indie Econn for Writers, I am hosting a fellow author’s blog post on my blog today. Check out Erika Mathews and her work. And get to know her with her story told below.
Erika Mathews: Writing Adventures From Age Four
Erika Mathews is an author and editor who lives in the farm country of Minnesota with her husband, toddler daughter, and baby expected in June. 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 writing, she enjoys letting God’s message shine through her, crafting pleasing sentences, and using the Oxford comma. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, outdoor activities, piano and violin, and organizing.
Age Five: Short Story Scribbles
My writing journey began the day I learned to read at age four. Much of my childhood was spent in the company of books. So when my parents gave me three thick spiral notebooks at age five (my childhood impression is that they were giant!), 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. I titled one notebook “Stories of People and Animals Around the World” and filled it with short tales of Max the flying squirrel, adventures with my brother, ten-year-old Susan from India, and other flights of childish fancy.
Age Ten: Starting My First Book
When I was ten, my friend and I had the idea of each writing a book with “Lane” as the main character’s last name. Over the next four years I wrote the first draft of my contemporary children’s book Happy Days With the Lanes (which is currently set to be published as soon as illustrations are finalized).
Age Thirteen: Falling in Love With the Process
At age thirteen, God called me to write books that honor and glorify Him. Through high school essays and writing courses, I discovered how much I enjoyed both writing and grammar. One high school writing assignment ended up being the first draft of what I would later rewrite and publish as Gather ‘Round the Fables, a whimsical collection of fables rewritten in humorous styles: The Fox and the Grapes in the style of the King James Bible, The Tortoise and the Hare in politically correct style, and The Lion and the Mouse as narrative poetry.
During this stage, I shifted my focus towards devotional writings and poetry, though I began multiple fiction works as well. Some of my devotional writings I posted on my blog at the time. Currently I’m editing these into a six-devotional series (Life in the Son!) and at least one—though probably more—poetry book (Overrun By His Love). I particularly enjoy writing poems based on Scripture passages that God opens up to me.
College: Spiritual Foundation
College degree work and Bible school attendance slowed my leisure writing for a few years. While working on my communications degree, I turned out essays, Scripture meditation commentaries, and writing assignments regularly. Then during my three years at IMI (small Bible school with an intense focus on relationship with God and intimate time with Him and in His Word), writing a commentary on the entire Bible was my major project. I also worked on my Master’s degree paper, which I have since turned into a book on spiritual rest (defining it, attaining it, remaining in it, its importance, and the balance between resting in the Lord and serving the Lord). It’s now on my desk for eventual publication.
Twenties: Kingdom Adventure Fiction
During my time at IMI, times of meditation, prayer, and listening to God yielded rich spiritual truths and laid a burden on my heart for some specific truths to communicate that are often deemphasized by many believers. I began planning how to weave the theme “prayer is the work” into a fiction novel.
In 2014, I finally had a free November in which to participate in National Novel Writing Month, and Promise’s Prayer, Book 1 in Truth from Taerna, was written: 66,000 words in thirty days. After over two years of editing, I released it in March 2017. Each November since then, I’ve written a sequel. At the moment, Victory’s Voice, Surrender’s Strength, and Sustainer’s Smile are in the editing process, with Books 5 and 6 scheduled to be written within the next year and a half.
My desire with this series is 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.”
Present: Editing and Revising
One highlight of my writing journey at this stage is revisiting my childhood writings and polishing them for publication. Even though I didn’t dream of publishing those early scribbles, it has been a delight to recall my imaginations from that stage and recast them into something worth sharing with the world.
My writing philosophy is simple: 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.
You can connect with Erika Mathews at restinglife.com.
Continue the Scavenger Hunt with the next stop, featuring a certain author you may be familiar with. Julie Gilbert is the next host and her blog is the next stop on the hunt. Head to her site: https://juliecgilbertwriter.com/ (And Don’t Forget to Keep Track of the Lettered Clues.) Stop by the first stop on the Hunt if you’ve lost track of the clues to start fresh. http://kandijwyatt.com/