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  • Writer's pictureGrace A. Johnson

guest post by erika mathews | as an author, i'm also a preacher

In our final guest post, the prolific Christian nonfiction and kingdom fantasy author Erika Mathews is joining us to share all about her writing journey...and how God is using her in ways far beyond merely scribbling words on pages.

If you've ever felt discouraged in your calling, I pray Erika's testimony would inspire and uplift you as she reveals how powerful the calling of a writer - and literally any other vocation/position - is when we strive to serve Christ!

For more epic guest posts, check out the full schedule for the Springtime in Surrey blog swap!


as an author, i'm also a preacher

Hello! I’m Erika Mathews, wife, mama, author of Christian fiction and non-fiction, and editor, and I want to extend many thanks to Grace for hosting me on her blog today. I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with her on our upcoming collection Springtime in Surrey. Today I’d like to share my writing journey… which is more than just the story of how I got into writing. It’s a testimony of where God has led me, and this is only a few chapters of His ongoing story. Specifically, He has led me to know Him and to make Him known through writing… to proclaim His good news and make disciples of all nations with my pen.

And that calling started the moment I learned to read.

Age Five: Short Story Scribbles

I spent my childhood writing in three giant notebooks: Bible studies, nature studies, stories, poems, drawings, idea drafts, scripture, recipes, violin notes, sermon notes, invented sermons, and lists. I titled one notebook “Stories of People and Animals Around the World,” and Max the flying squirrel, sibling adventures, and ten-year-old Susan from India are just a few of my first story topics.

Age Ten: Starting My First Book

At age ten, my friend and I decided to each write a book using the same last name. In four years, I completed my contemporary middle grade novella Happy Days With the Lanes. At this stage, writing was just a fun hobby for me.

Age Thirteen: Falling in Love With the Process

When I was thirteen, God specifically called me to write books that honor and glorify Him. Through high school essays and numerous writing courses, I discovered how much I enjoyed both writing and grammar. One assignment ended up being the first draft of what would later become Gather ’Round the Fables, a whimsical collection of fables rewritten in three humorous styles. While I kept writing during this stage, I had no vision for where God would take me on this journey, what I would do with my writings, or even why I was writing (apart from the fact that God had told me to do it).

Mid-Teens: Non-fiction

During my teens, devotional writings and poetry became my focus, though multiple fiction works emerged during this stage as well. Some of my devotional writings I posted on my blog, and currently I’m editing these into a six-devotional series (Life in the Son!). Poetry from this era also became my first poetry collection (Overrun By Your Love). My love of poetry continues to this day, and I particularly enjoy writing poems based on Scripture passages that God opens up to me. There’s something about setting a Biblical truth into lyrical meter and rhyme that’s so beautiful, and the process is one of which I never tire.

College: Spiritual Foundation

College and Bible school slowed my leisure writing and resulted in essays, Scripture meditation commentaries, and writing assignments. Writing a commentary on the entire Bible was my major Bible School project. My Master’s degree paper later became my book Resting Life: Jesus’ Rest for the Busy or Burdened Believer.

Twenties: Kingdom Adventure Fiction and Beginning Publishing

During Bible School, 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. In 2014, I finally had a free November in which to participate in NaNoWriMo, and Promise’s Prayer, Truth from Taerna Book One, was written. For the next five Novembers, I wrote and subsequently published the sequels Victory’s Voice, Surrender’s Strength, Sustainer’s Smile, Memory’s Mind, and Romance’s Rest. Throughout the publishing process for these books, I experienced a learning curve. With each Taerna novel, my knowledge about formatting, marketing, editing, blurb writing, design choices, publishing choices, advertising, and much more grew rapidly. I discovered that I enjoyed both the learning process and producing high quality books. Even more importantly, however, were the lessons God taught me through the writing process. The themes of each book—which include prayer, spiritual warfare, the power of spoken words, identity, surrender, God’s sustaining hand in trials, abortion, the thought life, the importance of God’s Word, covenant, love, and intimate relationship with God—not only put into the story the things God taught me in the past, the also became what God was teaching me as I wrote them. Plotting stories doesn’t come easily for me. In the planning process, prayer and listening to God were essential. Many time I had no idea what to write—and often God would bring words or plot points to mind. It wasn’t an easy process—often it came through much labor and time—but every time, God showed Himself to be more than enough. Sometimes I reread my own books and wonder where things came from… How could I possibly have written that? … and once again give glory to God for His work.

Present: Nonfiction & Anthologies

During the past three Novembers, I wrote three new nonfiction Christian living books on prayer, faith, and listening to God, which I plan to edit and publish soon. I also wrote vintage-like historical fiction for three anthologies set in 1840s England (Whitstead Christmastide, Whitstead Harvestide, and Whitstead Summertide). My novella Fear Not Tomorrows in Springtime in Surrey is the latest in the stories I’ve written for anthologies over the past few years, and I’m excited to launch it into the world. During this time, I realized that nonfiction comes much easier and more quickly for me. The standard author advice in circles I run in is to stick to one genre—to build your brand around one particular narrow type of book. Yet this never seemed to be God’s calling for me. God’s kingdom and work are so much bigger than what I can imagine, and definitely much bigger than I can capture in a single genre. Rather than follow conventional wisdom, I once again made the choice to listen to God and write whatever He had for me. Now I write poetry, devotionals, Christian living books, kingdom adventure fiction, historical fiction (specifically with a vintage flair similar to The Five Little Peppers), middle grade children’s fiction, and contemporary fiction, all united under a common purpose to encourage people to know God and make Him known. In my writing, I focus on clean, family-friendly fiction and nonfiction for all ages that contains a deep spiritual message woven throughout. My books and brand are united under the banner of Christian books with deep themes that encourage people to a deeper oneness with God in daily life—and once again, God reminds me how His ways are higher than mine.

Cultivating Community

In 2020, I joined the King’s Daughters Writing Camp as a “camp auntie” for three or more camps per year. Through KDWC, I have headed up the editing, formatting, and publishing of four anthologies to help young writers make the leap to publication (Anything, Hope, Everything, and A Homewood Christmas), along with writing a historical or Taerna story for each one. Over the past few years, I’ve focused on building my network through friendships and mentoring in several online author communities as well as on Instagram and through my newsletter. This narrows in on the heart behind my writing: discipling others. My passion is to encourage others to pursue Jesus with their whole heart and abide in Him and His Word. Through mentoring other young writers, I’ve seen God at work in both them and in me in countless ways. Through being an author, I’m a preacher of the gospel—often to an audience I’ve never personally met. 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 are 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. For instance, with Truth from Taerna, my desire 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.”

~ about the author ~

Erika Mathews writes Christian living books, both fiction and non-fiction, that demonstrate the power of God in the life of a believer, transforming daily life into His resting life. Her kingdom adventure novel series Truth from Taerna features spiritually challenging and refreshing adventure and unique Christian twists on cliched plots. Outside of writing, she spends time with her husband Josh, mothers her little ones, reads, edits, enjoys the great Minnesota outdoors, plays piano and violin, makes heroic ventures into minimalism, clean eating, and gardening, and uses the Oxford comma. You can find Erika’s books on Amazon or connect with her at


~ the anthology ~

Springtime in Surrey, the first collection releasing with Wild Blue Wonder Press, is a Christian anthology featuring eight lovely stories. With a mix of historical and contemporary, romance and women’s fiction, a dash of mystery here and there, real-life themes presented in a loving way, and a vintage feel, this story is sure to charm lovers of Christian women’s fiction.

Learn more at Wild Blue Wonder Press!


Share your thoughts with us down below! Have you ever read any of Erika Mathews' stories? How has God called you to serve Him? Have you snagged your copy of Springtime in Surrey yet???

yours in spirit & script,


#springtimeinsurrey #guestpost #christianauthor #christianfiction #christianliving #christiannonfiction #indieauthor #writing #writeforchrist

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