Author Interview w/ Erika Mathews | “Surrender’s Strength” Book Release Tour

Hello, fellow campaigners in the writing world! Today’s blog post is incredibly special because I am actually talking about an ACTUAL fellow writer who is on her own writing adventure. I’ve never done a book tour, or even an author interview, but I am so happy to announce that I am participating in this awesome Christian author’s book tour.

I met Erika Mathews in an awesome Christian writer’s group called, The King’s Daughters’ Writing Camp (KDWC), and am so glad I’ve been reading her series, Truth from Taerna. There are so many awesome things that I can say about this series so far, and I would love to name a few so that you can get a good idea at what I am going to be talking about.

  • It’s a clean fantasy! The first book in the series, Promise’s Prayer, has no violence, no romance, and no magic!

As a Christian, I try to avoid anything that doesn’t bring glory to God. Though I love a good allegory like C. S. Lewis’s, The Chronicles of Narnia, I sometimes want to read something that has no magic, no violence, and nothing inappropriate. Thankfully, I found this wonderful series, Truth from Taerna, which focuses on Biblical truths and on character development in an interesting and thoughtful fictional world.

  • Another good thing about the series: You can read the books as standalones.

Since the different books focus on different characters each time, you can read it in any order you would like. Being honest, I didn’t have time to read the second book before starting the third one for my book review, and I feel like I haven’t missed anything. Of course, I am going to go back and read, Victory’s Voice, but after reading the first and third books, I don’t feel they are too connected, but with some of the same characters, it gives it a nostalgic feel which I love.

And I am super excited to announce that the author, Erika Mathews, has released the third installment in her series, Truth from Taerna, yesterday! Her newest book, Surrender’s Strength, focuses on Laelara Ellith as she is reluctantly thrust to the capital city for education, but finds herself in the midst of a mistaken identity. Read the full book blurb below!


Her only ambition is keeping her old familiar identity. 

But she isn’t given that choice.

Ever since her mother’s death, all Laelara wants is to keep doing what she’s good at: managing the household. She definitely isn’t interested in higher education. When she’s sent to the city to further her schooling, Laelara finds herself caught up in a case of mistaken identity that seems like the perfect opportunity to avoid the despised Academy. Amid the whirlwind of new friends, new jobs, and the glitzy social life of the Palace District—particularly the trivia contests—her double life becomes more and more precarious. For the first time in her twenty years, everything spirals out of her careful control: her family’s security, her job, her friendships, and her very identity. With her lifelong purpose and identity stripped away, to what will Laelara surrender, and where will she find the strength to persevere?

Find it on Amazon as paperback or ebook!


1. What first got you into writing?

Reading got me into writing! I loved books from the time I learned to read at age 5, and I started writing stories and poems around the same time. An agreement with a friend to both write a story with characters that had the same last name spurred me into writing my first full-length book when I was ten, and a clear call from God when I was thirteen solidified my journey into writing books.

2. How many drafts did you go through for each book in the series?

I’m a plotter (though not a detailed one), so in general I try to keep my first drafts fairly clean. Although every book goes through many rounds of editing, I’ve only completely re-written one of the books from a blank document: Victory’s Voice (Truth from Taerna #2). Surrender’s Strength (#3) definitely got the most extensive edit, though. Both VV and SStr had the disadvantage of having almost no plotting or outline before I began, and the amount of revisions and rewrites shows that! Promise’s Prayer and Sustainer’s Smile (#1 and #4) were the cleanest drafts that didn’t have major changes during the editing stage. Memory’s Mind and Romance’s Rest (#5 and #6) were both written in two stages where I wrote the first 50,000 words in one month and then wrote the rest of the draft several months or a year or more later.

3. What got you through all of the writing and editing process?

Definitely God: without Him, I literally would not be writing. I know He has called me to write, so I can’t stop. Other than that, a supportive husband who takes care of children so I can write got me through it. Online writing friends who were willing to help with brainstorming, sprints, encouragement, prayer, and motivation definitely helped. And the desire to be published helped me push Promise’s Prayer into the world. Once I published that one, my strong desire to finish what I started (and my excitement for publishing book #4) has gotten me over some major and serious hurdles with #2 and #3.

4. Have you incorporated your faith into your writing? If so, how?

Definitely. If you took all the faith out of my writing, there would be nothing left. I write Christian living books, both fiction and non-fiction, that demonstrate the power of the kingdom of God through ordinary people, transforming daily life into His resting life. Above all, I want to demonstrate that it IS possible to walk in intimate, joyful, abundant fellowship with God in this life and to encourage others to deepen their relationship with Him. I do this through presenting characters who are walking with God (in various ways and to varying degrees) and the entire heart of the story is showing how God draws them to Himself in a particular area of life. The characters make very human and very wrong choices at times, but they also seek God, and my desire is that readers can relate to both: their humanness and their desire for God—along with God’s faithfulness in them.

5. What has God shown you most through the season of writing this book?

God has shown me the very lessons Laelara struggles with in Surrender’s Strength: how much I need Him, how utterly dependent I am on Him, how without Him I can do nothing. So often I want to control every area of my life, and even in writing this book, I’ve seen so much more clearly how impossible that is. Yet how good God is to reveal my nothingness that I might more and more embrace His fullness! I need Him every moment, and turning my mind continually back to Him every moment is a lifelong challenge, necessity, joy, and goal.

I think it is incredibly awesome what Erika Mathews is doing with her writing, and I cannot wait for you guys to read the books. They are so interestingly set in what Erika Mathews calls a Kingdom Adventure world. Not exactly fantasy, but still set in a fictional kingdom world.



Erika Mathews is an author and editor who lives in the farm country of Minnesota with her husband and children. 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.

Website: restinglife.com

Blog: writtenrest.wordpress.com

Instagram: instagram.com/ErikaMathewsAuthor

Facebook: facebook.com/ErikaMathewsAuthor

Amazon: amazon.com/-/e/B06XK4TFQL

Goodreads: goodreads.com/resterwen

Pinterest: pinterest.com/resterwen

Visit the Tour Kick-off Post on Erika’s blog.


Madi’s Musings: character spotlight on Ellrick, author interview, and book excerpt

Read Review Rejoice: book excerpt 

Old Fashioned Book Love: book review

Thanks for reading!

What to expect ahead?

July 27th: Possible Spiritual Post
August 3rd: July Book Haul/Newsletter
August 10th: Possible Historical Post

Thank you so much for reading my blog post! If you’d like to chat, you can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with the handle @ afkoppauthor.



A. F. Kopp

4 thoughts on “Author Interview w/ Erika Mathews | “Surrender’s Strength” Book Release Tour”

  1. This was such a great interview – wonderful questions and amazing answers! I love what Erika said about what the Lord taught her during the writing of this book. The Lord always seems to use writing to teach us! Also, what a wonderful reminder that we can’t do anything without the Lord! I forget that all too often, and in pride, I begin depending on myself. Definitely a problem – for without Him, we can do nothing!

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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