If you enter the writing challenge, you are probably familiar with this wonderful writer who worked her way up the challenge levels, amazing us with her beautiful writing. Now get a chance to know more about Sarah Elisabeth.
SARAH ELISABETH: I’m a twenty-five-soon-to-be-twenty-six-year-old (September 27th) that is blessed to live at home with my parents. It affords me to pursue my writing business full time, take on an overwhelming amount of projects, and tend to the needs of extended family.
Most important: Where would I be without Jesus? My imaginative mind doesn’t even want to go there.
JOANNE: Have you always enjoyed writing? When did the interest first spark? What do you most like to write?
SARAH ELISABETH: I was too young to remember when I first started writing. I vaguely recall yellow sticky notes and little pictures of teddy bears. It was my first story, five sentences long. I still have the “book” my mom helped me make from it, with my brother illustrating. I was five and he was seven.
Fiction is my heart. Not sure why, as I also enjoy writing devotions, blog articles, etc. but nothing captures me like writing an exciting or heart wrenching scene in my WIP. Nearly all of my Challenge Entries are works of fiction. I love it.
JOANNE: Brag on your family a bit. Are they supportive of your writing?
SARAH ELISABETH: Are you kidding? I couldn’t do it without them! Family is high on my list of priorities, and I know I am on theirs.
I’ve recently added starting my dad a blog as a project for us to work on together, and it gives him a hobby. He’s disabled, on dialysis, but we keep him in the best shape possible.
My mom and I are an unstoppable team. She’s my…well, everything! From editing to Toastmasters speech preparation, she’s there with full support. I could never give back as much as she’s given me. I try though, through my latest endeavor of helping her realize a desire with her first film project. It’s a short film based on one of my FaithWriters Challenge entries!
JOANNE: That is SO neat! Tell us a bit about your freelance business. I understand you do writing, editing, and social media marketing. How did you get started?
SARAH ELISABATH: Wow, let’s see. God called me back into writing seriously about two years ago. I immersed myself in every book and website I could find to hone my writing skills.
But before that, I had started numerous small businesses and studied/implemented online marketing. All along, I had no idea God was preparing me for my writing business. I feel so blessed to be through that learning curve (though there’s new stuff everyday!).
JOANNE: You are a member of the Choctaw Nation. How has this influenced and affected you and/or your writing?
SARAH ELISABETH: Glad you asked! I’ve always been proud of my Choctaw ancestry, but the last few years God has led me deeper into the culture and grown my love for the Choctaw Nation. We attend the annual Choctaw Trails of Tears Commemorative Walk and the huge Choctaw Labor Day Festival every year.
Doors have opened for us to establish a relationship with Chief Pyle and especially Asst. Chief Gary Batton. Gary requested I email him some Choctaw stories I’ve written (Challenge entries), and he really enjoyed them. Chief Pyle introduced me to Lisa Reed, the editor of our tribal paper, the Biskinik, and she ask me to send Contrast (http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article-level1-previous.php?id=32947) which she published (and I was paid!). It was my first real publication clip.
Last year at the Labor Day festival ceremonies, my mom and I talked with Choctaw author and storyteller Tim Tingle and he encouraged us to come to a conference he helped organize. A few weeks later, we made the trip to Muskogee and my eyes opened to new possibilities and dreams of becoming an oral storyteller. It also helped me realize that I AM a storyteller.
We have several Choctaw projects in the planning stage, including a feature film.
JOANNE: What a wonderful way to connect with your heritage. So, how did you find FaithWriters? How has it helped you?
SARAH ELISABETH: When I started back on my writing journey two years ago, I did a quick internet search for “Christian writers forums.” Up popped FaithWriters. I perused the site and saw the challenge. After reading how it works, I checked the topic and an idea instantly jumped to mind.
I wasn’t expecting comments and had never experience that aspect with my writing. But with my first gold box, I was totally hooked! I made a commitment to enter ever week until I reached the Masters level. I figured I would be entering for the rest of my life. I never expected to make Masters in less than a year! I couldn’t let go of the gold boxes for a while, though. It totaled sixteen months straight of entering, except the two times I judged (when the judges were member volunteers).
I honestly don’t know where my writing would be without the help and support of my amazing FaithWriters family. I love you all!
JOANNE: It sure is a supportive environment. What are your goals as a writer?
SARAH ELISABETH: Ultimately, to have a long-lasting impact on the lives of my readers. If I can help them cry a tear to heal their heart, or draw out a smile that makes their heart sing, God has used my writing in a mighty way.
In specifics of doing this, I’m currently working on a seven eBook series titled Third Side of the Coin. It’s a collection of my best challenge stories, freshly edited and grouped in like kind. Then I’ll lump all seven eBooks together and make it available in paperback.
I’m also working on a futuristic style novella series that deals with multiple issues, not the least of which is, “Can you go so far that God can’t reach you?” You can click here for more information.
With several other novels in progress, and new ideas crowding all the time, I have to pray and prioritize on a regular basis.
JOANNE: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
SARAH ELISABETH: Just that I seem to be a blog magnet. I’m currently involved with, or soon to be involved with, eleven blogs. Some are mine, some I write for, some I’ve built, some I just advise. Not easy keeping them all straight.
Did I mention I love FaithWriters?