We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sarah Elisabeth, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
Going to bed early. It sounds too simple and cliche, but that is the key to my productive days.

When I go to bed by 10pm, I’m up before 6am, feeling refreshed. I get in my entire morning routine, including devotion and prayer time, morning pages, workout, and breakfast, all of which gets my mind and heart prepared for a full day’s work.

It all starts with getting to bed (consistently) at a decent hour.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Halito! I’m Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer, author, speaker, and Choctaw storyteller (tribal member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma). I write historical fiction that features authentic American Indian characters.

This is my story.

***

Once upon a time…

a shy baby girl was born.

I had a message about kindness I wanted to share with the world. I was five years old and painfully bashful. So I wrote my message as a story.

I’ve been writing ever since.

Born and raised in Texas, I lived 4-H during my teen years. Horses, gardening, leadership, community service, and of course, recordbooks. And yes, I was homeschooled.

My dream in those days? To become a horse trainer and a writer.

Halfway there…

In 2009, I surrendered all the crazy desires and expectations of and on my life to God. He brought writing back into my life, and I haven’t looked back.

My world split in 2012 when my daddy passed. Singer, songwriter, storyteller. Through those gifts, Ara C. Sawyer told people about Jesus. Seriously. No matter where the conversation started with friends and strangers alike, that’s where it ended up.

But my world truly did split. Two days after my daddy passed, I was accepted into the Artist in Leadership Program with the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Smithsonian Institution.

Two weeks in Washington, D.C – researching the Choctaw Trail of Tears, giving presentations, storytelling at the NMAI, the list goes on and on.

This is an excellent time to introduce you to my driving force, encourager, editor, mentor, and best friend. You got it. My mama, Lynda Kay Sawyer.

She has walked beside me every step of the way on this journey. My best friend, mentor, editor, and the one who lifts me off the floor when I can’t bear to think of the black hole of research I’ve fallen into with historical fiction. She’s my first reader and hammers character issues, cultural points, and realistic portrayals while keeping me encouraged throughout the hard editing process. My books would not be what it they are without her.

After the research portion of my NMAI program, I brought it home to my Choctaw community with a writing workshop to gather authors for what would become an epic project. We published “Touch My Tears: Tales from the Trail of Tears” in 2013 through RockHaven Publishing, the publisher name for my indie books.

The next year, we published “Third Side of the Coin,” a collection of short stories that came from my entries in the Faithwriters.com Writing Challenge. That challenge played a huge role in shaping me into the storyteller I am.

In 2015, First Peoples Fund welcomed me into their family through the Artist in Business Leadership fellowship. This boosted my writing career to the next level, helping me publish my next two books, “The Executions” and “Tushpa’s Story.” I’ve published more books since then, with a total of 8 releases planned for 2021.

It’s been a long journey of beautiful things and incredible challenges, of joy, heartaches, but always, always hope.

God is such an amazing author…I can’t wait to turn the page each day to see what He has next for my life.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
While Dallas has it’s attractions, I’d take my best friend out to a nearby country town that many folks from Dallas absolutely love to go to once a month: Canton for the First Monday Trade Days!

I’ve called Canton home for 25 years, and would show my friend the Arbor and Trade Center pavilions to shop in. There are 600 acres of shopping that runs Thursday through Sunday, so there’s no danger of running out of entertaining shopping.

When our woofers start woofing, we’d take a break at Latham’s Bakery on the historic downtown square for a Cobb salad, then split a sticky bun. For dinner after a day of shopping, we’d head down I-20 east 15 minutes to Van, Texas, and eat Soulman’s BBQ. Or cut shopping early before the line gets too long at Bean & Burger, the best restaurant in Canton.

If she brought her kids with her, we’d spend the evening at Yesterland Farm or Splash Kingdom, depending on the weather!

No trip to Canton is complete without hanging out at Dairy Palace, eating Blue Bell ice-cream and talking about the great memories made in Canton.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mother, Lynda Kay Sawyer – Choctaw artist and my editor, business partner, and best friend.

  

Website: https://www.sarahelisabethwrites.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahelisabethsawyer/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahelisabeth/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SarahElisabethSawyer

Image Credits
Photo with Sarah and Lynda Kay Sawyer by R. A. Whiteside. Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution Speaking photo: National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C. Photo by Lynda Kay Sawyer Author headshot: Photo by Kelly Blanchard Dale

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