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An Interview with Deb Snyder upon receiving an offer of representation.

Deb Snyder (debzlight on QT) has signed with agent Sammie Justesen of Northern Lights Literary Services.

How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was a child and began writing articles for publication a few years ago.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
I admit to being frustrated by the agent search process, but kept plugging away knowing it was a matter of time to find a good match.
Is this your first book?
Yes, It is. I have written my dissertation for school, which is available as an E-book, but I don’t consider it the same.
How long have you been working on this book?
I have been working on it for about a year. Although I have been taking notes for its eventual creation for the past 6 years.
Do you have any formal writing training?
I have taken several writing courses during my education and needed to write as a requirement in school. I hold a PhD in metaphysical philosophy.
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
I work on the book or an article every day in some fashion. Whether it is actual writing of text or maybe research and organization of ideas. In addition to my family responsibilities, I work as a consultant, so its important to be organized, yet be able to go with the flow.
How many times did you re-write/edit your novel?
I am a non-fiction writer and am find myself constantly tweaking things. I try to pay attention to my mood and not make too many changes if I am a bit negative. I keep many drafts saved, so I can re-work things when I am "in the zone".
Did you have beta readers for your novel?
No. I run things by people from time to time. I do have professional mentors I trust for advice.
Did you outline your novel, or do you write from the hip?
A bit of both. Again I am a non-fiction writer, which certainly needs an outline. My current book is part memoir and part “how to”. I have a very detailed outline, which was needed for my proposal. I always keep a notebook with me for when I get inspiration and jot down ideas. I have also been known to get up in the middle of the night to write if words start flowing.
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
I started an aggressive query campaign in January and signed with my agent in June. I had sent out a few letters a year ago, but I admit to not being as ready as I am now. My platform has increased, which helps a great deal. I have received interest from several agents, but the response time and process is so slow. E-mail queries seem to work faster, which I loved. I also queried a publisher directly and am still in contact with them. My agent is coming on board for the formal negotiations and to take it on to others, if the publisher chooses to pass. I should know soon.
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
I was looking for someone with experience and sales in Alternative Health and Mind/Body/Spirit. It was also important to me the person was cordial and professional. I was turned off by the arrogant and often rude nature of several agents. I chose to not submit a full proposal to a few who requested it, as I knew it wouldn’t be a good match for me in the long run. Trust your inner guidance and it will work out for the best. I also opted to do mostly email queries to save trees and money. Don’t be afraid to look outside of New York City!
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
I had a main template letter that I worked with, but I did tailor it if I could. For example, if the agent was referred to me by a fellow writer, who they represent.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
I would encourage any writer, fiction or non, to be as informed and professional as possible. You should really do your research on writing queries and proposals and put your best foot forward. Learn how to optimize your experience and unique skills and to not be afraid of rejection. I received dozens of “no thank you notes” in the past few months, but kept at it. At a recent publishing roundtable I attended, I was surprised to see so many writers not understand the business side of things and the need for professionalism.
Would you be willing to share your query with us?

Dear Ms. Justesen:

Imagine a sleeping mother, roused by a startling vision, rushing to her child’s bedside in time to save her daughter’s life. No words or sounds gave signal to the danger. Waves of energy were communicating the message loud and clear. This is my story and my induction into heart communication. An experience, which led me to advance my education, explore scientific research on metaphysics and develop my own intuitive energy protocol to assist families. My name is Debra Snyder and I am seeking representation for my book, “HeartGlow: A Parent’s Guide to Energy Communication and Healing”. This work empowers and educates parents on taking an active role in healing by enhancing communication with their child via their subtle energy system. Just as I have, parents can employ their intuitive skills, their “HeartGlow” as a powerful tool in managing their family’s care. In being more receptive to the subtle clues of inner knowing, a caretaker can perceive, interpret, and act on information not accessible by other means.

My interest and dedication to special needs children begins with my own daughter, Raegan Aria, who was born with a rare brain malformation and is nonverbal. Raegan and I have experienced, first hand, how heart communication works. My unique perspective and experience as a metaphysician and special needs parent brings forth a new paradigm in the management of physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Our extraordinary story has appeared in a number of publications, broadcasts and websites. The national magazine, Exceptional Parent, promoted my article “The Glow of an Intuitive Heart” in their December 2007 print edition and currently feature it in their online magazine. We are also the topic of an article currently in Vibrations, an international holistic newsletter. As a recent guest on the radio show Natural Living with Gary Null, I was able to promote my work to a larger national audience.

I hold a Doctorate of Philosophy in Metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology and offer instruction on HeartGlow and Intuitive Parenting in private sessions, classes and seminars throughout the country. My doctoral dissertation, Spiritual Healing and the Special Needs Child, explores research available in the growing field of energy medicine and its application to disabled children. My goal is to collaborate with an energetic agent, who will proudly promote my current and future work to appropriate publishers. It is my belief HeartGlow would not only appeal to parents, but is also applicable in genres such as: Alternative Medicine, Inspirational, Healing, New Age, Spiritual and Holistic Studies. I plan several other HeartGlow books in which I apply these methods to personal healing, the elderly and animals.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your reply and potential involvement with this exciting project.

Sincerely,

Debra J. Snyder, PhD

Here is your chance to plug your book. Tell us a little about it.
My book “HeartGlow: A Parent’s Guide to Energy Communication and Healing” empowers and educates parents on taking an active role in healing by enhancing communication with their child via their subtle energy system. Parents can employ their intuitive skills, their “HeartGlow” as a powerful tool in managing their family’s care. In being more receptive to the subtle clues of inner knowing, a caretaker can perceive, interpret, and act on information not accessible by other means. This book comes from my own unique experience of being a “psychic special needs mom”, who uses energy to communicate with my own non-verbal child.