(Posted Nov. 7, 2019)
By Theresa Hennis, Staff Writer
Author Deborah Snyder, a Galloway resident and West Jefferson native, has always loved to read, but writing a book didn’t cross her mind until she raised her children and had grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Family is vital to Snyder, and she prays for each of them.
“Our nation has taken a moral plunge, and it grieves my heart so deeply that I just weep and pray and ask God, “How do I reach my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren?’”
Two years ago, she said, God answered her prayers with the idea for her first book, “The Choice.”
“Did you ever see the recent release of the movie, ‘Pete’s Dragon?’” Snyder asked. “There’s a scene where the little boy who has been raised by the dragon is riding the dragon, and the dragon perceives that the people down below are a threat to the boy. He spews fire out at them in an effort to destroy them, to protect the boy, but the boy, who has had the opportunity to live with that family and be with people, turns to the dragon and cries out, ‘Don’t! Stop! I need them!’ That became my prayer for my family. I cried out to God and said, ‘Please. I need them!’”
The idea for “The Choice” woke Snyder in the middle of the night. All of the characters and the story line came to her. When she got up the next day, she wondered if she would remember it all. Within a half hour, she had written seven pages.
When Snyder and her family went on vacation shortly thereafter, she read the chapters she had finished to her grandson.
“My grandson was upset that I hadn’t written the last chapter yet, because he wanted to know what happened next,” she said. “I tried to make the end of each chapter a cliffhanger that would segue into the next chapter.”
Snyder went on to finish the book, then wrote a second one titled, “The Chosen.” She plans to write a third book for the series, “The Conclusion.”
The Gospel story is at the heart of the books, which are written in allegory form, a symbolic fictional narrative. The books start with creation, move on to the flood and then to the cross. The books are tied together in content, characters and direction.
“I wrote the books so that they would have as much of an impact on the adult reading to the child as on the child listening,” Snyder said.
Snyder uses props when she reads her books at libraries and churches.
“I invite kids to help me with the story, and they turn pages as I’m reading,” Snyder said. “At the end of each chapter, I have a list of questions, and I tell the children there are clues and that they need to be book detectives to figure them out.”
When Snyder realized the impact her books had on family and friends, her mind opened to the possibilities of reaching others with their message. Snyder donates some of her books as foreign missionary tools. She might not travel to foreign lands, but she sponsors a little girl from Mapoteng Lesotho, Africa.
“Every year, they send me photos of how she’s doing, and I sent her ‘The Choice,’” Snyder said. “She told me she loves the story, and I know the interpreters hear the message as they read it to her.”
Closer to home, Snyder’s books have already fulfilled one of her heart’s desires—to reach her family with God’s story. The grandson who couldn’t wait for the next chapter received the first signed copy of “The Choice” when it was published.
Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library, 270 Lilly Chapel Rd., West Jefferson, is hosting an author visit with Snyder at 3 p.m. Nov. 13. She will have copies of her book available for purchase.
Copies also are available through www.christianfaithpublishing.com/books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes.
Visit YouTube and search for “The Choice” and “The Chosen” by Deborah Snyder to see short video clips about the books.