Born in New Jersey, Debi Berndt calls herself a Jersey girl – she is full of confidence, and she knows what she wants out of life. A few years ago she wanted to find love, so she decided to make the steps necessary to find it. What happened in the process eventually became a book, Let Love In – Open Your Heart and Mind to Attract Your Ideal Partner. “For years I’d been doing hypnotherapy and I struggled with love and finding my true love. I used self-hypnosis techniques on how to attract my true love and that gave me the idea to write a book. I wanted to share the information with other singles,” says Berndt.
Taking the next step, Berndt hired a writing coach who suggested attending a writing conference. “She suggested the SDSU Writers’ Conference, since she went to the conference the year before me. I went to the conference armed with a great proposal,” she says. The first conference Berndt attended she learned how important having a platform is, and what agents and editors are really looking for. “I got mostly ‘Get your platform together and come back.’ My book wasn’t ready yet,” she says. “However, I did get other value. I got to practice pitching and going to one-on-one meetings with editors and agents.”
The second conference she attended was the charm. “I had my platform together. My energy had changed. I was more confident. I drilled down and fine-tuned my pitches with agents and editors. I also networked with an agent at one of the informal tables. I then went to happy hour and had another conversation with the same agent. The thing about the conference is that writers get a chance to connect with these industry insiders. It’s not a glass wall,” she says. She finally found an agent and got her book deal. “I tried since 2004 to publish Let Love In – Open Your Heart and Mind to Attract Your Ideal Partner, and thanks to the conference I am a published author. Anyone who asks me about my book, I always recommend SDSU’s conference. I say ‘You have to go to this conference.’ I’ve been to other writing conferences before, but SDSU’s is the best.”
It all happened pretty quickly after the second conference for Berndt. Many doors opened in her life, beside finding love and publishing her book. She is now coaching, is no longer doing hypnotherapy, is traveling and speaking, and just taped a pilot for a TV show. With all this good fortune, Berndt wants to share advice with future attendees of the conference, “You need to connect with your book and not try to write something that’s going to sell. You really have to believe in it and have passion behind it. Then the right words will come out when you write.”