Snapshots: Memories and Recipes by Sandra Martin
Lisa Hagan Books: http://www.lisahaganbooks.com/ Contact: 434 636 4138
Lisa Hagan Books * ISBN 978-0997469936 * Trade Paper * 253 pages * $15.99
Sandra Martin’s collection of vignettes from her remarkable life feels like the sun – whole worlds have revolved around her in a perfectly natural way. Riveting, engrossing, and delightful. – Dean Radin, Ph.D., Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)
Snapshots: Memories and Recipes
This memoir is written from the heart. After an early marriage, and with little education, Ms. Martin embarked on a journey of discovery at a time when the New Age was new and sparkling. As an awarding winning account executive at a local PBS station, Ms. Martin discovered the power of television and was captured. A chance encounter turned her career from television to developing and establishing a literary agency in Manhattan devoted to New Age authors.
All of Martin’s endeavors were in the fields of deep spirituality, self help (dream interpretation, intuition, angels, medium-ship, natural animal care and astrology), native wisdom, ancient mysteries and later, UFO and abduction experiences and conspiracy books. Her career was devoted to developing and building the field from niche markets towards mainstream markets-first for the publishing industry and later for television and movies.
These short stories or essays are soul-baring, often funny as well as gut-wrenching. Included are stories about growing up on a farm in rural Virginia, while having extraordinary psychic experiences, to crashing in a plane in the Grand Canyon, falling in love on the island of Malta, hanging out with movie stars and living in a Manhattan high-rise in NYC. Even as these extraordinary experiences were happening to Ms. Martin, life was also difficult, with endless road blocks. It seemed an arduous journey but perseverance seemed her strongest quality. She says: “I loved every day. I had huge anxiety every day. I was scared but I moved forward in spite of being afraid.”
Review: Have you ever taken your deep, vague spiritual yearnings to the bookstore aisle and found one volume of wisdom that spoke to you like your oldest friend? Have you surfed the channels and found a program about astounding human potentials that made your eyes pop? Have you had quirky experiences that puzzled you until you found something on the internet that showed you the significance of it? Then you owe a lot to Sandra Martin, and you almost certainly don’t know it.
– James Carpenter, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Short Biographical Overview
Sandra Martin’s career as a literary agent and executive producer for television has been devoted to bringing inspiring, boundary breaking books and television documentaries in the fields of spirituality, self-help and consciousness to the mainstream public.
In 1986 Ms. Martin created Paraview, Inc. Paraview holds a unique position in the media industry for being among the first to successfully develop literary properties for the worldwide audience of “Cultural Creatives”-a 50 million+ audience interested in consciousness, deep spirituality, healing and the paranormal.
As a literary agent Ms. Martin had many books on the New York Times bestsellers list. During the 90s Ms. Martin was one of the first agents to develop and launch her own imprint, Paraview Books. In 2000 Ms. Martin negotiated a deal with Simon and Schuster to create a new imprint, Paraview Pocket Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishing.
Ms. Martin also created and executive produced a three hour documentary series for the Discovery Channel titled The Power of Dreams, and for PBS a three hour documentary series, Intuition for the PBS Pledge Fund Drive.
Martin was executive producer for Is it really me? a documentary on body image, created by Brenda Siemer. The film has played in the Avignon Film Festival, the Hampton’s International Film Festival, The North Carolina School for the Arts River Run Film Festival and the Santa Fe Film Festival. At the 2005 Durango Film Festival it won a Jury Commendation for Documentaries. In 2003 it was awarded a CINE Golden Eagle Award.
In 2002, she accepted the position of Senior Vice President of Content for Wisdom Television. At Wisdom she was responsible for developing and producing programming for the new linear cable channel. Programming at Wisdom included; Wisdom at Work, A Wisdom Holiday: The Gift of Song, Is It Really Me? Loretta La Roche: Life is Not a Stress Rehearsal. At Sirius Radio in New York City, a critically acclaimed and profound discussion on the spiritual aspects of life after the World Trade Center attack was filmed. It was titled, 9.11.02: From the Ground Up, Hosted by Caroline Myss and Jim Garrison.
She has served on the Boards of Friends for the Institute of Noetic Sciences in New York City, The Rhine Research Center and Harvard University’s Center for Psychology and Social Change and NurturArt of New York City. Currently she serves as Vice President of IANDS – the International Association for Near Death Studies in Durham, North Carolina.
As a consultant Ms. Martin worked with Time Life Books on their best selling series, Mysteries of the Unknown; Berkley Bedell’s National Foundation for Alternative Medicine, now called Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine and The Mountain Institute.
Interview questions–or Talking Points Snapshots by Sandra Martin
- You are credited with creating a whole new genre of books in your career as a literary agent. Did you do it intentionally or were you following your bliss?
Not an entirely new genre, but enlarging, broadening and mainstreaming the, what was then called, Occult genre of the bookstore. From Occult, self-help emerged, new spirituality emerged and is now included in mainstream, alternative health is now in the health section, etc.
I was deeply embedded in the field – meaning I’d read every book I could find on these riveting subjects and had listened to every lecture that I could attend –and, of course, delved into heavy discussions with my friends who had similar interests. I devoured spiritual books (Andrew Harvey, Pir Valot Kahn, Caroline Myss, Coleman Barks translations of Rumi), all the new psychotherapist, (Stan Groff, Robert Bly and Marian Woodman), every Edgar Cayce book printed, every Seth book, Theosophical books, and many alternative health books.
Alternative health was a hidden subject at that time, now mainstream, self-help from angels to dreams, to near death, to creating your life with intention is now mainstream and we now have segments on Morning TV. I’d originally been interested in George Ritchie’s world of deep spirituality, transformative psychology and Near Death. He’d had an NDE experience where he’d been with Jesus so for years I was a part of that story.
I felt this information was powerful, life enhancing and immensely broadening of everything that was of highest human value and it conspired to connect us to our higher selves. I believed that these subjects would help many people, not just people interested in the New Age. So it was my bliss and my intention.
- A part of your career included television. What did you produce?
Not a lot of programs. But ones I was passionate about. I wrote up an 8 part series on dreams back in the late 80s and in 1994 Discovery funded 3 of those parts-The Power of Dreams. I’d sold so many books on “developing your intuition” and “psychic development” that I also wrote up a series on intuition and found funding for that series. I worked with Brenda Siemer (who was Roy Scheider’s wife-an awesomely smart woman) on a special on body image, Is this Really Me? These are the ones I worked extremely hard to get made. Then I did a series on Cowgirls – I’d been representing a few authors writing on western culture and cowgirl art books. That was different.
- You’ve returned to the family farm in Virginia after a life traveling the world, creating books and doing deals. Obviously, you can go home again. What does that land mean to you?
Isn’t it funny, that saying, “You can never go home again?” My New York friends told me it’d never work –that I’d be back in Manhattan six months – that I was used to the high intense drama of publishing and selling and pushing-pushing-pushing. But I was relieved. I was tired and being back on the land of my origin meant a lot. I had no idea I had in my genes this deep love of the red clay and rolling hills of grain. This place that I couldn’t wait to leave now became my sanctuary. One of the first things I did was have garden beds created and started planting and growing organic vegetables.
- After sitting on one side of the publishing table for so long, was it difficult to change sides and be the writer?
Oh my God. I had no idea how hard it was-how difficult it is to write a book. I feel I should write to every client I ever had and even those I rejected saying “I’m so sorry I was so hard on you. I just didn’t know how hard it was to write a book-the dedication, perseverance, the research, the quiet and solitude. Then the worry that it wasn’t good or worthwhile and who the heck would find it interesting was an entirely other worry.
- Snapshots is book of great food – often grown in your garden – and wonderful stories. When all is said and done, isn’t this a backbone of joyful living? Friends and food?
Yes. All my life I have been a hostess. I have always had parties: dinner parties, holiday parties, parties to celebrate friends-mostly I didn’t need a reason to have a party. I genuinely loved conversation over food, loved cross pollinating ideas and learning. Here in Bracey we have an added value in that we now have a winery about 5 miles from my home. The man who started the winery came back to his farm around the same time I did. We grew up on dairy and tobacco farms. Neither farm has dairies or tobacco fields now. We’ve had some funny conversations since being back.
- What is your favorite dish in the book and why?
That is a really hard question. Mostly I loved cooking the fresh vegetables right out of the garden, but I also liked making friend’s recipes like Buddy’s Jalapeno Pepper Jelly or any type of fresh tomato in any dish or salad. There were my “old standbys” for dinner parties, like Shrimp Fra Diavolo or Chicken with Apricots. I also made some killer salads. My daughter thinks I should open a restaurant just serving salads and soups.
- How did you move from television to books?
Early on, mid-80s, I guess it was, I was taking a break from “everything” after a disappointing year trying to sell the documentary series on Dreams when a woman came to my front door and asked me for help. She’d received a call earlier that morning and told by the editor at the publishing house where she had a contract for a book on cat stories that the entire department had been closed and she’d lost her book contract. She was distraught because she needed that money. That was $7,000 – it is a bit of a story,(Literary Agent in my book) but after a few weeks, with no knowledge whatsoever about publishing I got her a new deal and contract from the same publisher for $45,000.
- Who do you wish you’d represented?
John Cleese. I had the opportunity to work with him on a documentary series and he was smart, savvy and more than entertaining. His knowledge of consciousness research was mind-boggling. I wrote about our lunch in Manhattan in my book. Healing Knees with Roasted Salmon and Honey Glaze
- How about the chapter on your past life in France?
It seems that all my life I have had prophetic dreams, precognitive dreams and impressive “change your life” dreams. That one about France started when I was a child. I started having the same dream. I didn’t have it every month, but every now and then. It was so strong and it was always the same–a repeat of the same dream. It took years for me to even realize that I’d traveled to almost every country surrounding France but had never set foot in that country. When friends would ask, “Do you want to go to Paris with us?” I’d reply, “No thanks. “ Finally, through stress from work and just ready to get away anywhere I flew with Richard Belzer, my client at the time, to his home in southeastern France. The complexities of the experience and the understanding of the dream were powerful and changed me deeply. After that month being in France, I’ve never had that dream again.
- What do you think all of this material on consciousness, deep spirituality and extraordinary abilities means for the future?
Well, really, you can see it, the future, everywhere you look. We are the new mainstream. Dianne Collins calls it the “The Consciousness Crowd.” We are the modern mystics. We are the new mainstream health practitioners. People openly speak about their precognitive or intuitive “being connected to the greater universe.” As many people now report, I am not religious, I am spiritual. We aren’t any organized religion, we are all religions connected to a higher source. A source of love, compassion and wisdom.
Endorsements/praise for Snapshots: Memories and Recipes
Sandra has written a wise and witty book, one that demonstrates that true wisdom comes from simply living life, not from listening to obscure teachings, and that meaning is created through the little experiences we have along the way, not as a thunderbolt out of the blue. Sandra’s life has been well lived and she speaks as an elder of many pathways.
A beautiful book.
~ Jim Garrison, President Wisdom University
We break bread with friends and form life-long bonds over the dinner table. Sandra Martin does the same with this book. She pulls you into her stories and holds you there while feeding you like a mother feeds her family, with joy, laughter, tears and sometimes just makes you hold your breath. Will she survive to the end of the page? Life explodes when extraordinary events happen to ordinary people, but then, Martin is not ordinary. Snapshots proves to be a phenomenal book that cannot be copied like a recipe, only savored like a fine table.
~ Arlene S. Bice, author, speaker, teacher of poetry, memoir, and metaphysics.
Snapshots is not just a series of delicious stories. Nor is it just a delicious cookbook. It is both, and more. Sandra Martin’s collection of vignettes from her remarkable life feels like the sun — whole worlds have revolved around Sandra in a perfectly natural way. Riveting, engrossing, and delightful.
~ Dean Radin, Ph.D., Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)
Jane Hughes Gignoux: A combination of fascinating anecdotes describing some of the lively episodes of Sandra Martin’s life from growing up on a tobacco and dairy farm in rural Virginia to a successful career as a literary agent in New York City promoting “New Age” authors, coupled with tempting personal recipes for everything from Spinach Lasagna to Roasted Salmon. A great read! ~Jane Gignoux, author of Some Folks Say
Sandra is really cooking in these smart, often funny, adventure stories in the life of a literary agent. Will the scent of roasted vegetables herewith remind you, a la Proust, of her plane crash in the Grand Canyon? Celebrity encounters, magical coincidences, transcendent thoughts and, yes, comforting eats, Sandra delivers it all.
~ Patrick Huyghe, Author of The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials and Columbus Was Las
Sandra has cooked up a perfect masterpiece! She takes a dash of spirituality, mixes it together with a zest for life and creates genuine recipes to nurture the body, and feed the soul! I want another course
~ James Van Praagh author of Talking to Heaven, producer of The Ghost Whisperer and spiritual medium
My good friend, Sandra Martin, has written a delightful book. It is full of wisdom and useful information. It is a perfect complement to most any evening and should be best enjoyed with a glass of your favorite wine or beverage. Thank you Sandra for sharing your stories and your recipes!
~ Bill Hayes, President Figure 8 Films
Sandra Martin has served up an engaging consommé of vignettes from her extraordinary life as a literary agent, producer and world traveler that will tickle, titillate and stimulate the reader…and the recipes aren’t bad either!
~ Jim Marrs, New York Times Best Selling author
Food for thought has always been Sandra Martin’s specialty. She has long nourished our souls through her award-winning book, movie, and television projects; and now, in SNAPSHOTS, she adds some new ingredients to her storytelling powers—-personal memories that are deliciously human, each accompanied by recipes as varied and tasty as life itself.
~ Catherine Nixon Cooke Author of Tom Slick Mystery Hunter and former president of the Mind Science Foundation
Sandra Martin offers us a delectable meditation on life, spirituality, and wholesome food. Be prepared to laugh, cry and feast on her multi-sensory observations from her garden to her kitchen to her times in the front row of the human potential movement. Her recipes for dinner and for life are rich and savory. Bon appetite.
~ Marilyn Schlitz Social Anthropologist, Researcher and Award Winning Writer
Snapshots is a combination of light-hearted and soul-bearing stories along with excellent recipes. Sandra’s life mission to bring love, light and true knowledge was a game-changer to the publishing and television worlds. Her determination to make this information available to a larger audience was arduous but she persevered. And I’m glad she did. I highly recommend this entertaining and important book.
~Gary Renard, the best-selling author of The Disappearance of the Universe trilogy.
Have you ever taken your deep, vague spiritual yearnings to the bookstore aisle and found one volume of wisdom that spoke to you like your oldest friend? Have you surfed the channels and found a program about astounding human potentials that made your eyes pop? Have you had quirky experiences that puzzled you until you found something on the internet that showed you the significance of it? Then you owe a lot to Sandra Martin, and you almost certainly don’t know it.
Sandra Martin has been a game-changer in a genre she practically invented and then pushed into the world of publishing and film – the genre of spiritual seeking and self-help. In Snapshots she relates a series of stories of her remarkable career and rich life, and accompanies each story with a favorite recipe or two resonant with the story’s theme. This quiet, funny, charming southern lady zooms us around from southern Virginia to Cairo and Paris and Taos and London and LA and New York (lots of LA and even more of New York), introducing us to many remarkable, often famous people along the way, always with a deep quest for the meaning of it all, and the highest regard for the inner explorers who offer real wisdom. She knows the world needs to hear them, and with extraordinary energy and determination, through her literary agency and media projects she has let them speak. We see her wear down publishing houses and win over movie stars, crash in the Grand Canyon, and follow a remarkable love story guided by nothing more sensible than intuition.
I imagine hearing these stories on a big, southern porch. This porch is an inch from the garden, and an inch from the kitchen. This woman of dreams lives right on the ground. After enough talk, she feeds us wonderful dishes mostly from the garden. The potatoes just had the dirt knocked off, the rosemary and tomatoes are still hot from the sun.
~ James Carpenter, PhD., Professor, University of North Carolina, School of Medicine
Recipes – Pesto
From the chapter: Governing Insights and Pesto
Somehow, every summer, I grow too much basil. It just runs wild on me. I started out years ago with a few seeds and grew six plants and now, every year, I have a big crop of 20 or more plants. All volunteers. I give lots away, make dozens of fresh tomato, basil and mozzarella salads and, best of all, I make and freeze pesto. The bright green flavor of delicious basil brings summer into any winter meal. I love pesto and use it in many ways: stuffed into chicken breasts, spread on a tomato and cheese sandwich, and of course, it pairs naturally with many pasta and fish dishes.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
1⁄2 cup parsley, washed and dried (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 large cloves garlic, chopped up
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Using a food processer, put the basil, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil into a bowl. Process until pesto is completely combined and smooth.
- Add parmesan cheese at the end. Mix well.
- Transfer to a storage bowl with an air tight lid. Cover the pesto with plastic wrap so the presto won’t turn brown.
Always bring to room temperature before using.