Choices Meant for All

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sandypicBio for Fantasy Author Sandy Lender
Fantasy enthusiasts will recognize Sandy Lender as the author of the 2007 breakout novel Choices Meant for Gods from ArcheBooks Publishing, but the South Florida resident has been writing since she was knee high to a grasshopper. At the early age of about six, Sandy entertained the folks in her great grandmother’s apartment building in Southern Illinois with stories of squeaky spiders and mice picking berries.

She ended up winning some writing awards with that imagination during her school days in the St. Louis area before earning a degree in English from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. That led to a career in journalism where she proofread, edited, and wrote for a variety of publications. Today she’s the editor of a national trade magazine during the day and writes the fantasy fiction she loves at night. She gives workshops on writing, editing, internet marketing, and the surprising topic of reptile husbandry.

But that’s only half the story. Sandy Lender is also a sea turtle conservationist, serving in the group Turtle Time since 2005. She also has companion parrots and pet turtles in her home who keep her hopping. It takes one ring on her cell phone to discover she’s remained obsessed with Duran Duran since about 1984. She got rid of an unnecessary husband and beat cancer in 2008. Lastly, she remains unaddicted but “strongly attracted” to all forms of chocolate and welcomes discussions about her handsome and demanding muse at any time. There’s more, but you can learn all about it here around the site.

Short Bio for Fantasy Author Sandy Lender
Fantasy enthusiasts will recognize Sandy Lender as the author of the breakout novel Choices Meant for Gods and a leader of workshops on world-building and characterization. Her four-year degree in English and seventeen-year career in magazine publishing augment her book publishing experience for a variety of presentations.

A Letter from the Author

Dear Reader,

sandypic2Welcome to my fantasy realm on the ’net. As I mention on the welcome page, I hope you’ll enjoy exploring this site to learn more about me, my works, and the fabulous places I can take you. I’ve spent a great deal of time preparing the fantasy worlds where my characters act out the books that I breathe into life for you. At this site, you can learn a bit about how I build worlds. It’s not all research from Old English texts, although I think that’s a wonderful way to spend an evening.

Terry Brooks says of writers in his book Sometimes the Magic Works: “Much of what happens around us goes into a storage bin in our minds for future consideration and possible use in a book down the line. What we observe is as important to us in determining what we write as what we know.”

That means you’ve got to watch out for writers. We’re sneaky. We use an everyday event that you might not think is intriguing and turn it into a plot device or bit of dialogue. If it happens in front of us, it’s fair game. Imagine my poor mom’s surprise to learn that a certain embarrassing moment from the early ’80s ended up in print.

Here’s how it happened. I was probably 12 or 13. Innocent. Naïve. We were in the check-out lane at the grocery store and I stared mindlessly at the tabloids. The headline on one about discussing a sensitive topic with your teens struck me as odd, so I turned to Mom at the other end of the buggy and asked, loudly, “Mom, what’s virginity?” Of course I mispronounced it. Long “I” on the “jine.” Virjinety.

Some people around us snickered, hiding their faces from my blushing mother. She leaned forward and said, lowly, “I’ll tell you in the car.”

Okay.

Years later, that recalled scene struck me as funny, and I knew the young, precocious version of Amanda Chariss, the heroine in the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy, had to pull some such stunt on her wizard guardian Hrazon. (I figured Hrazon would forgive me for it.) But the scene would have to be a flashback because my lovely Chariss is 20 years old when we meet her in Choices Meant for Gods. She knows what virginity is.

I wrote a scene from Chariss and Hrazon’s early travels laced with a little danger due to Chariss’s age and the condition of Onweald’s social system, but it just didn’t fit in the novel. Yet it was so charming that I wasn’t content to delete and forget it. I wanted to share it with the readers who had fallen in love with Chariss. I pulled it into a short story called “Joveran Border Crossing” for my short story chapbook What Choices We Made.

That’s how an embarrassing moment for my mom ended up in print in a fantasy story more than two decades later. Seems so easy, doesn’t it? These situations happen daily for writers. We see something that may seem ordinary or mundane to everybody else, but it’s story fodder for us. When you see one of us whip out a notepad and start scribbling like mad, you know something’s going in the storage bin for a future book. Or for some world-building.

Welcome to the site,

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“Some days, I just want the dragon to win.”