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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Book Tour for Sandy Lender Author of Choices Meant for Gods

INTERVIEW WITH SANDY LENDER
CHOICES MEANT FOR GODS



Sandy, Thank you for visiting my blog. I have a few questions about your new book.


Dee asks:
Tell us how you got started writing. Was it something you've always wanted to do?


Sandy answers:
Always. I think I was writing in the womb…


I got started writing because my great grandmother, to whom Choices Meant for Gods is dedicated, encouraged me. When I graduated from the cute little stories about mice picking berries and getting frightened by cats, I started writing books with chapters. But to do that, you need a table of contents. So I used to write books, starting with the TOC, where I very primly wrote in page numbers where I believed each chapter should begin.
What was the one thing that influenced you most in writing Choices Meant for Gods?
It's so difficult to narrow all my sources of inspiration down to the most influential one. There are elements of Chaucer (specifically the Troilus and Criseyde story), Bronte (particularly Jane Eyre), Old English, and Duran Duran in the fantasy novel. The one that probably had the biggest impact on me, without me realizing it until the novel was complete and in the publisher's hands, was Charlotte Bronte and her novel Jane Eyre. I choose that one because Amanda Chariss mimics the orphan Jane on a couple of levels, because Nigel mimics Edward Rochester on a couple of levels, because the Taiman estate mimics Thornfield Hall on some levels, because I feel the Yorkshire moors in the Freotho Mountains, because I feel Charlotte's heartbreak over her real-life professor in the character of Abigail Farrier. It's amazing to me that I didn't realize I was channeling these elements as I prepared an epic fantasy novel. Perhaps I missed it because there are so many other characters and so much more depth to the story than these few pieces I've just listed. Then I guess I'd have to say the Old English inspiration was the most influential, eh?



What was the one thing that influenced you most in writing Choices Meant for Gods?
It's so difficult to narrow all my sources of inspiration down to the most influential one. There are elements of Chaucer (specifically the Troilus and Criseyde story), Bronte (particularly Jane Eyre), Old English, and Duran Duran in the fantasy novel. The one that probably had the biggest impact on me, without me realizing it until the novel was complete and in the publisher's hands, was Charlotte Bronte and her novel Jane Eyre. I choose that one because Amanda Chariss mimics the orphan Jane on a couple of levels, because Nigel mimics Edward Rochester on a couple of levels, because the Taiman estate mimics Thornfield Hall on some levels, because I feel the Yorkshire moors in the Freotho Mountains, because I feel Charlotte's heartbreak over her real-life professor in the character of Abigail Farrier. It's amazing to me that I didn't realize I was channeling these elements as I prepared an epic fantasy novel. Perhaps I missed it because there are so many other characters and so much more depth to the story than these few pieces I've just listed. Then I guess I'd have to say the Old English inspiration was the most influential, eh?


Why did you choose to write in that particular genre?
I have always enjoyed fantasy and it seemed perfectly natural to write about dragons and wizards and sorcerers. Besides, I had to write a fantasy novel because Amanda Chariss possesses the geasa...it's integral to the telling of her story.


Have you ever considered writing in other genres?
I have written in other genres. In fact, I have an online serial novel going right now that's a fusion fiction piece. It incorporates speculative fiction, which fantasy falls into, comedy, paranormal romance, and a little horror and thriller thrown in for good measure. It's called Saving a Vampire from the Summer Sunrise, so you can probably tell that it's done in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, but the audience seems pleased with it so far. People can join to read it (free) at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sandysvampiresunrise/join

Do you plan to write a sequel to Choices Meant for Gods?
The sequel, much to the relief of my readers so far, is already complete. I'm in the process of editing it so I can send it to my publisher, who has already asked me about it. No pressure. Book III is almost finished. I'm writing during a marketing whirlwind. But the best way to ensure the sequels see the light of day is for folks to support the first novel. They can get a copy at my publisher's site with a 25% discount at
http://www.archebooks.com/BookIDX/Indexes/Fantasy/CMG/CMGDesc.htm. Or they can get free shipping when they order a copy through Amazon at
http://www.amazon.com/Choices-Meant-Gods-Sandy-Lender/dp/1595071652/ref=dp_return_1/104-9089752-5140754?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books&qid=1175821346&sr=8-1 . Folks can also pick it up at their local book stores.


How long did it take you to write Choices Meant for Gods?
It's kind of strange to fix a time on this because I first met Chariss back in about 1982 or '83. I saw her standing on Lord Baine's balcony with her arms open, holding back the curtains, as if embracing the morning. I didn't realize at the time that I was viewing her through the bad guy's eyes. I was seeing her as Jamieson Drake saw her. Drake actually spoke to me before any of the other characters, and neither he nor I knew Chariss's name at that time. So I began meeting the characters and sketching out little ideas and little scenes years ago. It wasn't until 2000 that I sat down and started typing. I pounded out three chapters on the keyboard, printed them—double-spaced, of course—and took them with me to get the tires replaced on my car. Yeah, I had to sit at the mechanic's shop for this interminable block of time one Saturday, and I knew it, so I took the beginning of Choices Meant for Gods with me and just sat there writing like a fiend. They had to think I was crazy… I finished the first book—more than 270,000 words—in June 2003.
In addition to the word of the day, I post grammar guides, writers guides, and promotional guides. From time to time, I host authors on the site, like you're doing for me today, that give insight to visitors on writing, publishing, marketing, etc. During the last week of March, I hosted my artist Megan Kissinger for the whole week, and she offered some wonderful advice and information for art students.



Thank you Sandy for a great interview and answering my questions. We all look forward to reading your new book, Choices Meant for Gods