Cate: Please welcome Fantasy Author Sandy Lender. Sandy, will you please share a short bio with us?
Sandy: Here’s one of the official ones: Readers will recognize Sandy Lender as the Choices series author and a leader of world-building, characterization, and revision workshops. Her degree in English and career in magazine publishing augment her book publishing experience for a variety of presentations, including troll extermination on spaceships. Sandy is also a sea turtle conservationist and obsessive music fan.
Cate: Tell us about What Choices We Made, Vol II and where it's available.
Sandy: What Choices We Made, Vol II is the second chapbook to support the fantasy series of novels ArcheBooks Publishing is releasing for me. There were some legends and backstory that didn’t really belong “in” the pages of the novels, so I broke those out into short stories and spiced ‘em up with some recipes and character poetry and a couple deleted scenes from the books and came up with these anthologies, if you will, that augment the series for fans and give some entertaining stand-alone shorts for non-fans. The volumes are nice for people who have never heard of me because they give an introduction to me, some new characters, and this fantasy world I’ve built without forcing the reader to already know a world. I mean, how many fiction chapbooks have you read that include a map of a continent in the beginning?
For availability, I made sure both volumes I and II are available on Amazon to make life easy for potential readers. Then I also schlep them around to conventions with me…
Cate: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Sandy: I know I’ve got at least a couple excerpts on my website on the “Books” page, but I don’t know if we’ve got the full back cover blurb listed there. (We should... but details are so difficult to keep track of these days.) So let me hand you the cover blurb here.
Dive into the legends that make up the history of the Choices series from established fantasy author Sandy Lender. Both new and familiar characters will enchant you. From families in peril to youth in scrapes, the men and monsters who shaped Onweald politics left epic tales in their wake for you…
As a special treat for Choices readers, this volume includes the love story of Ella and Rohne. She’s a general’s daughter with modern ideas about growing old at her father’s side. He’s a moody old god who’s used to getting His way. When they clash, she elects to run away with one of His guards. Catching the fugitives would be easier if the evil Julette’s minions weren’t crashing the party with her poisonous plans.
A stand-alone novella that newcomers to the series can enjoy, The Influential Love Story of Ella and Rohne offers suspense, horror, action, fantasy, and a sweet romance when an opinionated young lady faces her future—and a feisty god.
Cate: Sounds great. Can you tell us why we're going to love your hero?
Sandy: Can I pick more than one? Because this is a chapbook of short stories, there are several heroes. Hrazon is a wizard who is the guardian and mentor for young (she’s young in the two stories they’re in in this book) Amanda Chariss. He’s this patient, dear, old-as-dirt, wise, kind, calm wizard; not one of those comic-relief wizards that some authors give bizarre quirks to. He has his comic moments because, well, he’s dealing with a child prodigy basically when it comes to Chariss, and he has to keep her out of the limelight—keep her hidden from the sorcerer who would rather kill a whole town than let her live another day. So Hrazon is this grandfatherly hero that we love because he’s the kind of soft-spoken, wise grandfather who can kick someone’s butt for you in the blink of an eye.
The hero of the novella in What Choices We Made, Vol II, is The Master Rothahn. (Sort of.) It’s complex for a 20,000+ word novella. Even though He’s the highest active god in the society, the other gods have a nickname for Him—Rohne. That might seem irreverent, but, let’s face it, these are gods who have limitations to their power and who walk among mortals. They give each other nicknames and bicker from time to time. (There’s your comic relief.) I think you’re going to love Rohne for the same reasons my publisher does. (Rohne is his favorite character in the novels.) The god is a touch on the whiny side when it serves His purpose, yet able to slide into His role as a “supreme being” when it’s necessary. He can make a decision, make people act, and get the job done. He has feelings and emotions; He loves. He knows what His responsibilities are and He doesn’t shirk them, but He’s not going to pass up an opportunity for love, personal happiness, and godly protection when He sees it.
Cate: Multiple heroes are definitely allowed, lol. Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Sandy: Duran Duran... and to keep me from getting sued, that’s all I’m going to say. Duranies will figure it out when they read it. No one else will catch it.
Cate: What's next for you?
Sandy: Hopefully someone from TOR will notice me and say, “OMG! Why didn’t one of our editors notice this Sandy Lender before now!? Get her into our family!”
Cate: What inspired you to draft your first story?
Sandy: I don’t even remember. I started writing stories when I was a child. I used to write little stories for my great grandmother about mice and spiders and such, and then she’d read them to people who lived in her apartment building. I recently learned that I wrote a story for one of my uncles when he was in the hospital. I have no memory of that...
Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Sandy: None at all anymore. I basically am attached to one of two laptops or one of many many notepads in my home or car. I carry writing utensils with me at all times. True story: I was in the car last night without my phone or laptop and almost had a meltdown. How would I communicate with the world? Luckily, for notes, I had a notepad in the car and one in my purse.
Cate: I can relate! And nothing beats a good old notepad in a pinch.
Where can readers find you on the web?
Sandy: I’ve got my trusty blogs, the main one has moved to http://TodayTheDragonWins.wordpress.com. Then there’s my website, which has this cool opening page, but I’m concerned about it. It forces the visitor to make an extra click to get into the site. Do you visitors think it’s worth it? I mean... it’s a pretty cool opening page... it sets a mood... but you have to click to go in and read my letter to visitors or my bio or the Books page, etc. It’s at http://www.AuthorSandyLender.com. See what you think...
From there, I dare you to google “Sandy Lender” and see what you get. It’s INSANE how much marketing I’ve done online. At one point, I found a real estate agent named Sandy with one of my book reviews smack in the middle of her home page... just to get her site to come up higher in the listings because I had flooded the search engines with the name Sandy Lender. I sent her a note applauding her marketing effort and thanking her for re-posting the review.
Cate: Too funny! Any exposure is good exposure.
Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Sandy: Do you think $8.95 is too much to spend for a book from an author you’ve not read before? See... I used to read like a sponge (when I had more time for it). Nowadays I’m working a couple of jobs and planning a writers’ conference and dealing with other items, so reading one book a month is a treat. But I’m from the school of thought: If it’s a book you want to read, who cares if you’ve heard of the author or not? I don’t care about the price, either. Pick it up, read the cover, buy it, read the book. If you can’t afford it right now, put it on your wish list and get it when you can because you WANT to read it. But there are people on the internet/Amazon discussion boards who freak out over whether or not they’ve heard of the author, whether or not it costs 99 cents, whether or not they can trade it in after they read it, etc. That mentality had started before the economy collapsed. Why? It’s a book you’re supposed to read and cherish... right? When did we stop loving books and start treating them like thrift items?
Cate: Great question. I'm way behind in my reading too, unfortunately.
Readers, Sandy and Goddess Fish Promotions are giving away a copy of What Choices We Made, Vol I to a random commenter from her short tour... so start commenting. Be sure to leave your email address, because they’ll pick a winner at the end of the tour Dec. 10 and send a note to your e-mail.
Thanks for being my guest, Sandy! Best of luck to you.
The second short story chapbook supporting Sandy Lender's Choices series includes the troubled love story novella: The Influential Love Story of Ella and Rohne. Rated PG for some violence.
Welcome to a world of dragons, magic, sword and sorcery. Dive into the legends tha tmake up the history of the Choices series from established fantasy author Sandy Lender. Both new and familiar characters will enchant you. From families in peril to youth in scrapes, the men and monsters who shaped Onweald politics left epic tales in their wake for you...
As a special treat for Choices readers, this volume includes the love story of Ella and Rohne. She's a general's daughter with quite modern ideas about growing old at her father's side. He's a moody old god who's used to getting His way. When they clash, she elects to run away with one of His guards. Catching the fugitives would be easier if the evil Julette's minions weren't crashing the party with her poisonous plans.
A stand-alone novella that newcomers to the series can enjoy, The Influential Love Story of Ella and Rohne offers suspense, horror, action, fantasy, and a sweet romance when an opinionated young lady faces her future--and a feisty god.