|Suspense Magazine.com presents
|Not even the gods noticed when Chariss was born
with the mark of The Protector. Now she and her
wizard guardian seek shelter from a mad sorcerer in
a household not just full of secrets and false hope,
but watched by the god who will unwittingly reveal
her role in an impending war. When an orphan sets
aside a lifetime of running and fear to accept the
responsibilities of guarding an arrogant deity, can
she face the trials in the prophecies she uncovers?
Will Nigel Taiman of her latest refuge dare to use his
dragon heritage to bind her to his estate or to help
her in her duty?
|Sandy Lender is one of the top
Fantasy/Suspense writers out there right
now. She is writing a series called the
Choice Trilogies, that should be picked up by
all!! Below you will see the first book,
"Choices Meant for Gods". Her second
book "Choices Meant for Kings" will be
available soon. We have reviewed "Choices
Meant for Kings" and this is without a
doubt a 5 star selection.
Click on the book image below to get your
copy of "Choices Meant for Gods" and be
prepared to lose sleep until you finish!
Fantasy enthusiasts recognize Sandy Lender as the author of the
breakout hit Choices Meant for Gods, but she began writing way
back when she first learned to string words together on the page.
As a child, she entertained the folks in her great grandmother's
apartment building in Southern Illinois with tales of squeaky spiders
and mice picking berries, and then won contests and awards with
short stories and writing projects as she moved through the
elementary and high school systems all over the St. Louis area.
It was apparent that a career in journalism was her calling, and she
found herself proofreading, editing, and (finally) writing for trade
publications after she graduated from Truman State University in
Missouri. Now she serves in the publishing field during the day and
writes fiction at night, keeping house in Southwest Florida where
her love of sea turtles and all things related to the ocean waters
keeps her imagination growing.
Exclusive Interview with Sandy Lender
Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration?
My source of inspiration has shifted a few times over the years. One of the constants has been my great
grandmother. Even though she passed away in 1998, the lessons she taught me and the strength she
left me will be stuck firmly in my brain forever (I can only hope). But sources of inspiration include great
figures like Charlotte Bronte, Helen Keller and Maya Angelou, who have overcome some horror or some
tragedy and, like the song says, "made it through the rain." Without throwing a pity party here, I'll say
that I've had some turbulent times as of late, so I look at strong characters in history and think, "yeah, I
want to make it like she did." My greatest source of inspiration right now is Amanda Chariss, the main
character in my Choices trilogy. She has turned out to be a great teacher. A friend of mine pointed this
out to me during one of my "dark days" and I realized, yes, I created this heroine who is larger than life.
I ought to pay attention to what she has to teach us.
What is your all-time favorite book?
Hands down, my all-time favorite book is Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. It's the original gothic fantasy
novel. Charlotte was the master of her genre and wove a tale that I can re-read again and again and
always find something new or intriguing that I missed on past readings. I'd love to meet Edward
Rochester some day just to ask him "what were you thinking letting her get away that night?"
How long do you normally take to research your book?
This is a loaded question! The entire Choices trilogy took forever to put together because I first met
Chariss, the main character, back in 1982 or 83. That's when I started researching. That's when I
started developing back-story and characters. Over the years, I brought in Old English words and
elements. I brought in new ideas for the world Chariss lives in. I brought in new beasts and monsters
that her nemesis created in old wars that took place before Chariss's birth. It took about 17 years
before I started writing the books in earnest.
What is on your iPod right now?
A ton of Duran Duran. I'm obsessed.
Do you have any superstitions when you write, little quirks, etc.?
I have no writing quirks at all. I can write anywhere, anytime, under any conditions, with any form of
paper, pen, pencil, computer, keyboard. Give me a scrap of paper or a napkin. I can be sitting at a
stoplight in traffic and an idea can come to me, or I can wake up in the middle of the night with an idea. I
can sit down for structured writing time with a cup of ice water and the computer and my iTunes with my
favorite writing music, or I can be out by the Gulf with a new notebook and a set of pens (in case three
in a row run out of ink, you know). Everything under the sun inspires me so I feel blessed that I can just
start writing at will.
If you could solve any mystery for yourself, what would it be?
How on earth do snails recognize the opposite sex? You see these things on the sidewalk all the time
around where I live and they look so large and lumbering. When they meet up, how do they know to
just wander away or to "hook up"?
If you could talk to any person, alive or dead, for one hour, who would it be?
It would have to be someone non-violent. I guess since I'm going to see Grandma again in Heaven, I
could go for someone still here and usually inaccessible…like Maya Angelou. She would be such an
uplifting person to speak to for any length of time. Think of the things she's seen and done. I've been
to two of her speaking engagements and she just overwhelms me with her presence and her power. She
has a gift for capturing an audience and sharing exactly what's in her mind and in her heart. I would be
honored to spend an hour over tea with her.
I love to hear stories from authors about their first published book, how did you get
This story is a hoot. I attended a press club writers conference one weekend. The administrator of that
arranged for a select few of us would-be authors to have a pitch session with a publisher who was
having a conference the following weekend across the state. Like a moron, I assumed that meant my
pitch session was the following weekend. Not so much. So I learned that my pitch session was on
Sunday, sprinted home at 5:01 Saturday at the end of the first conference day, typed up a synopsis
and marketing plan, etc., and went back dead tired the next day for my session with Robert Gelinas of
ArcheBooks Publishing. We got seated about 8 or 9 feet from the main elevator (read: high traffic) at
this conference and he started asking me questions about my life's work. I was so stressed I was
shaking. But I made it through and he took the manuscript. A couple weeks later, I had a contract for
Choices Meant for Gods and we were on our way to doing the Choices trilogy.
What future plans can you tell us about?
I'm writing like mad and kicking the crap out of cancer. Like I mentioned earlier, I've had some turbulent
times, but I'm one of the survivors.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do for fun?
I love animals so I work with a volunteer group called Turtle Time protecting sea turtles. I also have a pet
bird and pet tortoise that I spoil.