Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

My Photo
Location: Misbehaving in Candlelight

Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Writing Exercise
Or...The Dragon is thankful for mushy food

I don't care how cliche it is, I want to encourage folks who visit the site this weekend to write down what they're thankful for. I'm posting this on Thanksgiving Day--the most appropriate day of the year for Americans to express such things. So here I go.

This year, I'm thankful for a ton of stuff. But at the top of the list, I'm most thankful for mushy food. I've just spent nine days in the hospital because I started vomitting blood (oh, yeah, graphic warning!) one Sunday night. Let me state, for those of you who have never vomitted copious amounts of blood, it's scary, it's ugly, it's painful, and it's horrible. The good news is that if you call 911, an ambulance with big, strong paramedics comes to your home and whisks you off to an emergency room where they give you pain medication to help with the painful part of the equation. They also give you stuff to settle your stomach and keep you from vomitting more. Score two fabulous points for the emergency room crew. What surprised me was the speed with which they decided to admit me to the hospital.

Thus began the nine-day stay without Internet access. The first couple days, I could have no food or water. Eegads! Luckily, I had no desire for food or water. The pain medicine was my main focus...

Diagnosis: esaphogeal tear.
Yes, radiate me for two weeks and my throat falls apart. Dangit.
Those of you who know me can guess just what it's going to be like for a doctor to try to get me back on the metal slab for another radiation treatment. Not happenin', Jack. I already hated it. Now I have a big-fat-real reason to hate it. A lot. :)

I'm supposed to be expressing my thanks. I am thankful to be back home. I am thankful to have my dad here to help out for a few days while I get used to medicating myself and...well...walking again. Nine days of bed-to-bathroom-to-bed makes for weaker muscles than you'd think. I am thankful for mushy food because broth is boring after six days.

Just imagine all the other things built into this that I'm thankful for. Doctors, hospitals, paramedics with good senses of humor, pain medication, pill crushers that make taking pain medication possible when you can't swallow pills...

Happy Thanksgiving!
Now it's your turn to share!
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Where in the World is Sandy Lender?
Or...check out today's tour stops

Did I mention that I'm doing an online book tour to pre-promote the short story anthology What Choices We Made? Well, I am. The book is due out on the busiest shopping day of the year (Nov. 28). You can catch me talking about it at various spots for the next couple weeks and two of those places today are at Chris Chat Talks Books and Jamieson Wolf's blog. Nice? Click on the links and visit away!

What's extra nifty about Chris Speakman's blog today is that she's got the cover of What Choices We Made AND she's posted her reviews of Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings that she wrote this summer. The review of Choices Meant for Kings is just amazing. I was so tickled when I first read it. (Apparently, it still makes my day because I just read it again on her site and it's got me smiling.)

So please stop by Chris and Jamieson's sites and leave a comment so I know you were there. I'll be be-bopping through around the lunch hour (yes, I must get some work done, you know) and after work to respond!

Tomorrow, I'll be the featured author at PNR's The Haunt.
If you're trying to get your hands on the current Choices Meant for Gods, you can pick up the hardcover from, where they're currently offering a 20% discount. Or you can get the hardcover or the eBook from my publisher's site. My publisher always has a 25% discount on the hardcover and the eBook is only $3.99.

See you around the blogosphere!
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
Tags: , , ,

Labels: , ,

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Join Me On Tour, On The Radio
Or...The Dragon starts an online tour for What Choices We Made

I should have posted this yesterday to give everyone time to make plans for this evening's radio program, but, you know, life is so chaotic that I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown, so let's just consider it lucky that I'm blogging prior to the event at all. Yes? The thing is that I have cool news to share. I'm starting an online tour to support the upcoming release of the short story anthology What Choices We Made. I invite you to check out the trailer in the post below.

To start the tour, I invite you to visit An Aspie's Review site at this link to see today's review of a "chapter" out of What Choices We Made. My thanks go out to DJ Kirby. You can do this anytime you have a chance.

But tonight, Sunday, Nov. 9, from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern, you can catch me and a set of other fab authors on PIVTR. Check out Host Rowena Cherry's special program on Mermaids and Manatees in celebration of Manatee Awareness Month at to listen in. All you have to do is go to the PIVTR Web site, look under the drop-down menu "Host" for Rowena Cherry's name and click. The authors featured tonight are Judi Fennell of Sourcebooks, Jo Webnar of Highland Press, Joey W Hill of Berkley Sensation, Rowena Cherry of Dorchester Publishing and yours truly Sandy Lender of ArcheBooks Publishing.

Now, those of you who are already familiar with my fantasy work might be scratching your heads and wondering why I'm participating in a program about mermaids and manatees when neither appear in the Choices trilogy. all should know I'm a freak for those ocean critters. My work with the sea turtles isn't limited to just monitoring their nests. I've done more research on marine debris effects on marine creatures than you can shake a stick at, and our waterways' manatees are as affected by pollution as our turtles are. October was Marine Debris Awareness Month, but that doesn't mean the average person realizes the detrimental effect plastic bags, plastic straws, cigarette butts and the like have on the creatures in the water. I could speak on this ad nauseum, but, tonight, I'll keep it to a dull roar and I'll keep it within my time limit.

I also have a wee bit I could say about mermaids because one of my works in progress is a young adult fantasy about an adventurous mermaid, but I'm going to keep my excerpt reading to my published ( almost-published) works. I'll be reading a scene from What Choices We Made in which a cute little sea turtle makes an appearance. How sweet is that?

If you'd like to listen in to the excerpts from Judi, Jo, Joey and me, you can access the show through the PIVTR Web site. You can also call in on the toll free line 866-97P-IVTR. So, you know, if you've got something to ask me about manatees, turtles or the Choices stories, I encourage you to call in and add to the discussion. (There's a 5-minute limit to each call.)

Thanks for checking in!
I'll let you know about each stop of the tour as we head into it this week and next.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
Tags: , , , ,

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What Choices We Made by Sandy Lender

Check out this fabulous trailer for the upcoming anthology What Choices We Made!

Check this out!

Fellow author Jamieson Wolf put this poster together for the upcoming release of What Choices We Made. (Just remember, on the busiest shopping day of the year, you can order this book from the comfort of your computer chair instead of going out into the bustling crowds...)
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

Labels: ,

Promotion Tip
What Do You Do While You Wait?

My publisher, Bob Gelinas, refers to the time between contract and release date as The Interminable Wait. The first time I heard him say it, I sat in a conference workshop amid various attendee responses. There was timid chuckling from some, patronizing laughter from a few, cynical but knowing snorts from some others. I sat there in silence thinking, "I don't like the sound of that."

Patience is not one of my virtues. I had a marriage counselor once tell me, "Your Hell will be waiting on other people." Nice. (I refrained from telling him I was already there.)

My point to all this is it usually takes a year (or more) for a book's release. And I'm talking about print books here. Electronic books have much faster turn-around, as a general rule. My question for you is what do you do during The Interminable Wait? Are you using your time wisely? Are you engaged in pre-publication publicity?

I'll share with you a mistake I made during the wait for my first novel's release so any aspiring authors out there can avoid it. I believed that all reviewers would only review books after publication. They'd want the physical, finished product in their hands. Therefore, none of my pre-publication publicity for Choices Meant for Gods included rounding up reviews. Once CMFG came out, I contacted reviewers whose backlogs of books meant mine would be "old news" by the time they got to it. They weren't interested in wasting their time on a dated project.

Now that Choices Meant for Kings is due for release soon, I'm handling things differently. I've been requesting reviews since June. I've sent out more than a dozen hard copy advance reader copies (ARCs) and a handful of electronic ARCs. I've received 10 fabulous reviews back so far. When you consider my first novel only got 11 reviews in the year and a half that it's been on Amazon, I'm pretty darn pleased with the results to date. Of course, the trick will be getting these reviewers to take the time to post on Amazon two or three or four months after they've put the project asideā€¦

Besides gathering reviews that you can use for back cover blurbs, blog posts and other promotional opportunities, you can write during The Interminable Wait. Write special posts on all your blogs. Write guest posts for other people's blogs. Write your sequel. Write your marketing pieces. Write reviews of books in your genre on Amazon. Write the script for your book trailer. Something I did was write a few short stories about some of the characters and events that helped shape the history of the fantasy world in my Choices trilogy. Well, you can't let that writing go to waste, so I'm having it published in a short story anthology called What Choices We Made. Of course, that set me up for an Interminable Wait within an Interminable Wait, but there are medications to handle the psychotic episodes sure to manifest from the stress.

In the meantime (read: while I'm waiting for its release Nov. 28), I'm doing all the pre-publication promotion and marketing that I'm harping about in today's post.

So how about it? What do you do during The Interminable Wait? What keeps you sane between contract and release date?

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
Tags: , , , , ,


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

We Have Winners!
Or...there's a lot to announce

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who participated in the contests we've run here. We'll have more, of course!

Our winner in the dragon story-telling contest from October is Deidre Durance. Now, let me just state that I'm overly thrilled with her name, but her name had nothing to do with her win. (Unless there was some sort of mojo created when I put the strips of paper in the Duran Duran tour in the cap offered up the familiar name...) Anyway! Deidre wins an eBook of A Chance to Say Yes from Romance Author Tina Murray, an eBook of What Choices We Made from Fantasy Author Sandy Lender, and a free subscription to the online newsletter Recession Rescue from Laura Crawford. Yay Deidre!!

Our winner in the Word of the Day contest from October is...drum-roll...familiar name...Deidre Durance! Yes, you ARE allowed to stuff the ballot box in this game. Deidre's persistence paid off and her almost daily participation in the contest gets her the fabuloso prize of the eBook copy of Choices Meant for Gods and, if she really wants a second copy, another eBook copy of What Choices We Made.

The sad thing is that she has to wait to receive What Choices We Made because...wait for it...the release has been delayed. (Familiar concept around here these days, isn't it?) But I have reviewers who say the wait will be worth it. ;)

Our third contest took place yesterday and was held in conjunction with Author Island. Folks from the Island who checked out Today the Dragon Wins could enter the contest to win a hard cover edition of Choices Meant for Gods and that oh-so-lucky winner is Keatonkat! DeNita, the hostess from Author Island, is looking up the demographics so I can connect with Keatonkat, but, in the meantime, everybody join me in saying congrats.

So thank you to everybody who joined in the fun and don't stay away for long. I'm going to announce a couple more contests here later this week. I'm appearing at BrendaWilliamsonsRomanceParty Thursday and will have something fun in conjunction with that. And DeNita and I will cook up something to celebrate the release of What Choices We Made later this month. It's just all about giving stuff away, you know. :)

Have a great Tuesday!
Congratulations to Deidre and Keatonkat!
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
Tags: , ,


Monday, November 03, 2008

Good Monday Morning
Or...takin care of bizniss

Welcome to Monday morning. I hope everyone used their "extra hour" wisely this weekend.

I'm making some changes here at Today the Dragon Wins. First, we're going to stop this Word of the Day program and change to Word of the Week. And because I like alliteration so much, we'll do it on Wednesdays. Nice? But before we make the switch, we have a winner from the October Word of the Day contest that I need to announce (for organizational reasons, we'll be making that announcement tomorrow--I hope). The delay should surprise NO ONE. Criminy, if something in my life was NOT delayed, that would be the surprise.

What else?
OH! Why, of course! I'm the featured author over at Author Island today. I'm not entirely clear on what all that means, but I know I've volunteered to give away a book as a prize and I'm in the Author Spotlight on the Author Island blog. How cool is that? DeNita, the hostess of all of the above, is posting something nice about me at the blog and I'll jog over there with something later. I have the afternoon off from work because my radiation treatments start today (what's that? they were supposed to start last month? yes, but they were delayed) and today's appointment is supposed to be more involved than the rest so...I figured time off from work to deal with that was necessary.

All this to say check back tomorrow for the contest winners (there were two contests last month!) and check back Wednesday for Word of the Week and check back Thursday for another "web appearance" check back. It's always a joy to hear from you!

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."