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...

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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.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Choices Meant for Kings Online Book Tour Update
Or...The Dragon says hope springs eternal

There's a very good possibility that Fantasy Author Sandy Lender will be appearing at the following this week:

Wednesday, Sept. 30: Liana's blog interview
Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 a.m. ET: Authors Connection Radio Show
Thursday, Oct. 1: Penny's blog review
Friday, Oct. 2: Penny's blog interview

"Some days, you just want the dragon to win."
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Monday, September 28, 2009

the last duet on earth

I couldn't help laughing...a lot...
Music calms the savage beast...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Another Week Atourin’
Or…The Dragon has more stops for your contest-winnin’ delight

If you’re still learning about my newest release, Choices Meant for Kings, or still trying to win a copy of the first novel, Choices Meant for Gods, you’ll enjoy using the easy research stops of my online book tour spots this week. We have a couple guest posts and a couple interviews for your entertainment. Just leave a comment or question at a blog stop or two and you’ll be entered for the chance to win the book, and you’ll learn more stuff, too. Have fun!

(And remember that you can get a free dragon magnet if you’re one of the first 25 to get yourself and a friend signed up as followers here. Details in the post below.)

Monday: Morbid Romantic
Tuesday, 22nd: LoveRomancePassion
Wednesday, 23rd: Chris Redding AND Katie Hines
Thursday, 24th: a day off
Friday, 25th: Inspiration Ink
Saturday, 26th: nothing confirmed yet
Sunday, 27th: nothing confirmed yet

“Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Become a Follower to Get a Cool Dragon Magnet
Or...The Dragon isn't really proposing you try to attract dragons

In fact, I'm just trying to attract followers to make life easier on everyone. I mean, wouldn't you prefer to be notified when this informative little blog updates? Then you don't have to check back all the time. It alerts you every couple of days or know...just when my insane schedule lets me update.

So here's the deal: you'd LOVE to have one of my spiffy magnets with the clever dragon saying on it FOR FREE. So you become a follower here and get one of your friends to do the same. You send me an e-mail at sandy_lender at yahoo dot com letting me know who the two new followers are and what snail mail addresses I send the magnets to.

Easy breezy!

Follow away! But do it soon because this is LIMITED to the first 25 folks (and their friends) to sign up. Yes, I put a low limit on it because the new supply of magnets isn't here yet. :)

"Some days, you just want the dragon to win."
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Not All Pirates are Cool
Or…The Dragon wants to alert you to online book stealing

I’ve got this mad affection for Orlando Bloom. Johnny Depp is nice to look at, too, but Orlando Bloom rocks my pirate house. (Or ship, as the case may be.) With TNT showing Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End this weekend, I'm pleased with thoughts of pirates of the handsome variety. But not all pirates are cool and lusty and easy-on-the-eye and…well…that list could get embarrassing, now, couldn’t it? We have modern-day pirates who deserve much less glamorization.

People who steal are thieves. Period. If you knowingly steal something that you know is not yours to take, you are a thief. If you knowingly give away or sell something that is not yours to give away or sell, thus taking profit out of a merchant’s pocket, you’re participating in theft. I consider these things acts of piracy. Some might look upon the simple, easy, often-quick act of downloading an electronic file (such as an eBook, image, or piece of music) from the Internet as perfectly legal. Why would something so simple be illegal? Why would something so easy-to-do with the click of a button on a free Web site cost $3.99 over on some other Web site? Well, the answers aren’t terribly easy, but they make a lot of sense if you stop and think about what’s going on behind those button clicks.

When an author, artist, or musician makes his work available for purchase on the Internet, he has to make it easy to download. It has to be easy for customers to get to, purchase, “get,” and put on their own computer, e-reading device, listening device, PDA, etc. In the case of an eBook, when the customer purchases the work for $3.99, the author gets a portion of that sale. PayPal gets a cut, the publisher gets a cut, the distributor gets a cut, the editor gets a cut, the agent gets a cut…you get the idea.

When a pirate comes along and gets a copy of that file—whether by purchasing a copy for $3.99 or by some other means—and then offers that copy for free or for $1.99 on an aggregate site somewhere online, the pirate undercuts the author’s sales. He makes it difficult for the author to generate income. I mean, why pay $3.99 here when you can get it free over there? That’s where education comes in. It’s vital that customers, like the visitors reading this blog today, understand that there are sites out there on the web offering a variety of titles by a multitude of authors that they have no right to offer. Ask some questions when you run into such a site.

If you’re looking at something that seems too good to be true, ask why it’s too good to be true. Keep in mind, too, that strange rules govern the way in which you report such sites. One thing you can do is contact individual authors privately to alert them that you’ve seen their titles at a site, and give them the URL. Please don’t list a site’s name or URL in an open forum online.

If you’re an author, artist, or musician visiting the blog today, you can take action by signing a petition to our current President and Vice President. (I’ve read it and found it harmless enough to put my signature on.) Visit CopyrightAlliance to read and, if you’re comfortable with the content, to sign.

“Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Tour That Keeps You Guessing
Or...The Dragon should have a separate contest for guessing which dates will work

I think I'm being cynical this morning. It might be a function of lack of sleep or lack of reimbursement for expenses I turned in more than three months ago. Take your pick. BUT! In fabulous news, I'm on an online book tour to support the brand new release of Choices Meant for Kings, available now as a fancy dancy hardcover (perfect for holiday gift-giving) or an eBook (only at the Amazon-safe publisher's site).

If you'd like to read some cool interviews and cool guest blogs from moi and then interact with the tour hosts and me, then you have the perfect opportunity to do so from now until Oct. 4. Now, so far, the tour dates have been hit or miss, but, hey, stop in and see which hosts have remembered to post their interview or guest blog from me on their day. It's like a game...a not-so-professional game that toys with my budding career as a fantasy author, but a fun little game nonetheless. Woo-hoo!

This week is underway so let's start with today's stop, which isn't up as of "press time," but that doesn't mean it won't be there later today. Time zones and all...

Tuesday: Amber Scott Project
Wednesday: Anne Kane
Thursday: Laurie Edwards
Friday: Elaine Cantrell
Saturday: Lily Stone Books
Sunday: Hywela Lyn

Now, you may notice that a few of the tour hosts along this online book tour write books themselves. And some of those books are of the hardcore romance variety. That's okay. Choices Meant for Kings is still all fantasy all the way through, with just that sweet romance between Nigel and Chariss. (You can check the reviews at Amazon to reassure yourself.)
I'll post next week's roster later (read: as my tour guides confirm everything for me).
Oh! Don't forget the best part of this whole online tour thing for you happy visitors! If you leave a comment at one of the blogs WITH your e-mail address in the comment, you get entered to win a hardcover, first edition, autographed copy of Choices Meant for Gods. How cool is that?

"Some days, you just want the dragon to win."
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Writing Contests, Book Tours, Literary Festivals, Signing Updates
Or...The Dragon should update more often

First, the 3-Day Novel Contest was a fantastic exercise. I completed a 50,072-word sci-fi horror novel by 1 p.m. Monday and spent the rest of the time editing, adding scenes, fixing strange things I'd typed during those "hallucination" hours (you know...3 a.m., 4 a.m.). I discovered something intriguing about myself. My subconscious does not appreciate the alarm on my alarm clock and will control my body to the point that "I" get up, turn off the alarm, and lay back down to continue sleeping until one of the characters in my brain starts screaming that we're "wasting time."

Second, my current online book tour in support of CHOICES MEANT FOR KINGS is going very well. We have a variety of guest blogs and interviews lined up through Oct. 4 at the different tour stops. We also have an opportunity for one lucky participant to win a hardcover, first edition, autographed copy of the first fantasy novel in my CHOICES series, CHOICES MEANT FOR GODS. All you have to do is stop in during one of the tour dates and leave a comment at that day's fabulous blog to have your name entered in the drawing. (Remember to put your e-mail address in your comment so we can reach you if you're the winner!) A list of tour dates and blogs to visit is at the Goddess Fish blog site.

Third, I'm doing some IRL appearances this fall to support CHOICES MEANT FOR KINGS. I'll have more announcements about that and how these appearances are coming about...because it's that soon as contracts are complete and I have permission to blab. :) In the meantime, if you're in the Tampa area Saturday, Sept. 12, I hope I can see you at the Deep Carnivale literary event on the Hillsborough Community College Campus. I'll be set up in the Performing Arts building with my fellow ArcheBooks authors Jane Kennedy Sutton (The Ride), Tina Murray (A Chance to Say Yes), and Henry Hermann (Beginnings) to sell & sign books from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and would love to meet some new Florida readers.

I've just confirmed a book signing at the Waterside Shops Barnes & Noble in Naples, Fla., for Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to noon where I'll be signing all three of my titles. There are additional events listed on my fantasy Web site and I encourage you to check back there frequently for updates.

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Friday, September 04, 2009

If the Computer's a-Rockin'...
Or...The Dragon is going off-line for the weekend

I figured out how to complete a 90,000-word manuscript for the 3-Day Novel Contest.
We start with 72 hours minus 3 hours for sea turtle duty Saturday morning minus 8 hours for sleep breaks, peeing and eating/drinking/a quick shower to refresh myself sometime Sunday night or Monday morning minus 5 hours to read and edit the completed manuscript = 56 hours for typing/creating. (Yes, I have the outline they allow you to start with.)
This means I need to type at 26.7857 words per minute.
I can do that.
I'm a seriously fast typist.

I've got the room set up. The iTunes is loaded. The motivating CDs are next to the CD player with extra batteries next to it (the obnoxious package is already open so I won't waste time with that if the batteries in the CD player should die mid-weekend). I have reference books picked out and set up. I have an alarm clock with a "nap" function set up and wake times already programmed. I have a bowl with some chocolates and Little Debbie Snack Cakes next to the writing area with paper towels. I have hot dogs and carrot sticks in the fridge. There's a straight shot from the computer to the bathroom. Washcloths are already next to the sink. Criminy...this has to work.

See ya'll Tuesday!
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Context 22 was a Blast
Or...The Dragon highly recommends Context 23 in 2010

An intimate crowd of intelligent, sophisticated sci-fi, fantasy and horror booklovers met at the Doubletree Worthington hotel in Columbus, Ohio, last weekend for a mix of scientific, literary and educational panels and workshops. Of course we sampled the usual con fare of high-calorie yummies in the con suite and take-me-back sci-fi movies and shows in the film suite and I-spent-too-much-money in the dealer room and security's-at-the-door at the Apex party, but, for me, the panels and workshops were the draw. I thoroughly enjoyed serving on them and listening in on the ones I wasn't a part of. I was particularly impressed with the idea of having public interviews of the guests of honor. Pictured in this post, Author Geoffrey Girard (at right) interviews Editor Guest of Honor Jason Sizemore, who founded the Apex empire, in a relaxed, informal setting where audience members were able to toss in a question or two as it related to the topic at hand.

I'm sorry that I didn't snap a photo of the main guest of honor, James Hogan, or Author Catherine Asaro. I don't think I want people comparing me to her anymore, though...I couldn't avoid her "concert" because I was in a panel discussion in the room right next door. No one should ever allow me to do karaoke in public as if it's a good marketing ploy. Can I get promises out of friends, please? Shoot. Me. First.

I received some excellent advice from Juno Editor Paula Guran to help me kick start my revisions of Book III of the Choices trilogy. My floundering can stop. And I exchanged books with Author Stephen Zimmer so we can read in our spare time. His novel The Exodus Gate looks terribly intriguing to me, but I was out of money, so I suggested a trade. Luckily, he was up for it. Thanks, Stephen! I also attended a reading with Linda Robertson, who reminded me greatly of my Duranie sistah Robyn. She tickled my funny bone with a chapter from her first novel Vicious Circle. I sat in on the panel "Writing Vampires" where she and Rosemary Laurey, Denise Verrico and Tim Mulcahy educated us.

In this post, you'll see a picture of me with Author Rosemary Laurey (middle) and Holly McClure (at right) from the "Mining Gems in Writing" panel on Saturday morning. A couple other folks were supposed to join us but the morning must have been too early. I also moderated the panel on "Writing Fantasy" with the very capable and well-spoken Cinda Williams Chima, Scott Sandridge and Tim Mulcahy. Scott and I joined Holly McClure to speak about "What's a Monster?" Rosemary and I were the only two that showed up for our panel on "Fairy Tales" but the audience participated with us wonderfully. Scott, Stephen and I turned the panel on "Since When Can I Understand the Troll Speaking?" into a roundtable discussion with the small audience that turned out Sunday morning and it ended up a great success.

I managed to sell a few copies of Choices Meant for Gods and What Choices We Made while at the convention. I handed out a ton of information on Choices Meant for Kings. I debuted my new stand-up display banner during the two-hour mass autograph session, which was a great hit. Quite a successful event on Saturday afternoon. I think the folks who organize Context have got themselves a winner. And now that they've moved to an open, airy, bright hotel with a friendly, accommodating staff, nothing can stop them. I served at Context 20 two years ago and found that hotel stuffy and the staff surly. This year the Doubletree Worthington was a breath of fresh air. Even the person driving the shuttle back to the airport was a friendly, engaging gentleman who could talk intelligently about the city and its cultural events.

Overall, Context 22 was a fabulous experience. Kudos to the staff! Kudos to the guests of honor! I look forward to coming back next year!

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


Be it Ever so Humble…
Or…The Dragon gives some insight to aspiring authors

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like the early stages of a budding career. You know those days. You’re not famous yet. You don’t have the oodles of cash and a limo waiting curbside when you land in a foreign city for the book tour date that your publicist set up for you.

Please please please don’t read this post as a complaint, because I’m not really complaining. Part of me is laughing at myself. Part of me is terminally grateful for the opportunity I’m in the middle of. Part of me is shaking my head at the opportunity swirling down the drain as Fate cackles somewhere in the background…

I’ll start with the humbling experience of rolling quarters, dimes, etc. so I’d be sure to have enough money in the bank to cover the expenses this weekend. There’s a note for aspiring authors to write down. When budgeting for marketing expenses, remember that bizarre stuff will creep up in the weeks before a planned convention, conference, book signing, speaking engagement, etc. (If the event you’re to attend is out of town, the bizarre stuff will be more expensive.) I advise having an “emergency” marketing fund stashed somewhere. I used my emergency marketing fund to purchase a few copies of the brand new fantasy novel, Choices Meant for Kings, to have here at Context 22. Oops. One of the “bizarre stuffs” was the printer’s inability to get it here in time for the convention. Rar.

Another note for aspiring authors is that you’ve got to be assertive and take the bull by the horns. You’ve heard this elsewhere. This is not new. But apply it to travel as well as your writing, pitching, and marketing. I sat in one of my two connecting cities (did I mention that I’m doing this on a budget?) yesterday listening to an American Airlines gatekeeper inform us that the plane had a mechanical issue. Maintenance was checkin’ on that. They’d give us an update. When we still had no joy on the rockets at one hour past takeoff, I went up to the podium and asked them to put me on a new flight. They did. I made it to my destination in time for all three of my scheduled events at Context. I found out (when seeking my luggage around midnight last night) that the original flight didn’t leave Miami until 5:30ish. Not good. (My copies of Choices Meant for Gods are in my luggage. So I have one copy of each of my works with me. Can’t sell those! But I can give away the postcards and bookmarks I brought in my carryon.)

So while I was washing out my clothes with the hotel’s shampoo, I thought of this blog entry. It’ll make a great story to tell on Oprah one day. “I didn’t have enough money to be extravagant, so I ate a bag of nuts and the cookie that the Doubletree Worthington hotel gave me upon check-in that day. I washed my clothes in the sink and hung them to dry over the heater. Thank God they had a complimentary breakfast included in the Context 22 room package.”

He he he. The really cool thing is everybody here is exceptionally nice. We’re all book geeks and sci-fi nerds. I love it! I’m among my kin. I’ll post another blog later in the weekend to give a rundown of the coo-el stuff we’re doing (first—to knock this moaning thing out of the top spot on the blog and second—to let you guys know how fab this con is). If my luggage arrives, it’ll have the cord for my camera…and I can post pictures…

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