Friday, June 26, 2009

Author Guest Post - Sandy Lender

Today I'm pleased to welcome Sandy Lender, author of Choices Meant for Gods. Her guest post here today is part of this book's virtual tour, courtesy Goddess Fish Promotions.


Prostitutes and Other Biblical Influences in Choices Meant for Gods
By Fantasy Author Sandy Lender

After I’d prepared a couple of guest blogs for this online book tour, I realized folks might get the impression that CHOICES MEANT FOR GODS was a religious treatise disguised as fantasy. Maybe it had a bunch of didactic speeches hidden inside. Nope. It’s actually a little surprising that a good li’l Southern Baptist like myself could come up with the gnarly evil beasties and double-crossing back-stabbing bad boys that I did for this pagan glimpse into a polytheistic society. But, then, my great grandmother used to tell me the Bible was full of those cool kinds of stories…In fact, it’s the story of a prostitute who helped a couple God-fearing travelers in the book of Joshua that inspired an important element of CHOICES MEANT FOR GODS.

Let me explain.

First of all, CHOICES MEANT FOR GODS is pure fantasy. I made up everything that’s in it. I created the world of Onweald and the different races you find there. We have humans to make life easier on the reader, but we also have the Ungol—an artistic, underground, humanoid race that we meet late in the first novel of my series. I developed demons with dubious backgrounds. I designed a map that my talented friend Megan Kissinger crafted into a masterpiece of a map, which you can see at the Worlds link on my new Web site. And I dreamed up a hierarchy of gods, lesser gods, nobility to serve them in their city/land of Mahriket, and priests to guide people in offering them types of prayers in their temples in the mortal world of Onweald.

Here’s the part I want everyone to focus on: I made this all up. For as much as I tease and pretend that Chariss and Nigel and Master Rothahn speak to me, these “gods” aren’t real and aren’t based on our true God or Trinity. So, to keep confusion out of the picture, I had to work in some obvious differences between Onweald’s religious system and ours. And considering how many religious systems we have on Earth today…well…I’m sure I mirrored a few in some aspects, but strayed from others in other aspects. Hopefully no one’s offended by a polytheistic society where the highest active god is an arrogant, pig-headed (but very handsome) man who thinks more of Himself than His followers and who finds Himself humbled by a 20-year-old girl who’s probably going to save His bacon.

But back to the prostitute, right? In the second chapter of the book of Joshua in the Old Testament, a harlot named Rahab hides a couple of fellas whom Joshua sent to spy on her land. They ask her not to tell the soldiers out looking for them where they are and in return, she asks them to spare her and her family when the Isrealites march in and take the land that God is going to give them. (oh-so-brief summary) The story inspired me to give my heroine, Chariss, a couple of unexpected friends in the CHOICES trilogy. Adelaide and Lydia are life partners in Arcana City who make their living working in Madame Reen’s establishment. That establishment is a house of earthly pleasures, if you catch my drift. As it turns out, Adelaide and Lyddy used to be favorites of Nigel Taiman a few years back, when he was a bit of a rogue. He’s settled down and minds his manners by the time we meet him in CHOICES MEANT FOR GODS, but Adelaide and Lydia still have their jobs and Chariss needs their information. By Book II, they play another role in espionage. By Book III, Chariss’s influence has more members of the Taiman family trusting the ladies for help as well. Maybe it’s a strange friendship for a young lady who’s been appointed The Protector of the highest active god in society, but Chariss knows how to make trustworthy allies, just like the men in Joshua 2.

Thank you for stopping in today and thank you to A Book Blogger's Diary for hosting me!

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

Thank you for that entertaining post, dear Author! Readers, your thoughts / comments are most welcome.

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  1. Good morning, Rashmi! Thank you for hosting me during my tour today.
    We're still collecting entries for the book giveaways each week, so folks who comment are in the running. It will make life easier if they include their e-mail address in the body of the message, as you indicate here.
    I look forward to talking to folks!
    Sandy Lender
    "Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

  2. Sandy, Hi again! Not stalking you, just enjoying the insights into an authors mind and inspirations. You never cease to amaze me with these posts, and I really enjoyed this one. Yes, characters "talk" to me as well, and become friends, but I also realize that the author made these people up. But a good author knows how to make people up in such a way that you believe in spite of rational thought. From the excerpts and such you've given, this sounds like one of those times. Looking forward to reading this soon.

  3. And I forgot (again) to leave my email: it's Sorry about that

  4. Nancy,
    I think becoming friends with the characters might be the best part of writing.
    Good to see you again today!
    Sandy Lender
    "Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

  5. Hi Sandy!!! I've been reading about this fantasy book and still love hearing more about it! I didn't even connect at all a religion theme to this. I love all the fantasy themes with in this. I think that's why I enjoy fantasy romance. I love the creative-ness that comes with the books. Its something that the author using different fantasy themes or ones they even create there, and make a whole world of it. I love to get into that world!
    Great to visit with you! Oh I wanted to ask Sandy, how long between books for this series/trilogy? Thanks


  6. Sandy -
    What a thought-provoking post you have here. The correlation between the story in Joshua and Chariss' friends is very interesting. I very much enjoy your theology in Choices because it is very fantastical and yet so fitting for this series. And that fact that the highest god is so human-like in many ways makes him easier to relate to on certain levels. It's just great reading!

  7. Hi, Caffey!
    The time between releases totally depends on my publisher's production schedule and hiccups. The good news is the second book in the trilogy (Choices Meant for Kings) is in galley stage so it's going to be released probably in July. Then I hand him the third book and he puts it in the pipeline! Woo-hoo!
    Good to see you again!
    Sandy Lender
    "Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

  8. Mags,
    I love you.
    Sandy Lender
    "Some days, I just want the dragon to win."