Friday, September 25, 2009

Special Guest: Sandy Lender

Abra Abracadabra
By Fantasy Author Sandy Lender

How did I write a fantasy series with magic without using magic in the novel? As luck would have it, the fantasy genre lets me create all kinds of new elements. As a friend used to say to me, “If you need a tree somewhere, in fantasy, you can just put the tree there.” So I made up a “power” for the good guys in my series to wield.

Being a Southern Baptist, I believe that using magic and sorcery is a negative thing. Among other passages, the Bible has a section that warns not to practice divination or sorcery or engage in witchcraft, etc., so I wanted to be really careful not to suggest that the “good guys” in my series were using divination, sorcery, or witchcraft. Well, gee whiz, how to give the good guys an edge? Fantasy is full of magic—that’s one of the things that makes it fantastical, right? In a moment of compromise, I made up my own form of “power” for the good guys. I call it the geasa and it’s a god-breathed power that some people receive after conception.

Now, you can argue that I’m walking a fine line there, but, hey, it’s my fantasy world—I’ll walk a fine line if I want to. (Read that to the tune of “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.”) Mwuahahahahaha.

To be serious, Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings are enjoyable for a variety of audiences, including high schoolers, so I wanted to be sure I wasn’t flinging confusing ideas into impressionable minds. I kept the “colorful language” to a minimum; I think you can count the naughty words in each novel on one hand. I kept the physical innuendoes to innuendo and made most of them rather humorous at that. I kept the romance to a sweet romance that doesn’t have characters compromising one another’s integrity. The PG-13 rating (which I noticed my publisher has changed to a PG rating recently) is for violence, which I struggled to keep from going into the “R” category.

What readers may find bizarre is that this nice little So Bapt Chickadee made up a polytheistic society with a not-quite-worthy deity for the coo-el heroine to protect. But, hey, it’s fantasy. Ya gotta make up something fantastical.

“Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”
Choices Meant for Kings
Chariss is in danger. Her geasa is hampered by the effects of a friend’s marriage. The dashing Nigel Taiman hides something from her, yet demands she stay at his family’s estate where he and her wizard guardian intend to keep her safe. But the sorcerer Lord Drake and Julette The Betrayer know she’s there, and their monstrous army marches that way.

When prophecies stack up to threaten an arrogant deity, Chariss must choose between the dragon that courts her and the ostracized kings of the Southlands for help. Evil stalks her at every turn and madness creeps over the goddess who guides her. Can an orphan-turned-Protector resist the dark side of her heritage? Or will she sacrifice all to keep her god-charge safe?
As the soldier stepped toward him, Nigel reached out his arm and caught him by the neck. He slammed the captain against the far wall. He pinned him there with his body, leaning against the man as if he could crush the wind from him with his presence.

He brought his face close to the soldier’s ear and spoke lowly, fiercely, so that no one could have overheard him. The menace and intent behind the words was as surprising to the captain as the words themselves.

“I asked you to accompany [Chariss] on this journey tomorrow because I have faith in your sword, and until this moment I trusted you to keep your distance from her. Now, I find her down here at your side with a look upon your face that suggests more than you realize. So help me, Naegling, the only thing that stays my hand is how displeased she would be if she learned that I sliced you open.”

“The look you see is merely my concern for her honor. Nothing more.”

“I’m not a fool. And I’ll use every last piece of Arcana’s treasury to pay the prophets to justify my reasons for marrying that woman, so you can unconcern yourself with her honor.”

Hrazon stepped off the staircase then and saw Nigel pressed against his guard.

“I still believe you’re one of the best soldiers Arcana’s ever seen,” Nigel continued, “and I want you at her side for this journey, but, so help me, Naegling, she comes back alive and well and not confused in the least about her affections for me, or I will string you up from a tree in the orchard and attach your intestines to your horse’s saddle before I send it—”

Hrazon cleared his throat. “Excuse me. Is there an issue here I should address?”


Hywela Lyn said...

What an interesting post, Sandy. It ws facinating to learn how you dealt with the delicate issue of balancing magic for the purposes of fiction, with the teachings of the Bible. It sounds like you managed itvery cleverly. Can't wait to read the book.

Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks so much for joining us today. I'm currently writing a Paranormal and it though it does have some fantastic elements in it, I too have skirted the issue of magic and delved into science instead. But I did it unconsciously. It just never occurred to me that I was doing just that.
Interesting post and your book and series sound very interesting.

Teresa R.

Mary Ricksen said...

Good for you! Good luck with sales! I wish you the best!

Tracy Preston - Romance Writer said...


So glad you could join us again! :)

Being a person who loves paranormals, this stuff is right up my alley. Best of luck with your books. I sincerely hope they do well for you!

Tracy Preston

Mary Ricksen said...

Great post Sandy. Very interesting!

~ Inspiration, Ink. ~ © 2007 Template feito por Áurea R.C.