Friday, November 12, 2010

Virtual Blog Tour of YA SciFi Author Sandy Lender

This week I am sponsoring SciFi Author Sandy Lender on her Virtual Blog Tour. Sandy has written a YA SciFi titled Problems on Eldora Prime. You can purchase it at
You can watch a trailer for the book on YouTube at

Here’s an excerpt for your reading pleasure:
An Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Problems on Eldora Prime by Sandy Lender
“They’re bringing out a phase canon!” Khiry announced. She pointed to the front bank of windows as if no one would know where to look. As if she didn’t speak to someone three years her senior, she ordered, “Kor, you better power up something if we’re not planning a quick surrender.”
“Why are we not off the moon?” Marlon demanded.
"Why are you not telling me what’s on board?” she demanded back.
“It’s none of your pegging business. Now get us off the ground before I have Trane fire you out the airlock.”
Khiry pulled another lever and slammed her hand down on a button with the words “fuel mix” etched below it. “I’ll try again. Let’s hope we don’t shake apart on the platform.”
She looked back at Gibson, who cringed as if he’d been hit. For a security chief, he didn’t display much bravado clinging to the doorway with white knuckles. He stared wide-eyed out the window as if he expected a plasma bolt to crash through and spang him. Khiry wondered if he was about to run away into the depths of the ship.
Over the complaint of the ship’s engines, she heard the familiar whir of the Instigator’s phase canon power up. Kor was fast. She spared a glance from her controls to him. The young man’s stoic presence set her at ease for some reason.
The high-pitched beep, double beep, beep sounded on Khiry’s console. She didn’t even glance at the red light this time. Too many fingers were needed to trouble-shoot this lift-off. Better to pretend their communications were down anyway.
“Is that USPS?” Kor asked.
“Mind your business,” Marlon snapped. “Target that phase canon. Spang it.”
“Aye, Captain. And you’ll speak at my trial?”
“We’ll get no trials,” Khiry muttered under her breath. “This gets wetter by the minute.” She knew no good could come of this day.
Whatever her personal opinions on the United Society for Peace and Strength or its Presidente Lamahl Endh back on Earth, she didn’t condone treason. To ignore a direct request to power down and submit to an investigation bordered on treason. Spanging an Authority Customs Investigation team? That didn’t just cross the line. That jumped up and down on the line while thumbing your nose and mooning someone pretty high up the chain of command—possibly Presidente Lamahl Endh himself.
Marlon leaned over her console again. He flipped the switch to speak to Red in engineering. “When you get us enough energy to get off this rock, start fixing things. My ship’s falling apart around my ears.”
“When?” the tinny female voice sassed back. “You mean if, right?”
“Make it happen!” He neglected to flip the toggle back before stepping to his space behind the stations, watching ACI vehicles move toward his vessel.
“Why are we still on the ground?”
As if she heard his furious question, the ship slowly began to rise. She shook and shuddered, screaming and wailing as if every bolt and weld would fly apart from the strain. Despite the thrust of the engines, the rise was maddeningly slow. The ACI vehicles on the moon’s surface backed away from the enormous energy and heat. Sound became all anyone knew.
Sound rattled their teeth. Sound joined the shudder of the ship to bang their brains against their skulls. Khiry closed her eyes against the pain of it, praying to God that they’d break atmosphere without falling back to the moon’s surface.
“This is gonna be a short trip,” she heard Red shout over the communications link.
Here’s What They’re Saying About the Book
From Fantasy Author Sandy Lender
"...a novel with plenty of bite: when swords inevitably fly forth from their sheaths, Lender doesn't skimp
on the action." -Realms of Fantasy
"Sandy needs to be considered one of the top Fantasy/Suspense writers right now." -Suspense Magazine
"I absolutely fell in love with the dragons."
"Sandy Lender’s space adventure…is fast-paced and action-filled with villains you will love to hate,
and heroines and heroes you won’t soon forget, especially the spunky pilot Khiry whose indomitable
spirit heartens and inspires." – Midwest Book Reviews
Readers may recognize Sandy Lender as the Choices series author and a leader of world-building, characterization, and revision workshops. Her degree in English and career in magazine publishing augment her book publishing experience for a variety of presentations, including troll extermination on spaceships. Sandy is also a sea turtle conservationist and obsessive music fan.
This is an interesting article Sandy wrote about a unique contest she survived with great success.
Write It Like You Mean It
By Sandy Lender
How many nights a week do you get to tell your mom or dad you’re going to skip doing homework to write scenes for a book instead? Right? If you’re in college, you might be able to arrange your schedule so you have Tuesdays and Thursdays totally free and get to write like mad for a few hours on those days. (I never managed that one.)
For me, I have a day job in addition to my writing job, so I take advantage of weekends and special writing “events” to get fiction stuff done. I wrote Problems on Eldora Prime in less than 72 hours for the 2009 International 3-Day Novel Contest. If it weren’t for that fab contest, what would have motivated me to write 51,000 words of dragons and teen leaders in space?
To actually do it, I had to plan ahead. The admins of the contest encouraged us participants to make an outline. That’s something I don’t typically do for my novels. So…new thing right there.
The admins also suggested getting some research out of the way if you needed to do it so you stayed off the web during the 72-hour writing marathon. Because I write fantasy that comes out of my imagination, suddenly doing research for spaceship engines and fuel types was something I needed to prep ahead of the weekend. Another new thing.
The contest started at midnight Friday. I took a nap after dinner Friday, waking before midnight so I could set up my bottles of water and pieces of Dove chocolate. To begin, I wrote the all-important synopsis statement. It’s the quick-n-dirty sentence that captures the essence of the story in about 15 to 20 words. For Problems on Eldora Prime, that would be “A teen pilot faces danger, dragons, and a new role when a stowaway misdirects her spaceship.”
I recommend taking the synopsis statement a step further, which I did when writing Problems on Eldora Prime. If you add some extra info to a document right at the beginning to let yourself know what motivates your main character (MC), what the main conflict will be, what you intend the outcome/resolution to be, who you want the bad guy (antagonist) to be, etcetera, you’ll be able to stay on track more easily while writing. Even if you’ve got an outline, having a statement that reminds you of your MC’s motivation keeps you from going off on a tangent.
The contest ended at midnight Monday, Labor Day. During the 72 hours, I didn’t get much sleep, but when I did sleep, it was usually with my fingers on the keyboard. I had alarms set on my phone, computer, alarm clocks, and watch to wake me at certain times just in case I fell asleep. I had finger foods like carrots, pre-made sandwiches, hotdogs, beef jerky, and the all-important chocolate at the ready so I didn’t have to take time out to cook anything.
At the end, each contestant prints out his or her manuscript (MS) and mails it to the admins. I think there were 650 or 640 participants in 2009. I didn’t win the grand prize of publication with the contest publisher. (Bummer!) To make life even more difficult, my regular publisher doesn’t do novels of less than 90,000 words. (Bummer again!) But I’m driven in this business. Night Wolf Publications out of Canada wants short stories, young adult fiction, and a ton of other stuff. Now Problems on Eldora Prime is available in paperback and a bunch of eBook platforms including Kindle. (Bonus!)
A weekend full of binge-writing is a rare treat for me. It takes total concentration. I love it.
If you don’t get to blow off homework a couple nights a week, maybe you can plan a writing marathon for some Saturday or Sunday afternoon with the crafty ideas I’ve lined out for you here. They worked for my conception and completion of Problems on Eldora Prime.
If you want to check into the 34th International 3-Day Novel Contest, sign up to get on the e-mail list for registration info E-mail them at The contest takes place over Labor Day Weekend 2011.
“Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”


Karen McGrath said...

This is a great interview, nice to meet you, Sandy. Your book sounds fascinating!

Thanks for the info on the three day novel. I think I can do that. Maybe not for Labor Day weekend (birthdays at our house) but definitely another long weekend if I prep my family. What a blast to have that kind of writing time!

Sandy Lender said...

It takes an act of Congress, but setting aside a long weekend for "just writing" is incredibly liberating for a writer. I love it. I used to go to DragonCon over Labor Day Weekend to hawk my books and network...this saves me at least $1,000 a year and is so much more productive.
From Sandy Lender
"Some days, you just want the dragon to win."

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Great interview and excerpt.

Congratulations on your book, Sandy. It sounds like a fantastic read. Best of luck to you.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Sandy, I hadn't heard of this contest before. Thank you for sharing the information and how you wrote your latest book.

Sandy Lender said...

Thank you, Beverly!
Penny, it was a rush! I can't express how incredible it felt when I finished the book before the deadline. I still remember putting my head down on the pillow before midnight/deadline and having this huge smile on my face because I'd finished this huge, complex, awesome story in three days. I was on Cloud Nine. I was exhausted from the three days of sleep-deprivation so I had to sleep, but I was sky high on the adrenaline of finishing that story.
I can't recommend that contest highly enough...
It rocks.
From Sandy Lender
"Some days, you just want the dragon to win."