Friday, July 6, 2007

She Hasn't Repressed This One, Careless Memory #1

A Glimpse into a Writer's Life
I think she's seriously messed up, but here we go. She said I could share this because it makes the case for how writers are typically depressed people. There was a question posed in one of her online groups earlier in the week asking whether people become writers because they're depressed or whether depressed people just naturally become writers. I don't know that I want to dwell on it.

When Fantasy Author Sandy Lender was a child, probably in fourth grade (as best she can remember it), she was already creative. She liked to write, which she'd been doing for her great grandmother for a few years already, and she liked to draw and color, etc. She wasn't really into painting because she was no good at it.

One of her more vivid and bizarre memories, and one of the reasons she thinks she was destined to be an Emily-Dickinson-type of writer (whatever that means), is from a day when she was sitting in the basement of her parents' house staring at a coloring book. She wasn't coloring, though. She felt a little too old for that by the fourth grade and, instead, stared at the picture of a fairy tale princess, watching the bold, black, empty lines blur in her vision. There wasn't any particular reason for melancholy that she could put her finger on, but she felt a great sadness staring at that picture. And she started to cry. Just a few tears escaped at first, but the crying wouldn't stop. The tears couldn't be stopped. She couldn't figure it out, and, to this day, has no idea why she had that "meltdown moment."

"It was very odd," she told me. "It wasn't the last time, but it's why I believe depressed people, or people with a tendency toward depression, become writers. My response to the theory is based on personal experience."

I asked her if that's why Amanda Chariss starts out so despondent in the fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods…maybe Sandy has put that characteristic into 'Manda.

"I don't think so," Sandy told me. "Chariss is vibrant and youthful. She's a warrior and a fighter. Yes, she has her moments of melancholy, particularly early on, but, if you'd had an evil sorcerer chasing you with the intent to kill for sixteen years, you'd experience despondency once in a while, too. Overall, though, Chariss is a survivor and a trooper. She'll do whatever's necessary to fulfill her duty."

If you'd like to read the story of Amanda Chariss, you can pick up the epic fantasy novel at or There's also information about the novel at Sandy Lender's main blog at

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