Monday, July 9, 2007

She Hasn't Repressed This One, Careless Memory #2

A Glimpse into a Writer's Life
I still think she's messed up, but she gave me another article to use in this series about the past life of the Fantasy Author Sandy Lender. She said I could share this because it makes the case for how writers are influenced by little things that happen in their lives. (that and I think she's mocking me for talking about her spider fear all the time)

In the summer of 1976, Fantasy Author Sandy Lender was six years old and living in Sterling, Ill. A "common area" of grass and weeds grew between the apartment complex where she and her parents lived and a row of homes behind the apartments. One hot, sunny day, she and her friend Debbie (she thinks it was Debbie) were playing in that common area when Sandy developed her insane fear of spiders.

The girls happened upon a brilliant red plastic fireman's hat in the field. It was a toy, something one of the neighborhood boys had probably dropped while playing. But he must have dropped it very recently prior to the girls finding it because the sun had had no time to bleach out the vibrant color. Inside the hat was a large black and yellow plastic spider, glistening in the sun, its long spindly legs reflecting light as if the legs were wet with spittle from some demon's mouth. Sandy was instantly attracted to the contrast in colors before her. "How neat!" she thought. The startling black and yellow of the plastic spider practically filling the mouth of the red toy hat must have made her eyes sparkle with the same dewiness of the spider's abdomen. And as she reached down to grab the hat…the spider moved.

I can hear her shriek even now…

She learned later that it was a banana spider (not poisonous) and they can get pretty large (leg span). I asked Sandy if she planned to include any spiders in my bride's story, the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy.

"I would never do that to Chariss," Sandy said vehemently. "I may have an evil sorcerer teaming up with an ancient, evil goddess to track her down and kill her, but I would never make her deal with spiders."

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 and my mother's blog

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