Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from a Press Club of Southwest Florida Newsletter from April/May 2007 written by Linda Butler. For us to move forward we must remember where we have been. On This Date is a fun way for NPC members to find out about the Press Club of Southwest Florida’s past.
Scoop: Sandy, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sandy Lender: Believe it or not, I was born in Florida. My dad was stationed at Homestead Air Force Base. We didn’t say put… we moved 18 times before I went to college… but I always felt that need to return to my natal beach, like the sea turtles I work to protect. I graduated from Truman State University in Missouri, and for a long time proofed, edited and wrote for various trade publications. My day job, the one that keeps food in the fridge, involves a 15-year career in magazine publishing and public relations. I host a grammar and writing blog, but my real job, the one I intend to stay with until death do us part, is writing. My fantasy novel, Choices Meant for Gods in the Choices trilogy, was recently published by ArcheBooks Publishing. I pitched my book idea at the Press Club of Southwest Florida’s Writers’ Conference last year, and Bob Gelinas, publisher and owner of ArcheBooks, liked it and decided to publish it.
Scoop: What are your current major interests and/or avocations?
SL: I work to protect sea turtles in my memberships and volunteer work with Turtle Time, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, The Ocean Conservancy, etc. My other major interests and avocations, such as the Press Club of Southwest Florida, the Florida Writers Association, the Speculative Fiction Society, etc., revolve around my writing career.
Scoop: What would you consider to be your major life achievements so far?
SL: So far, that would include rescuing a disoriented baby sea turtle near Bonita Beach Road, and seeing Choices Meant for Gods published.
Scoop: We ask our members in these interviews to answer fantasy questions in order to get to know them better. Here’s one: What story or topic on Naples has just won you a coveted Pulitzer Prize for journalism?
SL: The story that would touch my heart and would be one in which I announce that I’ve found a cure for fibropapilloma virus that’s killing our turtles. I would, of course, announce my plans for implementing the cleanup of the Gulf’s pollution and eradication of the global commercial fishing industry in the same prize-winning series.
Scoop: And another: If you get to heaven and the gatekeeper informs you that you forgot to do one thing and sends you back to earth to do it, what would that task be?
SL: That’s going to depend on when and how Jesus calls me home, but if I get to play around with the space-time continuum, I need to go back to the 70s and do a better job of hiding grandma’s cigarettes. I failed her there. But when I get to the gates, St. Peter will probably tell me I left the stereo on. (And the neighbors are complaining about how loud it is.)