Name: Orlando Sanchez
Where are you from?
Born and raised in New York but I have travelled and enjoy it.
Tell us a little about yourself ie. education Family life etc.
Let’s see. I grew up in Queens and I graduated Hunter College with a BA in business and graphic arts. I am third degree black belt in karate and a second degree black belt in a related style. My family and I run a dojo and most of my seven children are actively part of our karate school as instructors and students. Family to me is the core of my life.
When and why did you begin writing?
My earliest recollection of writing is in my adolescent years when I kept journals (some of which I still possess and cringe at). After that I was very involved with a close group of friends playing Dungeons and Dragons and my storytelling led me to be the Dungeon Master which meant I created the adventures my friends went through every week. It was a lot more work than I imagined. Writing came easy to me when I was young and it helped me deal with my life issues during my teens.
Do you have a novel/collection published? Would you like to tell us about it?
Sure, I have several novels published. My Warriors of the Way Series is almost done at five books (working on book five this month or my editors will kill me). Its set in New York and tells the story of a martial artist who discovers a hidden world of warriors and guardians keeping us safe.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book The Spiritual Warriors went through several phases and names. I was inspired to write because I was told I couldn’t. Also it was the story I wanted to read and it didn’t exist. I was very naïve and a quite arrogant to think I could just wing it, which is what I did.
Do you have a favourite character from your book? If yes, who is it and why?
I really enjoy all my characters even the villains. That is like asking a parent who their favorite child is! If I were forced to pick I would have to say Sylk. I enjoy him because he is a catalyst in the story and plus he is badass. He is also the closest to a father figure in the story, which is just loaded with truckload of emotional baggage for me, which of course has to be in the book because-conflict.
Is your book part of series? If so what can readers expect to find in your series?
The Warriors of the Way series (five books) is set in modern NYC. You will find action, fighting (lots of fighting), martial philosophy, and hopefully a riveting story about self-discovery.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I have only been seriously writing books since 2012. I think my writing style is still evolving and growing. I enjoy first person mixed with third which I am told can confuse my readers. Many of them have told me that this style of writing gives the story a sense of urgency and intimacy. It works for me but like I said I’m still growing in this area of my writing.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Getting the story out the way I envision it in my head seems to be the most challenging. Sometimes words just don’t do the ideas, concepts and images justice. Also increasing my writing speed.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on Book five of the Warriors of the Way series-That book is titled The Master Warrior. I’m also working on a mystery for later this year and the main character in that story is a sorceress.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Resolutions, betrayals, huge epic battles, surprise deaths and endings.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I would have to say as a writer we are always aware of whats going on around us as material for our work. My books are very much part of who I am and loosely on those who have impacted my life positively and negatively.
What books have most influenced your life most? Do you have a mentor?
The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho was a huge impact for me. In addition to The Right to Write and the Artists Way by Julia Cameron. I don’t have a mentor but I am always reading on improving my craft.
Have you ever been able to travel in regards to your books? What was it like?
Not specifically for the writing although that would be a blast. However I just got back from twelve days in London and I will be using that in my mystery thriller coming up. I took a ton of photos and spoke to lots of strangers just to get a feel for the city. That was an adventure to do and I hope to be able to visit other cities in the world for my writing.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
What can I say that hasn’t been said before? Here is the wisdom I have acquired in my long writing career of three years. Writing is a craft you will get better. Always strive (and study) to be a better writer today than you were yesterday. Don’t compare your writing to anyone else, you have a unique voice, and only YOU can tell your stories. Don’t be afraid to send your work out on the world. Get an awesome editor and yes, covers do matter- make them great. Write all the time and facilitate this for yourself either by carrying a notebook and pen or a tech equivalent. You will get your best ideas at some of the most awkward moments be ready for these because trust me you will not remember said best idea twenty minutes from now.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
THANK YOU. I am immensely grateful that you chose to share your time and attention with me. Thanks for the wonderful feedback even when I have confused the hell out of you. Thanks for the honesty and the fact that you return to keep reading my books. Most of all thanks for the patience.
What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading Story Fix by Larry Brooks. If you haven’t read it, get it. I also just finished Lies Ripped Open by Steve McHugh its his fifth book in the Hellequin Series and its excellent!
Do you remember the first book you read? If not tell us what your favourite book is and why.
There is no way I could remember the first book I have ever read. My brain just cant go back that far. I can tell you the books that stand out in my memory. Lord Valentines Castle by Robert Silverberg stands out for some reason(maybe the juggling?), Every summer for as far back I remember I would read all of Tolkien starting with the Simarillion and then the rest of the books. I don’t think I have ONE favorite you do know that’s almost impossible right? I do have a favorite series though and that would be Discworld, Terry Pratchett was incredible and his stories are fantastic.
Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I go to the gym with one of my sons.I play video games with my other son. I do arts and crafts with my creative and amazing six year old daughter. I play handball and of course practice martial arts. I am also studying Japanese.
Do you have a day job? If so, what do you do?
I own and manage a martial arts school (dojo) and I am the head instructor.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t really watch TV but I do have Netflix and I just finished season one of Blacklist. Prior to that I watched all three seasons of Luther. I also enjoy watching anime and that list is quite long.
Favourite foods /Colors/Music.
Favorite food: My wife’s Tandoori Chicken
Music: Vocal trance(for writing) Deep Vocal house (for editing)
Purchase links for my novel: http://amzn.to/1ISpvWF