My first introduction to fantasy was J.R.R. Tolkien.

Every summer during my formative years, I would read Tolkien. I would start with the Silmarillion, followed by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I did this every year for ten years.

Orlando Sanchez

Orlando Sanchez

I can only write with music in the background.

Music forces my internal censor to be still and allow my creative brain to engage in storytelling. I listen to vocal trance for writing, epic uplifting soundtracks for fight scenes, and ambient chillout tracks for editing. Once I have published a book through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Amazon’s independent publishing programme, I start all over again with my next idea and a new soundtrack for it.

I am practicing martial artist.

I currently hold two black belts in distinct styles of karate. I have been training for thirty years, and I own and run a martial arts studio along with five of my seven children.

I am a total geek/nerd.

I played Dungeons & Dragons every weekend growing up. I love all styles of Japanese anime. I collected a steamer trunk full of comics, which I gifted to my sons. I can’t choose between Star Wars or Star Trek, being a fan of both.

I am an ordained minister.

I studied in a seminary for 4 years and went on to become a pastor and later an evangelist before stepping away from organized religion.

I love dogs.

Dogs have been a part of my life since I was very young. I currently have a white Boxer named Winter. Our next dog will be a Cane Corso. I’ll let you guess what her name will be.

I am a trained graphic designer.

I went to university for graphic design and business. I went on to own a sign and display company for fifteen years before shifting careers and starting a dojo. I apply my graphic design skills to my book covers.

I lost my father at the age of seven.

Being a business owner, my father was the victim of a robbery gone wrong. He passed away leaving my mother to raise three children on her own in a foreign country. She was an incredible woman and raised my siblings and myself into productive and healthy adults.

Coffee or tea?

I drink both, actually with a decided preference for coffee. I’m currently drinking an incredibly strong coffee, named DeathWish Coffee. It is as powerful as the name implies, enabling me to remain awake and writing for many hours on end.

Family is my foundation.

I am a strong believer in the bonds of family. It is a prevalent theme in most of my writing. I also believe family is not just those we are related to, but those who enter our lives to support and encourage us when life is good and when it becomes difficult. To me, loyalty defines family as much or more than blood relation.

Orlando Sanchez’ book Tombyards and Butterflies is shortlisted for the UK Kindle Storyteller Award, a prize recognising newly published work across any genre. 

The winner will be announced at the end of July and will receive a £20,000 cash prize, a marketing campaign and the opportunity to have their book translated.