Interview – Orlando Sanchez, author of BLUR
Self-Publisher’s Showcase: Today we are joined by Orlando Sanchez, thriller author of BLUR – A John Kane novel. Welcome to the Showcase Lounge, Orlando.
Orlando Sanchez: Thank you it’s quite exciting to be here.
SPS: For any of our readers that haven’t come across your work previously, can you take a moment to tell us all a little about yourself?
OS: I love to read, shocker I know. I’m a dad of seven amazing children. I instruct karate and have done so for the last 15 years. Currently I live in New York and it’s my favourite city.
SPS: What are your perfect writing conditions, and how often do you write?
OS: I tried writing at home (I even created a writing cave). It doesn’t work very well LOL. My little ones have no grasp of the concept that Dad needs quiet so he can write/ edit. I’ll write early in the morning (before 6am) or late at night after they’re asleep. For serious writing I go to my local Starbucks, throw on some headphones and plug away. I try to do some kind of writing every day.
SPS: You novel BLUR is a thriller, where did your love for this particular genre come from?
OS: The kind of book Blur is reminds me of my childhood and the great kung fu movies I would watch every Saturday. I also watched a lot of movies and was lucky enough to have a local bookstore that would let me buy books at a discount when I was growing up.. All those sources gave my brain plenty of material to draw from.
SPS: Can you see yourself in the future writing in multiple genres? Are there any that you would never attempt?
OS: I have a few martial philosophy books outlined as well as a book on fatherhood. I’m collecting 108 haiku to release as a poetry book (last count I was at fifty something). I don’t think I would ever attempt a romance novel. I can insert romance into my stories but an entire novel, that would seem like work. Kudos to romance novel writers they make something hard look easy.
SPS: Can you tell us what someone could expect if they picked up a copy of BLUR – A John Kane novel?
OS: Intrigue, suspense, action. A person’s past coming back at them and past decisions impacting the present. Regrets and opportunities missed or lost. Things we can all relate to.
SPS: Presumably, with your obvious love of martial arts, there are a few fight scenes present?
OS: There are quite a few fight scenes, some graphic some more subtle. The fighting is integral to the story.
SPS: Where did the idea come from, to create characters that can Blur?
OS: The ability to Blur is only one of five in the story. It comes from my real experience when I started on my path as a martial artist. My teachers all seemed so fast and it felt like I was standing still.
SPS: How does John react, when he discovers that it is not just he alone who possesses the ability to do so?
OS: His initial reaction is shock. He thought he was the last student of his sensei that learned the ability.
SPS: Who else can we expect to meet in our journey through BLUR?
OS: There are a few great characters all deserving of their own stories. One that stands out would be Mikaela-she is one of the characters whose aim it is to unravel what is happening. I really enjoyed writing her because she is tough, uncompromising and intelligent.
SPS: What sort of reader would you say the book would appeal to?
OS: I think Blur appeals to a broad audience. It has the action scenes for the men. Intrigue for spy lovers. Strong women characters, because I think they should be strong. Traditional family hierarchies pervade the background. I think there is something in there for everyone.
SPS: What kind of reactions have you got back from readers thus far?
OS: My beta readers were asking for the second book before they were done with the first read. Everyone who has read it has really enjoyed the story which to me is the greatest achievement- write a good to great story.
SPS: When you sat down to write Blur, was the plan always to create a series of novels, or was that merely a bi-product of writing the story?
OS: Initially the book was a standalone story. I found that I enjoyed writing it so much that the story evolved into an on-going series. The Blur world is rich and deep and offers many different stories; I plan to share them all.
SPS: What sort of story is planned next for John Kane, or is it too early to say?
OS: Without giving too much away, John needs to find a teacher of one of the other abilities. That search will have him go up against some very nasty individuals.
SPS: We always like to take a moment to look at an author’s book covers. Can you tell us a little about how yours came about?
OS: In another life I was a graphic designer, so I create the cover to all my books or at least I have a general idea. The cover for Blur came to me all at once. I knew I wanted a cityscape to give a feeling of the setting. The woman is a character of the book which I can’t share because it gives some of the story away, she is a driving force in the story and you will see elements of her in the following covers. The general advice is to never do your own book covers, and I agree with this to some extent. Unless you have some expertise in graphic design or book cover art I would say invest in a good cover artist.
SPS: Back in 2012 you also wrote The Spiritual Warriors: Warriors of the Way. Can you take a moment to tell us about the book?
OS: Wow, The Spiritual Warriors is a four book series I am currently in the midst of. It is the story of a martial artist on a path of discovery of himself, his abilities and his role as a warrior. That story is a blast to write. If I had to describe it: The Spiritual Warriors Series is an umbrella and all my other books sit under it. The idea for Blur came to me in the middle of that book and wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote the first chapter and an outline, then I was able to finish The Spiritual Warriors.
SPS: What we can we expect next from the pen of Orlando Sanchez?
OS: Currently I have finished my next series starter Sepia Blue-Origins. It’s heading to my beta readers and then the joy of rewriting and editing. This year I will release books 2 and 3 of the Spiritual Warriors series. There is a book on fatherhood in the edit process. The second John Kane Novel as well as the second Sepia Blue book will also be released in 2014. I am also working on some short stories from the Blur world to let the readers learn more about some of the less central characters. I also blog regularly on both writing and martial arts. At some point, I will try and manage some sleep.
SPS: Was the Self-Published/Indie-Published route always your preferred route for your work?
OS: With the Spiritual Warriors I tried traditional publishing and collected my share of rejection letters. This was back in 2008. When e-readers began to take hold and I realized that self-publishing was losing some of its stigma, I went that route. There is nothing that compares to seeing your book out in the world, or holding a copy in your hand. That is why I self-publish. I still think traditional publishing has merit, but self-publishing is quickly closing the gap. Right now the best choice in my opinion is to be a hybrid publisher.
SPS: Has the experience so far been all that you thought it would be?
OS: The experience is amazing. I have joined writers groups on and offline and have had my work read and critiqued. It is all I thought it would be and more. If you write for the joy of writing then it’s one hell of a rollercoaster ride and worth every peak and valley.
SPS: If you could give one piece of advice for someone looking to get into writing, what would it be?
OS: Writing is hard. If you know that going in and you still want to do it then you can make it. I don’t mean the process-that can be easy. I mean everything else-scheduling your life, dealing with rejection, submitting your work, rewriting, revising, editing, rewriting again. You have to prepare for the actual work behind the writing. If you self-publish then you have to equip yourself with marketing skills- create an email list, cultivate relationships with writers and readers. Be uncompromising with your writing; carve out the time to get it done. FINISH what you start. Make sure you do it because you love writing, not for fame or fortune. Don’t wait for inspiration, she is always late and usually has the wrong address. Write every day. Write every day. Write every day. Don’t forget to read for pleasure as well as education and above all of this have fun!
SPS: Before we bring this interview to a close, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…
OS: So many writers have influenced me I can’t mention them all. I have recently been reading Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne, both amazing writers. Read everything by them as soon as possible! Kim Harrison and Kat Richardson both gave me solid advice when I was starting my writing. In fact all of the above authors answered my emails and pointed me in the right direction when I was starting out. In regards to my self-publishing Paul Dorset was instrumental in my applying the right principles and for a step by step on how to do it right read Write. Publish. Repeat. By Platt, Truant and Wright. That book has a permanent place on my desk.
SPS: Thank you for joining us today Orlando, and all the best for the future.
OS: Thank you for having me and giving me the opportunity to share.
SPS: For more information on Orlando Sanchez and his work, please do visit his Author page here.
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