By Brandon Hansen / For the Nisqually Valley News
Roy-area author Caleb Ortega is donating proceeds of book sales to charities who are helping with the Ukrainian crisis.
From March 1 to Dec. 1, any of Ortega’s books sold on Amazon will help those in need as a result of Russia’s invasion of the eastern European country.
“Being in the military, you’re giving in nature,” said Ortega, who is an Army combat veteran. “I worked with a soldier who is from Ukraine for five years and she was an incredible, amazing person. She immigrated to the US and she loved America so much she felt the need to join the military. We’re still in contact and I see how heartbroken and devastated she is talking with her family, who are hiding in bunkers now.
Ortega, who retired from the military, said he saw this as a way to help financially and do his part as the war wages on.
Ortega currently has six books available and will have two to three more published by December. He decided to publish through Amazon because he said the company has a fairly easy system that allows a person to track sales and make donations.
Ortega has donated his proceeds before. He previously donated to causes like St. Jude’s Hospital.
He said he didn’t grow up wanting to be an author, but when he retired from the military in February of 2020 he needed something to do and had a good idea. He started writing in May of 2020 and published his first book by him in January of 2021.
His first book “The Writer and the Throne” turned into a five book series. I have recently finished the fourth book of the series.
“It’s kind of a teenage version of Game of Thrones,” Ortega said. “I try to keep it PG-13 and stay away from a lot of those extreme elements. It’s based on the premise of gods: Odin, Thor, Zeus, Egyptian gods and how they have conflicts with one another.”
During his writing process, Ortega spends half of his day writing, and spends the other half editing his work and solving the problems he places his characters in.
Ortega has also written a murder mystery book.
“The first idea I had was what if you had the different philosophies of Odin of Norse mythology and Zeus of Greek mythology and its ideas of democracy and freedom will come together,” Ortega said.
Ortega said he fell in love with the process of storytelling, which is something that surprised him. He said he likes to see things unfold, go through the editing process and then get feedback from readers of the book.
“I’m just in love with it all,” Ortega said.
Ortega’s books can be found at www.amazon.com/Caleb-Ortega/e/B08TM4DJFN%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share.