A Human Element is a fast paced suspense novel with lots of sci-fi and mystery mixed in. Its leading lady, Laura, is likable and easy to root for, and Donna doesn’t make it easy for her as she struggles to figure out why everyone she loves is dying. Our hero is strong as well, suffering through his own unique miseries. When their paths finally cross, the two come together with a lot of heat. And with a truly frightening bad guy, A Human Element is a can’t put down read.
And guess what? Donna is giving away a paperback to one lucky winner! Leave a comment under this post for your chance to win A HUMAN ELEMENT! Deadline is April 11th. A winner will be chosen at random through www.random.org.
Please welcome Donna!
How did you get your start in writing, and what is your background?
I grew up wanting to be a writer, since my first screenplay at six. After a stint in the U.S. Navy as a photographer, I got a degree in English and Journalism. When I realized what a pittance reporters make (plus that whole 5 ‘0’ clock daily deadline) I ended up in corporate communications and marketing. After being laid off numerous times I started my own resume writing service, which was successful but that novel awaited. I closed up my business to write my first novel.
What made you take the plunge and commit to getting published?
Once I knew I could write a book and get to the end I wanted to get my story out there. A HUMAN ELEMENT sat inside me for years and I loved it so much I wanted to share it with others.
You write in several genres – tell me about them. Is there one you prefer more than others? What comes most easily to you?
I lean towards dark fiction for adults. I like to call it dark with a dash of hope – and steam! However, I decided to challenge myself last year and took a class on how to write a young adult novel. And it was a challenge to write in a younger voice and first person. I then discovered I had already written in a younger voice in A HUMAN ELEMENT, as my characters go from childhood to adulthood in the book. I had found my natural young adult voice and never knew it. I also fell in love with the story, a middle grade fantasy adventure (and so did my son). I’m now getting ready to pitch this book, which I hope is the first in a series. It was fun to write but I am compelled to write dark for adults. This is what I’m drawn to and what comes naturally to me. I like doing things on paper I would get arrested for in person. LOL!
What’s your “method” for writing? Are you a plotter or a panster? How has that method evolved since you first started out?
I definitely plot. I write an entire preliminary synopsis, about 8-10 pages, and then develop a bulleted chapter outline. I then create a one page character worksheet for each character. I also use the Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass a guide, but I don’t get too in depth or I lose track of just writing. When I first started writing A HUMAN ELEMENT, I only did a synopsis. The rest has evolved. If I spend too much time plotting, the story doesn’t flow as naturally for me as I’m bogged down in too many details. I like to get it on paper and then go back after I’m done and add in details that may have evolved along the way.
What’s the most valuable writing advice you’ve ever received, and from whom?
To not edit while getting the first draft down. The first draft is brain spew. Get it down and then go back and polish, otherwise you’ll never finish. This is the obstacle I overcame to write my first book.
Let’s talk about your debut novel, A HUMAN ELEMENT. It’s a paranormal suspense with two strong leads from completely different backgrounds and a vengeful, bloodthirsty villain. How did you come up with the idea?
Honestly, something was speaking through me. Which is funny, as the book has paranormal elements to it. It came to me in a vision one day as I drove to work. I frantically wrote it on my lap with one hand on the wheel. Pages and pages. I had never written a book, but this entire story from beginning to end literally “hit me” in seconds. Even the character names. That was fourteen years ago, and I sat on it for years as life got in the way and I was too scared to write a novel.
What’s your favorite thing about the book, and your favorite character from it?
I love that a person can lose so much and still redeem himself or find redemption – and love. I connect with Ben the most. He is tormented, alone, unloved and when he finds his way back to finding happiness it eludes him. I just love the tormented character, and seeing how much I can pile on him.
What are you most proud of regarding A HUMAN ELEMENT? And is it your first novel?
I feel proud that I created characters I could fall in love with. I actually wrote slower when I got to the end as I didn’t want them to leave me. I wanted them to remain alive. And I’m super excited now to revive them in the sequel I’m writing, A HIDDEN ELEMENT. And yes, A HUMAN ELEMENT is my first novel to be published. The first one I wrote, another middle grade adventure, sits in a drawer. It’s too wordy, too descriptive, but it had its purpose. I learned I could write a book from beginning to end.
Why did you choose to publish with a small press instead of hold out for the traditional route with an agent?
I did submit to agents and small presses. I knew A HUMAN ELEMENT was a hard sell as it has a mix of paranormal, sci-fi, and horror elements. I submitted to Echelon Press and they believed in the story and I signed with them. It’s now out in paperback and e-book.
What are you working on now?
The sequel, A HIDDEN ELEMENT, which is a different tale. It spans only a month and involves new characters with a darker more human villain who tears apart one family.
Thanks so much to Donna for letting me be the first stop on her blog tour. Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of A HUMAN ELEMENT!
About A HUMAN ELEMENT:
One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.
Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite–her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test.
With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his and she has two choices–redeem him or kill him.
Readers who devour paranormal books with a smidge of horror and steam will enjoy A HUMAN ELEMENT, the new novel about loss, redemption, and love.
Reviewers are saying…
“A HUMAN ELEMENT is an elegant and haunting first novel. Unrelenting, devious but full of heart. Highly recommended.” –Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of ASSASSIN’S CODE and DEAD OF NIGHT
“A HUMAN ELEMENT is a haunting look at what it means to be human. It’s a suspenseful ride through life and love…and death, with a killer so evil you can’t help but be afraid. An excellent read.” –Janice Gable Bashman, author of WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE, nominated for a Bram Stoker Award.
Donna Galanti is the author of the dark novel A Human Element (Echelon Press). She won first place for Words on the Wall Fiction at the 2011 Philadelphia Writer’s Conference. Donna has a B.A. in English and a background in marketing. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group and Pennwriters. She lives with her family in an old farmhouse in PA with lots of nooks, fireplaces, and stinkbugs. Visit her at: www.donnagalanti.com
LIKE Donna’s Author Facebook page for news and updates! Her tour runs through April 11thh with book giveaways, more guest posts, and interview fun, and a chance to win the big prize giveaway! So pop over to her blog to see the full tour schedule.
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