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One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her special healing powers, there is nothing she can do to stop it. The killer haunts her dreams and leaves cryptic notes advising her to use her powers to save herself because she’s next.
Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to her hometown and the site of a crashed meteorite. 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 mystery that binds them together.
But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts her relationship with Ben in jeopardy and her pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to the stranger and she has two choices – redeem him or kill him.
TR: Goooood morning, Donna! I’m delighted you dropped by
DG: Good morning, Thomas…I’m very happy to be here…
TR: So, what do you say we get this train out of the station? How old were you when you wrote your first piece?
DG: I was six and had just fallen in love with the Narnia chronicles. Aslan was my hero. I lived in England at the time and lost myself reading within my Harry Potter-like castle school–a perfect place with nooks to hide away and dream.
TR: Not a bad place to start. I love Narnia myself. What was it you wrote?
DG: It was a murder mystery screenplay and I had my two neighbors act it out with me to our families.
TR: Hah! I’ll bet that was fun to watch…cute. What made you write it?
DG: I think my lifelong quest started here. To write about characters suffering and overcoming tragedy. Yep. Still writing about murders today and enjoying it just as much.
TR: Sounds like a great journey to me. Lucky to have found your nook right off the bat. So tell us, what have you written since then?
DG: Many things from short stories and poems to articles as a journalist, advertising/PR as a marketing manager, to resumes as the owner of my own resume writing service – but I prefer the depth of writing a novel. It allows me to get deep into a character and take them through life changing events. And allows for me to escape into a world I get to create!
TR: Pretty wide swath you’ve cut. But I have to agree – out of all that, I like the novel writing the best. Bet your other work gave you more perspective into the novels, though. Now, what was the inspiration for “The Human Element”?
DG: A Human Element 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. Then my mother died and I knew I had to make my dream come true of writing a book to honor my dream, and my mom. I believe this vision I had all those years ago was my “call” to fulfill what I was meant to do: write books. I’m glad I finally answered the call.
TR: You had a whole book come to you? That’s astounding…I’d love to plug into your brain, tell you that Tell us a little about it, and where it’s available.
DG: My current paranormal suspense novel, A Human Element, is murder and mystery with a dash of steam, sci-fi, and horror. In it, Laura Armstrong’s loved ones 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. Check out interviews with Ben, Laura, the secretive Man in Black, and the villain X-10.
A Human Element is available in paperback/ebook here:
TR: Very good..thank you. Is there a particular place or setting where you get your writing ideas?
DG: Two places: On long, solitary walks. And when away from home, usually hiding out in Wegman’s Café. No distractions actively feeds the creative process!
TR: Quiet does it for you, eh? I can relate. Okay, so you’re one of the only traditionally published authors I’ve intervied. What made you choose traditional publishing?
DG: I started with submitting 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.
TR: Very nice. So, if you had to choose the most important element in an author’s platform, what would it be?
DG: Connecting with readers – not just writers. We can easily promote and market our books to the folks we know via social media, which often is other writers. We need to find the readers and speak to them. Whether it’s through book bloggers or GoodReads. Entertain your readers with all the things of interest in your book. Talk about the issues in it, the setting, and make it fun. And be accessible to readers. Strike up conversations with them. It goes a long way!
TR: Ah…I’m betting a lot of ears just pricked up with that one. There are many writers – including myself – that let the reading audience slip by. Now, what mistakes have you made in regards to publishing and marketing your work, and what will you do differently in the future?
DG: Doing paid ads. I truly believe the best way to market is to strike up conversations with readers on Facebook, Twitter and GoodReads. I am focusing more on Good Reads in 2013. Their members are growing by the millions each year.
TR: I do notice an upswing in Goodreads. It’s not a place to ignore, that’s certain. Good advice. Do you have an idea for your next book?
DG: Lots of ideas simmering! But I’m too busy now editing a middle grade adventure novel now and the sequel to my paranormal suspense novel, A Human Element. In Book 2, A Hidden Element, when a family’s son is taken by the same unearthly evil that brutalized them fifteen years ago they must sacrifice all again to defeat a new terrifying enemy–an enemy that wants to rule the world with their son as his heir. I also have a short story collection coming soon that features characters from book 1 and book 2.
Donna Galanti is an International Thriller Writers Debut Author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human Element (Echelon Press). She’s lived from England as a child to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. If she couldn’t write she would bike, hike, and kayak every day. Donna lives with her family in an old farmhouse in PA with lots of nooks, fireplaces, and stinkbugs but sadly no ghosts.
Praise for A Human Element: “Be afraid. Be very afraid. And be utterly absorbed by this riveting debut that had me reading till the wee hours of the night. A thriller star is born. Don’t miss A Human Element.” – M.J. Rose, International Bestselling Author
“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
TR: Donna, I want to thank you for coming by…it was a blast, and I’m glad I finally had a chance to get to know you a bit.
DG: Thank you, Thomas…it was fun, wasn’t it?
Folks, I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Donna Galanti – she’s a very interesting lady – and she wrote what sounds like a fantastic book. Um…what are you waiting for? Go get one!