This week I'm delighted to
welcome debut author Donna Galanti as my guest. Her first mystery, A Human Element, was recently released in print and
loved bike riding. And been a daredevil at it. In the words of Goose and
Maverick “I feel the need–the need for speed!” (That applies to skiing too, but
speed there ended up in cartwheeling down the mountain to exit on a stretcher.
But back to the
open road. Loved biking it ever since I was seven and flew down the hill to
crash and burn winning some nasty road rash. Move on to when I was eleven and
would bike four miles into our one-stop-sign country town for a popsicle. I had
no problem knocking on stranger’s houses on the way back for a drink.
Fast forward to
being 30 years old and trekking out on a hand-me-down, rusty, three-speed bike
to explore my new place in the country where I lived alone. I shot down random
roads at whim. Dark fell. I was totally lost. How to get home? Once again, I
knocked on some stranger’s house, this time for directions. I limped back for
miles in the pitch black night jumping in the ditch each time a car came
Yep. Out on the
road alone, no helmet, no water, no headlight, no idea what rules-of-the-road
were, and certainly no cell phone. I didn’t know what I was doing and was not
prepared at all.
How did I even
manage doing it without knowing all I needed to know and being fully equipped?
I just did because I loved it so much and couldn’t stop.
It occurred to
me that this is just like writing a book. When I sat down and wrote my first
book (the manuscript still collecting dust on a shelf) I had no concept of how
to do it, what the rules were, or what tools I needed. I just did it. I loved
it and how no idea, like my old-days of biking, how unprepared I was. I didn’t
know what point-of-view was, head-hopping, story arc, tension on every page,
sub-text, plot layers, or personal stakes were. Among many other things.
I wonder now
how in the world I even
rode wrote before without knowing the rules. I
think it was wonderful that I didn’t know
the rules. If I had I might have been too overwhelmed to try. It was fun. It
was exciting. I couldn’t stop. I had fallen in love with creating stories. I
wanted to do it again and again. And I did.
biking. I eventually got a decent bike, helmet, mirror, and all the other gear,
and learned the road signals to ride safely (thanks to my sweet husband). I
learned to always be prepared. This meant riding with a buddy if possible, telling
someone where I would be headed, taking my cell phone, wearing a helmet,
carrying extra tire tubes and tools, and bringing water. And I’m glad I did. It
helped the summer day two years ago when I crashed and split my helmet open. I
survived my crash and burn then because I was prepared.
that first dust-collector book I have armed myself with writing tools and been
learning the rules of writing. This involves going to writing conferences,
participating in workshops, reading self-help books from the writing masters,
and using editing services. I may have crashed and burned with my first book,
but it taught me one thing. I survived it and could write a book. I could write
THE END. And that is what motivated me to keep going.
I still don’t
have it all down, but I know enough to write a better book now. And I’ll keep
learning to write a better book after that. Why? Because like any addiction, I
can’t stop. Nor do I want to. And if you love doing something enough don’t you
want to be the best you can be at it?
About A HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti:
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
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.
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 DEAD OF NIGHT
Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human
Element (Echelon Press). Donna has a B.A. in English and a background in
marketing. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Horror Writers
Association, SCBWI, 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.
Purchase A HUMAN