Thursday, October 9, 2014

Interview with Donna Galanti, co-author of Deadly Dozen

Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is an International Thriller Writers Debut Author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road.

She's lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna dreamed of being a writer when she fell in love with the worlds of Narnia and Roald Dahl while attending school in a magical English castle where her dark imagination ran wild in an itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included).

She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she's still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts.

About the Book:

The DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle contains 12 complete mystery/thriller novels by award-winning and international bestselling authors: Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Catherine Astolfo, Alison Bruce, Melodie Campbell/Cynthia St-Pierre, Gloria Ferris, Donna Galanti, Kat Flannery, Jesse Giles Christiansen, Rosemary McCracken, Susan J. McLeod, C. S. Lakin and Linda Merlino.

THE BRIDGEMAN by Catherine Astolfo
DEADLY LEGACY by Alison Bruce
A PURSE TO DIE FOR by Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre
CHEAT THE HANGMAN by Gloria Ferris
A HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti
LAKOTA HONOR by Kat Flannery
PELICAN BAY by Jesse Giles Christiansen
SAFE HARBOR by Rosemary McCracken
SOUL AND SHADOW by Susan J. McLeod
ROOM OF TEARS by Linda Merlino

With an individual list price total of more than $45.00 and over 640 reviews collectively on, the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle is a value-packed, rollercoaster thrill ride that takes you from amateur sleuth to detective to paranormal to ancient mysteries set in intriguing worlds and so much more.

For More Information

  • Deadly Dozen is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

Thinking about writing! Or reading…which leads me to ideas to write. Or biking or kayaking…which helps me unravel problems in my writing. Or working my freelance copywriting job for an advertising agency which makes me wish I was home writing. And
drinking good beer which can lead to outrageous book ideas. Life is far too short to drink Miller Lite. So I guess most paths lead to writing. J

When did you start writing?

I’ve been a writer all my life since I was seven and fell in love with C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl.  Not surprising my first piece was a murder mystery screenplay that I had the neighborhood kids act out! Yes, I’ve been writing dark stuff since I was a kid! Which is probably why I write dark thrillers and am excited to be part of a book bundle of twelve thrillers now like the DEADLY DOZEN.  I am drawn to writing dark fiction with themes that touch on family, blood connection, genes vs. environment, and belonging – all themes in A Human Element that cross over into my own life as an adopted, only child.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

It was the death of my mother that propelled me to finally write the novel I always wanted to write. The story came to me in a vision fifteen years ago and my mother was the first person I told it to. I wrote two chapters, but then life got busy and I shelved it. After my mother’s death, many years later, I sat down and finished writing A Human Element, book one in the Element Trilogy. I did it through grief without looking back. Connected to this was the defining public made-it-moment when praised reviews started rolling in for my debut novel, A Human Element, calling it a “gripping debut of supernatural suspense” and “a genre-bending thriller with a huge, yearning heart” – and now has 38 five-star Amazon reviews! I would not be a published author today if it were not for my mother’s passing. She drove my private made-it-moment of writing the novel I always knew I had inside me to the public made-it-moment of knowing I had written something that touched others. I hope I can do it again.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I would rent a castle in
England with a view. I lived in England for years as a child long ago and fell in love with its medieval feel.  I loved visiting the castle ruins of King Arthur, because I love all things King Arthur. England also has many haunted tales that enrich its history and fuel my love of all things paranormal – including psychic events, which envelop both book one and two in The Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element. 

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Sit and read a book for pleasure from beginning to end outside in my lounger overlooking the woods, with a good beer in hand. Who am I kidding?! It could easily turn into catching up on promotion like doing interviews here for the
DEADLY DOZEN: 12 Mystery/Thriller Novels by Bestselling Imajin Books Authors!

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I’m thinking of setting a new book in a remote, wild spot of
England! However, I’ve got to get busy and write book three in The Element Trilogy, which will be set at the same lake town in Upstate New York that book one, A Human Element, is set in. Things will come full circle there!

Back to your present book, A Human Element. How did you publish it?

My publisher, for books one and two in The Element Trilogy and the DEADLY DOZEN book bundle, is Imajin Books run by Cheryl Kaye Tardif, a bestselling author in her own right and marketing whiz. I submitted book two, A Hidden Element, to Imajin Books when they opened for their annual submissions. Soon after I got my rights back for book one, A Human Element, and Imajin Books also grabbed it up. I was very lucky! Now I have a new brand that encompasses both books, and an amazing publisher backing them.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

I only traveled inside the realm of the mind. Writing in the paranormal allows me to tap into the “what if”. What if we possessed the power to do the unbelievable? Like telepathy, telekinesis. And what if we could use those powers to heal – or to kill? Some people like to imagine that aliens would have such power, as eluded to in A Human Element, but what if it was inside us all along and we just had to tap into it?

Why was writing A Human Element so important to you?

A Human Element contains universal elements that I relate to and I think most people do – abandonment, loss, redemption, acceptance, grief, and yearning for something you can never have. I write from the dark side with a glimpse of hope and am drawn to writing the tormented hero’s journey – and tormented villain’s. I enjoy creating empathy for both by blurring the lines between good and evil. And I especially enjoy using the paranormal elements of mind control to shake the foundation of my character’s world.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I get inspired by struggles people go through and how they can face such horrific challenges and rise up to create good from such bad. It’s the enduring human spirit that motivates me as it embraces both real life and fiction and sometimes those lines are blurred. I was inspired to create the world of Laura Armstrong in A Human Element on her idealistic belief that we all have a redeemable human element inside us, no matter the evil we’ve done – or that’s been done to us. Being adopted, parentless, and raised alone runs through three characters in my book A Human Element. The characters all react in different ways, and the question is raised: is it genes that shape who we are or our environment? Ultimately it’s revealed that if we can overcome our genes and thrive through love, we can conquer our obstacles and achieve anything. But without love, we are lost.

Any final words?

I am now plotting the third and final book in The Element Trilogy and hope to have it release in 2015. We are brought full circle in the final book, and the characters that readers fell in love with in book one and two are all brought together in one powerful, emotional punch in book three.


  1. Thanks so much for having me on today and talking about my writing and publishing journey!

  2. Excellent interview, Donna! :-) And I can't wait for Book 3!

  3. Very moving about your mom and your book, Donna. My Mom was very ill when Soul and Shadow was published, but she made the nurses and doctors at the hospital buy it! I hope we will always have love and never be lost!

  4. Susan, thanks for sharing about your mom. My mom was my biggest champion and it sounds like yours was too. How wonderful.