The Tales of a Contemporary Romance Writer

I also edit, critique, and blog. So, please be nosy and look around.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Talkin' Tuesday with Donna Galanti!

Hi Donna! The last time I saw you was in March at the Write Stuff Conference. What the heck have you been up to, lately?
And so great to see you there! Too much going on, but it’s all good. I am promoting my debut novel, A Human Element, editing a middle grade adventure novel, writing a sequel to A Human Element, blogging away and doing wonderful interviews with people like you! Oh, and somewhere in there is that pesky day job. 
I don't know how you do it!

Congrats on A Human Element coming out! You’ve gotten some awesome reviews, how ya feeling?
Thanks! I’m very surprised that people I don’t know actually like my book! Kind of euphoric. They aren’t old friends trying to do me a favor. LOL.

When writing your stories, do you have story boards which you work off of?
I don’t. When I write a new novel idea it generally comes to me in one sitting. I write the preliminary synopsis, a few pages, and work off that. Then I write bulleted chapter points. I keep all the visual in my head.

You’ve written a few novels. How long does it normally take you to complete one, start to finish?
About seven months writing part time as I also do freelance copywriting for an Ad Agency and work about 25-30 hours a week. This doesn’t include editing time of course!
Darn day jobs always get in the way!
What surprised you most when it came to becoming an author?
That once you write a book you’re not done. You haven’t reached some pinnacle. There are more mountains to climb. Another book to write, tons of social media interaction to do, and a public presence to maintain. You cannot live your anonymous life anymore in a quiet zone alone. Some days I miss the days of just me and my writing.
I showed up to Baseball tryouts incognito! It was really fun to observe everyone. :)
You always read the first and last page of a book before buying it. I read the last line then skim the whole book, then go back and read it. (After buying it, of course!) Is there something wrong with us?
 Totally not! I need to know what I’m getting myself into before I buy a book.  Kinda like test driving a new car and seeing if it actually does go up to 110 mph, or if that ultimate promise of an awesome climax is a lie. LOL.
LOL I love you!
How’s the kitties?
 Awww, love my kitties. They are more like dogs really. Follow me around. One can open our farmhouse latch doors. He hangs on to the handle and bites down on the handle with his teeth to open while his fat belly swings about and his little legs kick to nowhere.

Hot bubble baths or hot tub?

Actually neither. I can’t waste time sitting around in warm water. And hot tubs skeeve me out. All those germs breeding and multiplying. Ewww…

Is your son looking forward to the summer?
Him. Yes. Me. No! It means camps to arrange, playdates and swim club time. All of it = OFF SCHEDULE. I don’t like off schedule. How can I get in my writing time when it’s “Mommy, play with me!” time. They should go to school year round.
Oh, my, gosh, YES!

If you could have any car, what would it be?
Ahhh, miss my Fahrvergnügen. It was frigngruvn. That’s Volkswagen speak. Would love to have an original VW bug convertible. My first VW was a 1972 white Beetle – like Herbie. Had it in Hawaii. The driver side door wouldn’t open nor would the window roll down. But it floated great when caught unaware in a torrential rain flood. It also had that great Bug sound and beep beep horn I love. Then I had a VW Fox. That was sweet.

Perfect typist or chicken pecker?
Pretty fast typist. About 80 words a minute. My brain works too fast though for my fingers to catch up. My husband, who is on the computer all day long, hen pecks. Drives me nuts!
LOL I do 70 and people always ask 'how'? You know the amazing thing is if I'm writing with a pen, I get all fumbled up!
What’s the largest/strangest pet you’ve ever had?
I had a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog growing up. They are noted to be from Rhodesia, Africa and used there to hunt lions. They have this ridge on their back and when they get angry it stands up like a Mohawk. Lovely dogs though. Good for roaming the woods with and talking to. They never talk back. 

How do you get to know your characters?
In bed under the covers. Seriously, they tell me what’s going to happen and what they’ll say. Their conversations come to me. Sometimes from scenes far ahead or even the end scene, which I tend to write first (like reading that last line of a book before buying!). 

When you were younger, did the voices in your head (because lets face it, all us writers do hear them) make you feel different from everyone else?
No, I was in the closet about it! The conversations came to me and I wrote them down. Sometimes they got used later on. I kept them all secret. J

Does music influence your writing?
Oh, yes. I create soundtracks for my characters and their specific scenes. I listen to their songs and then sit down to write. But I write in silence. When I want to feel their pain, love, or torment I listen to the song related to that. I take my imaginary friends with me. I even sneak off to be with them over real people. Weird, I know!
 Nope, not weird at all. ;)

Do you get to have your own writer’s office, or is it a community place full of noise and clutter which you work?
I do have my own office upstairs. I write there half the time or on the couch by the fire with blankets and kitties. The other half I enjoy going to Wegman’s Café and working in the dim light and low buzz enveloping me. There I feel alone in a sea of people.

What inspires you to write?
Going for walks. That is always where my inspiration hits me, where my story lines and conversations come alive. It’s the one place my brain is uncluttered.
Nature is a wonderful thing. 
What’s the first thing you’d do if your stories catapulted you to celebrity statue?
Buy a re-furbished historic stone house out in the country with ten fireplaces lots of nooks and crannies (a ghost or two) and complete with barns, a pond, and a guest cottage (to write in of course!).
 Or have me and the family down!

Advice for aspiring writers on what not to do?
Don’t think your work is perfect and has no need for improvement. I have seen this with numerous writers. They ask for advice then never take it, and keep asking for the same advice. They really want to hear it’s great and don’t want to do the hard work to make their project the best it can be. This gets you nowhere. Be humble. Learn from the master’s. Know you can keep learning your craft and keep doing it better. If you don’t, you may never get published.
So true!
Thanks for having me on Rebecca! You are too much fun! 
You're the best, Donna!
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:

LIKE Donna’s Author Facebook page for news and updates! Her tour runs through April 11th 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.

Connect with Donna here:

Purchase A HUMAN ELEMENT here:
Barnes & Noble:

I love when you come to visit, it's always such a good time!
Have a Sparkling Day!
Rebecca Rose


  1. Rebecca, thanks for having me on your super cool blog! You are always so much fun and we be like cosmic sistahs! And come on down to PA and visit anytime! And BTW, I cant write with a pen either! My fingers forget what to do with it - LOL

    1. *sniffle sniffle..cough cough.* I think I'm dying! Thank you for being understanding! You're one in a million, Donna. I love working with you because it never seems like work. :)
      I will take you up on that visit, some time! I love PA. Can you handle 3 wildly kids and two crazy adults in your home, though?

  2. Grrrr.
    Why do we never think about our
    eternity after we perish?? Only the
    here N now - like nthn else matters
    but gettn some currency N a lil bit O
    fame. Start here; I'll C you Upstairs:
    ☆ ☆