Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

Welcome Visitors

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

J is for Journey, Donna Galanti talks about A Human Element, a Journey into the Supernatural!

J for JOURNEY in the A to Z fest. Donna Galanti guest posts about her new thriller, A Human Element.  It's a journey into terror, romance and other worlds. Donna, tell us all about it!


In my paranormal suspense A Human Element we’re faced with the question: Is there life out there? And if there is, will it be hostile or welcoming? The theoretical physicist and cosmologist Steven Hawking says he's nearly certain that alien life exists in other parts of the universe. He also advocates that instead of trying to establish contact, humans should avoid contact with alien life forms. "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans."


I like to imagine intelligent worlds out there. Perhaps some would be hostile, others would not. This is the undercurrent of A Human Element.  Catherine so beautifully creates another futuristic world in her YA thriller Fireseed One. Its future is so different from our life that even though it's set on earth it could easily take place on another planet. And although A Human Element is an adult novel I wanted to share the young voices in it who discover the existence of another world.


Here we meet Ben Fieldstone, age nine, the night he runs away on vacation. The night that changed his life.
A blast of green broke through his dreamy thoughts. It sliced the night in two. A bright streak barreling toward the earth. He stood, mesmerized. A meteorite? He had just learned about them in school. It grew larger and larger. A fiery ball. In his excitement, he forgot he had run away. He couldn't wait to get back to the cabin and tell his parents. He jumped around and trotted back along the shoreline. The green light grew larger. He tripped over a rock and fell sideways into the thick brush.
      And then something so frightening happened he decided to stay where he was. 

The heroine, Laura Armstrong, believes the same meteorite that crashed in her hometown years before may have held something besides rock. At eleven, she finds proof through her ability to see events in the past.
"Someone was here the night it struck. It wasn't a meteorite." Laura shook her head and closed her eyes, her hands still pressed to the ground. "He crashed here, I feel it. I know him. Not know him as met him . . . but know of him."
She looked up at Jim with tears in her eyes. "So much sadness." She put her face in her hands and cried. "He was here under the ground all alone and dying."
Jim didn't know what to make of all this. He still didn't understand her powers, but believed miracles happened. "Who was here? Who do you know?"
"I don't know. But he came here from far away and was so hurt and alone. He had lost everything. He needed to do something important."


In 1961 US radio astronomer Frank Drake developed an equation to help estimate the number of planets hosting intelligent life - and capable of communicating with us - in the galaxy. He estimated 10,000. A lot, right? In 2001 more rigorous calculations connected to the 1960s "Drake equation" suggests that our galaxy may contain hundreds of thousands of life-bearing planets. Just imagine.

Laura, as an adult, does imagine this. Here she conveys her fears and thoughts to Ben about life “out there” and if it’s possible.
"Why do these Elyon people exist? And does it mean there are more beings out there in this infinite universe, watching us, on their way to us? Maybe here already?”
"I don't know, Laura. The more we learn, the more questions there are," Ben said.
"I wonder if we'll ever know the full story and history of what happened here." Laura looked through the loft window at the night sky. "Up there, somewhere, millions of miles away is another planet with intelligent life. Beings loving and living and dying, just like us. Having babies. Like we do. Like you and I could. Are they coming again now or is their planet already dead?"

The movie Contact, based on a novel written by astronomer Carl Sagan, raises the debate too about whether life is out there. I saw Sagan speak in 1995. His goal was to educate the world on the infinite wonders and discoveries to be found in space. He died the next year but he forever leaves his imprint on not only how we look at the stars-but how we should dream about what's amongst them. At one point in Contact, Dr. Arroway says: the universe is a pretty big place. It's bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of. So, if it's just us... seems like an awful waste of space. Right?"

I believe that too. We should dream about what’s beyond our world, as Sagan inspired us to do. In writing A Human Element I enjoyed finding my YA voice through Ben and Laura. I enjoyed it so much I went on to write a middle grade adventure fantasy that’s in its final editing phase. Where's the book set? On another world of course! 


What do you believe and imagine?

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 murder, mystery, 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 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.

BIO:
Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense A Human Element. She 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. Her website.


A Human Element is available on Amazon, B&N & Smashwords. 
Donna can be found on her blog and on Twitter. LIKE Donna's Facebook page for news and updates! To view her entire book blog tour, including interviews, guest posts and prize giveaways,  click here.


22 comments:

  1. Catherine, thanks so much for having me on today! And I LOVE how you fit me into the A to Z with J for Journey!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Really nice of you to support other authors during the challenge. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just read ELEMENTAL by Emily White and that takes place in other worlds too. It's good to see books like this making a comeback. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I havent read Elemental - but will check it out. Yes, there are definitely trends with books and nice to see some may fade away but then return with new slants on them.

      Delete
  4. This sounds like a thrilling and thought-provoking read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much - I enjoyed being here!

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  6. I'd like to think not all life out there is hostile either. But we wouldn't be very welcoming either. Would we? Some of us, yes. Some of us, no. Sounds like a fantastic story, Donna.

    Waving at Catherine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M Pax, you make a good point about us not being so welcoming on Earth. It usually seems in movies that we are the prey and the aliens are mean and monstrous. :)

      Delete
  7. Waving back to M Pax-
    When I went to see NYC's Natural History's fine exhibit of the future of space travel last weekend, my sister-in-law and I were laughing at the plaque that we devised for any "aliens" to decipher. It has a line drawing of a male and a female and some other scratchings that would probably be hard for a kid to figure out. Oh, and the "universal code"-fahgettabout it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, Catherine that is so funny! And sounds fun. Right now my son is making up his own language and creating alphabetically from A to Z. Need to take my son there to that museum, hankering for a day trip to NYC soon!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Donna, it's really a great exhibit. You can even experience the scent of moon rocks! I think it would inspire you. If you come to NYC, let me know and we can do coffee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You betcha! Scent of moon rocks? that is too cool! I will keep you posted on a NYC visit :)

      Delete
  10. Nicely done, both of you.

    Fiction that draws on Hawking, Drake, AND Sagan?
    I'm sold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kelly, thanks for the lovely comment! I am fascinated by space and Hawking's theories and it was so wonderful to see Carl Sagan speak at my college - SUNY Albany. A real experience! So much out there...while we are contained in our little worlds here on Earth, a speck in the grand design

      Delete
  11. Sounds like an interesting read. I'd prefer to not think they'd all be hostile, but you never know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jaycee, oh me too! I like to think more ET than Alien :)

      Delete
  12. 'In writing A Human Element I enjoyed finding my YA voice through Ben and Laura. I enjoyed it so much I went on to write a middle grade adventure fantasy that’s in its final editing phase.'

    What a wonderful place to be as an artist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suze, it is indeed! You truly never know what may come of your writing - and what in it will spawn other projects. Thanks!

      Delete
  13. I love the movie Contact, Donna! Because of the topic, but also the premise that we must follow our dreams and deepest imaginings. Looking forward to reading your book, and can't wait to buy it in person at your book launch party!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathryn, you're a doll as usual! Yes, if we dont follow our dreams what is our purpose here then? :)

      Delete