Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Interview with Donna Galanti, on writing paranormal suspense & trilogies

Want to know more about how to write a trilogy? Today, Idea City interviews Donna Galanti, author of the paranormal Element Trilogy books. Plus, enter a great giveaway below! A summary of her newest:
A Hidden Element.  Evil lurks within…
When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him. Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown. Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so?

Tell us about your main character
Caleb Madroc lives an oppressed life. He has sons he can’t be a father to, he can’t choose who he loves, and must carry out despicable acts to survive. Yet Caleb finds he's pushed to the wall even further and must risk the things he desires to save those he loves. Caleb is also a Watcher in a way, and Watchers are some of my favorite characters to write.

In what ways does he change?
Caleb discovers he doesn’t have to be dictated by his dark genes and can choose love over hate, and hope can win out in the end.

Give us your favorite line from your protagonist
Caleb Madroc: "I will protect the children. I promise. But I can’t promise to save you."

From an antagonist
Adrian Madroc: “If you cannot, your sons will die. And you will throw the first stone.”

An emblematic, teaser paragraph
He wanted to redeem himself either way through sparing others pain. Sweat broke out on his brow. Was she too far gone? His stomach tightened. He moved his hands faster over her. Come back, Rachel. Please. Her head lolled to one side. He stroked her hair as he worked and spoke to her.
“I do love you, Rachel. I never stopped. I wanted more, but it wasn’t meant to be. I had to think of our children first.” She remained cold beneath his hands.
This gift he had. Perhaps it was not enough for her.

What keeps you going when your inspiration flags?
I take a break and find an inspiring book to read. This always fuels my own creativity.

What truly inspires you and fires up your vision?
To me, writing is all about passion – feeling the good and feeling the bad. And I want to feel it all. To explore the twin sides of our human nature: the good inside us, the dark inside us.

Best words of advice you ever received?
Don’t edit while writing that first draft! Once I got over this block my writing took off and I found I could write THE END.

Find success by perfecting your writing in one genre. I believe today’s fiction was built by cross-genre writers, like Dean Koontz, and they opened doors for writers to further challenge themselves in their writing and push the boundaries.

Offer some writing advice to aspiring and new authors
Get out of your writer’s cave and join writer communities and organizations now, no matter what level of writing you are at. Keep learning your craft and keep filling your writer’s toolbox! Visit my Writers Corner for inspiration, advice, and resources on writing.

Which do you enjoy writing most: action, romance, setting, dialogue?
A combination of dialogue and action. At first a scene comes to me in dialogue and then I see the action painted around it.

A hint of what you’re working on next?
I'm plotting the final book in the Element Trilogy and a YA medieval fantasy series. I also write middle grade and in 2015 have the first two books coming out in my adventure fantasy series, Joshua and the Lightning Road. You can learn more about it here. 

How is it writing a trilogy? Biggest challenges? Fun aspects?
It’s fun bringing the characters I fell in love with back to life and introducing new characters to love. The biggest challenges in writing a sequel for me, are blending in the necessary details from book one to inform the reader and move the story along while also creating a standalone novel as well.

The most important theme of book one? Book two?
In book one, A Human Element, it’s revealed that if we overcome our genes and thrive through love, we can conquer our obstacles and achieve anything. But without love, we are lost.  In book two, A Hidden Element, a major theme is that relinquishing the struggle to belong leads to self-acceptance.

Care to share a hint of what’s to come in book three?
Aha! Think V meets Supernatural. ☺

Visit her: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as fiction for teens and tweens. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer.

Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element.
Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element: ON SALE NOW THROUGH 8/31 FOR JUST $ 0.99 cents!
Deadly Dozen: 12 Mystery/Thriller novels for just $3.99.

"Chilling and dark…a twisty journey into another world." —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of When Shadows Fall

"Fascinating…a haunting story…"—Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of The World Beneath

"Will keep you up long past your bedtime...a pulse-pounding read."—Allan Leverone, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Final Vector

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  1. Catherine, I'm so excited to be back here today! Thanks for interviewing me for the release of A Hidden Element - and with such interesting and fun Qs! I better get busy and start writing book 3 - the final in the trilogy. :)

  2. Congrats, Donna! Reading always fuels my creativity too!

    1. Cherie, thanks! And YES sometimes we need to give our brain a rest and open it up to other ideas to stew :)

  3. Great interview! Good luck to Donna--sounds like quite the complex series!

    1. Meradeth, yes, now I have to write book 3 and it's really just a general idea in my head. Good guys win in the end? Hmm... we shall see :)

  4. Yes, I've read book one, which kept me on the edge of my seat!

    1. Catherine, and thanks for reading book 1! I could say the same for Fireseed One - a wonderfully imaginative YA thriller that had me wondering if there would be a happy ending, or not.

  5. I had the same experience when I stopped editing while I wrote. Now I fast draft and I love it. Good luck, Donna!

    1. Kelly, funny you say that! This is exactly how I broke what was holding me back from finishing my first book - I kept going back and editing. Once I let myself just write - it was so freeing and I didnt stop! I just kept going.

  6. Congrats to Donna. I got tense just reading about the MC. Good job and good luck with your series.

  7. Good luck with each of your projects!

  8. Gwen and Shannon, thanks for the encouragement and kind words!

  9. V meets Supernatural? That sounds awesome! Great interview. Good luck!

  10. Best of luck to Donna! I have a forward progress rule. Never go back, go forward...clean up your mess later!

  11. Ooh! Such thrilling concepts and what great conflict! I love the writerly advice.

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