Despite fifteen years in the making, Donna Galanti’s A HUMAN ELEMENT is a debut novel that brings a fresh approach to paranormal fiction. The book was released in March as a paperback original by Echelon Press. The New York Times best-selling author, Jonathan Maberry, has described A HUMAN ELEMENT as “An elegant and haunting first novel. Unrelenting, devious but full of heart.”
Donna has lived from England to Hawaii, owned a campground in New Hampshire and worked as a photographer in the U.S. Navy. With a background in marketing, Donna operated a resume writing service for years until she closed up shop to write novels. If she couldn’t write she would bike, hike, and kayak every day. Visit her on her website.
In A HUMAN ELEMENT, 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.
A HUMAN ELEMENT is your debut novel, Donna. The obvious question is: why that particular story?
The story of A HUMAN ELEMENT came to me in a vision fifteen years ago while driving to work. I wrote the entire synopsis on a notepad (crookedly) before I got to work. I shelved it for fifteen years and was driven (literally) to pursue it when I decided to write my first novel. I believed there was something there.
Why the paranormal genre?
I am fascinated by the power of the brain and how little we use. We are not even close to tapping our potential of brainpower. 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 powers, as eluded to in A HUMAN ELEMENT, but what if it was inside us all along and we just had to tap into it?
You once assisted people with resumes. If you were to write a two-sentence resume about your protagonist Laura Armstrong, how would you describe her?
Idealistic woman with feisty spirit seeks to harness her supernatural powers to do good. Possesses a brave heart and hopeful outlook, willing to sacrifice to save those she loves.
Is there a theme in A HUMAN ELEMENT?
Laura Armstrong holds strong to the idealistic belief that we all have a redeemable human element inside us, no matter the evil we’ve done – or that has been done to us. She believes this about the antagonist and about Ben Fieldstone, the man she comes to love, who thinks he is not worthy of love, due to his tainted past.
Also, four characters that cross in the book all grew up parentless at some point. The interesting question raised is whether environment plays a larger role than genes in what defines a person? Since I am adopted and can connect with this issue, I am fascinated by it.
Read the full interview with Donna at: http://www.thebigthrill.org/2012/03/a-human-element-by-donna-galanti/