I believe the book contains universal elements that people can relate to; 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. If you enjoy murder and mystery with a dash of steam you’ll enjoy A Hidden Element.
Q. Tell us a little 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 he must carry out despicable acts just to survive. Yet Caleb finds he is pushed to the wall even further and must risk the very 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. Read an article I wrote about them. In what ways does he change? Caleb discovers that 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.
Q. Give us your favorite line from your main character
Caleb Madroc: I will protect the children. I promise. But I can’t promise to save you.
A teaser paragraph:
Caleb 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.
Q. This is the second book in The Element Trilogy. Second books can be tricky. What have you done as writer to ensure this book has the momentum to take us from book one to book three?
The story of Ben and Laura’s destined coming together is what propels the Element Trilogy from book 1 and carries it through into book 3. Yet, as new characters come into play and they all re-write their own stories we begin to see that perhaps destiny is not so certain and maybe they will find a way to rewrite their own place in the world, no matter their genes or upbringing– and whatever world they belong to.
Q. Are there elements blended from multiple genres in this book?
Book 1, A Human Element, has been called a “genre-bending thriller with a huge yearning heart” and likened to the work of Dean Koontz. I am thrilled to be compared to the master of suspense, and especially as Koontz is a genre-breaking writer who blends science fiction, horror, romance, and paranormal all together. The Element Trilogy is, above all, a paranormal series that blends these same genres all together. Reviewers who don’t normally read horror or science fiction have been drawn to book 1 for this very reason, and I hope to book 2, A Hidden Element, as well.
Q: What makes a good paranormal suspense novel?
As a subgenre of suspense, a well-crafted paranormal suspense novel (for me) can include elements that range beyond scientific explanation and blend other genres together such as fantasy, horror, and science fiction. The fantastic thing about writing paranormal is that there are so many avenues of paranormal to write about including psychic powers (my favorite!) or ghosts, time travel, or vampires.
Q. How much of the book is realistic?
While there are unrealistic paranormal and science fiction elements to A Hidden Element, there are some very real dimensions played out. These include the tensions within a family, specifically between fathers and sons, and the dilemma posed of how far a parent will go to save a child.
Q. What inspired you to write your first book, A Human Element, book 1 in The Element Trilogy?
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 power, as eluded to in A Hidden Element, but what if it was inside us all along and we just had to tap into it?
Q. Can you 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.
Q. A hint of what you’re working on next?
I am now plotting the third and final book in The Element Trilogy and a young adult 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: www.donnagalanti.com
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.
Connect with Donna: Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads
BUY THE ELEMENT TRILOGY BOOKS:
Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element: Amazon
Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element: Amazon
ABOUT 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?
PRAISE FOR A HIDDEN ELEMENT:
"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