June 19, 2012

Made It Moment: Donna Galanti

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 10:14 pm

A Human Element

Some of you know that I chair the Debut Authors Program for International Thriller Writers and some of you probably also know that getting involved in this program has been one of the most thrilling experiences in my writing life. (Thank you, Carla Buckley). Today’s Moment-er is one of the talented Debuts, and her Moment is more than a story about writing. It’s also about the relationships that propel us, and how even once gone, these connections drive both our writing, and our life. Here’s to getting the book we always knew we had inside us out there. And here’s to the people who enable us to do it.

Donna Galanti

I never really thought of what my made-it-moment was. I knew since the age of seven that I wanted to be a writer. Writing was the biggest part of my life. From poetry, short stories, news reporting, to marketing communications. I even owned my own resume writing service. I had my novel inside me but I just didn’t know how to get it out.

My made-it-moment is a twofold one. One private, one public. The death of my mother propelled me to finally write the novel I always wanted to write. The story came to me in a vision fifteen years ago and my mother was the first person I told it to. We chatted excitedly about it. I wrote two chapters, but then life got busy and I shelved it. After my mother’s death, twelve years later, I sat down and finished writing A Human Element. I did it through grief without looking back. Writing The End was a private made-it-moment for me. I could do this. I could write a book.

Connected to this was the defining public made-it-moment when praising reviews started rolling in for my debut novel, A Human Element – and they were by unbiased strangers! I continue to be amazed and overwhelmed that people I don’t know like my book and have been as touched by my characters as I am. It’s like getting a surprise gift each time I see a new four or five star review. It was hard for me to realize once my book was published that it would be “out there.” You mean people will actually read it? Scary! But then they liked it. That drove the fear away.

I wish my mother were here to celebrate the praise I’ve been blessed to receive. It is a bittersweet feeling, knowing that I would not be a published author today if it were not for my mother’s passing. She drove my made-it-moment of writing the novel I always knew I had inside me to the made-it-moment of knowing I had written something that touched others. I hope I can do it again.

Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense novel A HUMAN ELEMENT (Echelon Press). 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.


  1. Donna – So sorry about your mom. Grief and loss are amazing motivators. She’d be so proud of you!


    Comment by Pamela DuMond — June 19, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

  2. Donna, congratulations on the success of your book, and for finding the fortitude within yourself to finish the novel after losing your mom. I’m in a similar situation, having lost my dad a few years ago. I’ve been working on the same novel on and off for a decade now, and I’m making a strong push in myself to finish it because it saddens me that dad won’t ever be able to read the whole thing. But, at the same time, there are parts of the novel that I can now write convincingly and from the heart, because I understand what it’s like to lose someone you love very suddenly. I suppose that’s a silver lining, in an odd sort of way–we take our experiences and incorporate them into our work as realistically as we can.

    Best of luck with your writing career, and I’ll definitely check out A HUMAN ELEMENT!

    Comment by Becca — June 19, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

  3. So sorry about your mom, but glad to see you made something good out of it. I have to check out your book now!!

    Thank you Jenny, for another wonderful moment.

    Comment by mountainmama — June 20, 2012 @ 5:51 am

  4. Haven’t read many paranormal works, but I’m looking forward to this one. Thanks for the insight.
    Nash Black (Irene)

    Comment by Nash Black — June 20, 2012 @ 7:07 am

  5. Congratulations, Donna. Sounds like your mother left you with a wonderful gift.

    Comment by Kathleen Kaska — June 20, 2012 @ 9:06 am

  6. Jenny,

    thanks so much for asking me to come on!

    I appreciate the comments from all of you, especially about my mom. I know many can relate to grief and writing. Its wonderful when something positive can come out of it, even though bittersweet. My mom is with me every day championing me on. I hope you all have someone like that in your life. And

    I hope you enjoy A Human Element if you read!

    Comment by Donna Galanti — June 20, 2012 @ 9:28 am

  7. Becca, thanks so much for sharing your loss.

    Yes, having experienced deep loss can add so many rich layers to your writing. In a way that is a tribute to your Dad, as he touched your life deeply and now you can let that shine through in your writing. Keep at it! You will succeed. I know how sad it is not have him there to read your book and share in your success. I think of how proud my mom would be of me,and that comforts me. I hope you too.

    Best of luck and thanks for wanting to read A Human Element!- Donna

    Comment by Donna Galanti — June 20, 2012 @ 9:31 am

  8. Nash, thanks for wanting to read A Human Element. Its funny as I dont think of my book as paranormal – I think of it as more character-based, but there isnt a genre for that! :) Many readers have said the same thing, that they dont enjoy paranormal, horror, or sci-fi but they did enjoy my book. I think as there are elements of all in it, but it’s not overpowering. So I look forward to hearing your thoughts if you read it! -Thanks, Donna

    Comment by Donna Galanti — June 20, 2012 @ 9:34 am

  9. Donna,
    I’m sorry you lost your mother. I’m glad you got to discuss your book with her. The opening scene of my first novel came to me in a dream. Even now, I can remember it, though I changed the setting to suit the story, but not the emotion driving it.

    Comment by Marilyn Levinson — June 20, 2012 @ 9:43 am

  10. Donna, sorry about the passing of your mom. Losing a parent is hard, but it seems that you turned it into something positive. Even though your mom isn’t physically here to celebrate your success, she is here with you in spirit. Her spirit is with you guiding you in your success. Thanks for sharing your moment with us.

    Comment by Kellie — June 20, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  11. Marilyn, that is so fascinating your opening scene came to you in a dream! Now if we could just write an entire novel based on dreams to help us out that would be great! And actually, A Human Element came to me in a flash vision driving to work one day. I wrote the entire synopsis on my lap, driving dangerously, in 15 minutes – including characters. Its funny how our minds work. Thanks for sharing -Donna

    Comment by Donna Galanti — June 20, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  12. Kellie, thanks for the kind comments. Yes, it is a mixed blessing when good things come from bad. And ironic, that my mother is not here to share but if she hadnt passed away I would have never written this book…and another and another. Funny how life is and how its events thrust us into new places. -Donna

    Comment by Donna Galanti — June 20, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  13. Donna,
    It’s amazing when something too powerful overcomes you and there’s no way to transform it, at least not now. I recently lost my wife for apparently no reason, no warning at all. But as some on this made-it-moment have already commented, there’s a well of emotion there. Friends have already told me how proud my wife is of my latest, a southern novel she never got to read. She passed away days before it came out. And that’s another source of deep sadness and a touch of joy that’s coursing through me.
    All the best,
    Shelly Frome

    Comment by shelly frome — June 20, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  14. Shelly, I’m so touched by your story and to lose someone suddenly. My mom died from cancer and it was a long goodbye, which is the only blessing from that.

    I think it helps when others recall to you how proud your loved one was of you. I think it’s comforting, and I hope so for you. Recently a relative told me that my mom was always telling people about me and my accomplishments and was so proud of me. No one ever told me that before. It gave me a sense of peace. I can only imagine the sadness mixed with joy of your book coming out without your wife by your side, but hope knowing she would be proud of you gives you peace.

    Comment by Donna Galanti — June 20, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

  15. I had a feeling that Donna’s Moment would speak to many people, writers, readers–anyone who has received support and encouragement from someone they love. I appreciate reading the personal stories shared here, and am so glad you all got to connect with Donna. Her novel sounds very special, and is high on my Pile, too–I love anything that can’t slide neatly into one genre.

    Comment by jenny — June 20, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

  16. My moment will come soon, as I will be closing ‘the deal’ on my novel this fall. Today’s moments happened to be my mom’s 3rd anniversary of residing with God, and I worked very hard. Your story and struggles are an inspiration, and I appreciate you, AND your advice, always. God Bless!


    Comment by Susan Ricci — June 20, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

  17. I hope you will share it on the blog, Susan! It would be an honor. Congrats!

    Comment by jenny — June 20, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

  18. Susan, that is so exciting for you with your novel! Thanks for your kind words and I’m glad my words gave you some inspiration. It’s also been 3 years for me with my mother’s passing and I know anniversaries can be tough. -Donna

    Comment by Donna Galanti — June 21, 2012 @ 5:46 am

  19. My own mother has been gone a very long time but will always be missed.
    I celebrated her life in nonfiction writing and dealt with my grief through writing poetry. Writing helps us come to terms with loss. Wishing you much success in your work, Donna.

    Comment by Jacqueline Seewald — June 22, 2012 @ 10:19 am

  20. Jacqueline, thanks so much for sharing. Poetry is a beautiful way to express grief and how lovely to re-read your poems, remembering your mother in special ways with words of beauty. Writing indeed fulfills us in many ways, and allows outlets for so many emotions and passages of life. -Donna

    Comment by Donna Galanti — June 24, 2012 @ 10:33 am

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