Wednesday, May 16, 2012


It's my pleasure to have suspense author, Donna Galanti visit with us today. She discusses characters and how readers may view characters in their heads and might not match what the author had in mind as they wrote the story.

How many times have you been irritated by actors chosen for the movie a book you've loved?

Books. They fill a need. We create the faces of our characters in our mind. We create their stage, their world. No one else visualizes our books like we do. The people, places, and events in them.


I fell in love with Lord of The Rings as a teenager, decades before the book hit the big screen. Aragorn, also known as Strider, was my first crush. I knew his face, his stance, his body. He was so in my heart that I dressed up as him for Halloween. Brown woolen hooded-cloak, darkened face, cracked leather boots. I strode down the hall at school, face hidden, my cloak swirling behind me as if I parted the foggy woods I dashed through on a perilous mission. This only validated the fact a therapist had once said that my problem in life was that I wanted to be a boy instead of a girl.


Hmmm. Not sure about that considering I also wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder. We had hogs too and I fattened them up with apples and slop. Then on slaughter day I got to keep their tails to roast and eat, just like Laura did. My mother drew the line about blowing up their bladders like balloons so I could play with them. And I really did believe that if I stayed in a closet long enough it would open onto another world that was just like Narnia.


Anywho, I get mad when movies are made of my favorite books with super stars. I boycotted The Bridges of Madison County because Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood played the main characters. They weren’t the people I envisioned as those characters (but I do love me some Clint though). How dare they! Then there’s the Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum. Really? Matt Damon as Jason Bourne? That’s just wrong. He’s too young, blond, and looks like a boy scout. Put him in a Disney flick (oh, wait, they did.) I’ll stick with the books.


And have you often debated with someone about scenes in a movie, and then realized you never saw the movie? It turned out to be the movie you created in your mind. Worth the argument I would say.


I discovered recently that readers see the characters in my book, A Human Element, different than I do. I purchased iStock photos of my main characters, Ben and Laura. Two friends told me I was wrong. That’s not Ben, they said. He wasn’t dark enough, cruel looking enough. They were right. The other man appealed to me, yes… but he wasn’t Ben. When a friend and I argued about the kind of person Laura was she said I was wrong. Laura didn’t cry too much in the book at all. I was told she had to be that way because she is a healer and sensitive. Okay. Okay. Too funny.


So whoever you envision your favorite characters to look like and speak like, they are yours. Cool, right? Then I guess I must accept the fact that my readers will darn-well envision my own characters as they please. Yep. We get to keep them just how we want them for ourselves. No one else. You can visit them, always. They don’t change. They don’t leave you. They are the perfect friend or lover.


Books. They fill that need of going home. When we feel lost we can go home to them. To our past, our first love, our childhood, our first broken heart. They are a safe haven for our unique memories. And no one can take them away. They are…ours.

Donna is giving away one ebook copy of A HUMAN ELEMENT. Just comment to win! Winner will be picked by and contacted by the author. Giveaway is international. (trust me when I say, you'll want to read this book)


HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti

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. Excerpt

“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

MY REVIEW 4 of 5 stars false

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. Visit her at:

Donna Galanti Website 
Donna's Blog
Donna’s AuthorFacebook page for news and updates!


~Sia McKye~ said...

Donna, welcome to this side of the coffee as a guest. I've enjoyed your comments on the other side. :-)

I really enjoyed this book. Can you share what your next one will be and when it will be released?

Oh, and I hear you on Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. Didn't fit for me either. I pictured a darker and leaner man. Loved the book but had no interest in watching the movie.

DonnaGalanti said...

Sia, thanks for having me on your wonderful blog! I visit every day for a lovely read...and the music of course! I'm glad I'm not the only one who cant see Matt Damon as Jason Bourne - yes, he needs to be leaner and darker. :)
I am deep into A Human Element's sequel - A Hidden Element. This one is far darker, grittier and spans much shorter a time, only a month. There are some new characters I hope you fall in love with, as I have! Thanks for enjoying A Human Element.

Dana Fredsti said...

So I have to ask, Donna... how did you like Viggo M. as Aragorn?

I never read the Jason Bourne novels so I don't have an opinion about that particular casting, but Matt Damon is not my idea of an action hero overall..

I definitely have opinions when it comes to casting actors as characters I've envisioned for years. Every now and again I'm pleasantly surprised by what seems to be a total miscast. But boy, is it a joy when the actors cast are exactly as I'd envisioned!

Unknown said...

I agree, isn't it amazing what a clear picture we can have of characters in our head. They become like a close friend.

DonnaGalanti said...

Dana, I actually adore Viggo as Aragorn! He is dark, tormented...not dashing or clean cut at all but just as I envisioned. They got that one right :) It is nice to be pleasantly surprised like that, it makes the bond with a character more intense I think.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Donna, I'm looking forward to reading the Hidden Element. I truly enjoyed your writing style.

I liked Vigo too. He fit.

DonnaGalanti said...

Sia, thanks much! Hopefully A Hidden Element will be out this time next year :) Here is the unofficial snippet about it (sneak peak!) Right now I am working on getting my middle grade adventure published.

When Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is taken they discover it’s by the same unearthly evil
that brutalized them fifteen years ago. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel his frightening
mission that binds them all together. But the killer’s desire to destroy them leads to a survival
showdown that puts their son’s future to the test. Laura and Ben must sacrifice all again to defeat
a new terrifying enemy – an enemy that wants to rule the world, with their son as his heir.

Crack You Whip said...

I have to admit that I wanted to be Laura Wilder, too. Right down to teaching in that little wooden schoolhouse. The whole cast really fit their parts well.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Donna, that sounds intriguing. Now I'm pondering who would take the enemy is dead...or is he and then thinking about the lab setting...

Okay, when did you say this is coming out? Now this is going to be like a ear worm. Hmph.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Usually the movies get it wrong, although I thought they nailed LOTR characters.
I had to select stars that looked like my characters once and had to just wing it as no one really looked like any of them. Most of my readers said I was really close though. Guess we all imagined them the same way.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I usually like Matt Damon, though he's more cerebral than an action hero type -- probably why I like his roles. It's tough to see a film of a favorite book -- we each have our own vision of who the characters are.

DonnaGalanti said...

Sia, sorry to get you excited...LOL! No spoilers.

Alex, I agree they nailed the LOTR cast. Funny how your picks for your characters were agreed upon by the whole.

Crack You Whip, I agree too on Little House. I just loved Michael Landon in that role (although he was a little to pretty to play Pa) and so sad when he died.

Other Lisa said...

The current one that has me scratching my head -- and mind you, I have no particular attachment to these books, I've only read one of them -- is Tom Cruise as Lee Childs' Reacher.

Uh. Really?

Congratulations on HUMAN ELEMENT, Donna, and continued success on your next one!

Jo said...

Having enjoyed The Hunger Games, I am very reluctant to go see the movie because I just know they won't have it right. I actually prefer to see a movie before the book if I can, the other way round can be totally frustrating. As for LOTR, it was so long since I read the books, that I didn't really remember the characters anyway.

Jo said...

Forgot, that's a hottie you've got there Sia.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Jo, I'm shocked! lolol! Yah, call me fickle but I was bored with the other one. Needed new eye-candy to look at, lol!

DonnaGalanti said...

I LOVE the eye candy ;)