Friday, March 20, 2015

6 Questions: An Author Spotlight Interview with Donna Galanti

Donna Galanti, author of JOSHUA AND THE LIGHTNING ROAD, answers our questions!

Favorite MG authors you admire?
So many! And a mix across the board from contemporary to fantasy. Some of these authors write for both MG and YA and include; John Flanagan, R.J. Palacio, Neil Shusterman, Joan Bauer, Stefan Bachmann, Sarah Prineas, Jennifer Nielsen, Michael Northrup, and Jenny Nimmo.

Favorite MG books from the past year (2014/2015)?
The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen, The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas, and Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

How/why did you start writing?
I fell in love with writing because of reading, really. The tooth fairy brought me every Roald Dahl book that was out. And the first book I remember falling in love with was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I would curl up in a nook at school to hide away and read it. Aslan, the lion in the book, was my hero and I even got a special lion ring to wear to feel close to him. Soon after I wrote my first screenplay, a murder mystery, at seven years old and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. I was hooked! I attended school in England then in a magical castle like Hogwarts where my imagination ran wild in an itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included). I suppose that inspired me to write my first fantasy story when I was ten about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship. I still have that story.

One piece of advice for young writers?
You are just as qualified to be a writer as I am as a grown up, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! You are actually even better qualified because your creativity and imagination is all shiny and new. As a grown up I have to work harder at it! When it comes to writing, the best piece of advice I can give you that helped me is: Do not self-edit while writing your first draft. Give yourself permission to write freely and without judgment then go back and see what gems you find in your writing to polish. Don’t be embarrassed by your first draft. No one has to see it but you. J

What are you currently working on?  (Give us your elevator pitch!)

I’m working on both books two and three right now in my Joshua and the Lightning Road series. 

In book 2, Joshua and the Arrow Realm, Joshua is called to free his friend, who’s been enslaved as a power pawn in a queen’s quest to rule all. But when Joshua becomes bait in her hunting game, loses his powerful lightning orb, and his friends turn on him, he wonders if he can survive on wits and instincts alone and not only save his friend—but himself.

In book 3, Joshua and the Fire Realm, when Joshua is recruited by his mortal Child Collector enemies to join their revolution in the Fire Realm, he discovers a person’s strength is defined not by the scope of his power, but how he chooses to use it. His wisdom is put to the ultimate test, however, when he must weigh his personal quest to claim his lost family with his obligation to save a whole world.

Are your characters/stories inspired by real people/events?
I write fantasy so I wish the stories were inspired by fantastical events! They are only real in my mind. The characters are very real though! In my book, Joshua and the Lightning Road, Joshua calls his grandfather, Bo Chez, which stands for the Big Cheese–and what my godfather is called by his kids. Bo Chez is like my godfather, big and strong with a booming voice. I also envision Joshua’s mentor Leandro, a mysterious cloaked man, as my hero in Lord of the Rings, Aragorn. He was a character that was very real to me. Long before the movie came out, I even dressed up like Aragorn for Halloween of what I thought he would look like. Long hooded cape, boots, and long hair. No one knew who I was but me. And then there is Joshua, who is based on my own son, Joshua.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me on today! I had so much fun sharing the authors I admire and how real people came to be featured in my fantasy book. So looking forward to this event!