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Title: Joshua and the Lightning Road
Publication date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Donna Galanti
Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.
Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.
To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.
In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting Published
In becoming a novelist I lost the one thing I had loved all my life. Reading.
Hard to imagine, right? My dad likes to brag that I had read every book in the school library by the time I was eight.
But now it was as if I had traded my love of reading for a new love, that of writing. And writers need to read to write. If success comes with sacrifice must it be the one thing that I need to do to be a writer? Could writing and reading not live side by side?
It struck me in way it was like having your first child. When my son was born all my love and affection went to him. It was so intense, this new love. It colored my entire world. It was a force that hit me and covered me in need, driving all my energy to it. The love for your child is a crazy intense love that takes you unaware. Eventually, I found my own identity again as a mother and wife.
I had balance again. Well, almost…I still needed to find balance as a new author. I had become so sucked into the world of creating that I lost the juice to sustain it. My brain burst with words, ideas, dialogue, action, and characters speaking to me and I couldn’t slow my thoughts down. I’d lost my love of reading and now all of my energy went toward writing.
I knew I would need to force myself to read. Slow down my brain and allot time to read. And I did. From book to book I moved. I would read a few pages then move on like some wandering nomad. I couldn’t find my joy again. I couldn’t concentrate on the words.
Then a friend told me something that changed everything. She said now that I was an author I wouldn’t be happy with reading the kinds of books I once read. I needed to explore new genres and new kinds of stories. What I once loved to read had changed. She was right. I wanted to be affected by what I read. Changed, transformed, and moved. And I learned that middle grade and young adult books were what now fired me up.
Stephen King once said, “The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen.”
I aim to be less of a fool for sure.
So then I thought, why not re-read my favorite books over again from long ago? The ones close to my heart. The ones that made me fall in love with reading. And that’s just what I did. I re-read White Fang by Jack London, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Crystal Cave my Mary Stewart, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl, and Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. I quickly fell in love with them again – and quickly knew my love for reading was founded in books for kids. And this fueled my love for writing for kids, with writing my Joshua and the Lightning Road series.
As a writer I need to keep reading. And I’m glad I found my lost-love again. The Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges said, “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
I’m glad my paradise is back. Have you ever lost and found your paradise?
About the Author
Donna is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series and the Element Trilogy. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs at www.project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogs..., a cooperative of published middle grade authors. Visit her at www.donnagalanti.com and www.ElementTrilogy.com. Donna wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a murder mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship (and has been writing fantasy ever since). She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle.