Cover Reveal – FLESH AND FIRE


Here we are friends, the front cover reveal of my debut, FLESH AND FIRE. The release date is April 22nd, and it comes to you as part of Journalstone’s Double Down series with DARK OF NIGHT, a new novella from Jonathan Maberry and Rachael Lavin.

Back cover copy for FLESH AND FIRE: In the midst of a midlife crisis, Todd is haunted by Chloe, the lover who died not long after their relationship ended. When Chloe escapes Hell in search of the peaceful rest that has eluded her, a demon named Samael is on her trail and she needs Todd’s help. While on the run Todd and Chloe face demons real and personal, soul-threatening danger, and their long-buried feelings for each other.

Jonathan and Rachel’s piece brings together Joe Ledger, Dez Fox (DEAD OF NIGHT), and Rachael Elle (BITS AND PIECES) into one adventure.


With the pub date getting closer, I’m getting more and more excited. The icing on the cake through all of this is this awesome blurb from one of my favorite working writers, Lee Thompson.

“FLESH AND FIRE is riveting and irresistible. Filled with horrors and delights, it asks the ultimate question: Can love conquer all?” – Lee Thompson (Author of WHEN WE JOIN JESUS IN HELL and AFTER THE FOG CLEARS)

The book should be up for preorder sometime this week so stay tuned.

Publishing Deal!

Friends! I am proud to announce that Flesh and Fire will be published by Christopher C. Payne and Journalstone Publishing as part of their Double Down series. My piece will be paired with a brand new Pine Deep novella by Jonathan Maberry, and it’s set to come out in Spring/Summer of 2015.

I’m having trouble trying to find the words for how psyched I am. This has been a long road–the first incarnation of Flesh and Fire was written in 2011–and I have a ton of people to whom I’m grateful. While I realize this is what an acknowledgments page is for, some of this can’t wait. My wife Jean has been wonderfully supportive; the short novel has been in progress the entirety of our marriage and she’s always been encouraging. Secondly, Jonathan Maberry is owed a huge thanks for being a friend, mentor and an endless well of inspiration. Knowing him has taught me many facets of the craft and the business, as well as introduced me to some great professionals who have since become friends. Thirdly, Christopher Payne and the folks at Journalstone for believing the manuscript is worth publishing. This promises to be the beginning of a great relationship. Lastly, everyone who has looked at the manuscript and given me valuable feedback and advice: my brother Vincent Mangum, writer Patrick Galloway, crime writer Dennis Tafoya, author/screenwriter Joe Augustyn, and filmmaker Dave Tafoya. If I left anyone out, please remember I wrote this in a fit of excitement and my acknowledgments page will be composed by a more composed me.

Stay tuned for future updates.

Strange World


I’m pleased to announce that Strange World: A Biff Bam Pop Anthology was released on Tuesday for the Kobo Reader. It features my apocalyptic short story, Occupy Babylon, along with great works from Andy Burns, Ian Rogers (author of SuperNOIRtural Tales), Glenn Walker, Jim Morris (writer, Smallville, The Dead Zone, Crossing Jordan), and many, many more. It also includes an introduction by Bram Stoker Award Winner and New York Times Bestselling author Jonathan Maberry. You can order the anthology right here for a little over a buck.

In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from my short story, Occupy Babylon:

Eddie was halfway through the third song of his set when the door to the club burst open and one of the dead came shambling through. He barely noticed. He immersed himself in the song. At these open mic sets, he only got enough time for four. Several more bodies came shuffling into the club, and Eddie played on. He didn’t notice that there was something wrong, until he heard the scream.
Eddie raised his head and looked out at the crowd. One of the new arrivals bit into an audience member’s arm. Even from across the bar, Eddie could see the spurting crimson blood in all its vivid glory. The rest of the invaders fell upon the audience and the screams multiplied.

The scene went from the controlled chaos of a punk rock show to the frantic, desperate pandemonium of people fighting for their lives. Death had come for them. It had been out there, in the streets, on television; it had been in all of their backyards, in their own country, in the cities where they lived. But the others, like Eddie, had carried on like Death was not something they needed to worry about, like it was still distant.

But it had come. With grappling hands, blood-filled mouths, and hungry eyes, Death had arrived, and Hell had come with it. In the confinement of the small, hole-in-the-wall club, it was unavoidable. The people trampled over each other as they made for any exit they could reach. Most of their efforts were met with failure, taken down in a series of agony-filled moments by creatures that knew only hunger and that demanded to be satisfied.

Eddie thought the assailants were a mob of cannibals at first, until the first one came staggering upon the stage. It looked like a man, but its skin was an unhealthy gray. At its throat was a ragged, bloody wound. Eddie had no doubt that the wound should have been fatal, yet this man, this beast, walked towards him. One eye socket was an empty, lifeless void. Where the other eye had once been, pus oozed out and onto the man’s cheek. The man’s jaws opened and closed, biting involuntarily.

Eddie screamed and lifted his guitar over his head. When the creature got close enough, he smashed the instrument into the beast’s skull. Blood, bone, and gray matter mixed with the splintered wood. Screams of fear and agony filled the room. A foul stench of blood hung in the air. Eddie backed away from the horrid scene before him in the direction of the backstage exit.
When he bumped the door, he turned to exit and ran like hell.

Philadelphia Writer’s Conference 2012

I’m almost embarrassed to say it, but this year’s Philadelphia Writer’s Conference was my first conference ever.

That said, damn, what a way to get started. It was great to run into familiar faces, make new friends, and spend time at the bar.

Things were kicked off by Jonathan Maberry, who really knows how to engage an audience with a manner of speaking that is as dynamic and witty his thrills-on-every-page novels. He stressed the importance of writers, whether genre or literary, fiction or nonfiction, screenwriters or novel writers to stick together. We have more similarities than differences and those similiarities can forge powerful connections and create vital support groups.

I took five workshops that weekend.

As a believer in stretching my comfort zone so that one day there is no corner of the writing world where I’m not comfortable, I took Debra Leigh Scott’s Literary Short Story workshop. Damn. After an interactive, immersive workshop like hers, I’m now considering applying a more literary style to my genre pieces. It was an informative discussion with a lot of exercises. I found myself wishing that we had more than just three one hour sessions. I can’t say enough nice things about it.

Caridad Pineiro taught a class of Horror/SciFi/Fantasy. While it explored some topics I am already very familiar with, it touched on some subjects that were of particular interest to me. She’s a big believer in using the Jungian archetypes in all of her novels and she delved pretty deeply into that on the third day. We also did some worldbuilding exercises that would be helpful practice for anyone who wants to write in those three genres.

Before Jonathan Maberry’s workshop on character, he let me know that I’d probably heard most of what he was going over before. Though for the most part he was right, that didn’t make it any less interesting. As I mentioned before, dude can own a venue, rockstar-style. He stressed the important stuff: characters have to have damage, they have to be real, and the story should grow out of them, not the other way around. He used examples from his own work (including my personal favorite, Dead of Night). He also talked a lot about point of view and used examples of when omniscient point of view works. For this, he pulled from Stephen King’s The Mist and ‘Salem’s Lot.

On Saturday, I listened to Jill Sherer-Murray of the Wild River Review discuss blogging. She had most of us laughing with her painfully true and viciously funny examples from her own blogs.

Sunday was Liar’s Club member Don Lafferty’s workshop on social media, which served as a great reminder that no matter how much I think I know about social media, there is still so much more to learn, explore and master. And that’s okay. I’m up for the challenge.

Now, to bring it all together. I spent way more money this weekend than I probably should’ve, got on the wrong train Saturday night, barely slept, and my legs are killing me from walking. Instead of drinking water that would’ve helped me in the heat, I sustained myself on caffeine and alcohol. It was a vacation with the added benefit of learning new things. I met some amazing people (including Katie Grimm from Don Congdon Associates, the agency that represented the late Ray Bradbury), saw people who, over the last few years, have become good friends, and, most importantly, I wrote quite a bit. Even amidst the shuffle, I managed to make that pen move.

It was a great event, so hats off to the parties responsible. Special thanks to the authors, editors, and agents who came out to either teach workshops or take pitches.

Hope to see some of you this Saturday at Awesome Reading Fest VII.

Interview with Donna Galanti by Lucas Mangum for A Human Element Blog Tour


I’m delighted to have the talented author, Donna Galanti, here at the Dark Dimensions as part of her blog tour for her debut novel, A Human Element. She was kind enough to answer my questions about her process, the novel, and her journey as an author. A Human Element is one of those novels that refuses to be put in a box. At times it is horrific, romantic, and heart-wrenching. The characters are impossible to forget, and you’ll be compelled to read on until the satisfying conclusion. I highly recommend it.

Read on for the interview.

Lucas Mangum: What was it about A Human Element that made it stand out for you among your other ideas?
Donna Galanti: The entire story – even the character names – came to me in a flash one day driving to work. It’s as if the idea spoke to me from some place I hadn’t tapped into. That was nearly fifteen years ago. I shelved the idea until recently when it kept haunting me to write it.

LM: What parts of the novel were the most fun to write?
DG: I love writing from the dark side but also love bringing characters together in love scenes. I think because violence and love both come from the same well of passion. It was especially fun writing hideous acts of the tormented villain X-10. I am driven to write about things I would get tossed in prison for life (and probably solitary confinement too).

Here’s an excerpt from a fun scene with X-10:

X-10 crushed his hands together and shrieked a demonic wail, pressing into her brain, probing with points of fire. Pain. He wanted her to feel so much pain. She fell to the floor, hugging herself. He watched her from his mind’s eye writhe and moan. When he faced her in person he would bring her to her knees and kill her while he stared into her forlorn eyes. Those big, brown eyes. He would snuff them of life so no human could enjoy them again.

Bitter bile filled his throat and he swallowed hard, forcing it down. It was time to go. A few hours sleep was all he needed and when dusk fell again he would be off, running the last few miles toward his prey. He was so close. By tonight he would be upon her. And they would be face to face.

He thumped his chest in a war cry and ran through the farmhouse door, a wild beast with one thing in mind. To kill.

LM: What draws you to the paranormal genre? Do you feel they are the same things that draw the rest of us?
DG: So many things fall under the paranormal, but I think we are drawn to it because they all have the same theme: the mysterious unknown. Are ghosts real? Do we have the power to read minds? Can we heal with our touch? Can we move objects with our thoughts? Can we kill with our mind power? Research says we use a very small percent of our brain power. I like to imagine the possibilities if we could access the remaining percent. We may not need physical bodies at all or need to talk to communicate.

LM: What was the biggest challenge in crafting the story of A Human Element?
DG: Bringing multiple characters together across years to a final conclusion. This challenge also included creating believable and consistent characters from childhood into adulthood.

LM: Who are some authors that have inspired you along the way?
DG:Dean Koontz. Stephen King. John Grisham. Robert James Waller. Laura Ingalls Wilder. That last one may not fit, I know! But Wilder’s Little House series is a series I re-read every year. Why? Because the characters are endearing. They suffer and love and adapt and have love of family at the core of their strength. I want them to overcome their struggles. This is the basics to a good book, I believe.

LM: So you’ve sold your first novel, what’s next?

DG: So many things! I am busier now than when writing A Human Element. Ongoing promotion takes up a lot of time. I am also editing a middle grade adventure novel I wrote last year and writing the sequel to A Human Element – A Hidden Element. I already envision the final book, A Healing Element. Then there are workshops and conferences to attend to keep improving my writing craft. Plus going to fun reading events like your Awesome Reading Fests, Lucas!

LM: You managed to sell a debut novel in a publishing industry that can best be described as chaotic. Aside from writing a damn good book, what else do you think contributed to your success?

DG: Thanks for the praise, Lucas. As far as success I would have to say: Never giving up. Really. I loved my book and wanted to share it. This meant editing it to be the best it could be and not being bothered by rejection. I would get a rejection, toss it with a smile and send out another query. Working on creating an author platform and surrounding myself with a supportive network of writers was a big part of it as well.

LM: What is a little known fact about you that readers of your work and fans of this blog may like to know?

DG: I’ve always been one to balk at authority. I was a non-conformist (hint: another word for trouble maker) at my Catholic high school. I’m not Catholic but my parents thought it would straighten me out. I skipped class. I was forever called down to the Principal’s office. I played tricks on the nuns. Once locked the library nun in the library. Another time stole the wheelchair ramp so the nun couldn’t get to class and hid it in the bathroom. Smoked in the chapel. So go figure, why I joined the U.S. Navy (although I had lots of fun in boot camp)! I think I have found my balance in life now as a writer. I am able to live my life now the way I choose and not dictated by others. If those others don’t like it, too bad. Life is too short. Besides, aren’t we writers all non-conformists in our own way?


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.

Readers who devour paranormal books with murder, mystery, and steam will enjoy A HUMAN ELEMENT, the new novel about loss, redemption, and love.


Reviewers are saying…
“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 ASSASSIN’S CODE and DEAD OF NIGHT

“A HUMAN ELEMENT is a haunting look at what it means to be human. It’s a suspenseful ride through life and love…and death, with a killer so evil you can’t help but be afraid. An excellent read.” –Janice Gable Bashman, author of WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE, nominated for a Bram Stoker Award.


Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense A Human Element. She 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:

LIKE Donna’s Author Facebook  page for news and updates! Her tour runs through April 11thh with book giveaways, more guest posts, and interview fun, and a chance to win the big prize giveaway! So pop over to her blog to see the full tour schedule.

Connect with Donna here:




Purchase A HUMAN ELEMENT here:


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