Saturday, February 20, 2021

Middle Grade Ninja Episode 104: Author Donna Galanti

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Donna Galanti and I discuss how she started her writing career at age 40 and exploded into it with discipline and passion. She shares what she’s learned about being productive and prolific while successfully managing social media. Also, a ghost story. We discuss her newest novel, UNICORN ISLAND, her time in the Navy, how she left her literary agent for a better fit, and a full 10-step course for writing scary stories for children.

Check out Donna's guest posts:

Donna Galanti decided she was a grown up for far too long. She luckily gave that up to write children’s books. Donna Galanti is the author of the middle grade adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road, which the Midwest Book Review called, “A heart-pounding thrill ride full of unexpected twists and turns from start to finish”. She’s also the author of the follow up, Joshua and the Arrow Realm, and writes the popular Unicorn Island series for Epic!, the leading digital platform for kids 12 and under (hardcover, February 2021, Andrews McMeel).

Donna is a writing contest judge at, a member of From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors blog, and regularly presents as a guest author at schools. She also teaches writers on marketing and craft at writing conferences and through her online courses. When she’s not writing you can find her on Twitter or Facebook where she loves to share all things about outdoor adventures and children’s books. Donna has lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer where she served with Fleet Intelligence Pacific, and has had a long career in corporate marketing. Visit her at She is represented by Liza Fleissig with the Liza Royce Agency in NYC.

“An accessible and fast-paced magical adventure.” -Kirkus Reviews (full review)

“An all-too-human, enchanting middle grade fantasy novel.” – Forward Reviews (full review)

“What begins as realistic fiction turns to a fantastical tale of magical rescue. Fans of unicorns and magic in the real world will enjoy this adventure.” – School Library Journal

Beyond the mist lies a magical secret waiting to be discovered . . .
From Epic! Originals, Unicorn Island is a middle-grade illustrated novel series about a young girl who discovers a mysterious island full of mythical beasts and darker dangers!

When Sam arrives in Foggy Harbor, population 3,230, all she can see is a small, boring town that’s way too far from home. And knowing that she’s stuck there all summer with her grumpy Uncle Mitch only makes things worse.

But when Sam discovers a hidden trapdoor leading to a room full of strange artifacts, she realizes Foggy Harbor isn’t as sleepy as it seems. With the help of a new friend, Sam discovers an extraordinary secret beyond the fog: an island of unicorns whose fates are intertwined with hers.

1 comment:

  1. Rob, I am so thrilled to be back on the Middle Grade Ninja! What a fun interview we had. Great questions. We talked about everything from writing to aliens to ghosts to building author platform! :)


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