Guest post: "The Dark Inside: A Different Perspective," by Donna Galanti, author of the Amazon bestseller 'A Hidden Element'

After I published A Human Element, the story before A Hidden Element, I couldn’t let go of the characters. Readers wanted a sequel but I always felt it was a single tale to be told. And yet, the characters in the first book wouldn’t let me go.

And one morning I woke up with a vision for book 2, A Hidden Element, and I wrote that book.  And still, I couldn’t let these old and new characters go. I wanted to know more about what their dark lives were like before their stories in the books, and so I wrote a short story collection about them, appropriately called, The Dark Inside.

I’ve always been fascinated by the terrible things we humans can do, and what stops us from crossing that line. Many people don’t stop, but thankfully many more people do. Writing about characters that cross the line lets me feel what it might be like, in my imagination. How easy it would be to pick up a knife and stab someone? How easy it would be to jerk the car to the left and hit someone on the road? Of course, I never would! But I want to feel that passion to do it – for my character’s sake.

In A Hidden Element Laura Fieldstone, who fights to get her son back from an evil force, worries he will succumb to the dark side. “Light and dark reside side by side,” she says. Just like love and hate walk the same line, they both come from the same place. A place of passion.

To me, writing is all about passion – feeling the good and feeling the bad. And I want to feel it all. To explore the twin sides of our human nature: the good inside us, the dark inside us.

In A Hidden Element we begin with Caleb, the son of Adrian, forced against his will by his father to a new land. We watch, through his eyes, as his father wields his evil power over innocent folk and how he vows to never become like him. I originally wrote this scene from Adrian’s point of view, until I realized the story was Caleb’s story to tell. 


Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts. 

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