Serina Hartwell

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Welcome to my inspiration page


The Hidden Saga Inspiration

& Background Work

 Every writer needs a little inspiration. Here is where I found mine for The Hidden Saga. 

My Photography Inspiration - The Elements Earth

Earth, the great elemental mother that steams through the cosmos

Earth, the element with the mothering instinct

It houses all the other elements, it symbolizes stability and it is our home. Earth is the place that shelters us and preserves our being. It is our provider, the food in our mouths, the ground beneath our feet and yet we abuse it, this great elemental mother that steams through the cosmos.

It is perhaps the most important of all the elements, because it is the host, bringing all the others together, while fulfilling its role as a great hotelier. It is the grass we walk upon, the rocks we climb, the beach between our toes. The Earth channels the air that flows around it with its endless supply of energy deep within. It supports the water that flows over it and supplies the material that feeds fire, enabling it to grow. It takes care of us and bears its wounds just like we do. It doesn’t asks for anything in return, but maybe it should.

This is the element I began Bronte’s story with. I am fascinated by the unpretentious flow of energy within the Earth, the energy that surrounds us and effects our daily lives in subtle ways. Ways we take for granted, like the deep terrain sounds that fall just outside our hearing range, but have the power to affect our senses. Like the weather that travels around the planet in currents that echo those of the subterranean territory below. I asked myself this, “What would a person, who wasn’t bound to a body, do? What would they tap into that we simply can’t, because of our physiology? What if we were more sensitive to the vibrations around us, would we use these as our energy source? This pondering was what led me to create Bronte’s other worldly character – Bayer.

Take a look at just some of the inspiration I have worked from to help me formulate my ideas for The Hidden Saga. The picture board below is one of my best tools for creating an atmosphere that I can creatively draw upon to write my story. Please don’t forget that if you like what you see, to shout about it and tell a friend to follow my work. I thank you for taking the time out to visit my website today and for looking at my work. Your support is what keeps me creating. 

Serina Hartwell - Author of The Hidden Saga


My Photography Inspiration - The Elements Air

Air, the element of the thinker

Air is the element that surrounds us. 

It presses down upon us, yet it fails to suffocate, instead it feeds our minds. It is the element of the thinkers. From the air that fills my lungs to the atmosphere, which inhabits my story-line, air is a truly influential element in Bronte’s story.

Here is just some of what the Earth could offer up. Its beauty is unbound and I am happy to share the little that I have managed to capture. Thank you for taking the time out to read this. Please enjoy my website and if you like it, don’t be shy, spread the word and tell a friend about it. 

Serina Hartwell - Author of The Hidden Saga


My Photography Inspiration - The Elements Fire

The Elements – Fire

Fire, the element that can create, but does that through destruction?

New beginnings are more often than not, born of painful endings. There are times when it is necessary to begin again, even when we're not ready for the change. In these instances, fire is the element called upon. Sweeping through in a great wave of destruction, it rearranges elements and takes things back to their rawest form. At first glance, all that may be seen is destruction, for fire shows no mercy, but it's only after the dust settles that the real picture can be seen - a fresh start, a blank canvas. Fire, the element of the creatives, is the energy that drives the planet for without heat, the air would not flow freely. Water would freeze and the Earth would not be able to support life. It is only when the creatives are allowed to be free that their energy is seen before us, in whatever they construct.

The Earth's energy is taken from the sun's blazing rays of sunlight, which beam down from the sky. They feed the plants that create the air that we breathe, which holds the water until it's too heavy to hold onto any longer and falls as rain. All working in perfect balance, a unique system where one element relies upon the others to maintain itself. It is easy to forget that we stand upon a molten core, which writhes and torrents beneath our feet. The Earth's crust holding it deep inside, protecting us from its ferocity. Occasionally we are reminded of its power to renew and replenish the Earth with fresh minerals - which can't be found anywhere else - when volcanoes hurl larva from deep inside its molten core. Sometimes, the sun send us reminders of how insignificant we are, when the surface erupts, billowing material and energy far off into space. Solar flares affect our magnetic field and can be seen as Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights. The beauty that transcends is marvelled and captured in the imaginations of the creatives, but the sun is definitely sending out a message that something is out of balance.

Fire sent me down a route I couldn't ever have imagined in the beginning. I had no idea that it would influence an entire world, as you will begin to find out about in book 2 - Trapped.  Here, I questioned what would happen if the balance was tipped with the fire element. Even I'm surprised where this question took me. Take a look at just some of the inspiration I have worked from to help me come up with my ideas for The Hidden Saga. The picture board below is one of my best tools for creating an atmosphere that I can creatively draw upon when writing. Please don’t forget that if you like what you see, to let others know about it and tell them to follow my work. Thank you for taking the time out to visit my website today and looking at my work. Your support is what keeps me creating. 

Serina Hartwell - Author of The Hidden Saga


My Photography Inspiration - The Elements Water

The Elements – Ice & Water

If only we could tap into this natural energy?

Water is one of the main elements featured in The Hidden Saga. It is an element that my main characters Bronte and Bayer rely upon strongly to maintain their current state of existence. I first got the idea of using the elements that surround us when walking around a lake that I often visit close to my home. I watched the birds glide over the still waters and wondered at the fact that there was so much going on underneath the surface that wasn’t visible on the surface, but I knew it was happening all the same.

Water surrounds us on all sides. It flows beneath us and carries its own energies en route. Our planet is abundant with it, but yet it is something that we take for granted. I liked the idea of its natural flowing energy and once I had decided what I was going to do with my characters, it was a natural means to an end. 

Serina Hartwell - Author of The Hidden Saga


My Photography Inspiration – Mills

Living in a mill town, I am surrounded on all sides

Mills always had a lot more significance in my life than I ever gave them credit for. 

The huge vast buildings that surrounded my family home, stood almost invisible to me. Their familiarity was so great that I took them for granted. They had always been there and I assumed that they always would. That was all to change when the council decided to put a bi-pass through one of them when I was a child, changing the landscape irreversibly, as a great chunk of history was destroyed and lost forever.

Living in a mill town, I am surrounded on all sides by them. They lay derelict reminders of the past, they stand converted into flats and they dot the landscape of the town I live in. As a child, my friends and I would imagine all manner of untold ghosts and ghouls inhabiting them in our role play. The grounds of the nearest mill was our playground, dressed with long grass and unkempt land. The street I lived on had a mill at both ends and another, much grander mill, which stood mostly disused in the neighboring village. That was the mill my mother worked in; the mill featured in my first book, Hidden. This was a working mill until recently when mostly derelict, it burned down. It is the place where Bronte comes into harm’s way, but it is not the only mill that has influenced my story. Hidden is set in a combination of all of that mills that surrounded where I grew up. I took aspects of each mill and combined them into one.


In my third book, The Awakening, I bring my readers back to the mill introduced in the first book, but the story line follows another tale, a tale that is based on a true event. A mill fire broke out back in the 1950’s in my home town. Fires in mills were not uncommon with their timbers soaked with the oils from the fleeces used to make the wool and the heavy machinery used to process it, when fire broke out, the whole building was at risk of going up like a torch. The difference with this fire, was the story behind how the fire started. It rocked the surrounding community and led to new Health & Safety legislation being introduced. My Grandmother who was also a mill worker by trade, knew one of the ladies who died in the fire. I have taken elements of this event and turned them into my story. A tale of great intrigue and mystery, which I hope you will enjoy when I release it further down the line.


Here are just some of the pictures that I used for my research when writing The Hidden Saga. One of the techniques I use, is to build an image board. This helps me visualize a scene. Once that is set, the writing follows naturally. I hope you like my photography work. I have put together a collection of pictures that inspired me. You may notice one of the mills on the front cover of Hidden. This mill was the one I used to play in the grounds of.

I would like to thank you for taking the time out to visit my website today. If you like my work, please feel free to shout about it and follow me on any or all of my sites. I thank you for your support and hope you enjoy The Hidden Saga as it unfolds.

Serina Hartwell - Author of The Hidden Saga


My Photography Inspiration - Love

To be loved by another is life changing...

But not all love is equal...

I was always curious about the complexity of love and how it varies so widely. Growing up, I reminisce about auntie Phyllis and uncle Henry and auntie Stella and uncle Michael who weren't relatives at all, but were neighbours who looked after me whilst my parents worked different shifts that overlapped. The love they showed me was that of a nurturing relative, family if you like and so I called them as I would call any other family. Over the years, I've learnt that family is a more of an open statement than a fact. I accept that you are born into a blood family, but that doesn't always stand you in the best stead. Over time, I have found myself creating family from friends who are there to support me more than family in some instances, and these are the influences that have carried into my saga. The Hidden Saga is interwoven with many kinds of love. The blood ties born from family, the circle of friends and her friendship group who see her through the best and the worst of times, but there are other types of love too.

I wanted to explore what happens when two people fall in love. The heightened emotions that fill you from the soul upwards to the massive drop when love becomes unrequited and ultimately ends. Love that is silenced without reason, leaving no closure for the person on the receiving end of the dismissal and how decisive that is for leaving the door open. The miscommunications that can take an innocent conversation way off course and how to resolve that ultimately. These are all explored in my novels. I've learnt throughout my life that love is about give and take; a fine balance between giving too much and receiving too much leaves you juggling from the start but how hard work from both parties can keep love alive and even deepening. Hidden looks at unrequited love and how that tears her apart. It's the not knowing that is the driving factor to the downfall of what ought to have been a perfect set-up. Introducing the complexity of a love triangle and there is always going to be a loser. Love that is meant to be isn't always the easiest love to handle. I have enjoyed exploring these emotions throughout the saga and writing the many forms of love into my characters plots. 

If I have learnt anything on this journey called life, it would be that love is the most powerful force on the planet, because on the flip side of love lives hate. Hate is the destructive side of the emotion and one that concurs worlds. Many wars throughout time have been born from love turned sour and this applies later on in The Hidden Saga. If there was a message I could convey to you, it would be take matters of the heart seriously. Mind games lead to disaster because they build a person up and then drop them like a brick, slamming them into the floor without a second thought, inconsideration and thoughtlessness, the driving factors. This, I have found, comes from one person's need to selfishly indulge their ego in instant gratification. Love needs to be handled with care, nurtured and grown. It's as much about the other person and their needs as it is about your own.

Bullying is another arena explored in Hidden. Taking a look at the negative emotions associated with hate, I explore jealousy and the need to win at all cost. In satisfying one's own need for power, another must be suppressed in the process. Follow Bronte's story when a new girl arrives in school. The insecurities that play out and the aftermath of the damage caused by a bully.

The photos in this gallery do not do justice to the complexity that is written within each story, but enjoy the feelings each image provokes within. Think about one loving act that you can carryout for another today, even if it is just opening a door for a passerby or lending a smile to a stranger. I hope that you enjoy my saga and thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. 

Step into my world and let me take you on a journey... 

Serina Hartwell - Author of The Hidden Saga