write with my writing companion, my cat Tilly, and I come from an average size town in West Yorkshire, England; the same place where the Bronte sisters were born. I am from the village in the mill town I write about.
Growing up in an industrial town, and coming from a working class background, I was surrounded by the mills, which were once the life blood of the community. Decrepit and falling into disrepair, they shadowed the place where I lived, serving as a reminder that our town once thrived. I watched as one by one, the mills went out of business and closed, serving to inspire my story, while changing the landscape around me.
My mother worked in the mills when I was a child. I recall every night, my father taking my brother and I to the mill to collect her and walk her home over the lonely beck-side. These trips along the shortcut are embedded throughout Hidden, as my childish imagination finally materialised on the page.
It was only recently that I found my way back to writing, when I suddenly found out that I was seriously ill. It’s funny how life has a way of bringing you full circle and offering you sharp reminders that time is slipping through your fingers. One moment I was fine and the next I was in a very bad place. Today you look upon the writing of one of the luckiest people on the planet, as I recovered and moved forward. Luck I intend to build upon. With doors closing all around me and my timely reminder, my life reached a turning point, and I knew I had to find the thing I was supposed to be doing and get on with it. That’s when I really started looking.
In August 2010, I had the most intense urge to write. It came from nowhere, so I did the only thing I could, I borrowed my daughter’s laptop. I didn’t even know at the time if I could write. The last creative thing I wrote was at school. I didn’t know if I could connect with the page, let alone complete a book, but one thing is for sure, I haven’t stopped writing since, nor do I intend to. So, allow me to introduce you to my work. May I begin by introducing Bronte, in The Hidden Saga? I hope you enjoy Hidden and the many more to come.
Serina Hartwell – Author of The Hidden Saga
Did you ever have an itch you couldn’t scratch, a feeling that you’re supposed to be doing something else, something bigger with your life? Something that would touch the souls of the rest of mankind and justify your place amongst our fellow men, but you just couldn’t put your finger on what? Well I spent the best part of 40 years looking for the answer and low and behold, I finished back where I started, with writing. I sometimes question why I didn’t just turn in the opposite direction, I would have got there straight away, but my path led me away from writing when I was just a teenager, because I lacked the confidence to pursue the dream. Reminiscing one day, the thought occurred to me that if I had found writing back then, I wouldn’t have taken the journeys that led me to write The Hidden Saga.
My name is Serina Hartwell. I’m the mother of two wonderful children, who grew up when I blinked. I always
The shutters are down
The air is thin
I search my heart
But I know not where to begin
I cannot settle east
I cannot settle west
I need a break of fortune
To offer me some rest
For where my heart is taking me
My talent can be pursued
But conversation fights me all the way
And persecutes my will
My strength is waning within me now
I fight to keep my way
I know not which direction I should take
To turn, to break away
I run from the wheel that grinds me down
The one that bears on me
I keep my tender straight and true
And head for freedom’s light
By Serina Hartwell
Author of The Hidden Saga
Photography is another art form I have always felt completely natural with. Years ago I turned my back on being an artist when I had my family and life caught up with me, meaning that the practicalities of life had to take charge. The one thing that always stayed with me however, was photography.
The first piece of advice my father gave me when my daughter was born, was always take pictures of her, because if you don’t, those moments will be lost. At first I eagerly followed his advice simply because I enjoyed the art, but after years of watching her grow up, it became evident exactly what he was referring to. It’s amazing how time flies by without us realising it for a moment. It’s only when we look back that we see how the people in our pictures have changed and moved on with their lives. It’s this fascination with capturing a moment in time that can be revisited over and over that draws me to photography, besides the art form it takes and the fact that I am a true creative regardless.
Living in a village near Haworth, does have it’s influences, even if it’s hard to admit. Haworth produced some of the most influential writers of our time, the Bronte Sisters. That said, I didn’t become a writer just because I live in a place local to their place of birth. I was simply born that way. There is something special about the place though.
Ironically, the first book I ever wrote was when I was at primary school. I found it the other day and couldn’t believe that I had actually managed to patch together a story line. I wrote it as a school project after visiting the Bronte Parsonage and then forgot about it. I was tasked with writing a book like the sisters used to write. They wrote tiny books, so my teacher asked the class to do the same. It’s still intact, cover by wallpaper and full of tiny illustrations. That was back in the days when I had my heart set on being an artist, rather than a writer. So perhaps that was the humble beginning to my writing career. My writing journey didn’t actually start until I was 38, but writing was always there in the background.
I am lucky enough to live just outside the hustle and bustle of the place that draws visitors from across the globe. We receive a lot of tourists from places like China and America, all looking for a little snippet of history. It’s not a large place, it’s just the main street and surrounding villages and moors, but its charm is magnetic. The local residents hold annual events, celebrating the past. The pictures I took below, are of the 1940′s weekend event where the whole main street is taken back in time. If you ever do turn up to one of these events however, I do suggest that you dress appropriately and get into the spirit of the event, unlike myself who didn’t read the circular and stumbled into the event by accident. It didn’t really matter, because a good time was had by all, but I know that it would have just finished the night off nicely.
I thought it would be nice to talk to you about Haworth, because it is a huge influence on me, after all I named my main character after the place. The street that has been frozen in time, its cobbled road and the rugged landscape that surrounds it are my stomping ground. No matter how far away I move in future, Haworth will always stay with me.
Please feel free to take a look at my photos and tell a friend about them. I would love to know what you think, so let me know, leave me a reply. Thank you for taking the time out to read my page and remember I came from humble beginnings. Why not have a go at putting pen to paper yourself today? Allow me to introduce Haworth, the birth place of the Bronte sisters.
I was recently asked, as an amateur photographer, to take the photographs at the christening of my close friends’ children. Here are a few of the pictures I turned into art pieces. I call them the Sienna Collection. The boy on the beach is my son when he was a child. It was taken by his grandmother, but is one of my favourites. I love the mystique the moment has captured of him of him with his grandmother’s dog. I often ask what was going through his mind at that moment. They are random pieces that don’t relate to my writing, but simply are standalone pieces of art that give me great pleasure.
The pictures on this website relate to me as a writer and photographer. They depict what I enjoy and what fills my life when I’m not writing. You will see lots of pictures of my writing companion, Tilly. She likes to sit near me while I write, because she has learned that the fan on my computer works constantly, throwing heat out in her direction. Still, I enjoy her company and she does listen to my moaning when my creativity has abandoned me.
No matter how far you fall,
You can only tumble so far,
Before the bottom serves as the prompt,
That it’s time to look up to the light.
Up toward the light,
At the end of the tunnel,
To the light that will guide your way,
To your new bright future that lays in wait.
The journey is long,
The climb is tremendous,
The darkness holds on,
But the light’s strength is great.
It’s calling, it’s true,
Your future lies dormant,
It lies just ahead,
Around the corner and just out of view.
And waiting, just waiting,
For you to arrive,
At the meeting point in time,
Of the positive and new.
So much work is needed,
But your strength will renew,
The distance is far,
To the new beginning that awaits you.
So, although you may stumble,
And fall on your way,
To the top you may stagger,
But climb anyway.
The mountain is worthy,
Of the climb of your life,
The target in sight,
So don’t lose hope yet.
Don’t give up yet,
The test is almost up,
Just keep digging deep within,
For the strength buried down, within.
To find your will,
To persist to the end,
One day you’ll look back,
And say, “Remember when”,
From your position of triumph,
Comfort and renewal,
These days will pass soon,
They’re only for so long.
So keep your faith within,
Hold onto it tight,
The finish line will come soon,
And will end your fight.
By Serina Hartwell
Author of The Hidden Saga
Step into my world a little further and immerse yourself in the music I listen to when I'm writing. This is the playlist for, The Awakening - The Hidden Saga Book 3.
Poetry is a form of art I have always had an affinity with. It is often a window into my soul, a way of working my emotions without fully revealing them. I have always enjoyed the symbolism of poetry and wrote poems long before I considered myself a writer. I intend to tell a very different story through poetry.
If you like what you see, you can find more of my work @ http://serinahartwellauthor.blogspot.co.uk/. Why not tell a friend about it? I thank you for taking the time out to read my page and for following my work. Your support is what keeps me writing.
Serina Hartwell - Author © 2013 | All Rights Reserved