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 visualise 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.
2017 New Apple Summer eBook Awards Official Selection for their YA General Fiction category
2017 New Apple Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing Official selection of the YA Fantasy category
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.
Bronte Hughes lives an ordinary life with a loving family and close circle of friends, until one day when she stands-up to the school bully and is challenged to a dare at Farrow’s Mill. It goes disastrously wrong and shatters her reality in the process. A single act leads to a near fatal accident, which sets closely guarded wheels in motion, and leads her to fall for her best friend, Riley.
A miscommunication sends them down separate paths, leaving her to face dealing with his rejection, while trying to come to terms with the fact that everything in her world isn’t what it seems. She realises her world isn’t so flawless after all, when everything starts to unravel around her, and the cracks begin to appear.
Can Bronte keep it together, regain her first love, or will he reject her forever? What will happen when she meets Bayer at the mirrored lake? Join Bronte as she begins a journey of self-discovery, learning the truth, which reveals that she is the one who is different from those around her. Follow her story as she learns what her family has worked so hard to conceal from her, and is now set to turn her world upside down.
Earth, the element with the mothering instinct. It houses all the other elements, it symbolises 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? These ponderings were 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.
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.
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 © 2013 | All Rights Reserved