What Inspired Me To Write Hidden?
Serina Hartwell – Author of The Hidden Saga
Hidden, was the first thing I ever decided to write as a creative writer. I’d written throughout my various careers, but only in a business sense. Hitting the keys for first the time, I didn’t treat it seriously at all. I just wanted to try it, because I had the strongest urge to do so, but never expected to take it seriously. I’d been through a really tough period of my life and knew that I needed to make some major changes. Everything that had gone before, was going to have to change. I’d danced with the Old Grim Reaper, and he has a habit of stepping on your toes. If nothing else, he serves as a stark reminder that time was slipping away and I needed to stop wasting my life. A poignant, but sobering thought.
Going for those dreams that you’ve always had stored at the back of your mind, is easier said than done. Becoming a writer, had been a glimpse of an idea, when I was a teenager. One day, one of my English teachers set me a piece of homework, to write a story. It could be anything we wanted, except it had to be four sides of A4 paper. I recall laying on my bed, doing my homework at the last minute and a story forming on my page. It was my first taste of creative writing that I can remember having an impact. I suppose the thing which stuck with me most was the feeling of frustration, because I filled those pages quicker than any piece of homework I’d ever done before and I’d run out of paper. I couldn’t finish my story.
The day I sat in my garden, waiting to write my novel, Hidden, that particular thought came flooding back. All those feelings of needing to finish what I’d started were right back with me and I had a sense that I’d finally found it. Hitting the keys felt so comfortable – the missing piece in my life – the thing I’d been looking for my whole life was writing. It was that obvious, I was supposed to be a writer.
Initially, nerves got the better of me as I nervously began to type. How do you start a book when you don’t even have any ideas? I can assure you it’s not as difficult as it sounds. I sat there, looking at the ‘I’ bar for what felt like an eternity, not even knowing what to write. Eventually, I just began to describe what was going on around me. The feeling of freedom that came when I began to type, was unreal.
The thought occurred to me that I should stick to what I knew best. It’s the advice that is always given to writers. My immediate thoughts were to write a horror. The likes of Stephen King, James Herbert and Joseph Glass, tentatively sprung to mind. This was my favourite genre; I could see myself writing a horror, no problem, so that what Hidden started out as – a horror, but as my fingers hit the keys and a story began to take shape, it took a completely different direction. Although, there are some aspects of horror and the paranormal in, The Hidden Saga, it ended up being a fantasy instead.
The thing that had sparked me picking up my daughter’s laptop in the first place was that I’d been reading some of my daughter’s books, which had taken me away from my usual reads. I read the, Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith and then the, Twilight Saga, by Stephenie Meyer, and ran out. I was so gutted that I’d torn my way through everything that these two authors had to offer me and I wanted more, but had to wait. They had taken me back to the feelings I hadn’t had since I was a teenager. Putting me back in touch with these feeling had unlocked something inside me which broke to the surface, because it made me want to sit behind a computer and begin to write. I enjoyed the emotions that these two writers had provoked inside me. They made me feel young again, and remember the innocent feelings you have with your first love. I suppose the crux of the matter was that I didn’t want to let go of those feelings. I wasn’t ready and needed another fix.
The Hidden Saga, was never ever going to be another Twilight or Vampire Diaries. They’d already been done and were so good that I wouldn’t dare to spoil them, by attempting to create a carbon copy, but I was influenced by the love angel in both stories.
Over the years of writing and playing with my skills by writing across many genres to see what kind of writer I was, I slowly came to realise that I can tell one hell of a love story. Love, being the strongest emotion of all, I knew that I wanted to work with this one, but there were problems with that. Firstly, love didn’t fit with the kind of horror I had in mind, and secondly, I always like to put a twist to my stories, so I already knew that my story would be enjoyed by the readers of those series, but they wouldn’t necessarily be looking to read a horror. My saga had to be completely different and stand in its own right and the horror story in my head would have to wait to be written some other time.
As a child, I had always spent every waking hour outside of the house. I loved the overgrown land which lay behind the houses where I lived. The derelict mills, which surrounded my street and the freedom every summer brought, to play out longer with my friends. I’ve tried to reflect upon these happy memories in, Hidden, but of course I’ve tainted them with a dark side in my books. All the areas that were out of bounds were my playground. I still recall the emotions of knowing I would be in trouble if my friends and I were caught there, but the temptation being too great.
Later in life, I moved away from the village; away from the mills which lay empty, or converted, but still looking over them as part of my new landscape. My new home boarded onto a beauty spot, which was like an oasis of paradise and so secluded that you could walk right past it and not know it was there. This was a forest with a lake in the centre, hidden across a hillside and valley. The woods surrounding the lake, so thick, that unless you were willing to hike to the lake, you wouldn’t know about it. This place soon became my favourite place and as my children were growing up, it became our escape for walks after school and on hot summer’s days. A place of seclusion where I could think and relax enough to sort my thoughts out. I often felt so at peace there, that’s where I began to develop the idea of the family’s deep, dark secret. You will go to this place with me throughout the Hidden Saga. It’s my way of sharing this secret place with my followers.
There is a chapter in, Hidden, where Bronte, the main character, gets lost in the woods and finds a thermal around a tree. This is actually based on something that happened to my friend and I, as we were taking her dog for a walk. We walked to a part of the woods that we’d never been to before and her dog started sniffing around a tree. As we both approached, we could feel warm air rising, as though someone had installed a heater beneath the surface of the rotting leaves that carpeted the floor.
There was a definite boundary to it, and we both walked around the tree several times, unable to understand why it was there. We tried the same thing with the surrounding trees, but couldn’t find any more thermals. In the end, we both settle to appreciate that it was an amazing experience and not our place to question it, but just to accept and enjoy it. All these little experiences have stayed with me and become a part of my story.
The Hidden Saga grew very quickly. It was almost like a flood gate had been opened and couldn’t be closed again. I know now that there’s no way to close this until that flood is on my page. It has taken on many transformations over time and I feel it will keep on changing as I get it all out of my head and get it right. I sometime sit back and even surprise myself, when I see what I’ve come up with. I’m always looking for a new twist, a hidden meaning, reading between the line and misdirection. I love to see people’s reactions when they think it’s going to be one thing, but actually it turns out to be something completely different.
One thing I do know, is that the Saga has many more books to it. This is a huge story and every time I think it can’t get any bigger, it just does. I won’t be surprised if it’s an epic by the time I’m done, because you should see what I’ve got coming.
It has been my pleasure to write and share Hidden with you. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. The second book in the series is called, Trapped, and will be coming very soon. I just can’t wait to get back behind my keyboard and get writing again, so I shall bid you farewell, because that’s where I’m heading now. Don’t forget to share your thoughts with me, about Hidden. I love to know what you think, so don’t forget to leave me a review to read, and if you like it, tell your friends about it.
Thank you for taking time out to read my blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about what inspired me to write Hidden. If you would like to find out more about my writing journey, simply visit my sites using these links:-
My website are:-
SerinaHartwell.com – http://www.serinahartwell.com/
My blog is – https://serinahartwell.info/
My Amazon Author Page is – http://www.amazon.com/Serina-Hartwell/e/B00JOOKH06
Pinterest – See what inspired me – Hidden Board –https://in.pinterest.com/s…/hidden-httpwwwserinahartwellcom/
Flickr – Hidden Album – https://www.flickr.com/…/serinahar…/albums/72157649571426297
If you would like to buy your own copy of Hidden then follow these links:-
Serina Hartwell – Author of The Hidden Saga