Author's reflections - 'Zenna Dare'

For me, Zenna Dare started in the finding of a photo of my grandmother and a postcard of an opera singer. Imagine, I thought, if they were one and the same. And I started plotting the journeys of two women in different centuries: Jenefer and Gweniver.

As it progressed, Zenna Dare became a bigger project than I first thought. Bigger in the way of social and ethnic issues, even religious. It was not long before I realised I was the one taking Jenefer's journey, learning and understanding issues I thought I had already dealt with and finding out others I never knew about. I found myself also wanting to walk lightly on the land. The research methods I used have been highlighted in the story.

 I found Zenna Dare is a living story, happening now. I was caught up in its travelling, learning along with Jenefer as I wrote; she was always a step ahead of me. Like Jenefer I came to a new realisation about identity and ethnic issues; I too found a family in Cornwall. But Zenna Dare is a work of fiction, and although it has many layers, ultimately young people will choose at what level they will read it.

 This project achieved more than I originally intended. I found writing Zenna Dare a life changing experience and I hope it does as much for those who will read it.