Helen is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She was born in Yorkshire, England, and now lives in Bristol with her husband and children.
Author's Comment: About 250,000 people live in Cornwall. It is a Celtic country, with a Celtic language (Cornish). Although Cornish is not widely spoken now, place-names are Cornish. The coastline is wild and rocky, the sea is often stormy and unpredictable, especially in the part of Cornwall where the books are set. There are high cliffs, rocky coves, and wide sandy beaches for surfing. There are seals, dolphins, basking sharks and countless sea-birds. It is a coast where shipwrecks are common, and many lives are owed to the life-boat service. The sea around Cornwall is extraordinarily beautiful, dark green, blue and turquoise, but it demands respect. On land, the fields are small and in West Penwith are defined by granite hedges which have often been in place since the Bronze Age. Standing stones are evidence of pre-Christian worship, and there are many ruins of tin mines. Tin mining, fishing and farming were the main industries in Cornwall for thousands of years, but these days tourism dominates. Cornwall is busy in summer; but if you are prepared to walk and climb you can still find quiet coves like the ones in the Ingo books, where there might be a seal or two.