Cornwall has always attracted its fair share of smugglers; those willing to battle with the treacherous coastline and the customs men to avoid paying duty on continental goods.
In centuries past French lace, brandy and tobacco would have been the contraband brought ashore. The locals would have largely turned a blind eye believing the only victims to be the revenue men. In the words of Kipling’s poem A Smugglers Song;
‘Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie.
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by.’
The drug smugglers and human traffickers who plague our coastline today have little in common with the Gentleman Traders as they were known. The unscrupulous organised crime gangs who capitalise on the misery and misfortune of others should not be given the benefit of our silence and the Cornish community is rightly outraged these groups have begun target our beautiful county.
I wanted to write a story about a community of women fighting back. I set my story in the home of buccaneers, Penzance and have a would be pirate Jem Fielding as my antagonist.
As West Cornwall is steeped in legends and none more evocative than the Mermaid of Zennor I decided to make one of my Sisters a modern day mermaid. Carly Taylor, like the legendary
Morveren uses her feminine wiles to get her man. She is the archetypal silent assassin.
Carved Oak Pannel on the 14th Century
Mermaids Chair St. Senara's Church Zennor