Hepzibah Kemp is drowned as a witch in 1665 in the village of Port Gwyneth, Cornwall. Her death should have been the end of her story, but she returns to life again, and again, and again to every successive generation of her family. She must find her bones, before the Witchfinder.
Over three hundred years later, after many returns, she still has bones to find. She has to find her feet in the 21st century, convince Mizzy that she is Hep’s great-great-great-great-great-great granddaughter and persuade her to help in the search.
I had the idea for this story a few years ago, when on holiday in Cornwall. Since then I have suffered recurrent bouts of Mizzy and Hep badgering about in my mind demanding that I get on and write it.
The story will, eventually, recount a year in the life of the illustrious witch, Hepzibah Kemp, and her protégé, Mizzy.
I have tried to write the kind of story that I loved to read as a child, and often found myself thinking of Catweazle. Another magical character who, like Hep, was a fish out of temporal water.
The fact that I always assume, in my memory, that I watched this television series on balmy Summer afternoons says something for the power that it had on my imagination. In truth, both series were transmitted in the Winter/Spring – but so well do they invoke the careless days of Summer holidays that they are indelibly linked to them in my subconscious.
In those days, when there were no means of recording television, it was the books based on the programmes that were the only way to re-experience the adventures. The two Catweazle books, so accurately illustrated by George Adamson, re-invoked the series perfectly.
I have also tried to write a story that, hopefully, will inspire children to investigate the history and science contained within. Adults will recognise some of the ideas and themes that I have mangled into my fiction. I hope, at some point, to create a list of acknowledgements, with links, to the real stories, ideas and facts I have played around with. That way, children will be able to see how cavalier I have been with the truth!
It has been hard work, but fun, writing this story – and I hope it brings some enjoyment to those who read it.