A Bite of… Penny White

Penny is the heroine of five excellent fantasy adventures from the pen of Chrys Cymri

Question one: What made you decide that you should become a priest? And if you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing with your life?

My parents died in a car crash when I was eighteen years old. They were hit by a drink driver. I’d always vaguely believed in God, but the fact that they’d died, and the culprit walked away with just a few bruises, made me question so many things.

At my parents’ funeral, I promised them that I’d raise James, my then four year old brother. I faced a number of battles with Social Services. The local vicar, who had taken the funeral, helped me out. He and his wife had us over for meals, they came with me to meetings with social workers, and supported us through the court case against the driver.

I met Alan a year later, and we were married just before my twentieth birthday. With his assistance, I was able to finish university. And I once James started to be more independent, I thought about that vicar and wife, and how much they’d helped me. I found myself wondering if I could be ‘God with skin on’ for other people who were suffering. And that’s why I started the process which led to my ordination some years later.

Before my parents died, I’d wanted to be a palaeontologist. I’ve loved dragons from a young age, and digging up dinosaur bones seemed to be the closest I’d ever get to a real dragon. Little did I know…

Question two: Have you ever broken a Commandment? If so, which one?

Oh, dear, yes. A few years ago, I drove to Cardiff to watch the filming of Matt Smith’s first Doctor Who episode. The green near Llandaff Cathedral had been made over to look like a village green, including a fake bookshop with a rack of postcards of the village. One of the postcards found its way into my coat pocket. I’ve hidden it away in a Bible so I feel less guilty about my theft. In the same page as the Ten Commandments, actually!

Question three: If you could have three wishes for your brother’s life, what would be they be?

If I could wish for anything, it would be that our parents could have raised him. My mum and dad loved us both, and I’m certain they would have done a much better job with James than I did. Second wish would be for him to find a fulfilling career. And third would be for him to fight the right person to marry and settle down with. Which makes me sound more like his mother than his sister!

This free novella tells the back story of one of Penny’s staunchest allies.

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