Kerensa Jennings, author of psychological thriller SEAS OF SNOW, runs The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award and has written ten things she's like us to know about the author behind the book.
My first name, Kerensa, is the Cornish word for 'love'.
Neither of my parents did A levels or went to university - I was the first person on both sides of the family to go to uni so when I made it to Oxford none of us could believe it. My French teacher at school, Dany Adams was my hero.
My first paid job was as a ballet dancer. I was nine though so maybe it doesn't count... Jobs I did as a teenager included: dishwasher at Grandma Buggins burger joint in Camberley; a paper-packer at a printing factory; selling microwaves and kettles to grown-ups at Boots Cookshop; silver service waitressing; weekend reporting for the local newspaper after I won a writing competition. Oh, and double glazing cold calling.
I was a TV producer and journalist for years. Then moved into strategy. I am now a professor. And an executive coach. Career highlights to date include being part of the launch team for Five News on Channel 5; becoming Programme Editor of Breakfast with Frost with Sir David Frost which at the time was the most talked about and most written about current affairs show in the UK; making the Millennium Development Goals film which was shown around the world as part of Make Poverty History; and leading the BBC News coverage of the Soham case which ultimately inspired SEAS OF SNOW.
I've lived and worked in France, Germany, Austria and Japan; and have travelled for work in my filming days across Africa and the United States. I am a passionately curious person who relishes and cherishes life - seeing windows into different worlds. It’s why I became a journalist, and why I am a storyteller. I love discovering things and sharing them.
Weak black tea is my fuel of choice; and poetry my go-to place for inspiration and solace.
I love creating things - writing, obviously, but also making films, cooking, craft bits and pieces. At work I am known for my exemplary present wrapping skills which basically means I have arrived.
I am an intensely private person and intrinsically rather shy. Because of the types of jobs I’ve done, I have had to dig deep and reach for resources that don't come easily to me. But I have learned how to come across with confidence and how to present a far more extrovert exterior than I am naturally comfortable with.
At heart, I am motivated to try to make a difference in life, particularly in trying to facilitate opportunities in education, diversity and inclusion. I want to try to help inspire people and show them they can shine.
I have been through some tough stuff but have learned that I am surprisingly resilient. A bit like a hardy weed, I keep coming back. I like to think a nice sunny dandelion rather than one of those horrible thorny ones though. I value kindness.