Richard and Judy's Blog


Friday 1 April 2011


Hi everyone...I was going to keep this to myself a bit longer, but apparently it’s in today’s 'The Bookseller', so I might as well blog about it – my novel has been accepted for publication! I’m totally thrilled.

I’ve written about half of it and submitted it a couple of weeks ago to a few publishers, and after some thought I’m going with 'Little, Brown', who seem really good. I should have it finished by the autumn and it’ll be out later in 2012.

It’s called 'Eloise' and is set in Cornwall, in all the places I am so fond of. I mostly use real place names and locations. Cornwall was the natural location for me to choose – it’s such an atmospheric, mysterious place, and 'Eloise' is a ghost story, after all. On a misty day like today, it’s easy to let your imagination run away with you down here.

I won’t give too much of the plot away, but this is pretty much what my publishers have told 'The Bookseller', so here’s an outline.

Eloise is dead. She has died of breast cancer, leaving a husband, Ted, and two young children. The story is told through the eyes of Cathy, one of Eloise’s closest friends. Soon after the death, Cathy starts experiencing strange dreams about Eloise – visitations, almost – and begins to feel deeply uneasy about the circumstances of her friend’s passing. She instinctively knows something just isn’t right, and confides in her husband, Chris.

The problem for Cathy is that she has a history of depression, and has only just recovered from a breakdown. She’s still quite fragile and Chris, who is a psychiatrist, naturally suspects she is having a relapse. When Cathy tells him, in effect, that she may be receiving messages from Eloise’s ghost, he is certain of his diagnosis.

This infuriates Cathy and she makes up her mind to get to the bottom of it all. Why does Eloise’s spirit seem so troubled? Why does she warn Cathy about Ted, telling her ‘not to trust anything he says’? Why, in the visitations – if that is what they are – does she seem so agitated about the safety of her children?

Well, as I say, I’m about halfway through and although sometimes it can be very challenging, on the whole I am loving the experience. I have always, always wanted to write fiction and at last I have the time to do it. Although Richard’s freelancing quite a lot, he has more time too and has written about three chapters of his own novel now.

I find I need complete peace and quiet when I write. That’s why Cornwall is such a good place to come and work. I also find I write much more, and faster, late at night. I often don’t get to bed until the small hours; I completely lose track of time.

The publishers have offered me a two-book deal, so I suppose when I finish 'Eloise' it’ll be straight on to the next one. And just to answer the question before you ask – no, neither will be in our Book Club! Strictly not on. 'Eloise', bless her, will have to stand on her own feet... or float around on them, if you get me.

Anyway, it’s good to be able to talk about it at last. Bye for now.

Judy xx

04th April 2011 Addendum

Judy: Can I just thank all of you for your wonderful and generous responses to my tweets and blog about my novel being published. You are all so kind and I am so grateful for your support. I’ll try not to let you down. x

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  • Ah can't wait it reminds me a little of the lovely bones by Alice Seabold a favourite of mine. Looking forward to summer2012 for a good read.x


  • The plot sounds enticing...good luck. I love that kind of magic realism. And I love Cornwall so double bubble x


  • Sounds a fantastic story, can't wait to read the finished book. You're looking really good Judy, wishing you well and every success xx


  • Hey Judy, well done you, you must and should be so proud of yourself. Can't wait to read it. xx

    Lisa @CoffeeCurls

  • Hi Judy

    I noticed on Richard's tweets that you have a book deal. That's fantastic news. As a writer myself, I know how important and affirming this is.

    I'm being cheeky now, but if you would like to come along to the Tunbridge Wells & District Writers' Circle to talk about your book - we would be really thrilled to have you as our guest.

    Many Congratulations I can't wait to read it. Karenx


  • Judy, It sounds fabulous. I will be buying it for sure.

    Caroline Andrews

  • aw judy can't wait for this to be published. from the bit you have told us it will be a ' not to be put down till finished reading' novel. HURRY UP.

    kath bell

  • If the plot outline is anything to go by, I can't wait to give it a read!


  • Wow, it sounds really good. I can't wait until it's published now... Good luck with it, I'm sure it'll be a best seller.

    Debra Leighton

  • It sounds like a real good read.congratulations x


  • Fab news I'm sure it will be a great read. Hearty congrats :0)


  • Congratulations. What a fabulous achievement. The plot sounds great and I look forward to reading it.


  • Looking forward to reading this book. It has felt a little like I've read a blurb, took the book to the till and been told it's not for sale !!


  • Oh Judy that sounds great, love the storyline, right up my street, can't wait to read it! And love the Cornwall setting, very familiar coastline / atmosphere that we have here in lovely Jersey so that will be extra enjoyment for me. Congratulations & Happy writing....


  • congratulation's to you judy,i for one am excited and will defo be getting a copy wen it is out oonce again congratulation's love to you and your family[duck]

    Lisa McCrellis

  • Hi Judy, So glad you got a book deal - a two book deal too! its so hard isn't it? ... Looking forward to the read when it's released, gave me goose bumps just reading the intro and I agree that there is no better place than down here to get your imagination flowing. Inspirational to us all to keep on hitting the publishers with the manuscripts... good luck...K


  • Hia. looking forward to reading this book Judy,,,,sounds good,luv stories like that. all the best. E.x


  • Can't wait to read your book sounds like it will be one you can't put down till you have finished. Good luck xx


  • Look forward to reading 'Eloise' when it hits the shelves, good luck with that Judy. Best Wishes Pauline.

    pauline chrzaszcz

  • Well done Judy! I admire your dedication in making the time to write - it's all too easy to find other things to do, epecially when life is still so busy for you. Your synopsis has certainly whetted my appetite and after all your experience with Book Club, you certainly know what makes a good read. Keep up the good work! Dianne

    Dianne Stradling

  • I am so pleased for you Judy. The book sounds brilliant - I can't wait for it to be published x


  • It sounds like a great book. I can't wait till it comes out. Well done Judy xx


  • Hi Judy,

    I've been a devoted fan of you and Richard since I was in sixth form - quite a long time ago. Delighted to hear you've got a publisher...good luck with the writing. Have very little self discipline so not a sure a book could ever be a possibility.

    Just thought I'd touch base, look forward to reading the book next year.


    Victoria Carver

  • Really looking forward to reading your book.

    Lisa Bergin

  • I heard Richard talking about you writing your book. I am so pleased that you have been given a book deal. Can't wait to read it.


  • Congratultions Judy!! Can't wait to read it. I love yours and Richard's Book Club - I have enjoyed every one of your recommendations! I'm sure that Eloise however, will be well able to "stand on her own two feet".

    Liz Page

  • Congratulations on publishing your book such an achievement. The story sounds fascinating and I love Cornwall so your book will be on my list of reads. I wish you lots of good luck.


  • Cornwall is a great place for getting away from it all. Come and stay at my place


  • Sounds amazing Judy, keep at it, can't wait.


  • Judy you just have me goosebumps! It absolutely sounds like my kind of book! I can't wait to buy it and see how it all turns out. Well done you! What a girl! Xx


  • amazing news, I would love to get a book published, amazing achievement and well deserved, good luck x

    Nima Majidzadeh

  • First, I'd like to say a heartfelt congratulations to you on such an amazing job you're doing. I've been a fan since I was really young! I'm definately going to be buying your book when it's released as it's already hit home with me & my family experiences as my husband has stage 4 lung cancer & the disease recently paralysed him, I can relate to the characters already. Again, well done, I can't wait to read it!


  • Ok, I give in, you got me hooked from the little you let me read and I cannot wait to actually have the book in my hand to find out what happened to Eloise???

    Seriously though, very well done and many congratulations. I have been a huge supporter of you and Richard since you were This Morning.


  • Congratulations, Judy. After reviewing all those fantastic books for the Book Clubs, finally, you'll be the reviewed! And you'll be fab - the book sounds great. Well done and here's to a super career as an author. x


  • Can't wait to get hold of a copy to read it, I like ghost stories.

    Angela Challiss

  • Congratulations Judy! I can't wait to read your book next year. Even better that it's set in Cornwall. I love the books by Rosemunde Pilcher that are set in Cornwall. Good luck with it!


  • This gave me goosebumps just reading about it, ha, ha. I hope it is a tremendous success and I'll certainly buy it. Indeed a fabulous place to set such a story. What visual treats it will also conjure up. Good luck.


  • Hi Judy, this sounds like my kind of book, can't wait to read it, Good Luck, all the best, Helen


  • I shall look forward to reading this. Can you tell me though that when you start to write a book do you know how its going to be from beginning to end beforehand or do you write and hope inspiration comes as you go along?


  • Hi Judy.

    Just wanted to say well done on the book deal. I know how much it means to you. Well deserved and I look forward to reading it. I hope it comes out on CD.

    Love Bev! xx

    Beverly Macca

  • I am really looking forward to reading your book Judy. We come and stay at Polperro & Looe and visit Talland Bay frequently, so will be interested to see the local place names in the book

    Wishing you lots of inspiration in finishing your book Judy. All good health and happiness to you both.

    Trish York

    Trish York

  • I think your book sounds really interesting, and more than just a ghost story, looking forward to reading it, so hurry up and finish it!

    jo light

  • Hi Judy, I can't wait for you'r book to be released!! will you be doing signings? I went to one of richards signings on royal avenue in Belfast! would love to see you there! been a huge fan for many many years.

    With love

    Craig Barr

    craig barr

  • Have followed your career with interest since those early days at MHSG and can't wait to read your novel. I shall take it on our annual pilgrimage to Fowey to gain maximum enjoyment!

    Carol Mills (nee Done)

  • I stumbled accross the book club, I am a Brit living in Australia and am thrilled with the choices of real books, that we really will enjoy, with good reviews so I can actually pick the type of book I want to read! Well done Richard and Judy and 'Eloise' sounds fab really looking forward to hunting it down from Oz!


  • I enjoyed (lovely bones ) so I shall very much look forward to reading this.Good luck with it.

    Pamela Bomford

  • Sounds just my sort of book. Can't wait for it to appear on the bookshelves. Good luck with the rest of it and the next book too.[puppy]


  • My daughter is called Eloise and we are from Cornwall so I guess I will be reading your book soon


  • HI judy, can't wait for Eloise to come out sounds really engrossing.x