Richard and Judy's Blog

From the Bodmin Moors

Wednesday 15 September 2010


Brilliant day today (Tues). Jude’s writing some scenes in her novel (a ghost story set in Cornwall) that take place on a mist-shrouded Bodmin Moor. She hasn’t been up there for ages, although I quite often take a drive around the moor, so she asked me to show her around. It was the perfect day for the occasion – low, scudding clouds, drenching drizzle, and weird shapes looming out of the mist. Atmospheric in every sense of the word.


As Richard says, it’s been a while since I was up on Bodmin Moor (it used to be called Fowey Moor, after the river that tumbles down from it) and today was like something out of Daphne du Maurier, or Conan Doyle – foggy, rain-soaked, and haunted. Ideal for my story. We went to look at The Hurlers (near Minions), a stone circle so named because it was once believed the standing stones were Cornishmen playing a game of hurling on the Sabbath, and who were turned to stone as a punishment. Then we drove over to St Cleer and the nearby Trethevy Quoit, which is apparently the most impressive stone burial chamber in Cornwall. I was impressed, certainly. It’s massive, roughly 5000 years old. And it exudes oldness, even more than Stonehenge does.


There’s also an area called Red Moor, just beneath Bodmin Moor, which we drove around. For centuries Red Moor has had a bad reputation; locals say there’s something not quite right about it; an unsettling feeling when you go there. I don’t know about that, but it does have a lonely quality and it’s somehow a relief to quit it. Then we went to Altarnun, where du Maurier’s evil vicar lived, and which is a weirdly pretty, sheltered village surrounded by bleak moorland. Think Tolkien. Then on to Temple, bang in the middle of the moor, about 3 miles from Jamaica Inn. Temple has a bad history; once a big Knights Templar base with huge connections and influences to Ireland and Europe, it decayed into a horribly corrupt establishment. Terrible things happened there, and it was eventually forcibly shut down by the diocese.


So there you go, our baleful blog on Bodmin Moor... but our little trip gave me loads of background and colour for the novel. God, I love it down here. So elemental. We must start posting videos of the places we go to. Anyway, bye for now from both of us.

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  • That sounds so atmospheric. What a lovely part of the world. Sounds inspiring.

    Lindsay H

  • Hi Judy,

    Is your book just based around Bodmin moor or is it including Polperro in the book? I did hear on Pirate Fm (local radio station) that it may do. If it is I maybe able to offer some holiday cottages for a competition, the same as I did for my sister (Ruth Saberton) inlaws book. If it somthing you would like to do I think Richard has Ruth's contact numbers & she will have my contact details. Please feel free to contact me if you wish. I do not wish to put my contact details on here.

    Good luck with the book. Kind Regards Giles Thomas (Polperro)

    Giles Thomas

  • thank you for your insight into todays trip around the moors, interesting blog.


  • Hi Judy, I think we can help each other out here - If I review your new book and plug it at this bookshop I know, perhaps you could do the same for mine.

    Enjoy your time in Cornwall


  • Two months before my first novel was due to be published, the publisher went into liquidation. It took almost a year to find a new publisher. Now my new publishers are saying that because of current market conditions they can only proceed if they or I can get some sort of celebrity endorsement, preferably by a well known writer in its genre.

    I know it's a bit of a cheek, and that you must receive similar requests every day, but would either of you consider reading my book and giving your honest opinion?


  • Can`t wait for the book Judy. Going to try and Google those places now to found out more about them. I`m the first to comment! Do I get a prize? (Only joking)


  • Hi, I saw you both on the Micheal Ball Show today , it was good to see you back on telly .You both look happy and relaxed.I have just finished The Snowman, an excellent book.I work at Wh Smith , doing my best to sell your books!! It feels great to be 'involved' as it were.They are flying off the shelves.Good to hear another book club coming up after this one too.Its very exciting.


  • I have to say I am with you when it comes to Bodmin Moor. I moved into the area in April, having lived near London all my life, with my family and haven't regretted it once... The landscape, the weather, the whole experience is great. We are working to open a Wildlife Park next April and would like to recommend a great helpful group we have joined 'Best of Bodmin Moor' (I can't post the URL) as a great place to find out more about the moor :-) Good luck with the book. Nigel


  • The School Libraries in Cornwall (SLiC) group have our own children's book award, called the Kernow Youth Book Award, just starting its 3rd year. We run a book club in each school, the children vote for their favourite (unlike the Carnegie, where adult judges decide), and have a presentation to the winning author in May, usually in Truro, though this year at the university. The authors are not Cornish, but the voters are! We would love it if you would be interested in coming on board with us in some way, as you would be a great encouragement to get teenagers to read. If you feel able to be involved in even a small way, please would you get in touch?


  • Went to Bodmin in March and really loved it.. The moor is amazing.. We used all the back roads around it off the beating track.. Even saw a farmer track down a car who had thrown out litter :) Can't wait to get to go there again soon.. Love it in winter as so atmospheric..


  • Hi Judy. Just a line to wish you every success on your new venture into writing. I had a dream all my life, to write my life story. Last year, I wrote I DID TELL I DID and after a well known agent rejected it, I sent it to Harper Collins chief editor and she rang to sign me up. My book went to Number One in the Sunday Times bestsellers and it was wonderful. I have many letters from readers saying how much my book has helped them and now am writing a second book. I wrote my story to hopefully inspire others who had suffered in the same way as I had and hopefully to enlighten those who haven't. I like to think I have succeeded.I would like ot have promoted my book further but haven't had the opportunity, maybe you will read it and let me know what you think. My second book NOBODY TOLD ME is a sequel to my first. I hope you have the same luck as me, I am sure I will buy your first novel. You and Richard keep up the good work.Luv Cassie x

    Cassie Harte

  • hi richard and judy. i have a novel published by my authors name is debra louise reynolds, and the title of my novel is 'cruel town'. would you consider reading this novel please? it is based upon a crime that happened to me, and a true account of how it affected my family. my stiblings no longer associate with me, and this crime can happen to anyones daughter. but, it happened to me - a story of a young womans fight for justice. boyfriends that have used this against me for their own ends, playing mind games. a quiet girl that was changed from a sweet girl into an aggressive, angry young woman - although i have something very special in my life, and i just hope that all the bad has happened to me instead.

    debra coleshill

  • Hi Judy, You may be interested to read my mothers debut novel 'Stones and Shadows' by Jane Nancarrow which is set on Bodmin Moor. It is a contemprary novel interlinked with the histoircally famous and true murder story of Charlotte Dymond... The story is set on the wild and foreboading moorland, in a desolate cottage after the central charcater looses her lover to suicide, and begins to experience stange sightings during her isolation. E.V.Thompson has read it, and has called it 'an intruiging slant on cornish history which has divided opinion for more than 150 years'... I will happily send you a copy if you are interested! It is fantastic! Polly x


  • Hi Richard & Judy. I saw both of you on the one show last night. I was intrigued to hear Judy is starting to write a ghost story on Cornwall. I have written a novel called Polperro based on witchcraft and smuggling in Polperro. The county just calls for more novels to be written about it. As soon as I walked around the streets of Polperro it was calling to me to write the story. I look forward to reading yours. regards Jill Wells-Wane

    Jill Wells-Wane

  • Hello Richard and Judy, My name is Simone Segal, i am the author of The Gift...if only you knew, a new technique of teaching the law of attraction in poetry. is there an address i can send you a copy, my aim is to inspire the world, The Gift is already changing many lives!

    kind regards Simone Segal

    Simone Segal

  • Hi Judy. Good luck with you book. I know when I wrote mine, I thoroughly enjoyed it. What I didn't enjoy was the editing afterwards. I nearly gave up, but I am glad I didn't. My only concern now is Self Publishing Houses. I had a brilliant writer's report from Athena Press, it was like the best school report I had ever had, hence me getting a loan of £4,000 to get it publcised. It has been on sale now for nearly 4 years and I have only managed to recoup about £100 . Sad, but at least I have my name in print.

    Jill Wells-Wane