IT WAS Judy’s turn to be interviewed by Richard when the much-loved television couple made an appearance at this year’s Swindon Festival of Literature.
Yesterday, Judy Finnigan answered questions from husband Richard Madeley about her book, Eloise, at the Arts Centre.
About 200 people watched her being quizzed about her debut novel as part of the fourth day of the festival.
“It is very exposing to write and it is all your own thoughts and your own plot. In some ways it’s certainly more self revelatory than being on television,” she said.
“I desperately wanted to write this book for years. I was very nervous about it, partly because of the Book Club. I didn’t really even think I was going to publish it. It was just something I was writing for myself.
“I didn’t show anyone until about a third of the way through when Richard harassed me. I showed it to a literary agent and a publisher bought it.
“I am glad I have done it now but at the time I was petrified.”
Eloise tells the story of a woman whose best friend dies of breast cancer. She then begins to have disturbing dreams that suggest Eloise’s death was not all it seems.
Judy was inspired after her friend Caron Keating, the former Blue Peter presenter, died of breast cancer, but said the character Eloise is not based on her.
“After she was diagnosed she moved to Cornwall with her husband and two little boys. Our families were very close,” she said.
“We thought Caron might beat it but she died in 2004 and I couldn’t get her out of my head. She left behind two little boys aged seven and nine.
“It was tragic and I started thinking what if the power of maternal love was so strong that it could transcend death?
“Eloise is a young mum who died of breast cancer. She has two little girls and is terrified something is going to happen to them. She reaches out to her best friend Cathy in Cornwall to try and warn her.
“Eloise is not Caron, that was just the huge feeling of grief that inspired me. It is a thriller.”
After Richard finished the interview on stage, the audience asked questions.
Speaking after the event, Judy said: “We have had a really lovely time at the literature festival. The audience have been immensely friendly and asked some very interesting questions.”
Richard added: “It’s fun interviewing Judy but the best part is always the question and answer session with the audience. It was interesting to hear some of the observations people made and hearing their questions was a really interesting 20 minutes for us.
“You don’t know what is going to happen when you open it up to the audience but it was really good fun.”