AUTHOR Jojo Moyes told the audience at Hay Festival about the moment her characters came to life during filming for the long-awaited adaptation of her novel Me Before You.

Jojo and director of the film, Thea Sharrock, spoke openly about the process of turning the best-selling novel into a film starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin, which is out this Friday.

The novel follows the story of a girl in a small town who forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralysed man she has been employed to take care of.

We were treated to seven clips from the film, which had many in tears by the end, including me.

Jojo, who wrote the screenplay for the film, said: “The first time you see characters which only existed in your head appear in front of you is the most mind-blowing thing.”

And she talked about the easy relationship with Thea when making the film and how they chose Emilia and Sam to play the lead roles of Louisa and Will.

They wanted to choose an actress to play Louisa that the audience could relate to and Thea said when she met Emilia she knew she was the right one.

She said: “I had never met Emilia before and she came in on the last day [of auditions] because of her schedule. She walked in and said, ‘I am just a bit hot. Do you mind if I take my coat off’ and she knocked over a bottle of water so it went everywhere. I thought, ‘She is 100 percent Louisa Clark.’”

And Jojo said she was left in tears in a café in Paris after being sent the screen test of Emilia and Sam as she knew they were right for the parts.

The film has received some criticism from disability rights campaigners.

Jojo said during the talk her novel is not about trying to say what is right or wrong because every view is expressed.

She said: “Sometimes life is not black and white. It is very grey.”

Earlier in the evening I watched a talk by Jo Marchant about her book Cure, A journey into the science of mind over body.

Speaking very eloquently and openly about her research, Jo told the audience about the amazing effects of placebos in clinical trials and how they can particularly help chronic pain and IBS.

Even more interestingly she spoke about a trial in America where a woman with IBS took sugar pills, knowing that they were a placebo, yet her symptoms still improved during the three weeks she was taking the pills.

Her research had also shown that a caring attitude from health practitioners also helped patients feel better and distraction techniques also worked.

Hay Festival is on until this Sunday. To book tickets go to