Bridgerton book author Julia Quinn reveals her favorite things ahead of season 2

Writer Julia Quinn is the brains behind the book series that inspired the hit show Bridgerton, which was one of the most-watched programs on Netflix last year. The first season – based on the first book in Quinn’s series, The Duke and I (£4.99, Amazon.co.uk) – was star producer Shona Rhimes’s first scripted drama for Netflix.

Quinn fell into being a historical romance novelist almost by accident. But having her credited the likes of Eleanor Hibbert and Lisa Kleypas as firm favourites, it’s easy to see why she is a master of her craft. The lavish Regency-set series, which is best described as a hybrid between gossip-girl and Pride and Prejudiceis set between 1813 and 1827.

Out of the eight books, does Quinn have her own favourite? “That is like asking for my favorite child,” she says. “Each book is special to me for different reasons. It might be a character, it might be a scene. It might be what was happening in my life while I wrote it.”

While writing the most recent book, First Comes Scandal (£6.52, Whsmith.co.uk), Quinn found she benefited from Netflix’s adaptation. The novel is a prequel to her first Bridgerton story and tells of Anthony and Benedict as young boys. “The actors had already been cast when I was writing their scenes,” she says, “and it was the first time I could picture the characters so distinctly. Luke Newton (who plays Colin) even sent me a baby photo as inspiration. It was marvelous!”

She also praises a new arrival to the TV series: Newton, Kate Sharma’s mischievous corgi, who will join the cast for season two, launching on 25 March. Ahead of the premiere, we asked the author to share all of her favorite things about her; from the novel that inspired her to become a writer, to the feminist author she recommends to everyone. In the words of Lady Whistledown: dearest reader, meet Julia Quinn.

Readmore:

Book that inspired me to become a writer: ‘The Miracle at St. Bruno’s’ by Philippa Carr, published by Putnam

“As a tween, I read a ton of Eleanor Hibbert, in all her incarnations. My favorites were the books she wrote as Philippa Carr: The Daughters of England series. I loved the drama and the history, but most of all I adored the romances she wove into the stories. I’m quite sure these were the books that cemented my love for historical romance.”

My favorite historical romance novel: ‘Dreaming of You’ by Lisa Kleypas, published by Avon

“It’s impossible to choose a single book or author, but I will say that I read the duo of Then Came You (£5.99, Amazon.co.uk) and dreaming of you by Lisa Kleypas dozens of times while I was writing my first few novels. Kleypas is particularly brilliant with her characterization of her, and this brings a depth to her romances that is unparalleled.

The appliance I couldn’t live without: Sodastream spirit

“I can’t live without my Sodastream. I drink SO MUCH fizzy water. I love it.”

Feminist author I’d recommend: Gloria Steinem

“My favorite piece of feminist literature? Anything by Gloria Steinem. She is an utterly brilliant speaker and writer. I do not know how anyone could listen to her words from her and not call themselves a feminist.

The thing that makes me feel more calm: A weighted blanket

“My weighted blanket. I feel instantly cozy and secure.”

Quinn didn’t specify her exact one, but our go-to recommendation is Mela chill weighted blanket, which took the top spot in our review of the best.

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