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‘Bridgerton’ Author Julia Quinn Explains Why Colin and Penelope’s Book Was ‘Hardest to Plot’

Bridgerton Author Julia Quinn Explains Why Colin and Penelopes Book Was Hardest to Plot
Liam Daniel/Netflix

As fans fall in love with Colin and Penelope’s romance on screen, Bridgerton author Julia Quinn reflected on building the relationship on the page.

“For me, the most exciting thing is that this season — unlike most ones we’ve had before and probably mostly ones that would come after — is about two characters that we already know quite well,” Quinn, 54, told the New York Post on Thursday, May 16.

Season 3 of Bridgerton, which focused on Colin (Luke Newton) and Penelope (Nicola Coughlan), is based on Quinn’s novel Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. Before the book was adapted for Netflix, Quinn struggled somewhat to bring the fictional relationship to life.

“I just think there’s a different type of emotional investment coming into it,” she noted. “It’s interesting because when I was writing the books — this book, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, which is actually the fourth in the series, was the hardest one to plot.”

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Quinn pointed out that Colin and Penelope were already “very established characters” before they took center stage, adding, “I usually maybe have one character you’re bringing in from before and then you can mold the other one into what you need. So this time it was really hard to come up with a plot that actually worked for everything. I’d already made these characters with the experiences that they had.”

The YA series has a different main character in each book as it follows the members of the wealthy Bridgerton family in their respective searches for love in 19th century London.

Bridgerton Author Julia Quinn Explains Why Colin and Penelopes Book Was Hardest to Plot
Liam Daniel/Netflix

In 2020, Bridgerton was developed for Netflix, with the first season focusing on Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page). Season 2 offered Daphne’s brother Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) a chance to find love with Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley).

“I never thought it was going to flop because I knew what incredible production values were going into it,” Quinn said about the success of the series. “I knew that it was something that lots of people wanted and wasn’t out there. I think it was plugging up a hole in television [with the lack of onscreen romance].”

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While she had high hopes for the adaptation, Bridgerton becoming a household name still took Quinn by “surprise.”

Bridgerton Author Julia Quinn Explains Why Colin and Penelopes Book Was Hardest to Plot
Julia Quinn Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

“I did not expect it to be as crazy big as it is,” she continued. “It took everyone by surprise, in the best possible way. I really think that people could look at ‘Bridgerton’ as a masterclass in adaptation. Because each season doesn’t follow [the books] word for word. And there are things that are changed in the plot. ”

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Quinn concluded: “But, if you look over the arc of the whole season, the characters are absolutely true to who they are. The main conflict is actually true to what it was. So, I think it’s really brilliant.”

The first half of Bridgerton season 3 is currently streaming on Netflix. The remaining episodes drop on Thursday, June 13.

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