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July 13, 2023 39 mins

In this episode we welcome renowned author, Julia Quinn. Julia teases the pages of Queen Charlotte, and uncovers her creative process working on the spin-off novel with series creator Shonda Rhimes. Julia takes us beyond the romanticized days of co-writing the fantasy story, offering a unique perspective on the adaptation process and the nuances of further expanding our favorite characters on screen.


Through Julia's delightful anecdotes and thoughtful analysis, we gain a deeper appreciation for the complexities of Queen Charlotte characters that resonate throughout the narrative. Whether you're a fan of the books or the streaming series, this episode offers a behind-the-scenes look at the enthralling Bridger-verse. Join us for this enlightening conversation with Julia Quinn as we celebrate the brilliant mind behind the Bridgerton book series.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Queen Charlotte The Official Podcast is a production of Shondaland
Audio in partnership with iHeartRadio. Hey, welcome back to Queen
Charlotte of Bridgerton Story, The Official Podcast, your exclusive destination

for all things going all the way in deep dive
obsessive about Queen Charlotte and Bridgerton. I'm your host, Gabby Collins,
and today we have a delightful episode in store for you.
Joining us is the esteemed Bridgerton Series author herself and
the co author of Queen Charlotte of Bridgerton Story, Julia Quinn.

And today we're going to dive into the captivating world
of Queen Charlotte and all of those secrets that lie within.
Julia Quinn, Hello again, Hi, Hello, how are you.

Speaker 2 (01:03):
I'm good. The sun is shining.

Speaker 3 (01:06):
I know everybody thinks the rain's always bad here, but
it's usually lighter.

Speaker 2 (01:09):
But today we're good.

Speaker 3 (01:11):

Speaker 1 (01:11):
Yeah, Like I was telling you, I really do love Seattle.
Were you there while you were writing Queen Charlotte?

Speaker 4 (01:18):
I was.

Speaker 3 (01:19):
I was, and it was most of it was in
the summer when it's beautiful here, and so I actually
wrote most of it in my backyard.

Speaker 2 (01:30):
Hooked up.

Speaker 3 (01:31):
You know, I had a power court in my computer
strung across the whole thing. But what is a little
known fact is my backyard is covered with wisteria and
has been that way since before, since before Bridgerton. The
mysteria was not in.

Speaker 2 (01:46):
Bloom by that.

Speaker 1 (01:47):
Okay, because what oh inspiration, Yes, I would like for
you to take us back to the very early early
beginnings of working on this book. So okay, tell me everything.
Tell me from the how did it happen?

Speaker 3 (02:02):
So Shanda called me and and I don't speak on
the phone with Shonda that much.

Speaker 2 (02:10):
Oh so that sounds very exciting.

Speaker 4 (02:11):
Okay, you just not that much?

Speaker 2 (02:15):
No, I mean, I probably I don't. And it's it's
it's a huge.

Speaker 3 (02:20):
Event because usually unless it's pre scheduled, I get a
phone call from her, her assistant saying can you hold
for Shawna.

Speaker 2 (02:28):
It's like waiting for the president. It's very exciting.

Speaker 3 (02:31):
Anyway, So Shawna called me personally to let me know
that they were going to be doing this spin off
of this prequel series, and I, you know, I was
floored and so excited as I'm sure you can imagine,
you know, And it's really kind of funny in some
ways too, because Queen Charlotte is the one main character
in Bridgerton who wasn't actually in the books. But she's

also hands down my favorite change that they made. Truly,
I would say, you know, nine percent because of Golda Rashibal,
who I think we can all agree is the coolest
person on the planet, so cool and magnificent.

Speaker 5 (03:07):
Her Majesty Charlotte, Queen of the United Kingdo hello my children.

Speaker 3 (03:14):
So I told my husband and he immediately said, you
have to write the book. And I was like, well,
I don't know. He said, no, no, you have to
write the book. You have to write the book. And
he said, and you should be co writers with Shonda.
So truly it was his idea in many ways.

Speaker 4 (03:32):
Shout out to doctor husband.

Speaker 3 (03:33):
And I also have to say most of his ideas
are terrible. His book ideas are really really bad, but
this one was quite good. And so I wasn't sure
you know how to broach it because I knew they
were very busy getting things going.

Speaker 2 (03:49):
And then at the.

Speaker 3 (03:51):
Premiere, the season two premiere for Bridgerton, I said to Shonda,
you know, I'd love to write the novel based on
the scripts you know, well, basically reverse engineer it. So
you know, you've got the Bridgerton books, which created the series,
which led to another series which could make another book,
which is you know, very full circle and meta and

all these crazy things. And she's like, oh, that's a
really neat idea. And then I didn't hear anything else
because you know, she's she's busy, and then out of nowhere, gosh,
in May, maybe I got an email from Shanda's book agent,
who i'd met, you know, on the telephone before once before,

so I knew who she was, saying, Oh, we need
to talk, and I'm thinking, maybe it's about the book.
I can't imagine what else it would be. And so
and she's very very New York and let's get going.
And so she starts talking when we have the phone call,
and finally said, are.

Speaker 2 (04:53):
We talking about the same thing?

Speaker 3 (04:54):
Because she didn't actually like preface up and saying let's
talk about this book. She's like, all right, so let's
get going on this project. And I'm thinking, I just
want to make sure we're talking about the Queen Charlotte book,
because yah, I mentioned it to Shonda while ago, and
I hadn't heard anything more. She's like like, yes, of course,
and that was how we got started. And it's just
been so incredibly cool.

Speaker 1 (05:13):
That sounds like a whirlwind start, like wow and really exciting.
So after that phone call with Shonda, did you start
putting some ideas down on paper or did you wait
for their scripts to come before you did it? I
waited for the script, okay, so my goodness, co writing?
Can you share what that process is like? And then,

I mean, you who has this series and this huge
fan base shout out to your Brazilian readers, we're the best,
right and you also have this magnet, this Shonda Rhymes,
who has this huge body of work and team behind

her as well. How do you to co write something like?
How does that work? Do you strip everything away and
just come together? Or do you write some and she
writes some? And how does it work?

Speaker 2 (06:08):
You know?

Speaker 3 (06:09):
It's like we're the best kind of elementary school best friends.
We take turns, we take turns, and that's what it was.
I mean, I think people sort of had this vision
of us, like sitting in a room somewhere.

Speaker 2 (06:22):
We didn't really do this.

Speaker 3 (06:22):
She wrote the scripts, passed them off to me, and
I turned them into a book.

Speaker 1 (06:27):
What's so interesting. I have a much younger sister, she's nineteen.
She was asked she got the Dune book and she
was like, kebby did this come out before the movie?
And I just had this moment of like, uh, let
me google really fast. But I think what was really
interesting about that moment for me was there is interest

in seeing something and then going and reading about it.
So when I heard about the Queen Charlotte book, I
got so excited that there's an opportunity to dig in
even more and to live with these characters and this
this prequel even longer. And I'm guessing in a more
kind of juicy, more fat to chew kind of way.

Do you expand some of the story that we see
on screen?

Speaker 5 (07:14):

Speaker 3 (07:15):
Yes, I mean so what I The first thing I
figured out I needed to do was focus just on
the earlier time period. So in the show, it bops
back and forth between young Queen Charlotte and King George
and what they call in the scripts Bridgerton Present Time,

which is the characters we all know in love from Bridgerton,
which is actually very funny. They never actually say that,
It just says BPS through the whole thing and.

Speaker 2 (07:42):
I'm looking like, what is BPS?

Speaker 3 (07:46):
I think I had the scripts for about three weeks
before finally I asked somebody, I'm like, what is BPS?

Speaker 2 (07:51):
What is this? I was so confused. So anyway, so
BPS is not really in the books.

Speaker 3 (08:03):
I just you know, going back and forth is something
that is very effective in a film medium, but less
so in a book medium. I mean, you can do it,
but for the type of story that I'm known for,
for the type of story that I wanted to tell,
it doesn't work that well to keep bopping back and
forth between time. And so I decided to really focus

on the characters when they were young, and it's bracketed
by you know, like a prologue and epilogue in BPS,
but the rest of the story is all on the
young character.

Speaker 2 (08:37):
So that was the first big decision.

Speaker 3 (08:39):
And then the next decision was, okay, well, whose point
of view is this?

Speaker 1 (08:43):

Speaker 2 (08:43):
How am I going to do this?

Speaker 3 (08:44):
And so I realized that I want I needed more
than just two points of view. And my novels are
very tightly written with only the points of view of
the main protagonists. And so if you read one of
my non Queen Charlotte novels, which is basically everything else.
You won't ever find a scene that doesn't have one
of the main two characters in it, because it's always

in their points of view third person, but always in
their points of view. But this time I thought, you know,
this story is bigger than that. So now we have
we have our our two main love interests, the King
and the Queen, but you also have chapters from Lady
Danburry's point of view and Brimsley's point of view. And
I got to give Brimsley a first name.

Speaker 2 (09:26):
He didn't have a first name.

Speaker 3 (09:27):
He doesn't have a first name in the show, but
I got to He's He's Bartholomew.

Speaker 2 (09:30):
Brimsley, Bart, Bart Brimsley. No, no, it's Bartholome.

Speaker 1 (09:38):
We were friends, so I have a nickname for him already.

Speaker 2 (09:41):
Yeah, bo, I'm too much of a Simpsons fan.

Speaker 3 (09:46):
So my my Bart goes right there and yeah, he's
not that Bart.

Speaker 4 (09:50):
Bartholow new wow, Bartholomew Brimsley.

Speaker 3 (09:54):
And nobody calls him that except once in the book
Reynolds called some Bartholomew.

Speaker 4 (10:02):
So we get to spend more time with Reynolds too,
then you.

Speaker 3 (10:05):
Do, and you know that was kind of my biggest regret, well,
not really regret, because I wouldn't have done it differently,
but wish that we had something from Reynolds's point of view,
because well after I saw the show and went out
to the set once, I mean, Freddie who plays him
is so good, and I'm like, ooh, I wish I

knew more about Reynolds now, but it would have worked
with the book.

Speaker 2 (10:31):
But now I'm all like, ooh, I mean.

Speaker 3 (10:33):
Honestly, spin off. No, okay, this is me wishful thinking spinoff.
I have to be careful because people think I know
things and I really don't. But I think when you
see the show, you're like, oh, Reynolds is totally a
duke in hiding. He is so so regal.

Speaker 4 (10:55):
Oh the way, isn't it.

Speaker 1 (10:57):
Yeah, I'd believe me.

Speaker 3 (11:02):
In romance Landia, which is what they call the world
of romance books, there are plenty of.

Speaker 2 (11:06):
Dukes in hiding.

Speaker 3 (11:07):
I mean, like who for whatever reason, are like hiding
as like a groom in the stables or oh, they're
usually like a groom in the stables.

Speaker 2 (11:17):
They're not usually like somebody's man servant.

Speaker 3 (11:21):
But maybe yeah, so, I mean, he just I don't know.
I think Reynolds has a secret background. Maybe he's really
a spy, maybe he's really a duke. But I'm team
Reynolds here. I think he should have his own show.

Speaker 1 (11:32):
You know. That makes me think about well, first of all,
I was wondering about Reynolds and Brimsley a whole lot
while watching this series. I also absolutely love Agatha Danbury
and everything she represents and Princess Augusta. So there are
some unanswered questions and thoughts that we're curious about from
the series that may or may not be answered. Like

I just have more questions about some of the silences
and interactions and like what is happening in the days
in between what we're seeing you know?

Speaker 2 (12:06):
So yes, yeah, so that's one thing I did get
to do.

Speaker 3 (12:10):
So for example, this doesn't give it Hopefully this will
just make you more curious about the show if you
haven't seen it. But in the show, you don't find
out how even Days came about.

Speaker 4 (12:22):
Right, You don't see how that came up Even Days.

Speaker 3 (12:31):
So when I went to visit the set in July,
I hadn't gotten up to that part in the book yet,
So I asked Tom Verica the director, and I said,
you know, do we know where.

Speaker 2 (12:42):
Even Days came up? He's like in Shonda's ND.

Speaker 3 (12:46):
And so it's like, okay, So I'm like, I guess
I get to make this one up, you know. So yeah,
I got to write the scene where they come.

Speaker 2 (12:53):
Up with even Days. So that was really fun.

Speaker 4 (12:57):
That is incredible.

Speaker 1 (13:00):
Right back with more fascinating insights into the creation of
Bridgerton's universe and Queen Charlotte A Bridgerton Story. Welcome back
to Queen Charlotte A Bridgerton Story, the official podcast. I'm
Gabby Collins and we're talking with Julia Quinn. She's taking

us also behind the scenes of Queen Charlotte.

Speaker 4 (13:30):
She was on set. Let's get back into our chat.

Speaker 1 (13:34):
I've been asking everybody for like their full circle moment
or their flash forward or flashback connected to working on
this project or a scene.

Speaker 4 (13:43):
You know.

Speaker 1 (13:44):
And the thing that everyone has said about Shonda, and
Shonda has said herself to is like, I'm not really
connecting it like to my life. I'm just it's in
my head. And I think that is such an interesting
thing for us to hear, especially for creatives, like you know,
just just imagine just just come up with something. But yeah,

but it is also very wonderful to hear the connections
to everyone's life too.

Speaker 4 (14:11):
But when you said.

Speaker 1 (14:12):
Tom said it was in her head that that that
just reminded me of that. So are there any Are
there any cliffhangers too that you might have filled in?
So cliffhangers or I'm specifically thinking about what happened to
Reynolds because there's a scene where Hugh Sacks, who plays

is just dancing alone and looking into the distance.

Speaker 3 (14:38):
No, we don't know what happened to Reynolds, but that's
why he needs a spin off. Okay, I didn't fill
in what happened to Reynolds for one thing, it wouldn't
have worked within the scope of the book, and it
just you know, yeah, because yeah, I don't know. I
almost feel like if I had tried to say what

happened to ren and I didn't think about it would
almost kind of ruin the poignancy and the sadness of
that moment.

Speaker 1 (15:06):
Part of what makes it so heart wrenching is the question, well,
what happened? And I think similarly for one of my
other favorite moments from the series, which is when Lady
Danbury and the now widowed Viscountess Violet sit down in silence.
They're surrounded by Lord Ledger's hats birthday hats all around them.

They just sit down quietly, I guess, agreeing to not
discuss the elephant in the room.

Speaker 3 (15:35):
Yeah, so that one storyline did not end up in
the book about Lord Ledger. So Violet doesn't even appear.
You have to pick and choose what's going to work
within the story, and there was already so much to
talk about and to focus on that that in the
novel it just felt like it wasn't going to fit

and it was distracting actually from other things that I
was going through. And also I felt that, you know,
I'd already made the decision not to have Bridgerton Present
time in there. And I felt that Agatha's relationship with
Violet's father was so tied in with her relationship with

Violet as an adult in terms of the way it
was told in the story that having taken out her
relationship as an adult, well, she was an adult both times,
but in Bridgington Present time with Violet, that her relationship
with the father, while still meaningful, it just lost some
of its power and it just didn't It didn't work

within the confines of the story. So that part's not
in there.

Speaker 1 (16:41):
Okay, okay, what were some of your favorite parts from
the series, So that we're not giving away the book
too much, we'll just we'll just talk about what really.

Speaker 4 (16:52):
Sat with you after watching the series.

Speaker 3 (16:56):
Okay, So the first one that made me just squeal
was the meat cute. I mean I would not call
this rom calm. I mean, it's definitely not a rom com,
but that was a ram calm meet cute, absolutely, And
I remember watching that being like, oh my gosh, Romance
fans are going to be so here for this.

Speaker 5 (17:17):
Hello, my lady, are you in need of assistance of
some kind?

Speaker 6 (17:21):
I am quite fine, thank you. You can go back
inside and wait with all the other gurkerus.

Speaker 5 (17:26):
I will first, I'm curious, what are you doing? Nothing,
you're doing something.

Speaker 4 (17:31):
I am not you are.

Speaker 6 (17:33):
I am not you are. If you must know, I'm
trying to ascertain the best way to climb over the
garden wall.

Speaker 5 (17:40):
Climb whatever for because I think he may be a beast,
a best.

Speaker 4 (17:45):
Or a troll.

Speaker 6 (17:47):
Who are we discussing, Oh that is impertinent, none of
your business. No one will speak of him, no one.
He is clearly a beast or a troll.

Speaker 5 (17:55):
I understood.

Speaker 6 (17:56):
You know if I grabbed there, Yes, perhaps you could
assist me by lifting me up.

Speaker 5 (18:00):
One question? You do not like beasts or trolls? What
he looks like matters?

Speaker 6 (18:04):
I do not care what he looks like. What I
do not like is not knowing now here. Just take
cold hair with a lift. I believe I can make
it over the gonen.

Speaker 5 (18:12):
You want me to lift you over the wall so you.

Speaker 6 (18:14):
May escape, That is what I said.

Speaker 5 (18:15):
Yeah, people will notice you are missing, Well they're not.

Speaker 6 (18:18):
I shall worry about that later. Now, if you please,
I just need a little help. Come late case.

Speaker 5 (18:24):
I have absolutely no intention of helping you.

Speaker 4 (18:29):
I'm a lady in distress.

Speaker 6 (18:31):
You refuse to help a lady in distress.

Speaker 5 (18:33):
I refuse when that lady in distress is trying to
go over a wall so that she does.

Speaker 4 (18:37):
Not have to marry me.

Speaker 5 (18:39):
Hello, Charlotte, I'm George.

Speaker 4 (18:42):
Those were the best pickup lines I've ever heard.

Speaker 3 (18:46):
I can't remember who I email, but I emailed someone
right away, everything like, oh my gosh, this is the
best meet cute ever. And then the other one moment
that has really stayed with me is the very last
scene of the show where honestly, like I already thought
Golda Rashville was an incredible actor, that last scene where

she's talking to her her husband, there's an expression on
her face when she looks at him, and I remember
thinking she needs the Emmy for this one frame.

Speaker 1 (19:19):
That like, I'm sad but excited and so in love
and so sad at all at once expression that Oh,
I know what you mean, I know what you mean.

Speaker 3 (19:30):
It's this what I mean. I went back and watched
it and then I froze the frame on it, and
I just thought, this woman is, Yeah, she's just a master.
It was especially because you know, we we see Queen
Charlotte so much as this like sassy like you know,
who run the world girls kind of thing, and you
know she's always you know, she's got these great quips

like you know, of course, it's a wonderful idea.

Speaker 2 (19:53):
I thought of it, you know that, you know that
sort of things.

Speaker 3 (19:55):
And then you know, you see these little flashes of
who she is underneath every now and then, so it's
not like we haven't seen that before. But in that moment, oh,
I mean, I'm getting chills. My heart's like oh yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1 (20:10):
And she's also in that look like asking herself is
she am I crazy?

Speaker 4 (20:15):
Am I crazy? It's just so much happening right there.

Speaker 3 (20:17):
Yeah, the whole final scene, the way that the cinematography
is incredible, but her expression in that scene when she
looks at her husband and when she's not even looking
at him but just sort.

Speaker 2 (20:29):
Of thinking, just is spectacular. So I did love that too.

Speaker 4 (20:34):

Speaker 1 (20:35):
I found myself surprised by several moments like that throughout
the series where I was like, let me go and
chill out with my husband for a little bit, or
call my dad, let me just yeah.

Speaker 3 (20:49):
And there was one other scene which is really special.
I don't know if you caught it. It's in the
final episode where Agatha is out walking with Charlotte's brother
and Adelphis thank you. And you may have noticed somebody
in the park with a white wig on sitting on

a bench.

Speaker 1 (21:11):
Stop playing with my emotions, Julia Quinn, who are you saying?
Make let me make sure you're saying what I think
you're saying.

Speaker 2 (21:19):
What I'm making appearance? You make an appearance?

Speaker 4 (21:23):
What would missed me?

Speaker 2 (21:24):
I can't believe I missed me.

Speaker 3 (21:29):
I honestly, I'm almost unrecognizable. You put me in a
white wig?

Speaker 4 (21:32):
Wait what were you? What was the dress? Wait?

Speaker 1 (21:35):
So wait, whoa whoa you were on set? You got
dressed up the whole thing. We have to Oh yeah,
I don't.

Speaker 3 (21:41):
Well, now I'm going to do something even like more
worse for people like on things.

Speaker 2 (21:45):
I'm actually going to show you a picture which I
don't know. Maybe you can put it alongside, but here
we go.

Speaker 1 (21:50):
Wow, Julia is showing me an image of herself in full.

Speaker 4 (21:57):
Did Lynn make this costume for you?

Speaker 1 (21:59):
In full?

Speaker 4 (22:00):

Speaker 3 (22:01):

Speaker 4 (22:01):
In this head?

Speaker 6 (22:03):

Speaker 3 (22:03):
So it was a very last minute thing that I
was going to do this, because the thing is when
you're when you're they don't like call them extras to
the come essays, which I can never remember what it means.

Speaker 2 (22:11):
But it actually takes a lot of time to.

Speaker 3 (22:15):
Do this because you have to get all made up
and everything, and actually, for usually they'd spend like the
day before figuring out your look and and so I
have opted not to be an extra in Bridgerton before
because my time on set is so limited that I
would to be able to watch things. But I had
when I was visiting Queen Charlotte. I actually had much

more time than I've had in recent times with Bridgerton.
So at the last minute I was like, Okay, I'll
do this and so, and we were on location, so
they didn't have the full costume hall and so they
had to work with what they just happened to have
with them. And they literally had to sew me into
the dress. Like the dress was sown while it was
on my body, Like I could not have removed it.

Speaker 4 (22:57):
You were draped, you had a.

Speaker 3 (23:00):
Well basically they didn't have anything quite large enough for me.
All the other extras are a little bit more slender,
and so they had to like take it out and
then like literally like stitch me in. And then when
I was done, it was like, somebody needs to cut
me out of this? Why did I had to be
cut out of the dress? I mean it didn't have
to be I mean it didn't have to be ruined,

but somebody had to go in there with scissors and
cut the stitches.

Speaker 2 (23:23):
Wow, and yeah.

Speaker 4 (23:29):
Stay tuned.

Speaker 1 (23:30):
We'll be back with Julia Quinn to uncover more of
the magic of Queen Charlotte story. We're back Julia's insights
and creativity are transporting us back to the days of

crafting the book with Shonda and talk about pinch me moments. Okay,
let's talk more about this credible journey of Queen Charlotte.
You were in that scene with Agatha. I was wondering
going back to the book. I have a favorite moment
with Agatha. But one of them is the port Wine moment. Yes,

that monologue, that dialog she has with quorl Does that
make an appearance in the book.

Speaker 4 (24:21):
Oh yes, oh, oh yes, Wow.

Speaker 1 (24:25):
It's not surprising. You should mourn him. He was your husband,
perhaps some tea instead of what is that?

Speaker 4 (24:36):
Poor twine?

Speaker 2 (24:37):
It is ohful, but it is Lordanebray's favorite was it
was his favorite.

Speaker 3 (24:48):
I would say, you know, of the scenes that are
in the book, gosh, probably at least three quarters of
the dialogue makes it in there, at least because.

Speaker 2 (24:59):
Because it's so good.

Speaker 3 (25:00):
And that's also what you know, the show is in
many ways is the dialogue. You know, that's what's in
the script, So so much of it goes in there.
And then what will happen is you'll have that dialogue
and you know, and sometimes what it might be is
that you know, might get broken up by you know,
maybe Coral will have a few more comments, so it's
not so much of a monologue. Because when you're doing
a monologue on in film, you can frame it different

ways so it doesn't seem as long.

Speaker 4 (25:27):
You can like break it up sort of.

Speaker 3 (25:29):
Exactly with the way you film it. And then in
the book that's harder to do. So sometimes these long
speeches get broken up into little pieces, but it's most
of it's there. And then then there's some where I
can sort of add more dialogue, like in you know,
in like some of the meat cutes or some of
the fun little bantry conversations. You know, I can like
if I think of a fun line, I can put

it in, so you'll have like, you know, this is
from the script, and then you have a few things,
and then this is from the script, so you can
sort of expand it a little bit. Then the other
thing that's kind of interesting is that which we haven't
touched on, is that really what the process was in
many ways was breaking down the architecture of a television
script and then rebuilding it into a novel. Because a

television script has many many short scenes. Novels have longer scenes,
and so there are sometimes there be things where like
there's a moment that I love that I want from
one person's point of view, but maybe like I'm telling
that scene from a different point of view, so I
like move it over, or like I have to change
the order of things slightly in order to keep it

in a chapter format, so a few scenes get or
parts of scenes get moved around a little. So I've
actually kind of thought the people who are going to
be most fascinated by the book, or the people who
know the scripts really well, because you know, if you
know these scripts inside and out and you read the book,
you'd be like, oh my gosh, she moved this, you know,
because like puzzle pieces moving around, and it really was a.

Speaker 2 (26:58):
Lot like a puzzle.

Speaker 4 (26:59):
That's really cool.

Speaker 3 (27:00):
Yeah, I've talked to some of my writer friends about it,
and they're all fascinated by the process.

Speaker 2 (27:05):
They're like, that is so.

Speaker 3 (27:06):
Interesting, you know, because we don't get to do it.

Speaker 2 (27:09):

Speaker 1 (27:10):
I keep going back to it with you because I
bet you that there's parts of your process that are
just so kind of like innate that that you're maybe
not even realizing it's a part of your process.

Speaker 4 (27:21):
Because I am so I just.

Speaker 1 (27:22):
Want to be a fly on the wall in your head,
watching you think through how you move these puzzle pieces
around and massage this story.

Speaker 3 (27:31):
Well. You know, I've often joked I'm the most left
brained romance writer you'll meet. I'm very mathematical science. Yeah,
And so for me, I think it used some of
that side of my brain that I don't get to
use as much in the creative writing part, which is
like ooh, oh, puzzle, puzzle, puzzle. You know, where do
we put this one? And where do put that one?
And you know, moving pieces around. Oh no, this belongs

with this character, not that.

Speaker 2 (27:54):
And so it was.

Speaker 3 (27:57):
It was really fun. And also, and this is something
I told the Shonda, was that I was also very
grateful for this project because I had been coming out
of just a period where I didn't really want to write.
We had a big tragedy in my family in twenty
twenty one. My father and my sister were killed by
a drunk driver, and I just hadn't been wanting to write.

It wasn't like writer's block. I just didn't want to
do it. And so this project really kind of pulled
me out of that. I think because it was so different,
and it was bittersweet because you know, my dad was
actually he he was mister Whistledown was a man well no,
but he definitely wasn't mister Whistledown. But he was a

man of many trades. And he was actually, for a
short time a screenwriter.

Speaker 4 (28:46):
Oh I didn't know yet.

Speaker 3 (28:48):
Yes, he I think he He was kind of a
frustrated screenwriter for a long time. He wrote like an
episode of the television show Hunter, which who knew. I
don't know much about it except that you know, now
that I'm managing his estate, you know, we get these
residual checks for like three dollars every now and then.
And he he did write a feature film that he

and his brother made called Heartwood, which honestly wasn't very
good and he's the first one who will tell you that,
but but it starred Hillary Swank before she got really big.
And anyway, so he was a screenwriter, and he had
often talked to me about, like, you know, you could
he basically saying like, how would you adapt Bridgerton to
you know, and I was like, I don't know. He's
like it just wouldn't work because of you know, he

would come, he'd tell me why it wouldn't work, and
then of course Seanna came along and made it work,
which is amazing. But he would have been really fascinated
by the process of turning a script into a novel,
and so I thought of that a lot doing it,
and just you know how much I wished I could
tell him about this experience because he was also, you know,

this very creative person who was incredibly left branded like me.
You know, he I think he majored in organic chemistry
in college, you know, and then and then went to
business school. He did organic chemistry, then went to business school,
and he actually wrote code for the Apollo Moon project.
That's how he got out of going to Vietnam, is

like as one does, and then try to be a screenwriter,
and then ended up sort of finishing out his life
writing children's books, which was really what he should have
been doing all along, because he was really an eleven
year old inside and he was just yeah. So he
would have loved yes, thank you. Yeah, he definitely lived life,

and he would have really loved hearing about the process.
He would have been on the phone with me a lot.

Speaker 1 (30:41):
So I wanted to ask you about the doctor and
like the observatory and all the medical scenes.

Speaker 4 (30:48):
What did you do with that?

Speaker 1 (30:49):
And when you received it from Shonda those those scenes,
what was your first impression. It's very, very different from
anything that I can think of I've seen from Shonda Land.

Speaker 2 (31:03):
Well, it's pretty horrifying.

Speaker 3 (31:05):
Yeah, And what's actually interesting is that when I turned
the book into my editor, she was looking and she's like,
she says, well, I'm guessing that you know, you're sort
of following, you know, you're taking your cues from the show.
But she said that if it weren't based on a show,
she like might have asked me to tone it down
or to shorten it a little bit, because it was pretty,

you know, pretty disturbing and awful. You know, it's not
the first time I've written about mental illness. Writing about
it is tough because you, again, you're looking at it
through a historical lens, and you're very much aware of
all the things that people did not know or understand,
and yet you're still trying to be respectful and so

like I had, you know, one of the characters say
something like this is in the other book I wrote
just sort of like, I don't know, I mean, I
think you just can't make somebody happy or you know,
I was just like, how would hopefully a kind and
an empathetic person maybe view this? And I guess in
the case of the doctor, how would somebody who's not

kind an empathetic view this. It's difficult because you know,
you're looking at this and being like, oh my gosh,
you know, and not just that, I mean, the doctor's
just obviously horrific, but you know, even how the other
characters view the King's illness, you have to sort of
try to pull out everything we know about mental health
now and you know, try to look at these characters

more kindly, be like, how are they managing their feelings
with the information they have? And and so you have
to cut them some slack, just you know, for not
you know, they don't know about serotonin, they don't know
about PTSD, they don't know I mean, there's so many
things that so many tools and bits of information that

we have that they don't. And at the same time,
you know, you're trying to I mean, even like Augusta,
as awful as she is at times, you know she's trying.
She's absolutely trying her best and acting out of love.

Speaker 4 (33:08):
Oh, I love her. I love her.

Speaker 3 (33:10):
Yeah, she just wants the best for her son and
is trying everything she's got.

Speaker 4 (33:15):
Yeah, drink this pear brandy and come on, let's get
this thing done. I love her.

Speaker 2 (33:20):
Yeah, shut up and do your job.

Speaker 3 (33:23):
So it is interesting to see this all through the
historical lens.

Speaker 4 (33:26):
That is really interesting.

Speaker 1 (33:27):
And I also was curious if in your head, what
Lady Whistledown might have said, if she existed during this time,
about Agatha and Herman's union, because I want to know
if Agatha married up or if she married down? Did
she what did she do?

Speaker 3 (33:46):

Speaker 4 (33:47):
Before they came over to join the ton.

Speaker 2 (33:50):
Oh, Agatha married across?

Speaker 4 (33:53):
Oh, she married across.

Speaker 3 (33:56):
Yes, Agatha and Herman are both descended from African royalty,
And gosh, I thought that was in the show. It's
definitely in the book.

Speaker 4 (34:05):
Now I'm so glad it's detailed in the book.

Speaker 3 (34:08):
Yes, I mean, not super detailed, but yeah, but it's
in there that they're both descended from royalty. And in fact,
you know, she her parents basically betrothed her to him
when she was just three, and part of the reason
he wanted her was because she came from a royal bloodline,
as did he.

Speaker 1 (34:25):
Yeah, I was just wondering because she has that she
says twice, once to Princess Augusta and once to her son,
a little bit about her background, and that she has
a lot of money, more money even, is what she
says to Princess Augusta. And so just seeing hearing her

say that and then seeing her try to navigate the
ton and make moves on behalf of her and herman
made me wonder if herman was from the same stock
or had even more money than her family or less.

Speaker 3 (35:03):
I think they both had a lot to begin with,
although you know, he kind of ruined that as you know,
right men always seem to do in these books and stories.

Speaker 4 (35:12):
Very Featherington of him, very very feathering Ton.

Speaker 3 (35:15):
Yes, yeah, and so I think, you know, and we
I was very mindful of how to use, you know,
how to call everything. So I think we referred to
sort of their set as the dark skinned elite, you
know you And although now that have said that, I
think that's what made it the final And you know,

I think terms like that where I was trying to
figure out how to you know, what to call different things, like,
you know, do we want to use the words black
and white? Do we want to use dark skinned or
light skinned? You know?

Speaker 2 (35:47):
These So these are things.

Speaker 3 (35:48):
I always ran by Shan to be like, you know,
how do we want to have these people man portray
their world, because on the one hand, it is what
they at the time are calling themselves. But on the
other hand, you have a modern audience, right, so you
have to be very careful how you do that. So
I was trying to you know, we don't go into
it in detail, but basically just sort of allude to

the fact that in London at this time, there are
two elites that are kind of separate and don't mix.
So you have this group of people who are not white,
who also have a big sort of their own social system,
and they have their own elites there and their own

different types of snobbery, you know, like Herman for example,
he he would only marry Agatha, you know, and was
willing to wait for her to grow up because he
needed to mix his bloodline with hers because she's of
royal bloodline. So you know, so they've got their own
things going on too. But then you've got the idea
that okay, you have these two elites and they don't mix,

but one is more elite than the other because one
is like, you know, you've got You've got the of
Great Britain, you know, right there.

Speaker 2 (37:02):
So got it.

Speaker 1 (37:04):
So the book is going to fill in those holes.
And it's also helps us to understand why Charlotte's arrival
is even more nuanced and special. Yeah it's not yet.
That is fascinating. I cannot wait to read this. I
cannot wait to read it well and to watch Queen
Charlotte again. Julia Quinn, there's so much to talk about.

I enjoy talking with you all of the time. It's
an honor and a pleasure and a privilege to share
time with you. So thank you so much, and thank
you for all the inspiration as well.

Speaker 3 (37:38):

Speaker 2 (37:39):
Thank you.

Speaker 3 (37:39):
You ask such good questions. It makes me actually think
about my process and what I did more closely, so
I appreciate it.

Speaker 4 (37:46):
Thank you so so much.

Speaker 1 (37:50):
As we wrap up this enchanting episode, we wanted to
extend our sincerest thanks to Julia Quinn for gracing us
with her presence and sharing the magic of Queen Charlotte.

Speaker 4 (38:01):
And in our next episode.

Speaker 1 (38:03):
We're going to be joined by the duo Shonda Rhimes
and Betsy Bears. You got to listen to this episode.
It's going to be really fun to hear them talk
about their partnership, their creativity and all of the things
that we thought we knew about, the inspiration for Queen Charlotte,
and the secrets and everything. We're gonna be told we're

wrong left and right, and it's cool. It's gonna be
really fun. Make sure you listen until then, May love
and scandal guide your path. Queen Charlotte the Official Podcast
is executive produced by Sandy Bailey, Lauren Homan, alex Alja
Tyler Klang, and me Gabrielle Collins. Our producer and editor

is Tarry Harrison. Subscribe to the podcast anywhere you get
your favorite shows. Get the book I'm a Crispy Turn
the Page, Smell the Binding kind of Queen. But you
can download it and you can find Queen Charlotte, a
Bridgeton story on Netflix.

Speaker 4 (39:01):
We'll see you next week.

Speaker 1 (39:07):
Queen Charlotte the Official Podcast is a production of Shondaland
Audio in partnership with iHeartRadio. For more podcasts, visit the
iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your
favorite shows,
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