Julia Quinn – the pseudonym for Julie Pottinger – started her writing career early on. My research tells me that she was a voracious reader from an early age and her first novel was a submission for Sweet Dreams and the Sweet Valley High books. Her first effort at writing may have been rejected, but we know it wasn’t her last! Julie graduated from Harvard with a degree in Art History but didn’t know what to do with her degree. She decided to apply to Medical School but that required some upgrading of science. To take a break from the long hours of studying, she started to write a Regency Romance novel. Shortly after being accepted at medical school, she found out that her first two novels (Splendid and Dancing at Midnight) had been sold. Julie then decided to postpone medical school for two more years to write some more novels. By the time Julie started Yale Medical School she had published three novels and soon found writing more interesting than medical school. She left medical school in order to write full time.
The Bridgerton series is the set of books that I’m currently working on reviewing. It is a collection of 8 books about the Bridgerton family. On the whole, I love this set of books as they make me laugh and they make me cry. I was surfing around Youtube the other day and found this Romantic Times book review interview of Julia Quinn about the Bridgerton series of books.
Julie’s novels are known for being full of humor, and sharp, witty dialogue. Her novels are also known for being mostly character-driven; in other words they depend on the story moving through character development rather than being dependent on historical information to progress the story. I find that her dialogue is so crisp and clean I feel like I’m actually sitting in the middle of this family observing what is going on. I’ve never read books that deal with sibling interaction as well as this author! Here’s another Youtube clip. This is another section of the Romantic Times interview – this section is about writing humorous dialogue.
Julia Quinn won the Romance Writers of America RITA Award in 2007 for “On the Way to the Wedding” and in 2008 for “The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever”. In 2003, she had the honor of being profiled in Time Magazine, something that few romance novelists have attained. In 2005 Publisher’s Weekly gave “To Sir Phillip, With Love” a rare 5-starred review and named it one of the six best mass market original novels of the year. Nine of Julia Quinn’s novels have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List (An Offer from a Gentleman, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, To Sir Phillip with Love, When He Was Wicked, It’s In His Kiss, On the Way to the Wedding, The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, The Lost Duke of Wyndham, and Mr. Canvendish, I Presume.) Of this list, Mr Cavendish, I presume was #1 on the NY Times list in Oct 2008.
This is quite a list of accomplishments! I have enjoyed reading Julia Quinn’s novels for many reasons, some that mirror thoughts above and some that don’t. I choose books to read for many reasons, but once I enjoy a book by one author I often seek out more by that author. Julia Quinn’s books make me laugh. They make me cry. They make me cheer for characters. Of all my favorite books, I think Regency Romances are my favorite, and books that exist in series allow me to follow a series of characters and immerse myself in the familiarity of their world. I read somewhere that reading a book by Julia Quinn is like sitting down with a cup of coffee and have her tell you a story. No pretense, just a good story with lots of laughs. I hope you can enjoy Julia Quinn’s books as much as I do!