Friday, June 09, 2006
THE ONE WHERE ELOISA JAMES INTERVIEWS JULIA QUINN ABOUT THOSE BRIDGERTON EPILOGUES
EJ: I want to know all about these "second" epilogues! What are they like?
JQ: A 2nd Epilogue is basically the story after the story. A little update on the lives of the main characters (and some of the secondary ones, too, if that makes sense.) When I started I thought they'd be about fifteen pages long, but once I got going, I realized I could do a lot more with them than with a traditional epilogue, and they both ended up being over thirty pages. I don't think I quite realized what they'd be like in terms of content and characterization until I really got going, either. What surprised me was how much fun it was to write about a man and a woman who are already totally committed to one another. Obviously I couldn't do something like that for a whole novel (kind of sort of need a little more conflict, don't you think) but for a short story, which is actually an addendum to an existing story, it was fabulous.I do want to stress, however, that these are addendums. (Addenda?) I suppose they would be enjoyable for new readers, but they’re really for the people who have already read THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME and IT’S IN
EJ: Where did you get the idea?
JQ: When I was finishing up IT'S IN HIS KISS, I was writing the epilogue (the first epilogue, that is), and the ending just... happened. (I’m trying to be a little vague here—don’t want to spoil anything for people who haven’t read it.) I didn't plan for it to end the way it did. But I loved it! I know that some readers were frustrated (believe me, I know) but I loved the ending. I thought it was just perfect. That said, I knew I was going to have to give readers (and myself) an update on the diamonds at some point. Once the concept of the second epilogues was born for IT'S IN HIS KISS, it just made sense to do them for all of the Bridgerton novels.
EJ: I recently wrote another chapter for TAMING OF THE DUKE, and I found it very difficult to put myself back in the characters of my hero and heroine, even for just one chapter -- let alone a thirty page epilogue! How'd you get yourself back in the mood, so to speak?
JQ: Well, the first thing, absolutely was to book a day at the spa. Then a new handbag and a pair cute shoes. It's remarkable what you need to get into a mood. Just think what I could do with a trip to Fiji! (You guys wanna come?) Seriously, though, I wrote the 2nd Epilogue for IT'S IN HIS KISS right after I wrote the novel, so the mood was still fresh. For THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME, I went back and re-read the original Pall Mall game several times It also helped that both Anthony and Kate had smallish roles in ON THE WAY TO THE WEDDING, which I'd just finished writing, so it hadn't been so long since I'd worked with those characters.
EJ: I heard a rumor that you might write a few more Bridgertons...maybe the stories of a few Bridgerton children? Is that a possibility?
JQ: No Bridgertons for now. Maybe in a few years. Right now I need to try something new.
EJ: Are you going to write epilogues for all the Bridgerton books? Which ones are next? Did you already write a second epilogue for ON THE WAY TO THE WEDDING, or will that come last?
JQ: I am definitely going to write all eight epilogues. They are so much FUN to write. I can't tell you how nice it is to have a project that reminds you how much fun writing can be. (Because let's face it, it's not always fun.) I'm not sure which will be next (or last). I've basically decided to write them in the order of inspiration. For example, I had thought that I'd start with IT'S IN HIS KISS (because I'd already written it) and THE DUKE AND I (because it's the first Bridgerton book), but then I got a great idea for THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME so I did that instead.
EJ: I think the nature of reader and writer communications has really changed with the internet. When I was in high school, though I worshipped Georgette Heyer, I never would have written her a letter (in fact she may have already been dead--there was no website to check for updates!). But these days, readers write with their requests all the time. Did the epilogues have anything to do with the fact that your readers just can't let go of the Bridgertons?
JQ: That was definitely a part of it. I get a lot of email from readers asking, "What happened to so-and-so?" And I always felt so lame when I answered, "I don't know." And that's the thing. I didn't know. I'm not one of those writers for whom the characters live on in the head forever. When I'm done, I'm done, and I don't really think about what happens to the characters past the last page unless they need to pop up in another book.To take advantage of the Squawk Shakespeare connection: "There is no Act Six." (props to whichever Avon Author posted that last year on the Avon Ladies bbs--I can't remember who it was!) Oh, hey, and I once got an e-mail from Georgette Heyer’s editor! He read a story about me in my college’s alumni magazine. It was such a thrill. I had a true “We’re not worthy” moment.
EJ: Can you tell us anything about what's coming next, after the last (sob) Bridgerton book?
JQ: I'm not 100% positive. It will either be a stand-alone about a girl in love with her best friend's brother (I know this sounds like ROMANCING MR. BRIDGERTON, but trust me, it's completely different). Or it will be a two-book series, the first of which will be called THE TWO DUKES OF WYNDHAM (Wyndham might change--have to see how I like it.) I started out with a two line concept: "Two men say they're the Duke of Wyndham. One of them must be wrong." The challenge is figuring out the rest of it. (Extra points, btw, to anyone who knows what song inspired that concept. Liz will know for sure, so she can't chime in!)
NOTE FROM JQ: Okay, squawkers, this is where I admit that Eloisa had more questions for me (fabulous, insightful, lyrical questions in iambic pentameter) but I fell asleep on the couch last night at 8pm. Seriously, I woke up around 11, my computer still on my lap, with no recollection of what I’d been working on. So you guys can finish up the interview. What do you want to know? Ask away!
Teresa Medeiros, 7:29 AM62 comments