Shonda Rhimes Stumbled Upon the ‘Bridgerton’ Books in the Most Relatable Way Ever

According to author Julia Quinn, the adaptation kicked off after a happy accident.

If you fell hard for the first season of Netflix’s Bridgerton, chances are you’d absolutely lose it over the books the show is based on, penned by romance author Julia Quinn. Producer Shonda Rhimes certainly did and completely by accident. In fact, Rhimes’ obsession with Quinn’s Regency-era romance series started the same way so many of us find new random favorites—she picked up the first book while traveling.

The way I understand it, Shonda ran out of books to read on vacation and somehow stumbled on one of mine,” Quinn told Tamron Hall on January 25th. “It’s crazy to think that my life is forever changed because Shonda didn’t bring enough reading material on vacation, but that’s honestly what happened.”

How many of us have bought a last-minute read at the airport book stand or picked up a paperback at a local grocery store to read poolside? Rhimes’ poor planning has resulted in a hit Netflix show that has viewers pleading for more.

Quinn said that she’s often asked how she got her book into the hands of such a prolific television producer, and she has to admit, ‘I didn’t do anything.’ She told Hall that her agent called her one day while she was “pretending to write in a Starbucks,” and asked her if she had ever heard of Rhimes.

And I just went, ‘Uh, yes.’ He said, ‘Well, I just had the most interesting call.’ I practically fell off the stool ’cause nobody was adapting romance novels, she said.

Once Quinn gave Rhimes the okay to adapt her novels, Quinn said she was so grateful that her story was being used to reframe what a period piece can look like in terms of diversity—both on screen and off. Such a diverse cast and crew “can expand the original story and make it just more colorful, and more diverse, and more wonderful and I’m so grateful to them for that.”

The adaptation of Bridgerton from page to screen is the epitome of a happy accident, and we can’t wait to see more of Quinn’s steamy scenes brought to life in the coming seasons.

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