#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don't read (or write) romance, and in 2001 she did so in grand fashion, appearing on the game show The Weakest Link and walking away with the $79,000 jackpot. She displayed a decided lack of knowledge about baseball, country music, and plush toys, but she is proud to say that she aced all things British and literary, answered all of her history and geography questions correctly, and knew that there was a Da Vinci long before there was a code. Ms. Quinn is one of only sixteen members of Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame, her books have been translated into 29 languages, and she currently lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.
How JQ Became A Writer
During her senior year at Harvard College, Julia Quinn (often known in cyberspace as JQ) realized that she didn't know what she wanted to do with her life. This depressed her. In fact, the only thing that saved her sanity during this dark, dreary time was the fact that none of her friends knew, either. So she sat down with a big tub of Ben & Jerry's and a good book and decided to figure out what to do.
Getting a job seemed too difficult. She wouldn't mind HAVING a job, but she certainly didn't know how to get one.
Law school seemed too annoying. Everyone hated lawyers, and Julia liked to be liked.
Business school was not an option. They only took people who had been in the work force for at least two years, and, as noted above, Julia didn't know how to get a job.
The only option left (this shows you how narrow her world-view was) was medical school. "Aha!" she thought. "I could be a good doctor." She quickly picked up the phone and ran this idea past her parents, who were understandably baffled, since her degree was in Art History, but being the cool people they are, they said, "Great!"
Julia hung up the phone, blinked a couple of times, and said aloud, "Okay, so I'm going to be a doctor. Cool." Then she pulled out a pad of paper and proceeded to figure out how long this would take. (Note: careers in medicine are not for those who crave instant gratification.) It turned out that it would be over two years before she could even ENTER medical school since she had to take all those pesky science classes in order to apply. Clearly, she needed to find something to do during that time, since she knew from experience that she probably wouldn't be studying as much as she ought.
That's when she looked at the book next to the tub of now-empty Ben & Jerry's. It was a romance. "I could write one of those," she thought.
And so she did.
Two years later, just as Julia was deciding between Yale School of Medicine and Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons, her agent called to tell her that her first two books were the subject of a fierce bidding war between two publishing houses.
So she put off medical school for a year and wrote a third novel. Then she put off medical school for another year and wrote a fourth. Then she got a little nervous and thought that maybe she ought to give med school a try and so she picked up a scalpel, started dissecting cadavers, and learned more about the citric acid cycle than anyone (including most med students) wants to know.
A few months later, however, she realized that she must have experienced a bout of temporary insanity and she withdrew from medical school and never looked back.
After brief stops in every state beginning with the letter C, she and her husband headed to the Pacific Northwest and plan to stay there forever.
Julia Quinn is the author of fourteen consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including Mr. Cavendish, I Presume, which reached #1 on the mass market paperback fiction list.
She is one of only sixteen authors to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame.
In the United States alone, there are over 10 million copies of her books in print.
Her books have been translated into 29 languages.
She is a graduate of Harvard & Radcliffe Colleges and briefly attended Yale School of Medicine before deciding to pursue a full-time writing career.
In 2001 she was a contestant on the game show The Weakest Link and won $79,000.
In 2013 she appeared in a bona fide MTV music video.
She sold her first book at the age of 24 and has been working with the same editor and publishing house for her entire career.
She has been profiled in both TIME Magazine and USA Today.
Her Facebook fans number over 127,000 and are growing fast. The largest segment of her Facebook fans come from the United States (40%), followed by Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia.
She is an ardent supporter of military families and gives away 100 copies of her novels to servicemembers, veterans, and military spouses each Veterans Day.
7.24.15 » Every year at RWA’s national conference, Friday begins with a featured speaker, chosen for her achievements in the writing world. For the 2015 conference in New York City, JQ was that speaker. Jump to the 11 minute mark to start at her speech (and be sure to grab some tissues for the end).
3.21.15 » The Bridgertons turn 15, and NPR throws a party. "Quinn is known for her witty charm... She's also a romance master, able to set up realistic obstacles that tug at the heartstrings while keeping the hero and heroine believably apart. With the Bridgertons, Quinn has created a family so likable and attractive, a community so vibrant and engaging, that we want to crawl into the pages and know them. We want to be friends with the women, and of course we're in love with the men — and not just because they're rich, aristocratic and gorgeous, but because they're truly nice, occasionally flawed, completely relatable characters. People we honestly wish we knew." —NPR
9.5.13 » We want our Julia Quinn … on MTV (Hive) » JQ spoke with USA Today about how she ended up in the music video for the song Belle of the Ball by Ephrata, and why music videos have been on her radar since the 1980s. View the USA Today interview here, find out more about the music video in this MTVhive.com article... Watch the video below. JQ appears briefly at 33 seconds in, but her big moment starts at 54 seconds in. Enjoy!
4.26.12 » In a funny and revealing interview, JQ spoke with International Business Times about A Night Like This, the romance genre, her dad's appearance on The Gong Show, and gushed about Downton Abbey. View the article here!
11.03.03 »Julia Quinn was featured in a full page article in the February 3, 2003 issue of TIME Magazine (cover at right). The article talks about JQ and her upcoming release as well as the romance industry as a whole. This article is finally available online without a usage fee.
Click here or on image at right to read the article.
3.01.02 » Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas were interviewed on "To the Best of our Knowledge," a Public Radio International news program. If you'd like to listen to the interview, it has been uploaded to the "To the Best of Our Knowledge" website.
More articles about Julia Quinn
6.6.12 » JQ was interviewed by Tulsa World and talked about her earliest efforts at writing.
6.3.12 » Find out what JQ would sing on The Gong Show in this interview for USA Today's Happily Ever After blog.
10.25.11 » JQ shares about her books, her career, and her inability to turn a cartwheel in the latest issue of RT BOOKReviews in the article titled Quinn of the Pack. View the article here!
10.08.09 » JQ's video for What Happens in London is featured on The Huffington Post. JQ's video is the second one featured. Vote for JQ! To the left of the video is a "Rate This Trailer" poll. Then read the interview about the making of the video.
10.27.08 » Risky Regencies features Julia Quinn in an interview with Diane Gaston
2.14.08 » A Valentine's Day Treat! The February 2008 issue of Seattle Woman features JQ with fellow powerhouses Jayne Ann Krentz and Susan Andersen. Click here or on the image at right to read the article.
6.20.05 » JQ was featured in the July issue of Romantic Times BOOKclub. Read the article. The article is all about JQ and her upcoming book (fourth in the Bridgerton Series) It's In His Kiss. Romantic Times BOOKclub also rewarded Top Pick for July. Click here or on the image at right to read the article.
6.02.03 » Julia Quinn received a rare starred review in Publishers Weekly, the industry magazine of the publishing world. The review was accompanied by a Q&A with JQ; click here to read why PW thinks JQ is the strongest link! (Please note, it's a bit of a spoiler, check out the news item below.) To read the review, please visit To Sir Phillip, With Love at amazon.com.
Essays by JQ
JQ was the guest editor of Reading Romance, Eloisa James' monthly column for Barnes & Noble. Read "I'd Know Her (Voice) Anywhere" (Barnes & Noble Review, April 8, 2014)
JQ shares her experiences of being a contestant on The Weakest Link. (Piatkus Book News and Blog, August 12, 2010)
Diaries Confessions of Julia Quinn (Romantic Inks, December 2, 2006)
Ten Occasionally Bizarre, Totally Random Facts about Julia Quinn (Fog City Divas, June 2006)
Tales From the Front Line (Squawk Radio, July 2005)
Julia Quinn on the Perils, Pitfalls, and Pleasures of Writing a Series (Squawk Radio, July 2005)
Julia Quinn on Writing First Person (Squawk Radio, July 2005)
If you'd like to read a (slightly outdated but still true) essay by Julia Quinn on why it's great to be a romance writer, click here.
Even bestselling authors have wardrobe malfunctions. Find out how JQ's sister saved the day (and JQ's dress) with a shiny gold sticker.
It's Romance Author Jeopardy! (in which JQ gets an intravenous coffee drip, Connie Brockway captains a whaling vessel, and Eloisa James refuses to speak English) Click for more!
JQ attempts to explain the writing process in verse. (with props to T.S. Eliot) Click to Read»
Should novel writing be a spectator sport? Find out how JQ got roped into writing on stage…
In early 2010, Julia Quinn received a very strange email from her friend and neighbor, Garth Stein (author of The Art of Racing in the Rain). Would she be interested in participating in a group writing project, with the proceeds going to charity? It would require not much more than an afternoon of her time.
"Sure!" JQ replied, after having skimmed the email to the "not much more than an afternoon" part. It was only after she'd said yes that she read Garth's email more closely. She wasn't just going to write a chapter of a novel, she was going to write a chapter ON STAGE. With a LIVE FEED to the internet. And people weren't just going to be watching her type, they would be able to see her computer screen. In other words, when she typed a sentence, deleted it, then typed the exact same sentence again, the entire world would see it. And when she deleted that sentence and then typed it again, they'd see that, too. (Note: JQ says that she had no idea how often she wrote the same sentence over and over again until she did it in front of the entire internet. And the one guy drinking coffee in the audience.)