The writing of Just Like Heaven began (although I didn't know it at the time) in 1995, when I was working on what would become my third novel, Minx. I needed to place my hero and heroine at a social event, so I decided to have them attend a musicale.
But I quickly realized that good music doesn't provoke very much conversation. There are only so many times a concert-goer can remark upon the skill of an amateur violinist. Bad music, on the other hand, is endlessly interesting. And so I decided to spin Mozart in his grave and created the annual Smythe-Smith Musicale, with three young ladies who seemed to think they were making beautiful music and one who looked as if she wished to hurl herself through a window.
I had so much fun with the event that I started having characters mention the Smythe-Smith Musicale in other books. And then, in my eleventh novel, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, I decided that there was no reason that only one of my hero/heroine pairs should have to attend the concert, and I once again plunked my characters down at the musicale. Three books later (and then five books after that) the Smythe-Smiths were back, and by then readers were clamoring for more. Everyone wanted to know about the girl who looked so miserable during the concert while her cousins played on in blissful atonality.
So naturally I wrote a Smythe-Smith novel . . . about one of the girls who who is dreadful. So dreadful, in fact, that a crotchety old countess "accidentally" splinters her violin. I could have picked the musically inclined cousin, but what would have been the fun in that? Even the tone deaf deserve their happy endings. And maybe – just maybe – Honoria Smythe-Smith has her reasons for smiling so blissfully while butchering her musical score. After all, she's about to fall in love . . .
Just Like Heaven is available to buy now and for more about Julia Quinn click here to visit her website
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