“I think that when you're writing fiction what you're doing is reflecting life as you see it, and putting down how you think and how other people think, and the sort of confusions that you don't normally like to admit to.” – Helen Fielding
Born on this date in 1958, English novelist and screenwriter Fielding is probably best known as the creator of the character Bridget Jones, and a sequence of novels and films beginning about the life of a thirtysomething singleton in London trying to make sense of life and love. And, she said, it all came about because she was hung up on how to complete another book on which she was working.
“I was writing an earnest novel about cruises in the Caribbean and I just started writing 'Bridget Jones' to get some money, to finance this earnest work,” she said, “and then I just chucked it out.”
The Bridget Jones character was actually an outgrowth of a regular newspaper column she was writing for the London newspaper The Independent who asked her to write a column as herself about single life in London. Embarrassed to put herself in the stories, she created the character and her stories acquired a big following. In 1996 she wrote the first Bridget book.
Bridget Jones's Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, have now been published in 40 countries and sold more than 15 million copies. Bridget Jones’ Baby is doing equally well. In a survey conducted by The Guardian newspaper, Bridget Jones’s Diary was named as one of 10 novels that best defined the 20th century. And in 2014, Fielding was one of just 20 writers on The Sunday Times list of Britain's 500 Most Influential.
A secret to success, “I always market research my books before I hand them in by showing them to five or six close friends who I trust to be honest with me, so they are very heavily re-written already.”
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