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'Bridgerton' Author Julia Quinn Loses Father And Sister In Utah Car Crash

Julia Quinn, author of the <em>Bridgerton </em>novels, has lost her father and sister in a car crash.
Roberto Filho
Julia Quinn, author of the Bridgerton novels, has lost her father and sister in a car crash.

The author of the bestselling Bridgerton novels, which served as the basis for a Netflix hit series that premiered last year, posted details Wednesday about a family tragedy on social media.

"I have lost my father and my sister," wrote Julia Quinn on Facebook about the car accident that occurred in Utah. "Because a catering company did not secure their load and canvas bags spilled onto the highway. Because a pickup driver thought nothing of driving while his blood alcohol level was nearly 3 times the legal limit. I have lost my father, and I don't have my sister with whom to grieve. "

Quinn said that she and her sister, comic strip artist Violet Charles, had just finished writing a graphic novel together. "It will still be dedicated to our father," she wrote. "It won't be a surprise anymore, but I'd like to think he suspected we'd do it. He knew us so well. He was our dad."

Quinn's father, Steve Cotler, was also an author. He wrote a series of books for middle schoolers about an 11 year old boy named Cheesie Mack. In her post, Quinn fondly remembered visiting a nightclub, while in college with "the most embarrassing dad ever."

"My father started dancing very badly (typical) but with great enthusiasm (also typical)," she wrote. "I saw a few teenagers pointing and snickering, and I thought, 'Yeah, you WISH your dad danced like that.' After that, I felt nothing but pride in his geekiness. He was willing to try almost anything, and he never let the fear of embarrassment rule his actions. As a friend said after his sudden death, 'We should all be a little more Steve.'"

The first installment in Quinn's "Bridgerton" series, The Duke and I, was published in 2000. The author, who was born in 1970, has published nearly 30 novels, eight of which are set in the early 1800s and concern the Bridgerton family. One of the characters shares a name with Quinn's sister Violet.

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Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR's Arts Desk.