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Genevive Chamblee: The Art of Creative License
Friday, June 21st, 2024

Recently, I watched the third season of Bridgerton on Netflix. For those who haven’t heard—although that’s difficult to imagine considering how much press the series has received—Bridgerton is a Regency romance novel series (eight books) authored by Julia Quinn that has been adapted for television. The first season aired during the pandemic and blew viewers away. It was one of Netflix’s most original series, and viewers couldn’t wait for the next installment. Indeed, it was so popular that a spinoff, Queen Charlotte, was made.

Much has been said about the books-to-film adaptation—both positive and negative. However, this post is not intended to critique the novels or the series. Instead, it is to focus on a single aspect of the series that I found interesting and how that single element translates to the world of fiction writing.

First, for the purpose of this post, it needs to be stated that the series takes great liberty with the source material. In fact, some state that the novels serve more as guidelines than as scripts. Multiple characters and subplots have been added to the series that weren’t included in the book. Also, some characters with minor roles in the novels play a much greater part in the series. Deceased characters in the books are alive in the series, and genders have been swapped.

Second, Regency romances are set during the British Regency era (1811–1820) or early nineteenth century. When it comes to historical movies, one of the first (and easiest) criticisms frequently made is about the historical accuracy or authenticity, especially of the costume and speech. And this—accuracy—is the heart of this post. While much of the discussion can be applied to the novels, this post is mainly focused on the film.

Here is a fact. The Bridgerton novels are all fiction. Therefore, the series is also fiction by default. When a story is fiction, it means it has been created from the author’s imagination. Thus, a fictional story is not real and is not intended to tell a true story. In fiction, authors frequently use creative or artistic license. Creative/artistic license refers to deviation from or the freedom authors may take when handling fact or form for artistic purposes. At the beginning of Queen Charlotte, this is unambiguously stated by the following. “It is not a history lesson. It is fiction inspired by facts.” One would think that would be enough. Yet, the question about the Bridgerton series still comes under fire for its accuracy.

Well, let’s see. I don’t think the musical artists Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Pitbull, Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, Nirvana, Madonna, or Rhianna were around in 1815. So, obviously, the screenwriters took some liberties with the musical score. Not only that, writers embraced inclusivity to create a non-stereotypic multicultural society. I dare to say that this approach helped set the series apart from other Regency series and make it the success that it was. It seemed to be a magic formula other Regencies have attempted to copy. So, why would anyone assume the writers wouldn’t take other liberties?

In a recent review of the series, the reviewer questioned the accuracy of the costumes. It seemed apparent that the choice of over-the-top costumes for some of the characters was intentional to add a bit of fun and provide a narrative. Yet, the reviewer discussed the choice as if it were a mistake. It would have been something different if the reviewer’s position was that he disliked the choice or that it was poorly done. No, his position was the clothing was not accurate to the period.

So, here’s the question of the day. Why must writers defend a creative choice? When a work is labeled as fiction, why does a disclaimer need to be made that the content may differ from fact? Why are deviations from facts considered and/or treated as errors? It’s fiction.

In the Mission Impossible movies, I lost track of how many countries Tom Cruise traveled to and almost got killed in a week. No one complained about this when it was raking in the millions. And what about all the movies where people get blown sky-high in explosions and walk away with only a few scratches on their faces? However, authors seem to be held accountable more than the movie industry. Yes, I know I was speaking of Bridgerton the Netflix series, but this review is what sparked the questions.

In the past, I’ve read many writers state how they’ve had to explain and defend their decisions to alter facts. One writer reported having been left a negative review because she changed the landscape of a well-known location. Another writer explained how he was informed that the fictional disease he created did not exist.

Anyway, it was food for thought. Now, for some exciting news. I’m happy finally to be able to announce the upcoming release of my contemporary M/M paranormal sports romance, Demon Rodeo, on September 5, 2024, and available now for preorder on Amazon. For video book trailers, visit my TikTok page. The full blurb is on my Instagram and Amazon.

Demon Rodeo is the first book in the Chasing the Buckle series but can be read as a standalone. It’s a friends-to-lovers romance set in the rodeo world. These are not your typical cowboys. It’s a widely diverse cast of characters and a mashup of genres that aren’t always seen together. If you’re looking for a palate cleanser, this may be a book for you. A cover reveal is coming soon. Also, expect a lot of goodies and giveaways. More information will follow in my monthly newsletter.

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So, that’s it. What did you think? What is your take on the subject of creative freedom? Do you agree or disagree? Did you find this information helpful or informative? Did you learn anything new, or did it change your opinion? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.  If you like this post, please click the like button and share. Your feedback allows me to know the content that you want to read.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.

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Locker Room Love Series


  • Out of the Penalty Box (book #1) One minute in the box or a lifetime out.
  • Defending the Net (book #2) Crossing the line could cost the game.
  • Ice Gladiators (book #3) When the gloves come off, the games begin.
  • Penalty Kill (book #4) Let the pucker begin.
  • Future Goals (book #5) The future lies between a puck and a net.

About the Author

Hi, I’m Genevive, a blogger and contemporary sports romance author. My home is in South Louisiana. If you like snark and giggles with a touch of steamy Cajun and Creole on the side, I may have your poison in my stash of books. Drop by the bayou and have a look around. The pirogues are always waiting for new visitors.

One comment to “Genevive Chamblee: The Art of Creative License”

  1. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · June 21st, 2024 at 1:03 pm · Link

    When it calls itself fiction I understand it’s not claiming to be a newspaper account of events (which can also be skewed). The ‘what if ‘ is why I read and write fiction. I can either like or not like what an author has done.

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