Following Tuesday’s much anticipated release of Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, author Helen Fielding took some time to chat live with PEOPLE.com readers and reflect on the beloved fictional character she made into a household name.
“I love talking about Bridget and it is very touching that people still care about her after so much time,” Fielding, 55, told readers, adding that she never gets tired of talking about her.
Bridget, played by Renée Zellweger in the two film adaptations of the book, is a widowed mom in the third and most recent installment of the series – and fans have expressed outrage that Mark Darcy, played by Colin Firth, has been killed off.
“There was a man who rushed out of a local restaurant round the corner from me in London and yelled, ‘YOU’VE MURDERED COLIN FIRTH,’ Fielding said. “I think he was a bit drunk.”
Readers will now read about Roxster, Bridget’s latest and much younger love interest.
Referring to the new beau as “gorgeous,” Fielding explained, “He doesn’t like the word cougar as it suggests the hunter rather than the hunted. I think it is rather an unkind word because it suggests an older woman would have to chase a younger man down like some deranged lion and than eat him.”
Meeting on Twitter, the new pair bond over “their shared sense of humour and it is a very sweet, equal romance,” Fielding said.
When it comes to reads outside of her own, the famed author is a big fan of one of the most currently talked about books: Fifty Shades of Grey.
“[I] Loved,” she said, adding jokingly, “I think one of the secrets of the success – apart from the sex – is that it’s a real classic Cinderella story. Though of course Cinderella would never get involved in S&M ”