Iconic Mills & Boon author, and firm fan favourite, Helen Bianchin, is retiring from her writing. Read on for a letter from the author herself, and tributes to Helen from her colleagues and fellow authors as we celebrate her momentous career!
I’ve always loved to write… losing myself in the characters, and watching them come alive, and become the characters I want them to be.
I was an avid Mills & Boon fan from a young age, and I started my writing career for Mills & Boon when we lived in Auckland, New Zealand, when I was in my forties. My first book, The Willing Heart, was published in 1975. Since then, I’ve published 61 romance novels, and I’ve loved every second of writing them – I’ve always done my best to provide what I thought Mills & Boon, and you, my readers, deserved! As we all know, romance readers are very savvy… we like what we like!
However, I have decided that Alexei’s Passionate Revenge, published in late 2017, will be my swansong.
It’s time for me to retire from writing and focus on my family (who call in all the time!) where we live on the Gold Coast of Australia. I have three grown-up children, all married, and six grandchildren, aging from fourteen to nearly forty!
And of course, my cat, a Birman, who loves to sit on my desk! (Perhaps he thinks he’s helping!)
Together with very good editors.
It gives me great pleasure to know that my backlist titles will still be available in e-book, and I hope you will continue to enjoy them.
And lastly, but not least… my personal thanks to my readers. My success is due to you all!
Gold Coast, Australia.
Helen Bianchin is a living legend. Renowned the world over for her beautiful stories and captivating characters, she has been delighting readers since her first publication in 1975. Publishing her has been a total privilege, and we salute her incredible career, her legacy of amazing backlist, and most of all, the wonderful woman she is – Helen, it’s been an honour and a delight working with you!
– Flo Nicoll, Senior Editor, Mills & Boon Modern
Helen Bianchin is a household name to ardent Mills and Boon fans. Delivering passionate romances for over forty years, her legacy is truly amazing.
I read my first Helen Bianchin probably around the early 90s when I used to bring about ten Mills and Boon romances into school every week to devour, whilst pretending to do homework or reading my prescribed books. Ugh. Who wanted to read Great Expectations when you could lose yourself in a gloriously dramatic romance like Passion’s Mistress? Not me!
I spent many hours spent lusting after gorgeous vengeful heroes and aching for misunderstood and much maligned heroines, desperately wanting to see them surmount all the odds to find their Happy Ever After moment.
Bianchin created worlds of fantastical drama, passion and ultimately, the kind of everlasting romance that was utterly compelling and totally satisfying. And she inspired this author to want to try her own hand at writing romances.
I have no doubt that Helen Bianchin‘s name will endure as one of the greats of romance fiction.
More than thirty years ago, through circumstances I can no longer remember, I ended up attending one of Helen’s regular ‘group’ meetings, where she offered encouragement as well as help to aspiring romance authors. Turned out she knew of me through a mutual friend, and our friendship began. These groups existed before Romance Writers of Australia had begun, so the information she so willingly shared was like gold to would-be writers. She is the kindest, gentlest, most generous person I have ever known, but it is her generosity in sharing her deep understanding of romance writing that stands out for me. She began writing while working with her husband as a share-farmer, and bringing up three young children, and from the beginning she had an instinctive understanding of what readers most wanted to read, which made her books the best-sellers they turned out to be. And apart from her writing talent, she was a businesswoman, well aware that writing was a business, and should be treated as such. Her study was always beautifully organised – a true working space that she would enter, shut the door, and build, word by word, her wonderful romances. My life is richer, for having her as a friend, and the world is richer for her stories.
Helen Bianchin is my heroine!
I have, like so many, loved Helen’s books for so long. Before I was published I found out firsthand just how popular she is because a friend of mine *borrowed* one of her books and later insisted she had given it back. That book is still on my friend’s bookshelf and we share a tight smile every time I see it because I know it’s mine! Mind you, I don’t blame my friend for pinching one of Helen’s books – I guess she couldn’t bear to part with it too!
Helen’s heroes are always pure perfection and I have lost myself for many, many hours in her wonderful stories and simply been swept away. When I was newly published and I met her for the first time at a conference she was warm and welcoming and so generous with her friendship and knowledge. I found out that not only is she a fabulous writer but an amazing, gracious and kind person too.
Thank you Helen for your wonderful stories and your gorgeous heroes, they have been a true escape for me and you have brought enjoyment to so many. Helen, you are an absolute star!